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Area - Are(A)zione CD (album) cover

ARE(A)ZIONE

Area

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.04 | 64 ratings

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VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Review Nº 39

This is my third review of an Area's album. Chronologically, this is their fourth album which was released later in the same year as their third studio album "Crac!" released in 1975. But this time, we have a live album. As I wrote before, in general I prefer studio albums instead of live albums, in the most of the cases. However, with Area I don't know if that it's true. What happens with Area is that they're essentially a great live group. I know that, because I had the lucky to see a live concert of the band in "Festa do Avante" in Lisbon in 1976. If you want to know more about that live concert, I suggest you to read, in this site, my review about their second live album "Parigi-Lisbona" released in 1996.

Area is really a very special progressive rock group. Their music is an uncompromising blend of jazz rock/fusion, Italian ethnic folk and free experimentation music with some electronic musical effects. Lyrically, they have real political philosophies supported by left-wing lyrics. All of this made of them a truly unique presence in the Italian rock scene during those times. Fronting the band's music, we have the unique, spectacular and inimitable voice of their singer Demetrio Stratos. The Demetrio's voice, embellished with his own operatic avant-garde vocal techniques with yodels and growls, is completely unique in the world. Taking all this things together, and joining the fact that the group has played at many festivals organized by the Communist Parties in several countries all over the world, and doing justice to the band's name "Area ? International POPular Group", the final result was a very unique live band.

But by the way, about their political leanings, communists, I'm one of the persons who think that their music is so incredible and great that I don't care about their political preferences. In general I don't care about that, and those kind of things don't put me off of enjoy their music. For instance, on the other side of the coin, the Museo Rosenbach were usually accused of being fascists, because of the bust of Mussolini in the collage cover artwork of their debut studio album "Zarathustra" released in 1973, and that the lyrics of the album were inspired by the Nietzsche's superman. But that never stopped me of love the album and to think that it's one of the great gems of the progressive Italian rock.

"Are(a)zione" is their debut live album and was released in 1975. The live musical pieces recorded on the album were taken from live recordings performed in "Parco Lambro" in Milan, "Festa Dell'Unitá" in Naples, "Festa Della Gioventù" in Rimini, "Teatro Comunale" in Regio Emilia and in other concerts held in Italy.

The album takes one song from each of their three previous studio albums, and they seemed to be chosen to give a brief outline of the musical career of the group. The rest of the album is adding with almost complete free improvisation music, so essential and important to the taste and the ideas of the band.

So, "Are(a)zione" has five tracks. The first track "Luglio, Agosto, Settembre (Nero)" is a live version of an original song recorded on their debut studio album "Arbeit Macht Frei" released in 1973. The second track "La Mela Di Odessa" is a live version of an original song recorded on their third studio album "Crac!" released in 1975. The third track "Cometa Rossa" is a live version of an original song recorded on their second studio album "Caution Radiation Area" released in 1974. The fourth track "Are(a)zione" is an astonishing track with free improvisation of a harmonic invention by the group. This is a completely a new theme, which wasn't ever recorded on any of the studio albums released by the band, previously. The fifth track "L'Internazionale" is a vanguard free associative of a free experimental version of the band, of the communist hymn, "The International". It was recorded for the first time as a band's single, in 1974, and it became the classic theme that closed almost all the live concerts performed by the group.

Conclusion: "Are(a)zione" is a great live album from a great live band. It's probably the best live album released by the group. In this moment, when I'm writing this review, I only have three live albums from the band but I only know two of them, "Are(a)zione" and "Parigi-Lisbona". The other live album "Live in Torino 1977", I just bought it now, and sincerely, I haven't had time to listen to it, yet. On "Are(a)zione" the live versions of the songs are much closer to the studio versions, while on "Parigi-Lisbona" the live versions of the songs have more free improvisations. By the other hand, "Are(a)zione" has a better sound and is much better produced. In contrast to a number of Area live recordings that suffer from significant deficiencies of the sound, "Are(a)zione" is an excellent album. This is certainly a very good live album and it's perhaps the perfect choice for anyone to start with Area. In a certain way, it tells us, in a short way, the Area's story better than the band's studio albums, or even better than the compilations of them. So, "Are(a)zione" is what you mainly need from the band. It's simply one of the greatest live albums of the Italian progressive scene.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

VianaProghead | 4/5 |

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