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Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM) - Live In Japan 2002 CD (album) cover


Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM)


Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.87 | 82 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars This live album is similar to YES`"Keys to Ascension" and "Keys to Ascension 2" live albums in some things. Like YES, the musicians of P.F.M. are still very good, but this album shows, IMO, that "time really passed". If in YES` live album "Yessongs" the band played with a lot of energy due to be younger, P.F.M. also did it in their live album from 1974 called "Live in U.S.A." (AKA "Cook"). Like YES in their "Keys to Ascension" albums, P.F.M. still plays very good in this live album, recorded in Japan in 2002. But they show that time passed, because like YES, they play their old songs in a more "paused", "matured" way, with more "tranquility" maybe. It is good to listen again to 4 of the musicians of their best line-up of the 70s: Franco Mussida, Franz Di Cioccio, Flavio Premoli and Jan Patrick Djivas.The only one missing member is violinist / flute player Mauro Pagani. For this album, the band is augmented by an old member from P.F.M.`s Pop Rock albums of the 80s, Lucio Fabbri, who plays violin, keyboards and guitar as guest. Di Cioccio is listed as being the lead singer, but I can hear that Mussida and Premoli also sang some lead vocals. When Di Cioccio sings lead vocals, they have another drummer, Piero Monteresi, to play in the songs. Some of the songs are played with different arrangements, and some are played more closer to the original studio versions. They play a lot of old songs from their best period as a Prog Rock band in the seventies, with some sung in Italian and some sung in English, but they also include some songs from their albums of the 80s, sung in Italian, which were more oriented to Pop Rock music.They also include in this album two studio recordings. "Sea of Memories" is a collaboration with singer Peter Hammill. Not being a fan of this singer or of the band Van der Graaf Generator, I consider this song as being good, but not very interesting, apart from the keyboards playing by Flavio Premoli. The next studio recording is a cover of a song composed by Franco Battiato ("Bandiera Bianca"), which I consider as a better song.

Keyboard player Flavio Premoli is maybe the musician of the band who shines more in this album. But the other members still have many interesting things in their playing. But I think that Mauro Pagani is really missed. Lucio Fabbri replaces him, but he doesn`t play flute as Pagani, so he has to play some melodies originally played by Premoli on the flute using his violin. These new arrangements sound good, but IMO Pagani was a very important musician in P.F.M.

I don`t know why they chose to record this live album in Japan. It sounds as if it was recorded in a small club or theatre. The audience gave to the band good ovations, but they kept silent during the playing of some parts of the songs. The members of the band speak in English and for the most time in Italian to the audience which sounds like really understanding the messages given by P.F.M. to them.

The recording and mixing of this album is obviously better than in previous P.F.M.`s live albums ("Live in U.S.A" and "Performance"), being produced with more modern technology.But I still prefer their live album from 1974, called "Live in U.S.A." (AKA "Cook"). But this 2002 live album is still very good. It is a very good example of how good is this band until now.

Guillermo | 4/5 |


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