Secondo Tempo: Greatest Hits 96-05

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The second installment of the first Ligabue's greatest-hits collection (released as two separate volumes, six months apart), Secondo Tempo picks up where Primo Tempo ended. At 18 tracks each, both volumes boast a generous amount of Ligabue's best-known songs, plus a few new tracks. Here, the novelties are "Il Centro del Mondo," "Il Mio Pensiero," and "Ho Ancora la Forza." With the exception of the latter, a song co-written with Francesco Guccini, these are not quite as good as the new songs on Primo Tempo, but still fit comfortably with the rest of the classic material. Secondo Tempo spans 1996 to 2005 (in fact, to 2008), almost twice as much time as Primo Tempo. While Ligabue kept busy in the early part of his career, releasing an album every year between 1990 and 1995, once he achieved fame he decided to take things slowly, and diversify his interests with writing and film directing. This proved a wise decision, for even if he only released three new studio albums since 1996, Miss Mondo, Fuori Come Va, and Nome e Cognome, each one was uniformly terrific. Not that his style has changed much since his beginnings, but his songwriting, production and arrangements just kept on getting sharper over time. During the period covered by Secondo Tempo, Ligabue also released two excellent live albums (a double- and a triple-CD), and the original soundtrack for his debut film Radiofreccia, each containing a few previously unreleased songs, also present in this compilation. No live tracks are included, which makes sense since Ligabue's live albums are greatest-hits compilations in their own right -- and in fact, one could even argue that those are even better than these studio compilations, although not as comprehensive. At any rate, alone or together with Primo Tempo, this is a superb compilation of one of the best and most popular Italian rock artists of the last 20 years. Secondo Tempo comes with a DVD of Ligabue's video clips from the period. A digital version includes an extra track, the B-side "Non Fai Più Male."

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