Giuliano Palma In-depth Biography
A sonic experimenter with Casino Royale and ska entertainer with his Bluebeaters, Giuliano Palma is an artist whose personality has many facets and whose talent has gained the praises of critics as well as the public. As one of the singers of Milan-based Casino Royale, from 1987 to 1996 Giuliano "The King" Palma moved from the ska sound of their first albums to the groundbreaking experimentations of works such as Sempre Più Vicini and CRX, mixing together dub, pop, electronics, and trip-hop. In 1993, while in Turin to record a track with Fratelli di Soledad, he started (along with some musician friends who were members of Africa Unite, Reggae National Tickets, and New York Ska Jazz Ensemble) a side project called Giuliano Palma & the Bluebeaters (the name being a homage to the bluebeat music style from '60s Jamaica), whose live sets were comprised of both cover versions of reggae and ska classics and pop tunes rearranged in a ska/rocksteady style. After the split of Casino Royale in 1997, Giuliano Palma & the Bluebeaters became more active, culminating in the release of their first record, simply titled The Album, in 1999. Originally available only through the band's website, it sold over 12,000 copies, thanks also to massive airplay of one of its songs, a cover of Black's "Wonderful Life." After signing with V2 Italy, the band re-released the record with a couple of bonus tracks in 2000, this time also making it available in stores.
The following year The Wonderful Live was released; documenting the live sound of the Bluebeaters, the CD was recorded on analog tape in order to keep the spontaneity and the rawness of their gigs intact. In 2002 Palma released his first solo record, Gran Premio, not very different from the sound of the Bluebeaters but comprised entirely of original songs. In 2005 Giuliano Palma & the Bluebeaters returned with Long Playing, their second studio work, including 22 new cover versions of such diverse artists as Paolo Conte, the Pretenders, and Van Halen. Its success -- over 30,000 copies sold -- was confirmed one year later by the single "Come le Viole," initially not included on the album. Their third effort, Boogaloo, saw the light of day in 2007, led by a cover version of Equipe 84's "Tutta Mia la Città" (i.e., the Italian version of the Move's "Blackberry Way"), which was one of the most played songs on Italian radio during the second half of 2007. ~ Aurelio Pasini, Rovi