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Gruppo 2001 - L'Alba di Domani CD (album) cover


Gruppo 2001


Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.43 | 37 ratings

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Honorary Collaborator
3 stars First three tracks quite good, but plenty of misses

Gruppo 2001 is yet another RPI band from the classic period which unfortunately begins with a familiar line: The band was a "one-shot" and little is known about their story. They formed around 1971 in Sardinia and released several commercially aimed singles throughout the 1970s. In 1972 they released their lone album "L'alba di Domani" on the King label and the vinyl edition is a true rarity. In 1974 their keyboardist/vocalist Piero Salis left the group and has had a long solo career under the name Piero Marris, while the rest of the band continued without him for another few years. The peaceful gulls who grace both panels of the outer and inner sleeves are a good visual representation for the kind of experience you can expect with this lesser-known Italian album. It's not bad, but in my opinion it's pretty far from the best RPI. The generally softer and laid-back sound might compare with bands like Blocco Mentale, Reale Accademia di Musica, or sometimes Era di Acquario, though I prefer all three of those bands to Gruppo 2001.

The album is a mix of rather laid back acoustic numbers and more ambitious, prog rock stuff, never getting long winded. The longest track is the energetic opener "Maggio" at just over 6 minutes. Dual guitars, Hammond, flute, and what sounds like Harpsichord come flying out of the gate and the RPI fan's initial reaction will be "hell yeah!" Good drumming and grooving bass keep the introduction pumped. Some quiet breaks ensue with acoustic and fairly mediocre Italian vocals, but the dynamics are quite good initially. Were the whole album similar to the first track this would be one tasty disc, especially given the relatively early 1972 release. It closes with electric soloing over mellotron and backing vocals. When track 2 begins you get the second piece of the Gruppo 2001 puzzle. More than half of the album is more in the vein of "Una Bambina" with gentle acoustic guitar and vocals, with flute or mellotron and gentle backing, quite similar to Era di Acquario. These tracks are relaxing and enjoyable but the two contrasting styles make the album feel more like a collection of singles than a cohesive, well-planned epic. "Era Bello Insiema" is another highlight with a very long and relaxing groove of bass and keys similar to mellotron, in a pleasing, descending melody. Then the album slips into some Battisti-pop sounding stuff for a bit, though not as well done. There is one interesting manic-vocal arrangement in "Volo D'Angelo" but it can't quite redeem the song. "Padre Vincenzo" opens with gorgeous pipe organ before a finger-picked Simon/Garfunkel styled track emerges, sounding a bit like "The Boxer." There are some English vocals intruding on the sappy love ballad "Denise," a song that will not please many prog fans! The last three tracks are really a pretty dismal fizzle, much of the second half of the disc just lacks virility. Actually the first three songs here are quite good, the remaining 7 tracks leave something to be desired. The bottom line....a mixed bag.

I have the Korean mini-lp sleeve cd reissue which was limited to a run of 500 discs, so if you want to hear this rarity, act soon. But beware the quality of the sleeve itself is quite poor, nothing like the great Italian or Japanese stuff. Yes the cardboard is thick, but all three of the albums I got in this style are very prone to warping. Perhaps this was just my luck and they sat in a damp warehouse, I can't say. Fair album, mostly for the converted.

Finnforest | 3/5 |


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