Elio e le Storie Tese

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Elio e le Storie Tese
Elio e le Storie Tese
Elio e le Storie Tese
Background information
OriginMilan, Italy
GenresComedy rock, progressive rock, pop rock, hard rock, dance-rock
Years active1980–2018
LabelsPsycho, Hukapan, Aspirine
MembersStefano Belisari (Elio)
Sergio Conforti (Rocco Tanica)
Nicola Fasani (Faso)
Davide Civaschi (Cesareo)
Christian Meyer (Meyer)
Antonello Aguzzi (Jantoman)
Luca Mangoni (Mangoni)
Past membersPaolo Panigada (Feiez)

Elio e le Storie Tese (Italian: [ˈɛːljo e lle ˈstɔːrje ˈteːze]; literally "Elio and the Troubled Stories"), often abbreviated EelST, was an Italian comedy rock band from Milan, formed in 1980.[1][2] Its leader was Stefano Belisari, better known as Elio. They announced their split on 17 October 2017, on Italian TV program Le Iene.[3]

Elio e le Storie Tese acquired national fame after their second-place finish at the Sanremo Music Festival 1996 with the song "La terra dei cachi", a humorous take on Italian lifestyle.[1][2] They also won the Critics' Award "Mia Martini" for their performance.[4]

In 1999, they were awarded as Best Italian Act at the MTV Europe Music Awards, and in 2003 they won the Best Italian Videoclip award at the Italian Music Awards of Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana for "Shpalman®".[2] In 2011, they were elected as the best group band of the 2001–2010 decade through a referendum announced by the website Rockol.[5] In 2012, the album Elio samaga hukapan kariyana turu has been ranked the 15th best Italian album of all time by the magazine Rolling Stone.[6]

The group participated to the Sanremo Music Festival for the second time in the 2013 edition with the song "La canzone mononota", achieving again the second place and winning the Critics' Award "Mia Martini" for the second time, the award for the best arrangement and the Radio and TV Press-Room award.[7]


The origins of Elio e le Storie Tese go back to the 1970s, when Stefano Belisari (Elio), Luca Mangoni and Marco Conforti (Sergio's brother and future manager of the group) were classmates in a high school in Milan.[8]

The first line-up debuted in Milan in 1980. It consisted of Elio on guitar, Paolo Cortellino on bass and Pier Luigi Zuffellato on drums. Cortellino was then replaced firstly by Fabio Gianvecchio (Chiosco), later by Dario Mazzoli (Scaffale), and finally, in 1986, by Nicola Fasani (Faso). In the meantime, Zuffellato had left the group, and was replaced by Vittorio Cosma until 1982, when, after EelST were joined by the pianist Sergio Conforti (Rocco Tanica), the role of drummer was filled by a Drumulator operated by Rocco Tanica himself until 1988, when a Swiss drummer called Christian Meyer joined the group.[9]

At the beginning, Elio was singer and guitarist, but in 1983 the group hired rock guitarist Davide Civaschi (Cesareo). From that moment on, Elio could focus on being the front-man, and, sparingly, play the Western concert flute, for which he had passed the music academy's examination.[9] In 1988, the group was also joined by the multi-instrumentalist Paolo Panigada (Feiez),[8][9] who died ten years later of a brain hemorrhage during a concert.[9]

In 1992, Elio decided to include architect and former classmate Mangoni in the band. Mangoni, described in the official website as "artist and architect",[10] would have various roles, such as dancing and singing during live performances.[9]

The first studio album, Elio samaga hukapan kariyana turu was published in 1989, and it was followed by The Los Sri Lanka Parakramabahu Brothers Featuring Elio e le Storie Tese (1990), İtalyan, rum casusu çikti (1992), Esco dal mio corpo e ho molta paura: Gli inediti 1979–1986 (1993), Eat the Phikis (1996), Peerla (1998), Craccracriccrecr (1999), Cicciput (2003), Studentessi (2008) and L'album biango (2013). During their 35-year career, EelST have been awarded several prizes; they came second twice in the Sanremo Music Festival (in (1996 and 2013);[1][2] they also won two "Mia Martini" Critics' Awards.[4][7]

In March 2014, Elio e le Storie Tese presented six episodes of Il Musichione, a comedy musical show on Rai 2.[11]

On 17 October 2017, the band announced that they would disband at the end of the year, after their last concert in Milan on 19 December.[3]

On 16 December 2017, it was announced that the band would take part in the Sanremo Music Festival 2018 with the song Arrivedorci, i.e. "Arrivederci", meaning "See you later" in Italian; the song title is misspelled in the same way in which Alberto Sordi intentionally mispronounced the word, with a fake and exaggerated American accent (mostly for comic effect), while dubbing Oliver Hardy in the Italian versions of Laurel and Hardy films, from 1939 to 1951).[12] The song, a slow ballad with a lyric consisting in a half-comical, half-serious concise recapitulation of their history, came last in the final chart and it was called by journalist and music critic Mario Luzzatto Fegiz "the ugliest song [they] ever wrote"; Elio, replying to Fegiz in an ambiguous attitude, stated that the band had made a calculated effort to classify last.[13] A follow-up "Tour D'Addio" ("Farewell Tour") was announced for the Spring of 2018 starting on April 20th and ending on June 29th.[14] Later on, during a June 30, 2018 meet-and-greet in Barolo, for the tenth edition of its Collisioni rock music festival, Elio clarified that the main reasons behind the band's break-up were Tanica's recurring and continued absence from their stage performances during the previous years, due to health reasons – namely depression (although the keyboardist never gave up his official membership in the band, by continuing to play keyboards and synths on their studio albums)[15][16][17] – and a general tiredness within the band after their long career.[18]


Rocco Tanica, Mangoni and Elio

The music of the group is openly inspired, among other sources, by the style of Frank Zappa, both in music and lyrics.[19][20][21] Elio e le Storie Tese's musical work is characterized by eclecticism and competence, in the melodic, harmonic and orchestration (arrangement) aspects, augmented by the members' technical proficiency.[19][21] They are widely considered as some of the best musicians in Italy.[8][21][22][23][24] They are usually joined by an "unofficial" member, Mangoni (a former schoolmate of Elio and actually an architect), whose role is to dance, make choreographies or even sing during live shows on stage.[9][25][26] In their official discography, and in their gigs, EelST have covered many of the genres typified in popular music: rock, Latin, progressive rock, disco and soul, to name a few.[8][19] A very strong attitude to affectionately mock and modify to their needs the clichès of Italian pop music has always been part of their musical career, and nonetheless many Italian pop artists have been proud guests in their recordings, acknowledging their value. Their songs are typically interspersed by a rude, coarse humour which lies in stark contrast to their extreme varied and competent musical talent; once the band was considered part of the 'demential' rock underground spawned after the demise of punk and cross-fertilized by situationist dadaism,[21][27] but they have soared well past above that scene.[8] One of their favourite themes is adolescent life,[19] seen as a golden period of fun, friendship, music and sexual discoveries.

The band has also been the first one, in 2004, to sell instant CDs of their live performances immediately after their end (which they dubbed CD brulé, as they were 'burned' on the spot, like mulled wine, in Italian "vin brulé").[28]



  • Stefano Belisari a.k.a. Elio[9] – lead vocals, transverse flute, electric guitar, electric bass
  • Sergio Conforti a.k.a. Rocco Tanica[9] – vocals, keyboards, electronic drums, piano
  • Nicola Fasani a.k.a. Faso[9] – electric bass, backing vocals
  • Davide Civaschi a.k.a. Cesareo[9] – electric guitar, backing vocals
  • Christian Meyer[9] – drums, percussion
  • Antonello Aguzzi a.k.a. Jantoman[9] – keyboards, backing vocals (member since 1999)

"Unofficial" members[edit]

  • Luca Mangoni[9] – backing vocals, occasional lead vocals, onstage dancing
  • Paola Folli[29] – backing vocals
  • Vittorio Cosma a.k.a. Clayderman Viganò – keyboards, backing vocals

Past members[edit]

  • Paolo Panigada a.k.a. Feiez or Mu Fogliasch[9] (deceased in 1998) – backing vocals, saxophone, percussion, electric bass, guitar


Studio albums[edit]

Live albums[edit]



  • Del meglio del nostro meglio Vol. 1 (1997, greatest hits)
  • E.L.I.O. – The Artists Formerly Known as Elio e le Storie Tese (1997, promotional album with previous songs translated in English)[31]
  • Baffo Natale Compilation – Le canzoni di Natale di Radio DeeJay (2005)
  • The Original Recordings 1990/2003 (2007, unauthorized by the band)[32]
  • Gattini (2009, rerecorded versions with orchestra of previous tracks + 1 new song)
  • Yes, We Can't (2017)


  • "Nubi di ieri sul nostro domani odierno (Abitudinario)" (1989)
  • "Born to Be Abramo" (1990)
  • "Born to Be Abramo (Saturday Night strage)" (1990)
  • "Servi della gleba" (1992)
  • "Pipppero®" (1992)
  • "Pipppero® (English version)" (1992)
  • "Not Unpreviously Unreleased'nt" (1993)
  • "Entra in Esco dal mio corpo e ho molta paura" (1993)
  • "(Gomito a gomito con l') Aborto / In te" (1993)
  • "Nessuno allo stadio" (1994)
  • "Nessuno allo stadio – Strike remix" (1994)
  • "Christmas with the Yours" (1995)
  • "La terra dei cachi" (1996)
  • "La terra dei cachi – Prezioso remix" (1996)
  • "La terra dei cachi (The Rimini Tapes)" (1996)
  • "T.V.U.M.D.B. / Mio cuggino" (1996)
  • "El Pube" (1996)
  • "Born to be Abramo (avec Patrick Hernandez)" (1997)
  • "L'eterna lotta tra il bene e il male" (1998)
  • "Evviva/La visione" (1999)
  • "Bis" (1999)
  • "Discomusic" (1999)
  • "La bella canzone di una volta" (1999)
  • "Presidance®" (1999)
  • "La gente vuole il gol" (2000)
  • "Fave Club" (2000)
  • "Che felicità" (2000)
  • "Tapparella" (2001)
  • "Fave strapazzate" (2002)
  • "Shpalman®" (2003)
  • "Shpalman® RMX" (2003)
  • "Fossi figo" (2003)
  • "Oratorium" (2004)
  • "Valzer transgenico" (2006)
  • "Banane giganti" (2006)
  • "Presepio imminente" (2006)
  • "Enrico va a scuola" (2007)
  • "Parco Sempione" (2008)
  • "Ignudi fra i nudisti" (2008)
  • "Storia di un bellimbusto" (2009)
  • "Pensiero stupesce" (2011)
  • "Sta arrivando la fine del mondo" (2012)
  • "Dannati forever" (2013)
  • "La canzone mononota" (2013)
  • "Complesso del primo maggio" (2013)
  • "Amore amorissimo" (2013)
  • "Il Musichione" (2014)
  • "Alcol snaturato (una serata speciale)" (2015)
  • "Il primo giorno di scuola" (2015)
  • "Vincere l'odio" (2016)
  • "Il mistero dei bulli" (2016)
  • "Vacanza alternativa/China disco bar/Bomba intelligente (2016)
  • "Licantropo vegano" (2017)
  • "Arrivedorci" (2018)


  1. ^ a b c "Elio e le storie tese". Treccani (in Italian). Retrieved 22 August 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d Amore, Maurizio (15 January 2013). "Elio e Le Storie Tese". La Stampa (in Italian). Retrieved 22 August 2015.
  3. ^ a b Laffranchi, Andrea (18 October 2017). "Elio e le storie tese si sciolgono: «Il 19 dicembre l'ultimo concerto»". Corriere della Sera (in Italian). Retrieved 18 October 2017.
  4. ^ a b "Sanremo: i vincitori del Premio della Critica". ANSA (in Italian). 4 February 2015. Retrieved 22 August 2015.
  5. ^ "Dieci! Il referendum della musica italiana del decennio". Rockol (in Italian). 11 January 2011. Retrieved 22 August 2015.
  6. ^ "Il miglior disco italiano? Bollicine di Vasco Rossi". Linkiesta.it (in Italian). Archived from the original on 12 March 2014. Retrieved 22 August 2015.
  7. ^ a b "Sanremo 2013: tre premi ad Elio e le Storie Tese". Sony Music (in Italian). Retrieved 22 August 2015.
  8. ^ a b c d e Di Mambro, Angelo (2004). L'importanza di chiamarsi Elio. Storia e gloria del più importante gruppo italiano (in Italian). Castelvecchi.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "La band". ElioeleStorieTese.it (in Italian). Archived from the original on 13 July 2015. Retrieved 24 August 2015.
  10. ^ "Biography". ElioeleStorieTese.it. Archived from the original on 25 August 2015. Retrieved 25 August 2015.
  11. ^ Gandus, Valeria (5 March 2014). "Il Musichione, Elio e le Storie tese portano "bruttezza" (e molta musica) su Rai2". Il Fatto Quotidiano (in Italian).
  12. ^ "Sorpresa Elio e le Storie Tese: sul palco di Sanremo 2018 con "Arrivedorci"". Il Giorno (in Italian). 16 December 2017. Archived from the original on 11 January 2018. Retrieved 11 January 2018.
  13. ^ DopoFestival – Puntata del 07/02/2018 (Television production) (in Italian). RAI. 7 February 2018. Retrieved 13 April 2019.
  14. ^ "Concerti, Elio e le Storie Tese: domani il concerto di addio, a primavera il tour di addio". Rockol (in Italian). Archived from the original on 11 January 2018. Retrieved 11 January 2018.
  15. ^ Sollazzo, Boris (17 May 2016). "Rocco Tanica "Sono stato male, ma non lascio Elio e le storie tese"". Giornalettismo (in Italian). Archived from the original on 29 March 2017. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
  16. ^ "Perché Rocco Tanica non suonerà più dal vivo con gli Elio e le Storie Tese". Il Post (in Italian). 1 May 2016. Archived from the original on 22 April 2019. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
  17. ^ "Rocco Tanica abbandona l'attività live con Elio e le Storie Tese". La Stampa (in Italian). 30 April 2016.
  18. ^ L'addio di Elio e le Storie Tese (in Italian). Marok.org. 30 June 2018. Retrieved 11 April 2019.
  19. ^ a b c d Lo Giudice, Antonio. "Elio e le Storie Tese. Tecniche di resistenza al nulla". Ondarock.it (in Italian). Retrieved 24 August 2015.
  20. ^ Tricomi, Antonio (4 May 2008). "La musica senza etichette dei militanti irriverenti". la Repubblica (in Italian). Retrieved 24 August 2015.
  21. ^ a b c d Giudici, Luca (4 May 2008). "La vita tesa di Elio". Bravo! Online (in Italian). Archived from the original on 11 August 2014. Retrieved 24 August 2015.
  22. ^ Villa, Marco (27 November 2011). "Elio e le Storie Tese miglior gruppo italiano di sempre: il trollaggio perfetto?". Rockit.it (in Italian). Retrieved 24 August 2015.
  23. ^ De Monte, Guglielmo (2 June 2013). "Sundayup: Il ritorno di Elio e le Storie Tese". The Bottom Up (in Italian). Archived from the original on 24 August 2015. Retrieved 24 August 2015.
  24. ^ "Soundsblog Awards 2008 – Miglior Gruppo Italiano". Blogo (in Italian). 18 December 2008. Retrieved 24 August 2015.
  25. ^ "E gli Elii lanciano "Mangoni candidato ideale"". Vanity Fair (in Italian). 5 May 2011. Retrieved 24 August 2015.
  26. ^ "Milano, Mangoni di Elio e le Storie Tese si candida con Pisapia". Blitz quotidiano (in Italian). 6 May 2011. Retrieved 24 August 2015.
  27. ^ "Elio e le Storie Tese in concerto". Trentinofamiglia.it. Retrieved 24 August 2015.
  28. ^ Torelli, Umberto (3 July 2004). "Elio e le Storie Tese lanciano l'instant cd". Corriere della Sera (in Italian). Retrieved 24 August 2015.
  29. ^ "Bio". PaolaFolli.it. Archived from the original on 27 October 2013. Retrieved 24 August 2015.
  30. ^ "Elio e le storie tese, il nuovo album è 'Arrivedorci'". Rolling Stone Italia, Rollingstone.it (in Italian). Retrieved 22 June 2018.
  31. ^ "E.L.I.O. – The Artists Formerly Known as Elio e le Storie Tese". Marok.org. Archived from the original on 25 July 2018. Retrieved 25 July 2018.
  32. ^ "The Original Recordings 1990/2003 - Compilation di Elio e le Storie Tese". Marok.org. Archived from the original on 23 July 2018. Retrieved 23 July 2018.

Further reading[edit]

  • "Elio e le Storie Tese". Dizionario completo della Canzone Italiana (in Italian). Florence: Giunti. 2006. p. 173.
  • Di Mambro, Angelo (2004). L'importanza di chiamarsi Elio. Storia e gloria del più importante gruppo italiano (in Italian). Castelvecchi.
  • Elio e le Storie Tese (2006). Vite bruciacchiate. Ricordi confusi di una carriera discutibile (in Italian). Bompiani.

External links[edit]