Roberto Vecchioni (born June 25, 1943) is an Italian singer-songwriter and writer.
Vecchioni was born in Carate Brianza, province of Milan, to a family of Neapolitan origin. In 1968 he graduated in Ancient Literatures at the Università Cattolica of Milan, where he remained for two years as assistant lecturer of History of Religions. Later he become literature and history teacher in a Milanese High School, an activity he never stopped.
His work for the Italian music world began in the late 1960s as songwriter for singers like Ornella Vanoni, Gigliola Cinguetti, Mina, Iva Zanicchi and others. His first solo album is Parabola of 1971. In 1973 he took part to the Sanremo Festival with "L'uomo che si gioca il futuro a dadi", continuing to released works as singer-songwriter in the following years. His 1974 LP, Il re non si diverte, obtained the Best Year's Album Award from the Italian musical critics. In 1976 he published his first successful work, Elisir, but he became famous only in the following year, with Samarcanda. With this work Vecchioni gained a fame as one of the most skillful italian singer-songwriters: his inspiration draws mainly from autobiographical themes, intermingled with dreamy, literary and historical (often mythological) ones. His friend Angelo Branduardi played violin in the LP.
Vecchioni's skills were confirmed in the following works, Calabuig, Stranamore e altri incidenti (1978), where the literature citations are predominant, and Robinson (come salvarsi la vita) (1979), where instead the autobiographical inspiration prevails. The songs "Signor giudice" and "Lettera da Marsala" of the latter work deal with the problems Vecchioni had had in the preceding years: respectively, a charge for marijuana possession (from which he was totally unscathed) and a cause with its former production house. The following album, Montecristo, was released indeed by the old and the new labels together.
After Hollywood Hollywood of 1982, whose songs are influenced by the world of cinema, Vecchioni in 1984 released the double LP Il grande sogno ("The Big Dream"), in which he collected new songs together with new versions of his past successes. The eponymous song featured Francesco De Gregori playing blues harp. The LP was accompanied by his first literary attempt, a short book with the same name. Many of the cover of Vecchioni's LPs of this period were disegned by the famous Italian comic book artist and painter Andrea Pazienza.
While continuing a successful career as a renowned singer-songwriter in the 1980s and the 1990s, Vecchioni increased his work as a writer. His prose works include the story collection Viaggi nel tempo immobile (1996) and the novels Le parole non potrano le cicogne (2000) and Il libraio di Selinunte. He also taught History of Italian Author Music for two years, and was called to writer the Enciclopedia Treccani article about Italian singer-songwriters. His best late works include Sogna ragazzo sogna ("Dream, boy, dream") of 1999 and Il lanciatore di coltelli ("The Knife Thrower") of 2002.