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Jumbo - Vietato Ai Minori Di 18 Anni ? CD (album) cover




Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.11 | 136 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars JUMBO was one of the great, but little known Italian prog rock bands, in which they released three albums, and a couple of singles in 1970 before they ever had any albums out. JUMBO was actually the name given to singer Alvaro Fella, but was then given as the entire band's name after their first album. "Vietato ai Minori..." is their third album and is usually regarded as their best. It's quite a varied album, so accusing this album of being homogenized is something no one would be doing. Lots of instruments are used as well (guitar, drums, bass, flute, synthesizers, Mellotron, Hammond organ, reed organ).

The album starts with "Specchio". Right away you hear Alvaro Fella's voice, which is quite a bit shocking because he has one of the most harsh voices in Italian prog I've heard. Just needs getting a little used to. This piece goes through several changes and meter changes, with an intense guitar piece that's as intense as IL BALLETTO DI BRONZO's "YS", before it mellows out with violin, then the beggining part starts again. "Come Vorrei Essere Uguale A Te" starts off rather silly, in an Italian manner, then mellow guitar and harmonica comes in sounding like it came off CROSBY, STILLS, NASH & YOUNG's "Déjà Vu", before Fella's voice kicks in. Then there's the intense horn-driven part of the song. After that, it mellows out, with some quasi-honky tonk piano and acoustic guitar. I like how this pieces speeds up (because of slowing down the tape while recording). "Il Ritorno del Signor K", apparently a sequel to a piece found on their previous album, DNA (which I hadn't heard yet), has more of that GENTLE GIANT-like quirkiness. "Gil" is one of the more experimental pieces on this album. It's a rather unstructured piece, with Franco Battiato (who had quite a distinguished solo career in both Italian pop and experimental electronic) guesting on VCS-3 synthesizer.

The music circles around synthesizer, acoustic guitar, Fella's voice, percussion, and Mellotron. "Vangelo?" is a bit more like JETHRO TULL in places, but like a lot of the rest of the album, the music doesn't stick to one thing for long. "40 Gradi" starts off a bit folk-y, but the second half ends up sounding like PINK FLOYD, with the Hammond organ and GILMOUR-like guitar. Plenty of Mellotron is used on this part as well, I just love that atmosphere. The last piece, "No!" is a rather short flute-driven piece, with Mellotron, and there's some laughing. The lyrics, since they're in Italian are supposed to cover things like politics (in a left-wing manner), alcoholism, sex, and taboo subjects, but since I can't understand Italian, I can't be sure what the lyrics speak of.

The original LP was released on the Philips label (same label, who in Italy, gave us Le ORME). Since I own the original LP, it comes with a gatefold, a textured cover, and lyrics on the inner sleeve. Original LPs don't exactly grow on trees (and their previous two albums seem even harder to find on LP). It's been reissued on CD a few times, on Philips in Italy (which went out of print just as fast), Si-Wan in Korea, and a Japanese print with digipak (that is, CD-sized LP-style packaging).

Anyway, if you can get used to Alvaro Fella's voice, you're in for some great Italian prog, which I consider essential.

Proghead | 5/5 |


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