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Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM) - Chocolate Kings CD (album) cover


Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM)


Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.95 | 435 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars I was already a fan of PFM when this first came out, albeit only on the basis of having heard and exhaustively played "Cook". Maybe as result of that I wasn't so set in my expectations of what a PFM studio album would produce.

Well, after Cook came "Chocolate Kings" and the addition of Bernado Lanzetti as a lead vocalist. Comparisons with Peter Gabriel and Roger Chapman were immediately made (and still are). Personally I see maybe a little similarity with Gabriel, a good deal of Chapman, but also a unique and in my opinion, talented individual. All tracks are sung in English and his singing is quite distinctly accented at times but to me it's never been a distraction.

I saw the band for the 1st and only time on their UK tour promoting Chocolate Kings and was absolutely blown away. Everything that I like about earlier PFM is here on this record as well. Magnificently technical playing from all concerned.

Special mention to Franco Mussida for some truly stunning nylon string guitar work on "Out of the Roundabout" and Franz Di Coccio is as exuberant as ever on the drums.

Over the 30 years since I first heard it I've also come to realise that the lyrics, far from being the abstract almost Jon Anderson-esque structures that I'd initially taken them for, actually made a good deal of sense. So there's another positive.

To be absolutely truthful I can't give it the full 5 stars though. I just get the feeling on some numbers you can almost hear the joins between sections (Paper Charms being possibly the most obvious example to me). Mauro Pagani's input seems a little subdued too (this was to be his last album with them, not counting the live Piazza Del Campo some 30 years later)

Still it regularly comes out of the CD rack and gets played in the car and at home so no hesitation in awarding 4 stars. It's still a favourite of mine.

zedkatz | 4/5 |


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