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Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM) - Chocolate Kings CD (album) cover


Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM)


Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.95 | 435 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars I am a big Premiata fan, so I will say up front this review is somewhat biased. And although this record marks a departure from the King Crimson-influenced style of progressive rock that made them famous from 1971 to the time this album was released, it represents the band at it's zenith from a personnel perspective since this is the last time we see PFM record a studio album with Mauro (il Maestro) Pagani. I had bought Live in USA early in 1975 while living in Italy, and when I bought this album upon return to the US as an import, I was struck by how vastly different this album sounded. The only real down-side to me is that it far too short, but perhaps because it is so short that each track is masterful and by the time it's finished playing you are begging for more. If you can find the BBC bootleg of PFM performing in 1976 to support the album, you will get another perspective of just how strong this band is when playing live.

The title track Chocolate Kings is the only time you will hear PFM try to make a political statement by taking a swipe at Uncle Sam's arrogance. Still as fresh to me today as it was in 1975. The sound/music from the album is unique, all PFM, and I've never heard anything since sound like this, and is very different from say their follow-on album Jet Lag that was heavily influenced by the LA jazz scene. I only own the Numero Uno pressing so I don't know if the other releases included the poster of mamma Cicciona, but I actually had the nerve to hang the thing in my room much to the dismay of my parents.

Like with several major prog acts with a prominent lead vocalist, early Genesis, VDGG and Gentle Giant come to mind, you may or may not appreciate Bernardo Lanzetti's performance, but if given a good listen, one will appreciate how the vocals work as added instrument to this already vastly talented symphonic progressive rock band.

gr8sho | 5/5 |


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