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Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM) - Storia Di Un Minuto CD (album) cover


Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM)


Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.36 | 1255 ratings

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4 stars If you have any sort of affinity for Italian symphonic rock, then you should definitely own Storia di un Minuto. This is the debut effort from one of the best Italian acts around in the seventies, Premiata Forneria Marconi (which I have no idea how to pronounce).

The album starts out with Introduzione, obviously "Introduction", which goes from soft and peaceful guitars to extremely loud guitar, horns, and drums. I'm guessing this is supposed to grab the listeners attention. The next track is Impressioni di Settembre. At this point I should probably mention that I do not speak a word of Italian, but trust me, that does not matter. Now, that I have gotten into Italian symphonic rock, I actually enjoy the Italian lyrics, as they go well with the music; and heck, Italian is just a nice sounding language. Impressioni di Settembre is a beautiful and powerful song with swelling mellotron, altering soft and loud vocals, interesting drums, and great guitar. Obviously, PFM are a bunch of talented musicians who know how to use their talent. E' Festa is a more light-hearted song that starts out sounding like an Irish jig that really rocks. There are some great dramatic shifts in this song. The song has a few lyrics, but is basically an instrumental and a great one at that. Next is Dove... Quando... (Parte I), which is even more beautiful than Impressioni di Settembre, with classical sounding guitars, flutes, and maybe even a harp (or something that sounds like it). There are no drums in this song, and it sounds very classical. The first side of the album is great, no filler.

The second side of the album, in my opinion, has the best song and the worst song. Dove... Quando... (Parte II) is my favorite track on this album. It starts off by stating the theme from the first part, and then turns into something unexpected. You are smacked in the face with head-spinning piano, bass, drums, and various keyboards that are complex and little dark. This moves eventually into a more orchestral section with violin being the key instrument. This part is equally as compelling as the first. At the drop of a hat, a jazzy piano riff comes in, joined by bass and drums. Improvised flute is played that is interesting, not super-melodic (more experimental jazzy sounding), and the resulting effect is sounding like your in a smokey, dark night-club listening to some cool jazz. Alright, I know I probably spent too much time describing this song, but it really is that good. La Carrozza di Hans is the next song, and starts out with a heavy intro that leaves you wanting more of the same; instead the song goes into a softer section with singing and guitar, with some soft keyboards. The middle section is acoustic guitar soloing (no backing instruments) with no trace of any kind of time-signature. This gives way eventually to a rocking end that restates the theme from the beginning. The last song Grazie Davvero is in my opinion the worst song on the album. It's not horrible or anything, it just doesn't jive with the rest of the album. It reminds me in some parts of a darker Beatles song or something (and I love the Beatles) but it doesn't work very well. Some parts of the song in the middle sound disjointed and the end intrumental part for the last 30 seconds or so seems totally random.

In the end I would say that this is a highly recommeded album, but I would not call it a masterpiece (if you want a masterpiece, listen to the more mature sound of Per Un Amico, PFM's next album). If you like Italian progressive rock, then you can't go wrong buying this album. Man, 1972 was the best year ever for progressive rock: Storia di un Minuto, Per Un Amico, Uomo di Pezza, Close to the Edge, Trilogy, Foxtrot, Thick as a Brick...

jfleischh | 4/5 |


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