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Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM) - Per Un Amico CD (album) cover

PER UN AMICO

Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM)

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.42 | 1126 ratings

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zravkapt
Special Collaborator
Post/Math Rock Team
3 stars PFM may be the most popular Italian prog group, but I don't think they are one of the best. This was my first experience with Italian prog a few years ago; it made me ignore Italian prog for awhile. Eventually, I got into Banco and Le Orme and liked them a lot more than PFM. Later on I discovered Goblin and Area, two bands who I really enjoyed. So, in general, I'm not much for the more popular symphonic stuff from Italy. I still have not bothered to hear another PFM album, but I am interested to see if they do have anything else I would like.

On this album, at least, there is a strong influence from the British prog bands of the time. Of course, there is a purely Italian element as well. "Appena un Po'" fades in with some gorgeous Mellotron and some harp plucking. After some acoustic guitar, flute and harpsichord. Full band comes in sounding like Gentle Giant. Then a folky part with early Crimson style drumming. Later an almost medieval sounding section. Goes back to the previous section. "Generale" starts with great jazzy drumming. Then goes into fusion territory with some violin. Love the guitar sound here. The music stops and then you hear marching drums and flute. It's like the American revolution or something! Later some church organ before it goes back to the fusion part. Probably my favourite song on the album.

The title track almost sounds like early '70s pop/rock till it gets halfway. Then it's a nice instrumental section that's both jazzy and symphonic. The violin playing here is good. Great drumming and Moog playing near the end. It finishes with the melody from the start of the song. "Il Banchetto" starts as a poppy folk song. Good flute playing. Later goes into a more classical sounding section with good Moog playing. Halfway changes to a bunch of different sections, all of them with the Moog prominent. Later just piano, eventually going back to the folky part. The harmony vocals at the end are nice.

"Geranio" begins very mellow with flute, acoustic guitar and vocals. Later a repeated piano figure leads to the group going into Beach Boys mode, with some Jethro Tull-like interludes. The music changes to different sections before reprising the beginning section. A long, repetative section with bells to end it. That part goes on too long, methinks.

Don't understand the popularity of this album. I've heard a lot more interesting and enjoyable RPI. Not bad music at all, just not very original or memorable. The later association with ELP and Pete Sinfield must have something to do with this band's popularity. This almost scared me off of Italian prog, but thankfully I found other artists more to my liking. I give this 3 stars.

zravkapt | 3/5 |

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