Elio e le Storie Tese (literally "Elio and the Strained Stories"), often abbreviated EelST, is an Italian band from Milan, formed in 1980, whose music is clearly (and declaredly) inspired to the style of Frank Zappa, both in music and lyrics. Its leader is Stefano Belisari, better known as Elio.
Elio e le Storie Tese's musical work is characterized by eclecticism and competence, in the melodic, harmonic and orchestration (arrangement) aspects, augmented by the member's technical proficiency. They are widely considered as some of the best musicians in Italy. They are usually joined by an "unofficial" member, Mangoni (a former schoolmate of Elio), whose role is to dance and make choreographies during live shows on stage; he also sings some of the songs, despite (or because of) his almost screeching, often out of tune high-pitched voice. In their official discography, and in their gigs, EelST have covered many of the genres typified in popular music: Rock, Latin, Progressive rock, Disco, Soul to name a few. A very strong attitude to affectionately mock and modify to their needs the clichès of Italian pop music has always been part of their musical career, and nonetheless many Italian pop artists have been proud guests in their recordings, acknowledging their value. Their songs are typically interspersed by a rude, coarse humour which lies in stark contrast to their extreme varied and competent musical talent; once the band was considered part of the 'demential' rock underground spawned after the demise of punk and cross-fertilized by situationist dadaism, but they have soared well past above that scene. One of their favourite themes is adolescent life around circa 12 to 17, seen as a golden period of fun, friendship, music and sexual discoveries.
The band has also been the first one, in 2004, to sell instant CDs of their live performances immediately after their end (which they dubbed CD brulé, as they were 'burned' on the spot, like wine in Mulled Wine, in italian Vin Brulè).