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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 | 1124 ratings

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Atkingani
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
5 stars I heard this album only a few days after hearing "Storia Di Un Minuto" and I've always considered both as a double output, with "Per Um Amico" acting like the disc 2 of a great symphony-like. In fact, either were released in Italy in the same year and I guess that here in Brazil, they were not only released in the same year but simultaneously (1974). Hence, to consider them as a single work, divided in two long pieces wasn't (isn't) really an absurd. We have the same band line-up, the same arrangements and production, the same song style; yes, they could fit perfectly in a kind of PFM's White Album, although a little pretentious if one takes on that those were their first real recordings.

On the other side, dividing the pieces we were able to recognize that PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI was not a single-shot band. they had much more to offer - what's true until the present days, fortunately. PFM, together with other historical Italian-prog bands helped to establish a remarkable and auspicious progressive musical sub-genre demonstrating also that Italy needn't rely only on old Tarantella-like tunes or the sometimes boring San Remo Festival style of grandiloquent songs.

There's very few to add when "Per Un Amico" is compared to the previous album, if one could randomly exchange tracks between both outputs the differences should be meaningless. Musicianship is outstanding, singing and playing are high as usually; Italian vocals give a special touch to the songs. There are great themes being developed and when it seems that all juice is extracted from the fruit, a surprising note or tune appears to stupefy us and take us to an almost dream.

'Appena un pò', the opening track, is a great piece, the calm and placid beginning, very symphonic and pastoral, with pleasant mediaeval and folk tunes gives room to a complex moment where a jazz-rock fusion brief theme takes place before vocals begin. The voices sooth softly, like a beautiful chorale only to be supplanted by an enjoyable part, very progressive, where all instruments act in a series of homogeneous airs. Near-ending the song becomes grandiose with great keyboard playing leading to a non-sense vacuum. A huge opener.

'Generale' is very catchy and easy. Now guitars dominate amidst all other intruments and there's a notorious rock atmosphere - more noticeable if one can appreciate also the live versions of this particular song.

'Per un amico', the title-track, is decorate by a delightful flute opening and soon the singing appears accompanied by marvelous and meaningful mellotron backing. Solo section is intensely shared between violin and acoustic guitar with a heavy bass presence; synths and piano do the magnificent closure: I sometimes wished to be the amico (friend) honored.

'Il banchetto' is for me the prototype of the medium-size prog-rock song; it's really one banchetto (feast) for the ears. Even the description of the theme is difficult due to the continuous changes and different signatures. The initial serenade with soft voices and guitars goes in a crescendo to a kind of ethereal, agreeable, clear, majestic tune. The middle section conveys us to a reverie unreality where the hearer literally flies away to distant and impressive worlds. Ending part is calm and sophisticated. My preferred album track.

'Geranio', the closing track, has great moments but with less power than preceding tracks. However, it's a song with the characteristic PFM trade mark: a soft and pleasant beginning, an always amazing core with great signature variations and a very surprising ending.

Once the album finishes, a sensation of 'want more' remains for the listener and the solution is to hear and hear again; it's healthy. Being a natural following to the debut album, "Per Un Amico" must be treated equally: a MASTERPIECE. Final rating: 5.

Atkingani | 5/5 |

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