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Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM) - Cook [Aka: Live in the USA] CD (album) cover


Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM)


Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.12 | 216 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars Now THIS is how a live album should be done! At the peak of their powers, PFM released this concert recording just before the addition of singer Bernardo Lanzetti on Chocolate Kings. An essential live sampling of the band, right up there with YesSongs and King Crimson's USA, Cook just misses 5 stars due to the somewhat lackluster sound quality and set list heavily biased toward an English speaking audience.

An incendiary version of "Four Holes in the Ground" starts the set, and the energy never lets up from here. "Dove...Quando" will slow the pace a bit, and other than part of "Celebration," is the only track sung in its native language. Mauro Pagani delivers some achingly beautiful flute passages here, supplemented perfectly by minimal electric piano and bass guitar. One minor quibble is the absence of "Dove...Quando (Parte II)," as a somewhat awkward fade to "Just Look Away" announces an extended intro from Mussida. His classical guitar technique is simply brilliant. A riotous crowd cheers on as "Celebration" roars like a freight train running off the tracks...and transitions into the coda of "World Became the World."

"Mr. Nine Till Five" starts the second side, and there's no sign of the band letting up yet. The sound quality does seem to suffer here somewhat; I'm not sure if they changed tape reels on the mobile truck for this tune or what, but there is a marked difference between it and the rest of the program. "Alta Loma Five Till Nine...," a staple of their live shows during this era, is a jammy, bluesy number; there is plenty of Mellotron goodness to keep it rooted in the symphonic tradition, though. Expect several mood and tempo changes, the most famous of which is the rendition of the William Tell Overture, prog-style. The extended version of Cook is available domestically for $8-10, and features the Central Park concert in its entirety, so there is really no excuse to not go download it right now.

coasterzombie | 4/5 |


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