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Le Orme - Live Orme CD (album) cover

LIVE ORME

Le Orme

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.50 | 25 ratings

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Finnforest
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars A rare chance to hear live Orme in the '70s

Massimo is the man! Genoa's famous Black Widow Records has found the key to a live re-release which newer RPI fans have no doubt been waiting to hear. Originally released in the '80s on vinyl by a Japanese label I believe there may have been previous CD issues but they are likely rare and not remastered. But this new Black Widow release is the real deal with remastered sound and five bonus tracks.

The disc offers the chance to hear Le Orme live, recorded on dates between 1975-1977 in Mestre, Adria, Rimini, Modena, Parma, Varese, Milano, and Bologna. It has been digitally remastered and lovingly pressed onto two CDs. As far as classic RPI goes I found the album to be a wonderfully pleasant surprise. First, rather than getting material mostly from a current album, the set list provides a good overview to that point in time. There are generous selections of material from Collage, Uomo di Pezza, Felona e Sorona, Contrappunti, and Smogmagica. Second, while classic RPI fans are trained to expect tinny sound only a dog can hear from the scant rare 70s RPI offerings, here the sound is surprisingly good. As good as a modern day rock show? Of course not, but considering that we are in the mid 1970s and without a huge budget, the sound is adequate and respectable in my opinion.

Disc one begins with three strong tracks from the Contrappunti album and then their melodic hit "Gioca di Bimba" from the Pezza album. In the middle we are treated to an 11-minute unreleased track called "Truck of Fire" and a medley of tracks from Collage. Finally the disc closes with three bonus tracks from "Smogmagica" which is the album that introduced a more guitar-oriented sound to Orme. Disc two begins with two short teasers, Whole Lotta Love and Aqualung. Sadly they end before you can enjoy them but it shows the band was having fun at the shows. Then they launch right into a half-hour of my favorite Orme, the graceful Felona e Serona. It was such a treat for me to hear the precision of Dei Rossi's drumming here and Serafin's tasty electric leads with a more vibrant live sound. The meat of the track is so beautiful, drifting in and out of the flowing keyboards and guitar harmonics, the watery bass, the cymbal rides and forceful drumming pushing it. In the middle there is a monster guitar solo followed by another monster drum solo and some wild improv. (There are a few moments of static now and again, but not too bad). "Aspettando L'alba" synths are thrilling over the live guitar and majestic vocal. The crowd really appreciates another Collage medley near the end. Overall the show is filled with thrilling Orme keyboards, moog, mellotron, piano, in glorious baths both graceful and bombastic at various times. Aldo's smooth and relaxing vocals are a steady hallmark, and the tight bass and drums are the important third weapon. Germano Serafin's recent membership brought a muscular lead guitar to the sound which opened new doors for Orme though they are still primarily a big keyboard band. The second disc has two bonus tracks, the hard rocking "Sera" and from Pezza there is "La Porta Chiusa" which feels alive and aggressive! The sound quality of the bonus tracks is a clear step down from the main tracks but still well worth the time.

This album is an essential historical document for any Orme fan who appreciates the live experience. Unless you require perfect modern-era sound quality to enjoy music, it will surely please you, placing you front and center at an Orme show from 1975. How cool is that? My only complaint is that the inner booklet consists of just a few color pictures. For an occasion as festive as this there should have been ample liner notes from a bandmember or least a knowledgeable critic. That feels like a missed opportunity but don't let that stop you. This is a title that every "live music is better" bumper sticker fan will want to hear.

Finnforest | 4/5 |

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