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Le Orme - Storia O Leggenda CD (album) cover


Le Orme

Rock Progressivo Italiano

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2 stars Some nice pop-prog songs, but very far away from Felona e Sorona or Uomo di Pezza. This album was made in 1977, when progressive rock went right to the abyss, and LE ORME wasn't the exception. The band conserved a little symphonic taste, but when you put an organ sound into a pop song, it doesn't mean you're making progressive music. You can buy this album if you're an Italian bands completist; if you aren't, avoid it. But don't miss "Uomo Di Pezza" and "Felona E Sorona", the real LE ORME masterpieces.
Report this review (#17935)
Posted Tuesday, December 30, 2003 | Review Permalink
4 stars Storia O Leggenda is definitely not similar to, say, Uomo di pezza or Felona e Sorona. Thank Heavens for diversity. Although the first track starts promisingly, the verse does catch one off-guard upon the first listen (Reggae? Rest assured, it's not the best track on the album, although it does get more enjoyable by the second listen). Take the reggae out, inject ferocious drumming and Emerson-style keyboard and you have something not far removed from one of the vocal tracks off "Felona e Sorona".

The track "Storia O Leggenda" ressembles more their "classic" period in arrangement, but comes closer to classical Italian music in composition, a trait that would be pursued further on "Florian" and the excellent "Piccola Rapsodia Dell'Ape". The next track, "Il Musicista", ressembles a "Verita' Nacoste" outtake that is slightly more classical in taste (with slight nods to mid-to-late '70s Steve Howe and Yes).

The three strongest nods towards progressive rock on this album are "Come una Giostra", my fave "Un Angelo" and the closing instrumental "Al Mercato Della Pulci" (which ends up being the most muscular piece on the album). The remaining tracks on the album, "Se Io Lavoro" and "Il Quadro" are definitely superior to anything that appeared on the "Verita' Nascoste" album, yet "Verita'..." sold more copies and was considered more "progressive".

My opinion about this album's lack of success is founded on the principle that listeners didn't get what they expected from Le Orme, this time around. The group comes back to prog several times during their album, but the presentation is less akin to ELP-prog than it is to Alan Parsons-prog, which may explain why so many Orme fans pan this album as many cherished their ELP-likeness. And as they moved further and further away from their ELP-like past, their top-notch releases were increasingly ignored. Once someone removes the ELP-type prejudice from their expectations, this album is a rewarding listen.

Report this review (#17936)
Posted Thursday, September 30, 2004 | Review Permalink
3 stars A good pop/prog album with good atmosphere, though far from FELONA E SORONA or COLLAGE. The first listening was kind of surprising. Little gloomy feelings and more light in the melodies. The lyrics are very good, which is a LE ORME standard. It's more down to earth music, which is great after listening to hours of "intellectual" music. Dei Rossi still is the best drummer in Italy...
Report this review (#17937)
Posted Tuesday, November 16, 2004 | Review Permalink
3 stars Graced with a cover that promises greatness along the lines of 'Uomo Di Pezza' (similar artwork), 'Storia O Leggenda' is, alas, a rather linear version of the more epic and dynamic Le Orme we'd come to know in their prime. Still, the keyboard sounds sparkle with a great beauty that makes the album a pleasure to listen to. It's just too bad the compositions aren't as inspiring as some of the band's earlier classics.

By the year of this release, 1977, recording technology had improved almost exponentially from the early '70s. The beautiful, well-rounded sound picture on this album comprises one of two highlight characteristics of 'Storia O Leggenda'. The keyboards, as mentioned, are gorgeous: crisp, lush, dense, up-front.purely alive with vibrancy. Add the clear punch of the bass and A. Tagliapietra's enchanting voice, and there's plenty of ear-candy happening, even if most of the songs lack memorability. Nothing asserts the kind of character you want to hear on a Le Orme album, though I have to mention the sedate strains of "Un Angelo" as standing out from most of the other tracks. That's not to say it's the's not. It just asserts itself more than some of the others. There's a polite and quiet flow to these songs, not traits associated with Le Orme's best material. Everything is enjoyable enough, nothing bizarre, nothing too challenging, but certainly played by a band that possesses rare chemistry and a unique insight. At the very end you get the album's second impressive characteristic: kinetic instrumental "Al Mercato Delle Pulci". After seven songs of fairly even-keeled arrangements and patient performances, this song spikes out like an unexpected explosion. It bounces between Eastern melodic figures (shades of King Crimson's 'Discipline' album here) and barely-controlled fusion-esque freakouts. Oh yeah, Le Orme could still spazz out, they just chose to play those cards less frequently. It certainly is a joyous moment of genius prog on an otherwise average album.average for Le Orme still being leagues above many other prog acts by comparison.

Report this review (#17939)
Posted Monday, March 14, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars I think that this is a good album, though probably not the best of this band. The lyrics are interesting and probably you have to understand them to enjoy completely this work. The music is between their past masterpieces of the early seventies (for instance the instrumental "Al mercato delle pulci" and "Come una giostra") and the acoustic mood of Florian ("Un angelo"), though sometimes less inspired than their standards. Anyway, I think that this album is a excellent addition to any prog collection.

My favourite song of this album is "Il quadro", especially because of the lyrics. this is my effort to translate it.

IL QUADRO/THE PAINTING: Sitting in a café near Montmartre / With a glass in my hand I was leaving my thoughts / In that days I was feeling down / When suddenly a steady voice made me look up / Bonjour Monsieur, I've not been eating for days / Please, let me show you one of my paintings / That's the imagine of a man / That's the story of a life / Lost and found many times and lost again / One year has already passed from that strange meeting / And I'm still thinking to his wide eyes / To that sad smile that went out from the scarf / To his voice that's still planted in my mind / Bonjour Monsieur, I've not been eating for days / Please, let me show you one of my paintings / And I still remember that painting / The background red like fire / With only one butterfly in the middle.

Report this review (#62595)
Posted Saturday, December 31, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars Album released in 1977 "Storia O Leggenda". LE ORME changed into pop sound. However, they returned to progressive music again by this work. However, the age is the latter half of 1970's. A little mellow and music at the vocal center are reluctant. It is soft, symphonic rock. It is wonderful to stand out of the melody. It is a delicate keyboard rock album that sprinkles a lot of impressive melodies.
Report this review (#68849)
Posted Thursday, February 9, 2006 | Review Permalink
Andrea Cortese
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars "If I go to work, that's because I don't know what to do, few friend to pass the time together..."

Storia o Leggenda is the most controversial album released by Le Orme during the seventies. It was recorded in Paris in 1977 - october. A very nice "freudian" cover (fallic symbolism) that reminds of the memorable Uomo di Pezza (1972). The picture is inspired by a work of Walter Mac Mazzieri and seems to represent the fight between man and woman, maybe a link to a tough contrast between harder and gentler music's parts... nothing at all!

The listener risks to be too soon disappointed for the wrong choice of the opener track, titled "Tenerci per mano" (Holding Hands). That wasn't the right place to introduce REGGAE!! I was a little bit shocked too, even though those reggae parts are not of a great importance in the song's structure. By the way I cannot blame who've decided to underestimate the value of the whole album mainly for the influence of its opening move, which is, anyway, a good track (despite the reggae parts, obvious!) with mellow and wonderful harmonies.

If the band had decided to turn upside down the tracking list, I'm sure the results and the opinions of many prog lovers could have been different. Just listen to the closer, titled "Al Mercato delle Pulci" (At the Fleas' Fair)...the first seconds are a sort of forewarning of what would have come next with Florian...a mix between that Florian "acoustic" and "classical" feel plus a more stronger and usual instrumental work by Le Orme, with noticable drums' and bass' parts provided by the Michi De Rossi and Aldo Tagliapietra. What a pity the song is so short (only 4,07 mns). This was the argument that deserved to be developed!

The other tracks are all similar in structure, being a reasonable follow up of Verità Nascoste, but in a more soft and commercial vein (listen, for example, to "Se Io Lavoro", the track that get then the most relevant airplay...). "Il Musicista" is another favourite of mine from this prog-pop release, nice work on guitar by Germano Serafin. Relaxing arrangements in "Il Quadro", nothing more for a pure symphonic prog lover!

In conclusion: a mediocre prog release, a good prog-pop tunes' selection. If you want more from Le Orme of that period, get Verità Nascoste or Florian, which is, completely different, yet!

2.5 stars

Report this review (#69103)
Posted Saturday, February 11, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars Here is a quite underrated album by Le Orme. Being symphonic doesn't mean necessarily being good, and in 1977 it was the whole rock scene to demonstrate that it was time for something different. Rock needed a shake before imploding on its too intricated and pretentious structures: they had been excellent and stimulating until 1972-1973, but music needed to move on. Le Orme had understood this since 1976, when they issued their successful single "Canzone d'Amore", with that prophetic b-side "E' finita una stagione" (i.e., "A Season is over"). That very song was a straight "new wave" (the American way, more than the English one) number, and announced that the band's music was really changing. I have already expressed my opinion (not so good) about "Verità Nascoste", but by the time of "Storia o Leggenda" Le Orme had regained self-confidence and gave birth to this small jem. Ok, its cover artwork maybe is a bluff, this is neither "Uomo di Pezza" nor "Felona e Sorona", but it was a new side of the band. "Storia o Leggenda" doesn't rock that much, but is a refined work of beauty and elegance, reminding also of the folk- classical background the band has never really given up. I do like its start with "Tenerci per Mano", that fragile and exotic introduction, its dynamic rhythm patterns. The title track rearranges the classical and folk influences you can find also in "Uomo di Pezza" in a more modern context and style, while "Il Musicista" matches rock (for the rhythm) and Italian folk tunes (for the riffing) and Germano Serafin's guitar (I love it!!!) gives you the impression you have found the Italian Steve Howe. "Come una Giostra" is an impressive melancholic piece, with a good shift in the middle, and again Serafin's great job and Tagliapietra's voice at his best. The keyboard driven "Se io lavoro" is astounding, cross-cultural job where synths "à-la" Tangerine Dream successfully meet a clearly folk-inspired vocal tune. "Un Angelo" is a heart-hitting ballad, featuring (in my opinion) the best lyrics by Pagliuca ever (I try translating: "I announce my joy: I've got a sunbeam keeping me warm /.../ This is a new day: I've seen they sell wings at the street market"). Shivers are just over that you meet "Il Quadro", a melancholic and mysterious song, with a very strange guitar/organ piece in the middle. Finally "Al mercato delle pulci" is an incredible instrumental piece, putting together ethnic music (with the use of marimba), prog and heavy metal guitar licks, reminding me of a sort of soundtrack. So, being a prog fan means having a mind open to anything that's beautiful, doesn't it? Don't fear approaching this album!
Report this review (#99561)
Posted Sunday, November 19, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars I've always loved this album. Yes, I know it's not enough for you but it is going to be very hard for me to explain why. I'll try then. I believe it's more a question of feelings and emotions the music gives me. I know their early albums are classics but this one is somewhat special. It doesn't have epics of any kind, just 8 tracks that are incredibly harmonious, just like Uomo di Pezza. And at the same time they have a slight poppish feeling (like Smogmagica) and they also have an ounce of their future albums like Florian and Piccola rapsodia dell'Ape. Anyway, Tagliapietro's voice is as magical as ever. I guess this is the closest adjective I can find : Magical, definitely. Oh, did I mention this album contains my favourite Le Orme song ? : Se io lavoro. And believe or not, it actually has a disco feel to it. But don't worry progheads, this is deeply progressive : a fantastic organ and moog melody that virtually lifts you off into Heaven. If you think this review is too long, here's a shorter one : just get the album ! Forgot to mention the fantastic cover very much in the same taste as Uomo Di Pezza's.
Report this review (#101494)
Posted Sunday, December 3, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars Apocalyptical cover for this album. Really frightening.

What a contrast with the opening number "Tenerci Per Mano" which is a great and subtle "Le Orme" song. It brings me back to their excellent album "Uomo Di Pezza". Such a delicate voice, sweet music, wonderful harmonies. Extremely melodic. Wonderful, I have no other words.

And the same approach is used for the title track; at least till the chorus which is seriously pop-oriented (maybe too much). Still, there is no sign of a significant change of direction in their music. Still very symphonic and melodic (which I like very much). To put things into perspective, remember that "PFM" released the poor "Jet Lag" the same year (the great 1977).

The good work goes on with the more complex "Il Musicista". This is again "Le Orme" at his best IMHHO. A more rocking style to break the mood, but beautiful vocals brings this song to high levels. It is the most sophisticated from this album. It features so many themes or rhythm changes that the listener is just enchanted with so much brio. Another highlight.

Did I say emotional? I was then probably thinking of "Come Una Giostra". Some Trespass-esque mood for this delicate song again. This first side of the vinyl album is one of the best of the band. An ode to this great genre.

The second side also holds some fine music. Some might say that it is somewhat mellow, too much of the same. But when such beautiful melodies and superb vocals are performed, I just succumb. Can't help. And both "Se io Lavoro" and "Un Angelo" fall under this description. The latter holding some great harmonium parts.

"Il Quadro" is probably the weaker song of the whole. Childish instrumentation but these melodic vocals save it. The instrumental and closing number sounds almost as a neo-prog song. Close to some "Genesis" while they were four. Not bad but I would have hoped a better finale for this elegant and very good album.

Of course Storia o Leggenda doesn't reach the almost perfection of their greatest album "Uomo". But I can't really rate this one with three stars. Four stars then. Hopefully, I'll be able soon to upgrade "Uomo" to 4.5!

Report this review (#160184)
Posted Tuesday, January 29, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars During the year of 1977, Le ORME offers another work to us, now titled Storia or Leggenda, maintaining the alignment, passed and in this order: Antonio PAGLIUCA (Hammond organ, polymoog, minimoog, pianoforte, armonium, fisarmonica), Aldo TAGLIAPIETRA (Bass Fender, voice, arpa Indiana), Michi Dei ROSSI (Pearl drums, marimba, glockenspiel, some percussion, acoustic and electric guitars) and Germano SERAFÍN (acoustic and electric guitars). In this album I believe that a stage of Le ORME begins very quiet, in the sense that it is an album with much more acoustic sound and that was perfected and culminated both in subsequent discs (Florian and Picolla), and it is a stage that probably does not interest much to fans of classic Le ORME and other that thinks that the Leormenian sound goes in frank decay, nevertheless, I believe that to being right, this disc is one of the best ones of Progressive the Italian of end of 70's, aside from LOCANDA DELLA FATE and some other that escapes to me of the memory, it could dare to me to say that it is of the best Progressive albums of that year, mainly, if we see that the general tendency of those years for this style, went being displaced by other types of rock, as the Punk or disco music , Le ORME in spite of to have modified its classic style, dares to progress and it offers a disc, meditative to us, autumnal, melancholic, but also rhythmical, and with a sound that never had touched in their previous works, more refined in some points, others mixing rates of other musical horizons like reggae, but doubtlessly they begin to explore that it classist vein, a sound, more become attached to the forms of cultured music, and that will be a constant through the album, noticing the preeminence of a earthly sound but, unlike its classic works as Uomo Di Pezza or Felona e Sorona; in fact either us they had given proven of which venue in previous album Verita Nacoste, that or was also reviewed, but here clears hard rock elements, to give opportunity to sound the more smooth and production of disc improves enough, it appreciates far better instruments and melodies and as the drum of Michi as always listened to since it must have been in the previous disc, the voice of Aldo TAGLIAPIETRA, like always magician and reaching wonderful notes, and also is welcome the sound of the keyboards of Tony PAGLIUCA, that is listened to again the front here, since in the previous one disc, was listened very low in the mix, in this album we enjoyed he creativity again.

Great part of this disc was recorded in Paris, France and note a little the Parisian influence, in some songs that already were reviewed heightened east point, and also is important that this album was a step forced for Le ORME, in order to explore that study in the acoustic instruments, that will give life to Florian.

In general the album is a calm progressive rock, without individual spectacular ties, very fine, with influence very marked, or executed, I feel that the more well-taken care of that the previous album, very harmonic, songs very done (e.g "Storia or leggenda", "Il quadró"), something with a more hard sound (e.g "Al mercato delle pulci") that turns out to be the piece more approximated to previous Le ORME, but from this new optics, more pastoral subjects, a sound more intimate, but without leaving the progressive influence and the conjunction of new musical horizons, for this great Italian band, also could be summarized like magical or dreaming, with songs even shorter than in Verita Nacoste, but doubtlessly more elaborated than in that album, the SERAFÍN guitar surprises to me so that it shows a quality that until then considered normal within a progressive grouping, delicious passages of acoustic guitar in most of the songs (e.g. "Il musicistá", "Storia or leggendá"), and a greater integration on the part of Germano towards the rest of the group, thing that was not appraised in Verita Nacoste.

Some songs as "Il Lavoró" or " il Quadró" without a doubt is of the best thing in this superior work and in all the fact in Verita Nacoste, nevertheless, I believe that the main cause that, at its moment it has not been considered a great disc is by the time in which it left, most of I publish looked for a simpler and commercial sound and the ascent of Punk and heavier rock groups, I do not help the exact understanding, of the disc, but I consider that it is a great acquisition for any person whom it loves to venture itself in the history of this group.

A note but before entering the songs, the cover is one of the best ones than they have been published in a disc of Progressive rock, very similar to the one of Felona and Sorona, inspired by a work of Walter MAC MAZZIERI and seemed a battle between the good and, the bad in the style of William BLAKE.

The album opens with "Tenerci to per Mano", a beginning with a little rate reggae, but contrasting with the mysterious/magical voice of TAGLIAPIETRA, the bass maintaining to the song and the guitar of SERAFÍN clarifying melody main with some really pleasant acoustic arpeggios and the keyboard of PAGLIUCA taking the weight of melodies, is not most progressive than they have made, but definitively not so pop. Since some have maintained.

The album continues with "Storia or Leggendá", one of the best songs of the disc, and so that no? Of discography of Le ORME, it contains the perfect fusion of old/the new style that is proposing, a guitar on the part of SERAFÍN, simply exquisite with a melancholic and nostalgic atmosphere, the TAGLIAPIETRA voice remembers the fact to me John WETTON by the song "Starless" in a KING CRIMSON vein, a very pastoral rate in the beginning, evoking dream places and the choir of the song as much that is done to me of but exquisite which it has been written, the really essential this jewel of Progressive music.

Another one of the excellent songs of this disc, is "Il musicistá" a good rate with fresh tonalities of keyboard on the part of Tony PAGLIUCA and the SERAFÍN guitar that remembers to me in you pass to the fact through Jimmy PAGE in LED ZEPPELÍN circa Presence and more exactly in the song "Over the Hills and far Away'" , without the distortion of course, the voice of TAGLIAPIETRA, here reliable without nothing special that to remarkable, good rate and of the songs more moved of the disc.

The continue with "Come a Giostrá", which is a song that reflects what it was happening in the group, to a change of direction, gives the impression me that they were in musical crossroads, and the new musical fashions threatening already in the horizon. Very remarkable front to others of this same album is not a song, with much poppier influence, mainly in the keyboard of PAGLIUCA, in addition the truth can be said that it seems outtake of Verita Nacoste, is quite mediocre, I consider that it would be like of filling.

Another one of the songs affluent done and basic of the album in comment, I consider that "Io Lavoró" is a very good work of PAGLIUCA in the department of the Keyboards, with resemblances of furious and vanguards experimentation of that Le ORME at the end of the song, but adapted to the time, and the shining voice of TAGLIAPIETRA sounding since it does, without a doubt a seal in Le ORME, the song has a very sticky rate, but it does not fall in poppier provocations, with very characteristic a vocal line and a very good letter. Without a doubt good work of Le ORME and the remarkable one in this work. Very emotional and evocative.

We followed with "a Angeló", a composition that once again, the musical crossroads in which was the group, very meditative and in parts reflect, until repetitive, from which they came doing through the disc, parts that better have been made for example in the song Storia or Leggenda. This nevertheless gives the impression to be in a house of which this on the verge of leaving, or of a change, leaving those times like simple memories, clear that the letter speaks of another thing, is not very good the song in general and except for the voice of TAGLIAPIETRA that the saves one of a truly shipwreck, nothing memorable. Here the Parisian influence is listened to of which it speaks lines before.

We continued with "Il Quadró", work that returns to that crossroads that talked before, the song does not have anything memorable, and for my tastes, very flat in general, but even so he is enjoyable, very pastoral, (the disc is indeed very pastoral), and nostalgic, another song that recreate the Parisian atmosphere, I do not let confess that the letter is very good (about the circles in the life high/low), and in the part that sings the Bonjour Mounsieur... a good work of PAGLIUCA in the keyboards, good effect is appraised wah wah of the SERAFÍN guitar, nevertheless I believe that it is of the low points of all the disc.

Without a doubt next to classic Le ORME, is "Al Mercato delle Pulcí" the appearance of SERAFÍN with an aggressive guitar in the rate, PAGLIUCA demonstrating so that he is one of the great ones in the department of the keys and MICHI doing so that he is one of the best drummers of the Progressive rock in general, and Aldo, that brilliant Aldo, with electrical his under who dominates by the majority of the many songs and melodies of Le ORME, this is a musical piece of high flights (I notice some influences of jazz fusion, but very little evident), and demonstrating that Le ORME even can touch in its classic period if they wanted, but in this occasion, due to already installed classicist influence, is listened to more refined, (and with it I more do not try to discredit to classic Le ORME sound also are very fine, I even create, but of different form I speak of the refinement in this musical piece) and less vanguards, the only thing that I did not like of this record is that it lasted so just a short time, this melodies tapeworm for much more, but excellent closing of disc and the best compositions of the group in general.

Finally another disc of this time of Le ORME that many consider very loose, I do not create that, my opinion is that it is a good disc (better than what that year with Love Beach ELP did and that demonstrated that the addition of Germano SERAFÍN in the guitar, it was not a bad decision after all. What if moan really, is that this work lasts so little.

Report this review (#162886)
Posted Thursday, February 28, 2008 | Review Permalink
Prog-Folk Team
4 stars I always felt that comparisons of Le Orme to Emerson Lake and Palmer were unfair to this Italian group, as, even in their days as a keyboard trio, their music possessed far more emotion and romanticism than most of Emerson's indulgences. But by 1977 the group wasn't even a trio, and, while still keyboard dominated and lush, they had incorporated plenty of tasty guitars both acoustic and electric. Their sound had largely changed with the times, with medium length song oriented tracks that avoid sounding petty or contrived.

If a point of comparison to contemporary bands is warranted, I can hear some references to the electronic genre and artists like TANGERINE DREAM, PHILIP GLASS, and JEAN-MICHEL JARRE, particularly in the catchy synthesizer theme of "Se io lavoro"" and the repetitive loops of "Al Mercato Delle Pulci". But this is certainly more a grafting of those artists' ideas onto the Le Orme sound, keeping it fresh. "Tenerci Per Mano" is a surprise out of the gate, hardly even sounding like Le Orme, with its reggae tinged segments alternating with Aldo Tagliapietro's emotive vocals. The title cut, "Il Musicista", and "Come Una Giostra" include pleasant guitars, backed by plenty of melodic and ethereal keyboards, as well as the usual organ and even some creative piano. Throughout the album the myriad shifts and contrasts are executed with grace and sultry Latin charm.

It's pretty hard to find much fault with this album musically, even if it is not a complex progressive undertaking. It only solidified the group's own legendary status in the Italian prog world and beyond.

Report this review (#196494)
Posted Tuesday, December 30, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars a fully upbeat outcome as Le Orme is used to offer. this excellent band with many years creating great music can be heard in many musically styles but with a brand of their own. this is not the exception, storia o leggenda moves quickly and the 36 ish minutes that last the record are gone just like this leaving you smooth but vigorously at same time. if you still havent heard this guys a good start album is back a few years from 1977 as their early 70 ies work are to be listened prior to this. well deserved 4 stars.
Report this review (#239296)
Posted Monday, September 14, 2009 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars In 1977 progressive rock wasn't exactly in his finest hour and Le Orme was a band,which struggled around this time.Good thing was the band now was a stable quartet with guitarist Germano Serafin being a permanent member.Le Orme released ''Storia o Leggenda'', again on Phillips, and the sound of the album would be a huge questionmark.

Despite the rough years for progressive music in general,Le Orme surprise the audience with their new album.The band would somehow turn back in time and tried to re-produce the sound of their early years.Tony Pagliuca performs in the fully-oriented dreamy Baroque style,definitely a trademark the band.Aldo Tagliapietra sings in the same style over the years,but combined with this music,his voice now sounds more ethereal.The tracks are short,but they are full of intricate vocal harmonies, classical influences, intricate melodies and dreamy acoustic passages.But this not the whole story.In places Pagliuca recreates the space weirdness of ''Felona e sorona'' with his moog synthesizer and actually this specific style prooves to be excellent for supporting music than performed in a full album.The result is certainly one of the best Le Orme releases,soft classical prog with plenty of trippy soundscapes.

Progressive music was alive and well with albums like this.Filled with perfect harmonies,splendid vocals and unique keyboard work,''Storia o Leggenda'' is one of the rare examples of good Italian Prog music towards the end of the 70's and deserves a special place in a decent prog collection.Highly recommended.

Report this review (#503050)
Posted Sunday, August 14, 2011 | Review Permalink
3 stars I've got a bad habit of buying my first album by a particular band, getting home and reading some reviews, and discovering that I bought the wrong album to use as an introduction. Thankfully, I didn't make that mistake with Le Orme, one of the classic bands from the 1970s Italian prog scene. My first exposure to them was a hunk of their 2005 NEARFest performance on the Rising to the Surface DVD. So I grabbed Felona e Sonora and Uomo di Pezza and was hooked.

Well, there's a flip side to digging into a band's catalog in the right place and falling hard - you keep exploring and, eventually, you find a dud. That's the case with Storia O Leggenda. It's not right to say it's "bad" - it really isn't. But it's not a classic and it's not what really moves me when I think of Italian prog bands.

Le Orme was always one of the more lush, symphonic of bands ? much more Genesis than King Crimson, if you catch my drift. So long as they were working through lengthy instrumental sections with occasional vocals, that's cool..Technically, Le Orme avoided "epics," but tended to run a lot of shorter tunes together to achieve the same effect. But here, the songs stay short, but are more individualized. There's a greater emphasis on lyrics and vocals, with the music becoming less involving.

Which leads to a problem of my own limited faculties. One of the cool things about prog is that it really flourished in outposts around the world. Although it's generally thought of as particular English, it first made popular headway in Italy and eventually spread all over. I've got albums from every inhabited continent except Africa, for crying out loud! That means lots of lyrics I have no chance of understanding since they're, you know, in foreign and such.

Generally, that's not a problem. With very few exceptions, prog is not about the words, it's about the music. Vocals in another language don't pose a problem because the voice itself is more important than the message. Hell, after all these years I'm still not sure what Jon Anderson is on about most of the time, and that's in English! But it sounds good, right?

Yeah, until the words do start to become more important. It's one of the reasons I don't really get a lot of neo-prog with lyrics in other languages. That's a subgenre where words make more of an impact and if I can't understand what they're saying, what's the point? Unfortunately, that's the problem I've got with really digging into this album. The music is nice enough, but it doesn't do much more than support the vocals, which might as well be gibberish for all I know. Judging by the cover art, it has something to drooling horses. As a result, I just can't get that much out of it.

Which is only to say, in the long and storied history of Le Orme, they had an off day. Everybody's entitled to that.

Report this review (#1453706)
Posted Sunday, August 16, 2015 | Review Permalink
4 stars The last album released by Le Orme in their Progressive Rock heyday is, despite its fairly modest score in these Archives, one of the highlights of their Golden Age discography. The music was gentler than the keyboard-heavy workouts of earlier albums, and more obviously song-driven. But the songs themselves are some of the warmest and richest in the greater Orme catalogue, and no less affecting for being so economical, with every track falling neatly into a radio-friendly four to five minute range.

It's also arguably the band's most well-rounded and balanced effort since becoming a quartet: more classic GENESIS than classical ELP, although both are lazy comparisons. Le Orme always had its own voice, regardless of the influence: lyrical, romantic, and genuinely emotional, as only the best Progressive Rock can be, especially in Italy during the mid-1970s.

The striking cover illustration by Walter Mac Mazzieri pays tribute to his own artwork for one of Le Orme's best-loved albums ("Uomo di Pezza', 1972), but the newer LP was never meant as a re-tread. The band instead took the simpler musical arrangements of "Smogmagica" and "Verità Nascoste", and gilded them with a delicate magic, leading even the unlikely ersatz-reggae verses of "Tenerci per Mano" toward a soaring RPI chorus.

I shouldn't have to remind regular visitors to these pages that a softer, more accessible Prog album doesn't indicate an immediate sell-out. The music here might be easier on the ears, but from start to finish it's pure Rock Progressivo Italiano, beautifully written and performed. And the album closes with a real humdinger, in the aggressive throwback instrumental "Al Mercato della Pulci" (The Flea Market), in retrospect four of the strongest minutes in Le Orme's later history. It's hard to imagine a more dynamic or appropriate ending, to the album and to the era itself.

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Posted Saturday, January 30, 2016 | Review Permalink

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