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Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM) - Per Un Amico CD (album) cover


Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM)


Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.42 | 1529 ratings

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5 stars 'Appena Un Po' ' instantly grabbed my attention in 1972, and PFM has been one of my favourite bands ever since. It's not difficult to see why the band became so well known internationally - and so well loved - when you listen to this, their second album, which exhibits some inspired song writing and musicianship. PFM and Italian Progressive Rock are almost synonymous; when discussing an Italian band, people often ask "Do they sound like PFM?"

This is very melodious music with liberal use of flute, acoustic guitar, piano and violin, and with synthesizer, Mellotron and organ such an integral part of the music that you almost don't notice they're contemporary, even during the very electronic-sounding parts. If you listen to these tracks you'll realise that the band really knew how to use the flute, strings and piano to great effect. Bass and percussion are good on this album too, again melding well and supporting the other instruments. Then there are the calm, smooth Italian vocals, which only add to the enjoyment of the music. Wish I could understand the lyrics, though.

Some parts of the music are purely acoustic whilst others are very symphonic Progressive Rock. 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. OK, if you push me, the piano in 'Il Banchetto' does remind me a little of early EMERSON, LAKE & PALMER, but there the comparison very definitely ends. Later in their career PFM's music had more of a jazz and pop feel, but neither of those styles is evident on this album (far from it).

The tracks on "Per Un Amico", plus ' Festa' from PFM's first album "Storia Di Un Minuto", 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 the music on "Per Un Amico" instantly. The original singing in Italian is very pleasant indeed.

There are many changes in melody, tempo and mood, and the music varies from the simple to the grandiose. I can't single out any one track: they're all good and I never tire of listening to them. 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 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. Enjoy.

Fitzcarraldo | 5/5 |


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