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Fabrizio De André - Fabrizio De André + PFM In concerto CD (album) cover


Fabrizio De André


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3.79 | 31 ratings

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RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
4 stars Reviewing this album after the remake of "La Buona Novella" released in 2010 by the PFM should help making the things clearer.

First of all, Fabrizio de Andre' was better known as lyricist and effectively many of his songs are pure poetry. It's not that he wasn't a good instrumentist or composer, too. His first release is dated 1958 and he was strongly influenced by the French "chansonniers". Later, as many other italian singer-songwriters he felt the influence of Bob Dylan. This is where he's from. A great artist, never commercial, but surely not prog. At least proto-RPI.

You all know PFM here, instead. Forget them. At the time of the tour from which this live album is taken, Fabrizio was surely most famous than PFM in the mainstream public and was alsovery acclaimed by the critics while PFM was "only" the bigger RPI band together with Banco.

So don't be surprised if all the songs are Fabrizio's hits and PFM is just supporting him. This is a Fabrizio De Andre album which features the excellent arrangement of the PFM.

Now the songs:

"Bocca di Rosa" (Rosemouth) is the true story of a whore that he knew in his city Genoa. Fabrizio was always fascinated by borderline people, also because Genoa is famous for its harbour and is full of borderlines. She died last year and a newspaper has dedicated an article to her. The song is a folky tune in French style and from a lyrical point of view is a song about hypocrisy. All the "good" guys are deprecating the whore but all the town his happy to pay her. One of the most famous songs of this artist.

"Andrea" is about homosexuality. It's a soldier who diserted for love during the first world war and manages to let everybody think that he's dead. Musically it's a sort of country-rock song based on 12 strings acoustic guitar.

"Giugno '73" (June '73) is opened by an interesting bass solo. It's another "French style" song, and one of the few that can really be of some interest for a progger. It's an important song from a lyrical point of view. This is real poetry about the end of a love that's not working between a man, likely Fabrizio himself and a woman too stuck into the conventions. "Leaving ourselves has been better than having never met".

"Un Giudice" (A Judge) is one of the most well-known song of Fabrizio. It's taken form the concept album "Non Al Denaro, Non all'Amore Ne al Cielo" inspired by the "Anthology of Spoon River" of Edgar Lee Masters. "A dwarf is surely a bad person because his heart is too close to his asshole". It's also the song on which the PFM arrangements work better.

"La Guerra di Piero" (Piero's War) is a hymn to the antimilitarism. Piero is a soldier who surprises an enemy in a field of wheat. He's about to shoot him but he stops thinking that he's killing somebody that he doesn't know. That he'll have enough time to see his dying glance...but while he's hesitating the other sees him and shoots him dead.

This was only the side A.

Another very famous song now comes: "Il Pescatore" (The fisherman). To be honest I have never really understood the meaning of the story narrated in this song, apart the fact that the fisherman helps the assassin only because he's asking for food and wine and a safe place to hide. This live version of the song is famous for the excellent violin part performed by Lucio Fabbri.

"Zirichiltaggia" is a song that has a particular story. It's written in one of the Sardinian dialects. It's a language that needs a translation also for Italians. Fabrizio worte it after having been kidnapped by Sardinian bandits (see the artist's bio). It's funny how this language fits into a country-western base. Of course there's room for Lucio Fabbri's violin.

"La Canzone di Marinella" is a classic. It was sung in the 60s by Mina, who is probably the best female vocalist of the Italian pop history. It's the bigger hit single released by Fabrizio. I think it's the story of a woman who commits suicide for love narrated in form of a fairytale. It's the song that I like less in all the Fabrizio's production and PFM doesn't add much to the original.

"Volta la Carta" (Turn the card) is a "ronde". It's a sort of nursery rhyme (literally, nothing to do with Genesis) with some more adult contents. Very folky with a touch of country, between Bob Dylan and Blackmore Nights. Fun but non essential.

Reading other reviews it seems that "Amico Fragile" (Fragile Friend) is the song more appealing for proggers. Effectively is a whispered poetry very dramatic and intensively interpreted. Full of metaphoric images it's not an easy one also in terms of lyrics. It's really dark and sometimes sarcastic: "- Do you know that I've lost two sons? Miss, you are a very inattentive woman!"

If you are looking for PFM classics this is not the right album, but if you want to understand better an album like "A.D. 2010" this is where it started.

It's an excellent addition to any "good" music collection. I have doubts about "prog", but given this advise, I think that 4 stars are not a scandal

octopus-4 | 4/5 |


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