365 Days of Mike Patton: “L’Uomo Che Non Sapeva Amare,” Mondo Cane (2010)

Sometimes, it’s easy to discover where Mike Patton finds inspiration. Other times, you’d need to spend hours in a Roman library to figure out the origins of what emerges from Patton’s mouth.

The latter is the case for “L’Uomo Che Non Sapeva Amare,” off Patton’s Mondo Cane album. I don’t have oodles of time to spend researching these 365 Days of Mike Patton posts (even though the amount of articles and quotes I’ve gathered for future posts is quite long and increasingly more difficult to navigate), so if I can’t find something after about 10 minutes of online searching, well, that’s just about my limit.

That said, I don’t know much about this tune that appears on Patton’s album of covers of Italian pop sings from the 1950s and ‘60s. Italian singer and film composer Nico Fidenco sang it in the mid-1960s (either 1964 or 1965), and it translates into The Man Who Didn’t Know How To Love.

This song soars from the very beginning. It’s not like you’re on the scary rollercoaster that starts you off nice and slow on the big, long hill that slowly creaks to the top, seemingly hundreds of feet in the air, before twisting itself 75 stories downward to begin the ride. No, “L’Uomo Che Non Sapeva Amare” makes sure your stomach jumps into your throat within the first 10 seconds of pressing play.

There is no build here. Just an immediate punch to the face. And for the next 3 minutes, it only very occasionally relents and allows you to catch your breath.

It’s one of the most metal songs on the album—Consequence of Sound described it as “waltzing bombast”—and since Mondo Cane is not supposed to be even a little bit metal, that’s quite an accomplishment.

Fidenco’s version is certainly more understated, but arguably, his version is more passionate. That’s somewhat ironic since he’s singing about a dude who doesn’t know how to love.

A Mondo Cane post in the 365 Days of Mike Patton wouldn’t be complete without a live performance of the song. So, here’s Patton from Amsterdam standing next to a trumpet player with wonderful facial hair and fantastic side part. The live version, as I would expect, is glorious.

Patton was once married to an Italian woman and lived in Bologna for a time. He apparently loves Italian pop and by his live performance, it’s quite clear he enjoys singing this song. He’s not a man who can’t love. Instead, he’s the man who makes his fans fall in love with music that, without him, they’d probably never get to hear.

Previously from Mondo Cane:

To follow along on the 365 days of Patton, click here for a list of each day’s post.

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