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Area - Concerto Teatro Uomo CD (album) cover



Rock Progressivo Italiano

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5 stars Live album released in 1996 "Concerto Teatro Uomo". It is an album of 2 piece sets that recorded all concerts in the Uomo theater in 1976. As for the tune, the work of "maledetti" has been mainly selected from all albums. Their overwhelming performances finish being skilled though tone quality is bad. AREA is exactly a monster.
Report this review (#63377)
Posted Friday, January 6, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars I got this cd from mail order for $25USD,and here is my review..I can hear such influences as jazz rock,funk rythms,Zappa-like RIO,bits of free-jazz/rock.I have to say that the quality of the recordings sounds somewhat on the bootleg side.Also,just when you think the band starts playing,or is playing/jamming,some instrumental doodling comes into play,or even some solo.The singer talks and sings in italian language,which i don not know.He talks real fast,it seems.I will say that the music is great,but there is too much soloing/doodling,and talking in between song's,and,as i stated,the quality is kind of on the bootleg side.I give this 3.67 stars out of 5.
Report this review (#112082)
Posted Wednesday, February 14, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars 'Milano is a concentration camp'.....

Would we expect any quarter, not musical nor intellectual is given by our favorite musical firebrands.. none. None was asked for.. and none was given on this INCENDIARY 1976 live recording by one of the... if not THE most overtly political prog rock group...ever. The musical path chosen by Area is well known to most prog fans. A volatile mix of avant, free-jazz, electronic and Mediterranean folk music. Since this is my first review of them.. I will touch on something here about Area for those who haven't explored the group. Forget the tag of 'Jazz-rock' that they are listed under this site as... it simply is not accurate and they sound nothing like the other groups found in that category. They were much more than playing jazz with a rock slant.

Now for the album itself.. .oh this was a a steal. Found this for 7 euros while in Rome and was a bit hesitant to get figuring it must be a very low quality recording. I got it anyway.. pffff.. what good is money if not to spend it hahha. If it was a dud.. better me to spend a few bucks then have others pay significantly more to find out. Now I would not say it is pristine.. it is not... on par with the Manticore ELP bootleg series. Very listenable.. and as such.. one HELL of a steal for the price. I haven't noticed any glaring lapses in sonic quality that might disappoint a fan of the group (like the Gentle Giant official bootleg I reviewed some time back whose 'gem' was nearly unlistenable).

As far as the tracklist... oh lordy.. smokes the two official live releases hands down. One glance alone shows that. The performances are KILLER.. with some tracks being exponentially better than that album versions. The one that stood out first and foremost was L'Abbattimento dello Zeppelin from the first album which had me in air-drumming heaven. Two tracks from Caution Radiation Area for example, XYG and Cometa Rossa are positively vicious and powerful in their presentation. Far superior to their original versions. Same with Il Massacro di Brandeburgo numero tre in sol maggiore from Maledetti. A real gem to this live album were the two closing tracks... an Area take on John Lee Hooker hahhaha.. yeah. If your foot isn't tapping along to Boom Boom you truly are dead brother. To finish off the album we have a nearly 16 minute improvisational piece called.. aptly Improvvisione. As if expanding on the studio versions with performances that rival.. and often exceed the studio versions weren't enough. Hearing some fresh Area just is always a treat.

This album is essential for any Area fan.. and for fan of Italian prog... a truly impressive display of one prog's greatest groups.. yet still sadly obscure in the eyes of many. Can't rate it 5 stars since it is not exactly the best quality of recordings. Fans of the music will not mind.. casual listeners though who don't have a vested interest in the music to start with might not be as forgiving with a less than pristine recording. Plus.. unless you happen to be in Italy.. you will not find this album for as cheap as I did so I would recommend other albums like the less developed yet still incredible Are(A)zione as an introduction to the band. For me 5 stars.. and 5 stars for anyone who enjoys Area or RPI. For the site at large.. still 4 stars.. if you can find it cheap... get it. Not many live albums show a band hitting on all cylinders for 2+ hours with the fire and intensity that this group brings. Hopefully the first of a new string of reviews for me. Got some great stuff while in Italy. This one I wanted to get out since I know we have some Area fans out there. Find it.. get it.

Micky (aka Michael)

Report this review (#179130)
Posted Thursday, August 7, 2008 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
Prog Folk
2 stars No matter what respect I have for Area and some important or historical gigs, I have a problem with this release's sound quality. While maybe not as bad as Crimson's Earthbound, and some of those bootlegged tapes released on official labels like Voiceprint (see SM's Facelift, for ex), Area's 76 concert in Milan (their hometown) is certainly anything but acceptable for a full-price legit release.

Strangely enough, after the opening track Evaporazione (from Maledetti) it seems that Area progressed through their concert visiting their albums chronologically , with three tracks from Arbeit and three more from Radiation, then revisiting Maledetti with Branderburger, before doing three tracks (only!!!) from my fave Crac album, but this time, mixed and separated with more Maledetti tracks. While this sounds rather quite good figuratively, sonically it is nothing short of a disaster. It seems that this was recorded from a 2- track cassette deck from the crowd, and somewhere where the bass was completely absent and the microphone saturating at times. Personally I don't think the tracks are that much different than their original studio versions, sometimes maybe slightly more jazz-rock, but then again the lack of real bass probably fooled a few listeners. Sorry, but this writer cannot seem to forget or forgive such bad-sounding live records, no matter how broke or historically important, so that I can give it a good rating. So beit, and let this be For Fans Only.

Report this review (#212108)
Posted Wednesday, April 22, 2009 | Review Permalink

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