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Biglietto Per L'Inferno - Live 1974 CD (album) cover

LIVE 1974

Biglietto Per L'Inferno

Rock Progressivo Italiano

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erik neuteboom
3 stars Biglietto Per L'Inferno was an interesting progrock band from the early Seventies featuring members who play a wide range of instruments: flute, flugelhorn, Gemorgan, Minimoog, Hammond organ, piano and acoustic - and electric guitars along drums and bass. As you would expect the music from Biglietto Per L'Inferno (Italian for Ticket To Hell) is varied and contains many shifting moods. The first song consists of a brass section, organ runs and fiery electric guitar. The other six tracks has echoes from Jethro Tull including cheerful rhythms, mellow organ and lots of flute play. The Italian vocals sound inspired. The recording quality is like a good bootleg and the compositions has more the structure of a jam. If you like Jehtro Tull and the early Italian progrock, this CD is recommended.
Report this review (#73656)
Posted Friday, March 31, 2006 | Review Permalink
2 stars The strength of Biglietto per l'Inferno was in their live performances. It's a pity that the only live recording of this band lacks so much in sound quality. Even the remastering couldn't fix the poor quality of the source. The concert was performed and recorded in Lecco (Italy) on 9th May 1974 with poor technical means and, as you can read in the booklet, "this is not an experience dedicated to sound purists, but a great time-machine for all who like to dive back into those days and for all who are young enough".

Nevertheless, the performance of the band was excellent and all the tracks were bound together with new arrangements as in a long suite. The opener is an early version of "Il tempo della semina" (slightly different from the album one), then all the tracks of their eponymous debut album fluently stream for more than 40 minutes full of energy and passion. If you like Jethro Tull and Deep Purple I'm sure that you'll find extremely interesting this band, but I fear that this album is the wrong starting point if you're not familiar with them. I can't help to regret a better sound quality and I can suggest this live album only to fans and collectors.

Report this review (#97921)
Posted Thursday, November 9, 2006 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars For fans of RPI live albums are somewhat rare. As most with even a passing knowledge of RPI know.. there were scores and scores of 'one-shot' groups that released high quality, interesting music and albums then... poof.... disapeared like a fart in the wind. Biglietto Per L'Inferno's self titled debut album has been a favorite since the day I got my hands of it. I had heard of a live album by Biglietto Per L'Inferno but just hadn't got around to getting it. Enter that very special person in my life, who in addtion to her vast musical knowledge, is equally thoughtful and generous. She got me the album on the occasion of one of our vacations together in the mountains of North Carolina. I was taken with it immediately.

The sound quality is not the greatest. .but we are talking about a genuine live PRI album so a great deal is forgiven. While the warts of an imperfect recording are easy to notice.. they are more than offset by the fire and passion of the group and the music. Claudio Canali's voice just drips with passion and heart wrenching feeling. The songs are almost exclusively from their first album, with the lead off track Il tempo della semina being the exception, being from what would be their album of the same name, which wasn't released for 20 odd years. That's another review though.

The individual songs I've covered in previous reviews. The songs follow the same arrangements for the most part as the studio album and between the warts of the recording and/or limitations of the live format some memorable moments such as the staggering intro to L'amico suicida are lost or not accented as heavy.

A great live document.. without the spit and polish of recording that while sounding great lack the fire and energy of a recording that just ....sounds live.. without needing crowd noise added. For me.. as much as I love live albums..I do prefer the studio versions but there is a fire in these recordings that is worth hearing if a fan of Biglietto Per L'Inferno. For me 4 stars. .I love the music and the warts of the recording bring a new dynamic to listening to it. For the forum at large.... 3 Good but non-essential. RPI fans and those with an interest in live recordings need only apply hahhaha.

Michael (aka micky)

Report this review (#110345)
Posted Thursday, February 1, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars If you would except a shorter version of "Il Tempo Della Semina which was the title track of their second album (released in 1992 but all the numbers were composed in .1974), this album is almost a live rendition of their excellent debut album "Biglietto Per L' Inferno".

The major problem is that this is boot quality. Poor one. I have lots of boots which sound far much better than this pitiful recording. I would feel ashamed if I were a member of the band. To release such a CD as an official one is robbery.

But apparently, this doesn't prevent a fellow reviewer to rate this with the masterpiece status. It is of course a statement that I can absolutely not endorse.

Just stick to their brilliant studio debut one and avoid this live album by all means. By doing so, you would just avoid the bad feeling of being fooled. On top of an infect sound quality, most of the tracks are emasculated by a third or even by half ("Confessione") of their original length.

This is just a release to be boycotted. Shame on you Biglietto.

Still, two tracks are shining : the excellent Una Strata Regina (the studio version was fantastic and at least, it is not denaturized here) and the incredibly dark L'Amico Suicida.

For these two songs, I will rate this album with three stars

Report this review (#157370)
Posted Tuesday, January 1, 2008 | Review Permalink
2 stars Poor sound quality robs us for something good.

This band deserves better than a bootleg quality album, released as an official live album. There must be better recordings than this out there ?

I have never been a dedicated fan of this band either. But this Italian band have some good songs. They always played on the contrasts between soft Italian prog and hard rock. Their music is like waves on a on ocean. Up and down the whole time. Very slow one minute and then full hard rock blast the next minute. Una Strana Regina is still a fantastic song, even on this album. But this album is still a waste of money and time. If you want to know this band and get yourself a great Italian prog rock album, get their first album. Avoid this live album because it is for collectors only.

2 stars

Report this review (#261588)
Posted Tuesday, January 19, 2010 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars In 1974 Biglietto Per L'Inferno released their excellent debut album which is one of the essential purchases for any collection of Italian prog. Sadly this would be the only recording of theirs to see the light of day for many years and the only album that would be released in their original incarnation before they split up in the mid seventies. That's a real shame as they really were a truly brilliant band at the heavier end of the RPI genre, though creating dynamic music that could move from the most abrasive guitar riff to mellow restraint in an instant, helped by the versatile vocals of Claudio Canali and their dual keyboardist line up.

The shortage of live albums in the RPI genre might have made this an essential purchase for fans. Unfortunately the recording quality dictates otherwise which is of bootleg quality and a poor quality bootleg at that, with a bad mix and drop outs a plenty. The vocals are far too loud and overshadow almost everything. I've heard better recordings from a single microphone cassette recorder in the middle of the audience. Despite the obvious shortcomings it's clear that the band put on a fine performance with a set comprising of material drawn from their first album, the exception being the title track of their second album, Il Tempo Della Semina which didn't get a release until 1992. It's structured a little differently here and as the studio version wasn't recorded until the following year suggests it was in its embryonic stage.

It's a real shame about the sound quality as very little pleasure can be gained from listening to this, regardless of the fact that this was probably a very exciting show to have attended. As a result this is for the fan that needs everything only. A small redeeming feature is as is usual from BTF the packaging is excellent and comes in a gatefold vinyl replica sleeve.

Report this review (#272726)
Posted Thursday, March 18, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars The legacy of Biglietto per L'Inferno is illuminated with this live release. Any sound quality issues present are forgiven considering the document's historical value; what sounds like a cassette soundboard was lovingly restored and packaged by BTF in 2005, a service for which I am grateful. The bootleg quality does distract at times, but varies from very good to pretty bad as what appears to be a PA feed was mixed on the fly; what you see is what you get. Considering the source, Live 1974 is quite listenable and a fine companion piece to the indispensable debut - a good, but non-essential album for the prog community at large.

What must have been a new composition at the time, "Il Tempo della Semina" opens the set and explodes out of the speakers. Mauro Gnecchi's drums are mixed a bit loud and distort at times, and singer Claudio Canali's flugelhorn is exceedingly loud as well. The imbalance improves as the album proceeds, so don't let the initial track throw you off too much. A speedy version of "Ansia" continues the concert, showing off the band's live chops. We are also treated to our first sighting of Canali's recognizable voice, although it's somewhat buried in the mix. The opposite is true of "Confessione," as Canali blares over the rest of the group. A few bum notes from guitarist Marco Mainetti do not ruin this powerful rendition.

"Una Strana Regina" is a dual-keyboard showcase, and also features some proficient flute work by Canali. "Il Nevare" segues to the group's signature composition: "L'Amico Suicida" is an energetic closer and nearly improves upon the album version. This 14-minute opera is the primary feature of Live 1974 and its worth is palpable. The generous liner notes jokingly refer to Biglietto per L'Inferno as a "so-called minor band" but archival releases such as this shed light on a forgotten era we now have the fortune to revisit. Live 1974 is a second- or third-tier release to be sure, but its value cannot be underestimated or appreciated enough.

Report this review (#905701)
Posted Sunday, February 3, 2013 | Review Permalink

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