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


Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM)


Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.36 | 1219 ratings

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5 stars PFM and Italian Progressive Rock are almost synonymous; the band is often used as a benchmark against which other Italian bands are measured ("Do they sound like PFM?"). This is understandable, as PFM were in a class of their own. The musicianship and consummate songwriting is immediately evident on this, their first album.

"Storia Di Un Minuto", "Per Un Amico" and "L'Isola Di Niente", the first three PFM Italian albums, are all Progressive Rock classics. In fact I also like the Anglicised versions of these ("Photos Of Ghosts" and "The World Became The World") plus quite a bit of PFM's later music too, even though the band developed a more jazzy and pop sound and became less Progressive.

The music on this album is so melodious, with oodles of acoustic guitar, piano, synthesizer, Mellotron and organ. Not forgetting bass, drums, flute and violin. The sounds from these instruments are weaved together expertly and provide a joyous musical texture. Frankly, this music sounds so good I couldn't care less what genre of music it comes from.

I like all the tracks very much, but the more well-known are 'Impressioni di Settembre', ' Festa' and 'La Carrozza Di Hans', these becoming the band's anthems at concerts by all accounts. No wonder, as they are superb. I marvel at how 'together' each track sounds. ' Festa' (which could be translated as "it's a party", "it's party time" or "it's festivity") is almost onomatopoeic: it's so vivacious, so infectious that I put it on sometimes just to get a lift. Great bass, guitar, keyboards, drums and flute. 'Grazie Davvero' is also a favourite of mine, with calm parts, big-band sounding parts, great acoustic guitar, and melody, melody, melody.

I can't really say which other bands, if any, the music reminds me of, although it does feel very Italian in style and there are definitely some reminders of classical music, perhaps baroque, plus Italian country tunes. I like the way the music is constructed: there are many changes in melody, tempo and mood in each track.

' Festa' plus the tracks from the band's second album "Per Un Amico" were rehashed with English lyrics (except 'Il Banchetto', which stayed in Italian) by Pete Sinfield for the PFM album "Photos Of Ghosts", released by ELP's Manticore Records and which is perhaps better known outside Italy. So if you are familiar with "Photos of Ghosts" you will recognise ' Festa' on "Storia Di Un Minuto" instantly, and you should be delighted to hear for the first time the band's anthem 'La Carrozza Di Hans' (I like so much the calm interludes using acoustic guitar, vocals and organ). The original vocals in Italian on all these songs are very pleasant indeed.

Even though the album came out in 1972 the music does not sound at all dated. At only 34 minutes, it's over all too quickly but, as with PFM's other albums, I get up feeling invigorated. In my opinion this album is a classic and I unreservedly recommend it to you. I cannot give this album anything other than 5 stars. Don't hesitate to get it.

Fitzcarraldo | 5/5 |


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