Born from the ashes of the prog band Jet, whose sole album was 1972's Fede Speranza Carità, Matia Bazar formed in Genoa in 1975, with a line-up comprising Piero Cassano (keyboards), Aldo Stellita (bass), Carlo "Bimbo" Marrale (guitar), Giancarlo Golzi (drums) and singer Antonella Ruggiero. The very first releases -- e.g. the singles "Stasera Che Sera", "Cavallo Bianco", "Per un'Ora d'Amore", "Solo Tu" and "Mister Mandarino" and the albums Matia Bazar (1976), Gran Bazar (1977) and the anthology L'Oro dei Matia Bazar -- showcased the band's ability to build well-crafted and lush pop songs, made unique by the huge extension and versatility of Ruggiero's voice. In 1978 the song "… E Dirsi Ciao" (from Semplicità finished first at that year's edition of the Sanremo Music Festival. The live album Tournée and Il Tempo del Sole followed respectively in 1979 and 1980.
With 1981's Berlino Parigi Londra Matia Bazar introduced strong electronic elements in its sound. Immediately after its release, Cassano quit the band to pursue a new career as a producer (he would later work with Eros Ramazzotti), replaced by Mauro Sabbione. 1983's Tango included one of Matia Bazar's most successful singles, "Vacanze Romane", and was followed one year later by Aristocratica, in which debuted new keyboardist Sergio Cossu. In 1985 the band reached the top notches of the Italian charts for the last time with "Ti Sento" (a.k.a. "I Feel You", in its English translation), taken from the album Melanchòlia, the first recorded after the band quit ways with producer Roberto Colombo. After 1987's Melò and 1989's Red Corner Antonella Ruggiero quit the band in order to start a solo career, and was replaced by Laura Valente, whose voice can be heard on Anime Pigre (1991), Dove le Canzoni Si Avverano (1993, including the single "Dedicato a Te") and, Radio Matia (1995, a collection of new versions of older songs) and Benvenuti a Sausalito (1997). In the meantime, Marrale too had quit the band. In 1998 founding member Aldo Stellita died of cancer.
A new line-up of Matia Bazar including Golzi, the returning Cassano, Fabio Perversi on keyboards and singer Silvia Mezzanotte debuted in 2000 with Brivido Caldo. 2001's Dolce Canto and 2002's Messaggi dal Vivo followed -- the latter, a live album, included the song "Messaggi d'Amore", with which Matia Bazar won 2002's Sanremo Music Festival. Then, with new singer Roberta Faccani, the band released Profili Svelati (2005) and One1 Two2 Three3 Four4 (2007), a collection of hits from other Italian bands from the 60s on. ~ Aurelio Pasini