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I Pooh - Opera Prima CD (album) cover


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Andrea Cortese
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Despite its title, OPERA PRIMA is the fourth Pooh's album, the first for CBS label.

From this work on (until 1975's FORSE ANCORA POESIA) the band offers a kind of italian pop music blended with strong orchestral arrengements: you think that, the 4 members apart, a whole symphonic orchestra took part to the project (12 violins, 8 violas, 4 cellos, 2 contrabasses, 8 flutes).

So I'd say that the result is somehow in a similar vein to the contemporary Barclay James Harvest (the four albums with EMI). Obviously plus italian melodies and lyrics about love (found and/or lost, mainly) provided by the genious Valerio Negrini who was at the time the drummer and the singer in three tracks. As for BJH same period, there is no lead singer but all the members alternate in this role.

The record contains a pair of miliar stones of the early 70s italian pop music: the memorable opener hit PENSIERO (Thought) sung by bass player Riccardo Fogli and the romantic super hit TANTA VOGLIA DI LEI (STRONG DESIRE FOR HER) sung by Dodi Battaglia, songs that it's told have been covered by many artists all around the world (South America, in particular).

The most rocking and biting one is IL PRIMO E ULTIMO UOMO (The First and Last Man) with a catchy guitar riff and hammon organ (no strings here).

The most complex track is the closer (in fact, as usual in the Pooh discography, the most proggy ones can be found at the bottom of each record just like in Parsifal, Un Po' del Nostro Tempo Migliore, Poohlover, Boomerang et cetera).

OPERA PRIMA (the track) is a pop/symphonic crescendo, opened by soft piano and recitative vocals then sung by all the 4 members upon a bolero-like music.

All in all, this is an album of historic importance but the prog quotient is still low, certainly not at the level of UN PO' DEL NOSTRO TEMPO MIGLIORE (which is where I suggest you to start from). Final evaluation is 2,5 rounded up to 3 thanks to both the hits, the rock number and the finale.

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Posted Saturday, November 6, 2010 | Review Permalink

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