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Cherry Five - Cherry Five CD (album) cover


Cherry Five


Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.91 | 185 ratings

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Andrea Cortese
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars ".the duck hates you, the goose denies the pool, you find no more birds to talk to / the frogs are silent, the sun is dead / you have been living for centuries without love." (taken from The Swan Is A Murderer).

.another stunning Italian one-shot band from the seventies? Another forgotten name in all that vast ocean of the "italica musica virtus"? Not really! Only a jump back in time to the roots of the legendary GOBLIN! I own the 2002 Cinevox Record reissue which is officially distributed by Pick Up Export, settled in my town, Bassano del Grappa! That's why I could easily buy it ;) !!

The band initially appeared in a format named " Il Ritratto di Dorian Gray" (The Picture of Dorian Gray), curiously the homonymous second track of the Cherry Five album!. That line-up consisted of Claudio Simonetti (son of Enrico, famous pianist and conductor) on keyboards, Walter Martino on drums, Massimo Giorgi on bass guitar and backing vocals, Luciano Regoli on lead vocals, Fernando Fera and Roberto Gardin on guitars. This memberlist was very successful in Rome during the period 1970-1971.

In 1973 Claudio Simonetti, along with Massimo Morante and Giancarlo Sorbello went to London where they met the famous producer and sound engeneer Eddie Odford. They told he was impressed by their demos and decided to produce their first album. But first he had to complete the American tour of that year with Yes. In the meanwhile singer Clive Hartman (alias Haynes, or Heinz?) joined the band within the bass player Fabio Pignatelli and the drummer Carlo Bordini. This new band was called "Oliver" (.another track on the Cherry Five album!).

They stayed on playing concerts and recording session. But Yes extended their American tour and so Odford.the band, disappointed, had to turn back in Italy, leaving Clive in London. At the same time they send some demos to Cinevox label and they signed their first contract. Tony Tartarini replaced the English singer Artman and only then the band's name was changed into "Cherry Five".

The homonymous album was recorded in 1974 (within english vocals) but it had to wait for the release due to the fact that Bordini refused to undersign the contract with the Cinevox label. The remaining members went on and recorded Profondo Rosso as the Goblin! Only after their huge success Cherry Five was released (1976)!

The entire work goes very well from the beginning to the end.I'm impressed, really, didn't imagine such a high quality in instrumental parts.awesome indeed. Not very representative of the usual Italian symphonic prog, but a "forgotten" masterpiece in its essence! No doubt it is a must have in our collections!

Country Grave Yard is the stunning 8,18 mns long opener. The listener immediately understand that Yes are the main references of the band.then my favourite one: The Picture of Dorian Gray, another 8 mns long track that starts in a very soft and mellow duet between delicate keyboards and acoustic guitar. Soon an interesting and powerful crescendo that reminds me of the similar one in the Close to the Edge track!! A particular song, yet, with catchy atmosphere nice vocals. Not to mention the lyrics which already seem to show all the "horror" imaginery that'll be on the Dario Argento's movies and Goblin' soundtracks! Now it's the time of The Swan is a Murderer (part I and II, 9 mns all), another marvellous one played and sung with impressive musicianship! Nice story and lyrics (just see above, on the top of the review). Oliver.what could I say more? Another highlight (about 9,30 mns), in a darker vein played, it deserves a place in all the mp3 players of all the Progarchives' members! P.S. Particularly great work on bass guitar! The closer is My Little Cloud Land. A more dreamy music for more dreamy imaginery and lyrics: "Camels with a crown, dragonflies and bees, here / Fountains, glance of gold, drop of silver rain, here. This is a holy place, in which I feel the breath of life / I wanna stay here forever, I need a magic tune.".

Conclusion: the music speaks for itself! Five stars are low price for all the pleasure I felt in listening to such an opus! 43 minutes of long pleasure for any good prog-lover!

P.S. Heartfelt thanks to Erik Neuteboom whose sharp recommendations introduced me to the "darker side" of my own country's awesome and immense progrock field!!

Andrea Cortese | 4/5 |


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