Tag Archives: mondo cane

365 Days of Mike Patton: “Deep Down,” Mondo Cane (2010)

The first song I heard off Mike Patton’s Mondo Cane album was the “Deep Down” track, a cover of an Ennio Morricone score from the late 1960s. Considering this song is tune No. 4 on the album, I’m not sure how I got my hands on this song first.

But I’m glad I did, because it is catchy as hell, from the baritone voice that opens the tune to his intense whispering at the end (and all the sweet stuff in the middle). All Music called it “a masterfully embellished version” of the original, and Spin wrote it was a “highlight” of the record.

Morricone’s version comes from the 1968 Danger: Diabolik movie—which, according to IMDB, features an “international man of mystery,” so you know it has to be cool.

Either way, here’s one of the early versions (sung in both English and then in Italian).

And here’s Patton’s version 42 years later (mostly in Italian).

Mondo Cane is one of the high points of Patton’s career, because it allowed him to temporairly shed his role as a rock/metal/avant garde singer and turn himself into a crooner who covers only 1950s and 1960s Italian pop songs.

Specifically, Patton seems to love the work of Morricone, who has scored hundreds of films including A Fistful of Dollars; The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly; Bugsy; and The Hateful Eight. “Many people think of him only in terms of spaghetti Western music,” Patton told Spin. “But that’s just a pinch of what that genius has created.”

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 covering the work of one of his heroes from a concert in Amsterdam.

Previously from Mondo Cane:

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

365 Days of Mike Patton: “Ore D’Amore,” Mondo Cane (2010)

Out of everything on Mike Patton’s Mondo Cane album—where he sings covers of Italian pop songs from the 1950s and 1960s—“Ore D’Amore” is my favorite. It’s Patton at his crooniest best, and there are a few occasions in the tune where his voice just absolutely soars.

There seem to be two separate versions of this song from 1967: one by Ornella Vanoni and another by Fred Bongusto. I like Vanoni’s version a little better, probably because Bongusto’s song sounds a little too similar to Patton’s version (and yes, I know Patton’s version came 43 years later, so it’s technically Patton that sounds like Bongusto).







The quality of Patton’s recording is obviously much better than those from more than 50 years ago, and his voice goes a little deeper, gruffer, and richer than the previous two versions, which I dig. Clearly, Patton’s talent is more than sufficient to compete with the earlier versions.





Especially if you listen to one of his live versions.



As Consequence of Sound noted in its review of the album, “You do not have to be fluent in traditional Italian speech or opera to fully experience this music. Mondo Cane is a time machine, guided by Mike Patton, a backing band, and a 40-piece orchestra into contemporary Italian pop music, with the usual avant garde flare that makes Patton what he has been and always will be.”

The website also wrote that “Ore D’Amore” was a song of “mobster swagger circa 1950.” Considering the suits Patton wore when he gave his Mondo Cane concerts, that’s perhaps not a bad description at all.

Previously from Mondo Cane:

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

365 Days of Mike Patton: “Scalinatella,” Mondo Cane (2010)

In 2010, Mike Patton released his Mondo Cane album, which was filled with covers of Italian pop songs from the 1950s and 1960s. Patton was once married to an Italian woman, and he lived in Bologna for a spell. He’s fluent in Italian, and he was moved by the way those songs were made.

“While there, I immersed myself in the complete culture: the music, art, literature, film, food, and history,” Patton told Spin. “It’s easy to fall in love with. As a country, Italy does a good job of holding onto its rich traditions and culture.”

On this song, he’s backed by an acoustic guitar, and he sings about a “little staircase leading to the water near Posillipo, where a man waits for his lover.” It’s quite beautiful.

“Most tribute records bore the hell out of me,” Patton said. “It’s far more interesting to hear someone who has been inspired by an artist channel that artist using their own talents. There are lots of different ways to make lasagna, and more than one way can be great.”

Here’s an original 1950s version from Roberto Murolo.

One word of advice, though. If you’re listening to Patton sing it live, keep quiet. Otherwise, he’ll tell you to … well, just watch.

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