Don McLean

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Don McLean debuted in 1963, in the heyday of the Greenwich Movement, but got a recording contract only when that scene had evaporated. Tapestry (Media Arts, 1970) included unassuming, romantic ditties such as Castles In The Air and And I Love You So, but American Pie (EMI, jan 1971) sent shock-waves around the world, thanks to the nine-minute saga American Pie, a cryptic history of rock music relying on jumping piano riffs, a majestic refrain and the counterpoint of accordion and harmonica, lyrical mandolin, and majestic waltzing rhythm and thanks to the haunting ballad Vincent (Van Gogh). If We Try and Dreidel, the highlights of Don McLean (UA, 1972), were hardly in the same style: Don McLean took the liberty to abandon a successful stereotype, an action seldom recorded in the annals of popular music. Homeless Brothers (UA, 1974) went further down the process of decostructing Don McLean, by presenting him as a sort of Neil Diamond for families (Wonderful Baby, La La Love You), despite the Legend Of Andrew McGraw. Prime Time (1977), Chain Lightning (1979), Believers (1981) and Dominion (1983), a live album with an orchestra, had nothing in common with the singer-songwriter of American Pie. With Love Tracks (Columbia, 1987) he even converted to country music. (Translation by/ Tradotto da xxx)

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