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Le Orme - Ad Gloriam CD (album) cover

AD GLORIAM

Le Orme

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

2.83 | 108 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
3 stars LE ORME ( Italian for "the footprints" ) was one of the few Italian progressive rock bands that found international success outside of its homeland and at the band's peak was playing many live shows all over North America and Europe in the 70s, but all things have humble beginnings and like many bands of the era, LE ORME began in a much different way than the band became. Formed in Marghera near Venice, the band started all the way back in 1966 by Aldo Tagliapietra (vocals, guitar), Marino Rebeschini (drums), Nino Smeraldi (lead guitar) and Claudio Galieti (bass) of which only Tagliapietra would carry on into the classic prog years.

Like most bands of the era that went on to forge their way into the prog universe, LE ORME began as a psychedelic rock band that still retained a lot of the beat music that was popular from the late 50s to the early 60s. As a band, LE ORME started playing live fairly early in 1966 after forming and recorded its first single "Fiori Di Giglio" in 1967 however the lineup started to change before the first album was recorded. After Michi Dei Rossi replaced Rebeschini who joined the military and Antonio Pegliuca joined the team on keyboards and band began to record its debut release AD GLORIUM in late 1968 and hit the market in 1969.

The song "Senti L'estate Che Toma" which appears on the album was placed in a competition in 1968 run by the Italian Phonographic Association where it finished at #24 out of 56 songs, not exactly a stunning success but enough to get the band noticed and the ball rolling. One look at the colorful psychedelic album cover with the five members sporting their best Beatles haircuts tells you everything about AD GLORIUM. This is indeed a child of the 60s with beautiful catchy pop hooks right out of The Beatles' playbook only drenched in psychedelic sound effects and a retro beat sort of rhythmic drive. While not quite the progressive rock band that would deliver such classics as "Felona E Sorona," at this point LE ORME had already mastered the art of excellent songwriting skills that displayed sophisticated compositional skills and tight musicianship that allowed variation to make the album interesting.

With all lyrics sung in Italian, despite the English influences, AD GLORIUM feels like a bona fide product of its homeland as the Italian language has a gravitational pull that takes the musical flow along for the ride. While the guitar, bass and drums are clearly imbued with 60s influences, it's the other instruments such as the flute, celesta, sarangi and harpsichord that give it a more futuristic feel (for its time) in comparison to other psychedelic rock bands of the late 60s and in retrospect there are signs of the prog direction that the band would veer towards however nobody including LE ORME could've predicted it at the time as the entire prog world was just beginning to blossom and soon explode into myriad directions. Overall AD GLORIUM is a light and airy album that relishes the sensual side of the rock world.

While it would take another album and a new direction to give LE ORME the opportunity to find international success, AD GLORIUM provides some vital blueprints and overall is a really decently crafted psychedelic pop album from the era. There's not really one bad track on it and it indeed captures the spirit of the psychedelic peace and love 60s only with a European vibe that was quite different the the American scene. While the album wasn't exactly a smashing success at the time, the title track has been remixed by Irish DJ David Homes in the year 2000 with the new name of "69 Police" and also appeared on the film soundtrack for "Oceans Eleven" where it was used in the final scene. Catchy and psychedelic 60s pop that's very well done but still several steps away from the symphonic prog that the band would craft for 1971's "Collage."

3.5 rounded down

siLLy puPPy | 3/5 |

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