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QUELLA VECCHIA LOCANDA

Quella Vecchia Locanda

Rock Progressivo Italiano


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Quella Vecchia Locanda Quella Vecchia Locanda  album cover
4.06 | 225 ratings | 34 reviews | 43% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection


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Studio Album, released in 1972

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Prologo (4:59)
2. Un Villaggio,Un'illsione (3:54)
3. Realta (4:13)
4. Immagini Sfuocate (2:59)
5. Il Cieco (4:11)
6. Dialogo (3:41)
7. Verso La Locanda (5:15)
8. Sogno, Risveglio E... (5:15)

Total Time: 34:17

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Massimo Roselli / piano, organ, Mellotron, Moog, electric sitar, cembalo, vocals
- Giorgio Giorgi / lead vocals, flute, piccolo
- Patrik Traina / drums
- Romualdo Coletta / bass, frequency generator
- Raimondo Maria Cocco / electric & acoustic & 12 string guitars, vocals
- Donald Lax / electric & acoustic violin

Releases information

CD: VM200 (CD 054). distributed by BTF srl (2000). www.btf.it e-mail: info@btf.it

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to MANDRAKEROOT for the last updates
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QUELLA VECCHIA LOCANDA Quella Vecchia Locanda ratings distribution


4.06
(225 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(43%)
43%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(39%)
39%
Good, but non-essential (14%)
14%
Collectors/fans only (3%)
3%
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)
1%

QUELLA VECCHIA LOCANDA Quella Vecchia Locanda reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Folk
4 stars Im my opinion Italian prog does not come better than this group. Although short in time but time only , this style of music is the most present in Italian prog but few of them manage to move my neurons like they do. The music on here is simply stinging me with curiosity , something that many of the other bands mange not.

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#5925) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, February 17, 2004

Review by loserboy
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars The first release from QUELLA VECCHIA LOCANDA and in my opinion one of the all time Italian prog greats. This excellent debut album has a strong PFM-like attitude with loads of violin and classical themes. Songs are delicate and exceptionally well performed with warm precision. Imagine great 70's sounding keyboard work layered with flute, violin and great guitar work and you have got QVL. As you listen to this album four toes will be tapping and you hands will be moving as this music captivates your motor reflexes. QVL draw on some pretty heavy classical interludes to build their music on. Along the way we are treated to many thematic mood swings and tempo changes. This album has many standout tracks which combine the classical underground 70's Italian sound with a solid blend of tranquility and beauty. Vocals are very expressive and are full of harmonic textures.

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Send comments to loserboy (BETA) | Report this review (#5928) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, March 15, 2004

Review by lor68
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars This debut album and their second one as well are almost equal, regarding of their good skill at the composition; even though the present debut is closer to such stuff by PFM, as from the use of the violin and considering also their classical arrangements, rather than resembling only the acoustic lightest moments within the stuff by Mussida & company, unlike "Il Tempo della Gioia". However such arrangements are often inspiring despite of being quite similar to those ones by PFM . Moreover "Q.V.L." are not a derivative ensemble: in fact this opinion is confirmed by the array of personal arrangements. Their true imprinting, which made this album a classic one in the seventies!!

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Send comments to lor68 (BETA) | Report this review (#5929) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, April 03, 2004

Review by Fitzcarraldo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Excellent, sophisticated, melodious Italian progressive rock music. Using flute and electric violin liberally, this album reminds me a little of PFM and JETHRO TULL. All the songs are very good but I particularly like 'Realtà' which is mellow, and 'Dialogo' which is heavier with some good synth, bass and drums followed by vocals making a great song. 'Immagini Sfocate' rocks, as does 'Il Cieco' which also has some great flute work. 'Verso La Locanda' starts with some slightly jazzy violin and piano and then ups tempo; the track reminds me a little of TRAFFIC in places. The last track 'Sogno, Risveglio E...' starts with some good piano and electric violin, and turns into quite a classical-sounding piece with a good tune.

I should also mention that the electric guitar, bass and drums are by no means neglected on this album. I suspect that this album would appeal to the entire spectrum of progressive rock fans: it doesn't have the very sentimental feel of LOCANDA DELLE FATE which is a turn-off for some (not me, though), it has some very melodious parts, and there are also some good heavier parts. Only if you're not keen on violin might you not like this album so much, as the electric violin does play quite a role; it does fit in perfectly though.

A timeless classic of Italian progressive rock. Highly recommended.

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Send comments to Fitzcarraldo (BETA) | Report this review (#5930) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, May 17, 2004

Review by Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Quella Vecchia Locanda's debut album is quite an energetic offer, full of electric fire, which comes from both the rock and the blues area, and yet, their style can't be labelled as hard prog (more suitable for Metamorfosi, Biglietto, Museo Rosenbach.). Sure these guys can rock, since there's plenty of highlight space for the guitar riffs, and there's also furious drumming and mean bass lines along the way; but regarding the repertoire as a whole, you can tell that the presence of recurrent baroque motifs, as well as some passages full of Mediterranean romanticism (tracks 3 and 8, by he way, a delicious closure), keep the sonic balance in favour of the achievement of an overall symphonic prog sound according to regular standards. At this point, the general reminiscences may be accurately referred to PFM, though by no means is QVL to be considered as a clone. The vocal performances are somewhat relevant in QVL's repertoire, though the lyrics are not precisely too abundant: yet, the two lead singers the flutist and the guitarist) alternate their different ranges for good effect, and there's also a bunch of enthusiastic choral parts. The violin is the most prominent lead instrument, since it not only serves as a basis for all those classically inspired intros and interludes, but also appears as a complementary companion to the electric guitar parts in most of the heavier parts: straight examples of this are incarnated on the first two numbers, though QVL shines in its most explosive levels on tracks 4-7. These ones really show you that Donald Lax, despite being the last to enter the band, became te main muscal focus for the sextet. The flute passages add some excellent colours into the varied musical pallet created by QVL (lovely lines on track 3), while the keyboardist makes tasteful use of chords on the piano, the pristine harpsichord, and the aggressive organ, as well as mesmerising ambiences on mellotron and some occasional solos on synth. Tracks 6-7 are my favs when it comes to appreciating the most inspired level of interplay among all six musicians. 'Quella Vecchia Locanda' is a real Italian prog gem, that should have deserved a better sound production; sure some of the material could have actually benefited from a little more consistency in the arrangements department, but all in all, it is a stunning piece of prog music.

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Send comments to Cesar Inca (BETA) | Report this review (#5931) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, May 24, 2004

Review by erik neuteboom
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars The debut-album belongs to the top of the acclaimed Italian progrock from the Seventies, it contains eight beautiful and original compositions. They are a bit short but it's such a splendid blend of folk, classical and symphonic. The music is build around the magnificent (inter)play from the sparkling piano, compelling violin and cheerful flute but some guitarplay (acoustic and electric) adds a pleasant dimension to the very warm atmosphere on this album. SIMPLY WONDERFUL!!

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Send comments to erik neuteboom (BETA) | Report this review (#35949) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, June 10, 2005

Review by belz
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars 4.4/5.0

An absolutely wonderful, vivid and energic classic-inspired album. Both Quella Vecchia Locanda albums are pretty equal in quality and the flow is awesome in both. Every song is good, but what about the mellotron on "Dialogo"; it is simply amazing, agressively delicious and inventive. What is original about this album is also the presence of an acoustic violin and a piccolo which add to the classical impression that lasts after a listening. Intensively smooth is how I could describe this album in two words. A great addition to any collection, and very close to be a progressive masterpiece, but an absolute italian symphonic masterpiece. 4.4/5.0

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Send comments to belz (BETA) | Report this review (#73615) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, March 30, 2006

Review by Andrea Cortese
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "I live in this dark wood where there will be no other life than the mine. I love the world but the world hates me. Its refusal means death for me, death for me..."

Quella Vecchia Locanda is an important italian band of the seventies with that peculiar sound, an evocative reference to classical and baroque music. Rich instrumentation: flute, piccolo, piano, organ, mellotron, moog, electronic zither, spinet, acoustic and electric vionins (their trademark, wonderfully played by Donald Dax), bass, acoustic and electric guitars, 12 strings guitar, drums, percussions and frequency generator.

Their self titled debut album is a wonderful product of the year 1972. At the time they seemed to have a wide success, maily due to the great live shows as for example the Villa Pamphili Festival. It's trange thing such a band only managed to release two albums and then disappeared.

I do not think their first album is their best effort. It is excellent, indeed, but lacks sometimes in maturity, in my opinion. In particular you can hear many references to Jethro Tull that will be gone definitively in the second work, which seems really more original both in sound and music' structure.

By the way, their 1972 opus is not less exciting than that:

"Prologo" is a delightful opener and immidiately the listener is pleased by the fantastic violin. "Immagini Sfocate" is the most explosive and hardest track they ever recorded. All the lyrics's meaning is not what most people could imagine listening to their music: anguish, illusion, fear, tremor for existence.

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Send comments to Andrea Cortese (BETA) | Report this review (#73736) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, April 01, 2006

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars A good prelude for what would follow

From the first sound of Donald Lax's marvelous violin which opens "Prologo" you know that the QVL sound is unique. They are one of the most distinct and important bands from the classic Italian scene. Mixing rock with a classical or jazzy sound and incorporating flute, violin, guitar, and keys with a tightly wound "Fragile" style rhythm sound. Add to that very good Italian vocals and lots of mood changes and you have the right ingredients for a great debut. Some think there is a Tull comparison here but it is only fleeting to me-QVL sounds like no one else. These songs have the punchy quality that PFM sometimes has and maintains the sound quality level.

Lax now lives in Hawaii and is still performing. While recalling his time in QVL very fondly, in a 2004 interview he sadly reports that the band never made a cent from the albums, were treated poorly, and were not even informed of the reissues. He says he had to go on the Internet and pay for his own music just to get a copy!

"Un Villaggio, Un Illusione" does sound a bit Tullish when the flute kicks in albeit with mad violin the comparison is only partially worthwhile. It is Lax's marvelous playing that steals the show here, without it this track is basically a grooving rocker.

"Realta" begins softly with acoustic guitar before the warm vocals usher in a nice melody. This track sounds very PFM with piano, flute and percussion all very good. This has to be one of the most perfect examples of the beautiful Italian sound.

"Immagini Sfocate" sounds quite experimental at first but devolves into a guitar rocker with some great drumming at the end and a nice guitar solo. The lead guitars on this album have a unique sounding distortion to them, quite dry.

"Il Cieco" and "Dialogo" both have some nice moments but with less of the magic of the other tracks. "Verso la Locanda" is better than the previous two but again I sense some lack of direction in the overall song.

"Sogno, Risveglio" may be the highlight of the album and I think it hints at the potential that this band would realize on their masterpiece two years later. Gorgeous pastoral moments mingle with occasionally edgy violins and an unsettled piano that keeps trying to rock the boat. But they come together at the end for a lovely closing.

Both QVL albums are a must for anyone interested in putting together even a modest Italian collection. This debut is more accessible at first and more instantly likable but their follow-up is the real thing, even if it takes longer to appreciate.

The Japanese mini-lp sleeve is another gatefold that shows off the beautiful cover art that I never get bored with. The remastered sound is excellent for the time period. 3 ½ stars.

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Send comments to Finnforest (BETA) | Report this review (#128157) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Review by ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars I have to admit that I like the Italian prog style quite a lot although I have only reviewed a few albums so far (lot more to come). But I'm afraid that I won't be in-line with most of the reviews for this one.

I am lacking the emotional style of several other bands from this genre. Contemporary of "Quella" or not. This mood will be present, but too scarcely (second part of "Prologo" for instance). Quella mixes the classical genre too much IMO. When I listen to "Un Villaggio, Un'Illusione", I can't find any link between the several parts of the song (even if it is rather short one).

My second preferred track of the album is "Realta". When you listen to the intro "Immagini Sfuocate", you'll know where "La Maschera Di Cera" got part of their inspiration. But I very much prefer the complex style of "La Maschera" to the one of "Quella". Mater of taste I guess.

The jazzy and chaotic start of "Il Cieco" contrasts with the classical break which follows. Nice fluting (but this is valid in any number featuring this instrument). Vocals are weak in here while the finale is very pleasant.

There are several very good moments on this album but short and too few. "Dialogo" is one example. Lot of energy developped; but it sounds a bit too jazzy for my taste. But again, a very gentle and tranquil part will bring a breathe of fresh air.

At times, I fully fall in love with this band. It is the case when I listen to "Verso la Locanda". This is what I expect from an Italian band, I guess. Fully symphonic, beautiful harmonies and passion (even if some jazzy flavour is present). The best song, IMO.

Three stars.

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Send comments to ZowieZiggy (BETA) | Report this review (#132467) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, August 09, 2007

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Neo Prog Team
4 stars Another RPI legend and among the Italian prog wave's founders,QUELLA VECCHIA LOCANDA were formed in Rome in 1970.They started as a pop/rock group and actually there is an early live recording from 1971 with famous covers and three original arrangements with hints of what was going to come a year later.So,in 1972 the band released their first eponymous debut through Help Label.With a total sound lifting QUELLA VECCHIA LOCANDA delivered superb-executed symph-oriented progressive rock with deep vocals and rich compositions.Their style starts from delicate acoustic guitars,tasteful flutes and soft musicianship and ends in furious driving violins,up-tempo rocking structures and classical interludes and interplays.A magnificent album,QUELLA VECCHIA LOCANDA's debut is among the greatest albums of the traditional Italian progressive rock!Nothing more or less than extremely highly recommended!

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Send comments to apps79 (BETA) | Report this review (#145053) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Review by Atkingani
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars QVL's debut album is a good choice if one is interested in jumping into the ISP environment. Here you'll find a lot of the issues that made the sub-genre fame: bombastic instrumentation, dramatic vocalization, all-weather symphonic atmosphere blended with touches of jazz and folk, weird sound effects and neat rock tunes. The influences are all displayed too: Jethro Tull, Pink Floyd, late Beatles, other contemporary Italian pop & rock & prog acts, opera compositions, some classical movements, etc.

In many cases, this mayonnaise may taste sour and indigest but it's not the case for QVL's "QVL" where all condiments are disposed accordingly, turning this release into a nice appetizer, truly an indication for beginners - considering that notorious ISP fans know this album from heart since it's really basal. Also noticeable is that unlike other Italian prog conceptual albums of the same period, QVL show a bit of irony together with the usual tragic and/or pastoral widespread themes.

'Prologo', the opening track is a fine introduction card for the album content, a real summary of everything to be heard en suite: flute, guitars and vocals are grabbing. 'Un villaggio, una illusione' keeps the climate warm with its colorful violin intro, later replaced by a mix of instruments playing in frenzy. 'Realta' is soft and catchy while 'Immagini sfuocate' jams intensely. 'Il cieco' closes album's first half not in the same level of previous tracks.

Final part is a memorable one, thanks to the stunning section provided by the last 3 tracks, a gorgeous and admirable musical adventure, supplied with beautiful flute and violin chords, backed by splendid piano and keyboards tunes. The farewell song, 'Sogno, risveglio e.' deserves the honor to be included in the pantheon of the great prog songs ever recorded.

No need to add more, except to recommend this magnificent album as an excellent addition to any music collection (be it prog or not).

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Send comments to Atkingani (BETA) | Report this review (#159752) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, January 25, 2008

Review by LinusW
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Italian Prog Specialist
3 stars Rough around the edges and filled with spontaneous, infectious bursts of energy, Quella Vecchia Locanda's first album easily finds a place in your heart if that's what does it for you, musically speaking. At first it almost felt too unpolished, as if some of the songs were put together mostly on a whim; lacking in smooth transitions and natural mood-shifts. Thankfully, after a dozen or more listens, that criticism still remains, but the fantastic music has been given a proper chance to grow.

Unfortunately, this is one of those rare albums that just doesn't reach me on an emotional level, even though it has all the characteristics for it. The only reasonable explanation I can think of is the fact that much of it feels very slightly familiar. Almost every spin of it have revealed new passages, breaks or moments where I can swear I've heard almost the exact thing before. Most of these moments actually originate outside of RPI, from all over the prog spectrum. While initially mostly funny, it now somehow alienates me from the record. Paranoia? Perhaps. But it sure consumes some of the originality for me.

It is an interesting and varied blend of all the characteristics of RPI, I cannot deny that. Stating that this is one of the most representative albums of them all isn't much of an exaggeration. There are the abundant classical influences, folky touches, inspired vocals and warm keys. On top of that also an interesting rhythm section with a skilfully played, more melodic bass and great flute and emotional violin work. Just as many other early albums playing this kind of music, much of the heavier influences are still there. Definitely more hard-rocking than what the poster names PFM, Banco and Le Orme come across on their biggest albums. It adds spice to the mix, a quality that makes this album interesting for people with a broader taste of music, who not necessarily think RPI is a sub-genre for them. Some songs almost come across as some kind of contemporary pop-rock, reaching its peak in the often eerily Babe I'm Gonna Leave You-like Realtà.

The more I listen to this album, the more I feel that it can be broke down in four distinct pieces. The hard 'n' heavy guitar and rhythm-carried parts, the Tull-ish folk-jazz blend with flute, the pastoral and delicate classical arrangements and finally the best part of it all; where it all forms a consistent whole. I'd want more of that fusion to be really happy with this album. Too often are these individually excellent parts just that.alone. One follows after another without interfering with each other, making many of the songs feel scattered. This might come across as a little stingy, but this is what keeps me from enjoying the album fully, even with the many pros considered. When these different parts diffuse in to each other in an original way, those moments aren't far from the masterpiece zone.

Recommended for discovering many of the characteristics of the genre. 3 stars.

//LinusW

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Posted Friday, July 11, 2008

Review by Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars 4.5 stars. There sure isn't much about this album that I don't like. Lots of variety on this one with excellent vocals. I like the prominant piano, violin and flute. I really like the edge that this record has, their second album would be much softer.

"Prologo" opens with the violin, piano and guitar trading off. Drums come pounding in as the tempo picks up. Great sound as piano and violin dominate. Vocals 1 1/2 minutes in. Synths and a beautiful soundscape follows. A calm 3 minutes in as it becomes dreamy. It kicks back in before 4 1/2 minutes to end it. "Un Villaggio, Un'Illusione" opens with some terrific violin melodies as drums pound. Guitar and flute come in ripping it up. Vocals a minute in. Amazing section. A calm with flute after 1 1/2 minutes as it builds. Violin is back after 3 minutes. "Realta" is a mellow track with birds chirping as acoustic guitar and flute are gently played. Reserved vocals join in. An outburst a minute in and then it calms back down as piano takes over. Themes are repeated as vocals, acoustic guitar and flute return. Some violin 2 1/2 minutes in.

"Immagini Sfocate" is experimental to open. A violin / drum melody arrives a minute in. Mellotron 1 1/2 minutes in followed by guitar tearing it up. Vocals follow. This is fantastic ! "Il Cieco" opens with a catchy beat as synths then vocals join in. Piano comes in and i'm finding it impossible not to groove to the music. A calm as violin and flute take over. The uptempo melody returns 3 minutes in. Violin and piano end it. "Dialogo" opens with drums, bass and synths. A calm 2 1/2 minutes in as vocals and piano lead the way. Synths 3 minutes in and then drums. "Verso La Locanda" opens with piano then violin and drums come in. It picks up 2 minutes in with flute. A calm, then reserved vocals come in after 2 1/2 minutes. It kicks back in after 4 1/2 minutes. "Sogno,Risveglio E..." opens with piano as mellotron comes and goes. Violin after 1 1/2 minutes and then flute. Vocals 3 1/2 minutes in. Themes are repeated.

There is so much to enjoy on this album. If you want to check out the Italian scene then this is a must.

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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#181275) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, September 01, 2008

Review by ProgShine
COLLABORATOR Errors & Omissions Team
4 stars 01. Prologue Classical, classical music all! Interesting. violin solando much, I felt an influence of Vivaldi in the violin, which makes everything even more interesting. The next to voice synthesizers also provide a different touch. An incessant melody broken until .... ours, a melodious guitar and keyboard doing to bridge the voice even more beautiful. In the first theme returns to the flute appears to enhance further the theme, Jethro Tull? Influence total.

02. Un Villaggio, Un'illsione What I talked about the Vivaldi is further confirmed here. Only this time mixed with the Rock (and well before heavy!) The voice and could not fail to be Italian in the bands are very well sung, the very language gives a taste of most everything. The second part reminded me something I do not know and explain but it is very good, and once again the influence of Ian Anderson on flute, which is fine (Jethro Tull).

03. Realtà The classical guitar renaissance is that voice takes on the issue (along with the flute). The violin with wha wha was interesting and also the piano, in general the sound of the guys Quelle Vecchia Locanda is very classic.

04. Immagini Sfuocate This starts psychedelic, strange sounds. Why then make a show of Rock / Psycho, with fuzz guitars and drums devastated. Short amend it in that ...

05. Il Cieco The various vocal jazz piano and give the tone that follows in style. In the second duel of the violin and flute, you need more?? Keyboards and various traditional flutes. This is extremely beautiful. And once again the second most rock, and again pro Psicodélico.

06. Dialogo Synthesisers excellent. Instrumental even better. Duplicates the vocals near the piano, moogs strangers. Of trash!

07. Verso La Locanda Piano and violin, hit the weight attached to classic, one of the first bands to do that. The timbre of guitar music that are heavy for the progressive patterns of the time, gives a whole charm, serious and well- marked low, Romualdo Coletta has beautiful lines in that song.

08. Sogno, Risveglio And ... This here is classical piano total, Massimo Roselli is worthy of concert. Are still added to the mixture violin and flute, this is classical music from beginning to end! And if anyone cares? Of course not, but soon enter the smooth voice of Giorgio Giorgi (owner of flutes, too)!

This disc is almost classical music, wonderful musicians and music idem. When I heard I was in doubt that he was recorded in 1972, I find it very 'fresh' face again! Excellent!

www.progshine.com

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Send comments to ProgShine (BETA) | Report this review (#196942) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, January 02, 2009

Review by Menswear
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars 'The Old Inn'.

Indeed, The Old Inn is a band to remember carefully, because after 37 years, the record has still an heavy impact on the serious listener: you just can't get enough of it.

In my years of listening prog, I rarely (if not never) heard a band so good at resuming a melancholic rainy day AND bringing out the party at the same level of quality. It tooked only a few listenings for me (that's a good sign) to finally surprising myself singing in italian the lyrics of Prologo! 'Monteperme! MONTEPERME!'

The inevitable Jethro Tull comparison is not as big as I read somewhere else; they have their own sound and range of originality. Proof, name a band with tragic italian/gypsy violins melted in classical grand piano with tempestous flutes and mellotron all together?...just a magical atmosphere for you to discover.

It's a blessing not having to search too hard for this record compared to other italian cds; so take advantage and give it a shot!

A complete winner, worth every penny.

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Send comments to Menswear (BETA) | Report this review (#204106) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, February 23, 2009

Review by Nightfly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
4 stars The first of only two studio albums from Quella Vecchia Locanda, this eponymous debut released in 1972 is rightly regarded as a highly important album in the RPI genre. Their second album, Il Tempo Della Gioia would take them into mellower territory, expanding on the classical influences already on display here. Their debut however is to a large extent a more bombastic affair with a rawer sound, yet still displaying moments of finesse and beauty.

Alongside the classical influences is a band playing powerful early seventies prog on the rocky side, sometimes reminiscent of early Jethro Tull; I'd be very surprised to hear if they weren't an influence. To reinforce the Tull vibe is the use of flute to great effect. Equally important to their sound is the exciting violin playing, ranging from the sublime like on Sogno, Risveglio E... to wilder moments perfectly captured in album opener Prologo. A solid, though not complex rhythm section lays the foundations for this alongside some impressive keyboard work to please mellotron, moog and piano lovers. Electric guitar, again has a Tull vibe at times as well as some tasteful acoustic playing and Giorgio Giorgi is a very good vocalist displaying a powerful and melodic voice capable of subtle restraint like on the folk inflected Realta.

It's a fairly short album at only 34 minutes, the eight compositions all between the three to five minute mark, but surprisingly with such short pieces they still find the space for dynamic instrumental workouts which do tend to take precedence over the vocals. The melodic nature of the material here makes it a very accessible album, an ideal early entry into discovering the vast world of Italian Progressive rock.

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Send comments to Nightfly (BETA) | Report this review (#240729) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, September 21, 2009

Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Prog Specialist
4 stars Many years ago, a friend introduced me to QUELLA VECCHIA LOCANDA (That Old Inn), with an original cassette of their self titled debut, my first thought was that I would probably listen another good band from the fertile Prog scenario of the early 70's, with beautiful melodies and a pastoral sire, but I was wrong.

QUELLA VECCHIA LOCANDA is a different specie, of course they have that unique Italian melodic sound but their approach is much more aggressive than most bands of the region, the massive use of violin makes the different to most of their coetaneous plus the fact that they still have a post Psyche sound reminiscent of the 60's with a relation to FOCUS rather than to any other band.

"Prologo" introduces us to their unique style, the first section is a contrapuntal between violin, piano, violin drums and then a an explosive section as intricate as the early works of KING CRIMSON, this guys rock much more than their peers and are not afraid to take a violent approach instead of the mellow and soft that we could expect from other band of Italy, even the choirs are absolutely radical with polyphonic and almost chaotic arrangements, in other words one in a kind.

"Un Villaggio, Un 'Illusione" starts again with the violin as lead instrument with a strong and perfectly syncopated drum as support, when the flute enters, I feel all the style of Thijs Van Leer, and the vocals introduce us to Hard Rock with a sound of the late 60's. The bass work by Romualdo Coletta is brilliant, and maintains the band connected with reality while the rest of the instruments are allowed to wander through uncharted territory. Special mention to the breathtaking violin solo, is simply outstanding.

The first notes of "Realta" announce that this is the first track in which they sound more as a classical Italian band, the sweet melody is impressive, but still the multi layered vocals indicate that the band wants to be unique. Even when they never abandon the soft mellow sound, they manage to experiment with contradictory styles and complex arrangements.

Now, if you want something really weird and experimental, pay special attention to "Immagini Sfuocate", an ultra elaborate track in which they allow themselves to do whatever they want, distorted guitar solos, rocking piano sections, weird sounds, they jam almost as if the Psyche years would had never left,

"Il Cieco" begins with a drum and bass duet that leads to some sort of Italian Rock with touches of Prog, but it's not until when the instrumental breaks begin that they dare to explore most than almost any Italian band of the era, the JETHRO TULL aroma is there, but much more rough and aggressive.

"Dialogo" is another complex track that reminds of KING CRIMSON structures, with a lot of dissonances and complex sections that morph into different ones in a matter of seconds, the song jumps from elaborate and weird to melodic and soft and weird again, in other words pure Progressive Rock.

"Verso Locanda" sounds like an Emersonian keyboard nightmare with Jazzy atmosphere and ultra radical changes, a good prelude for the melodic and extremely beautiful"Sogno, Risveglio E..." that closes the album with a fantastic piano performance by Massimo Roselli who almost makes me break in tears, specially when the nostalgic violin of Donald Lax and the flute of Giorgo Giordi join to create a Classical oriented song that closes the album with a special taste.

To be honest there are many Italian Symphonic albums that have impressed me more, but this album deserves no less than 4 stars, despite my personal taste.

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Send comments to Ivan_Melgar_M (BETA) | Report this review (#242976) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, October 04, 2009

Review by Negoba
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Beautiful Classically Inspired Italian Prog

One of the aspects of RPI that appeals to me most is that the classical influences are transparent. That is, while Genesis and ELP have some obvious roots in classical music, the Italians seem to have it written in their marrow. The amount of "rock" in their prog is variable, but the classical influence is always crystal clear. Among the bands with the heaviest classical flavor, by far my favorite is Quella Vecchia Locanda (QVL). Their second, classic album was the second RPI album I owned and I still hold it as one of the masterpieces in its genre even after acquiring a much bigger collection. I later acquired their self titled debut and found another great piece of work. Perhaps not as evocative as the sophomore, it is still a grand album well worth owning.

Interestingly, one of the stars of this particular album is an American, classically trained violinist Donald Lax. His violin opens the "Prologo" theme which is echoed by various other instruments, and then has a torrid solo which would have been a better example of the devil's champion that that offered by Charlie Daniels. Indeed, despite the minor keys and classical arrangements, his energy and tonality are almost fiddle-like, stretching an already diverse sound.

The most rocking part of this band is the rhythm section. Conventional trapset and electric bass form the backbone, and they can range from quiet accompaniment to nice bombast. Unlike the second album, guitar plays a slightly larger role, with the track "Immagini Sfucate" having both a distorted riff and rock leads. Flute plays a large part in the mix, adding a significant 60's psychedelic flavor. The voices are pleasant and less operatic than some RPI, though they still fall within genre. Finally, keys range from clean piano to distorted organ and possibly mellotron.

Some of the highlights are the Genesis-like "El Cieco" which features frenetic rock interspersed with ethereal flute interludes, the aforementioned creepy "Immagini," and the Zeppelinish "Realta." The latter combines with the Italian harmony vocals beautifully, before a wah-electric guitar brings up the intensity. The whole album is more rocking than the second, more intense, but also lacks a little of the intricacy and longer, more ambitious compositions. Still, it is an excellent piece of work and among my favorite RPI albums. 4 stars.

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Send comments to Negoba (BETA) | Report this review (#259990) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, January 08, 2010

Review by Epignosis
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Eclectic Prog Team
4 stars Quella Vecchia Locanda's first of only two studio albums (a shame, really), offers a tornado that ripped up symphonic and heavy progressive rock styles and churned out something delicious yet hard to digest. Most of the pieces are admittedly disjointed- the compositions do not all flow very well, but the individual ideas themselves are quite a compensation. All in all, this is an important album for any Rock Progressivo Italiano collection.

"Prologo" With call-and-response violin and piano, other instruments join in, soon creating a frantic yet easy-to-follow rhythmic backing- it is the violin that is the most crazed, sawing through several lower notes before abruptly shooting up into a long high one. Backed by that same rhythm, the singing comes through loud and clear, with a floating monophonic synthesizer in the backdrop. It all falls away to bring in gentle acoustic guitar and more keyboards. The flute solo at the end is a non sequitur, but a welcome one.

"Un Villaggio,Un'illsione" Sweet violin begins this track, offering an almost classical introduction (not unlike the Electric Light Orchestra). Soon it becomes a bit harder rocking than the previous track; the lighter flute passage is akin to early Jethro Tull, but that violin sets it apart.

"Realta" A delightfully familiar finger-picked acoustic guitar passage provides this song's gentle, melancholic foundation. The vocal harmonies are excellent, and this time the flute outshines the violin. For those familiar with The Steve Miller Band, "Winter Time" sounds very much like this song.

"Immagini Sfuocate" Emerging with a far more experimental sound initially, this piece eventually takes on a more coherent form. From then on, it's all heavy progressive rock finished off by a quick drum solo.

"Il Cieco" The drums fade back in, inviting a cool bass groove to tag along. I really like this primal rhythm and the harmonic synthesizers that creep in. After this, however, is one of the most breathtaking passages I've heard in the genre- violin and flute, like two graceful fairies of different worlds dancing over a lush bed of organ. The tribal business makes a brief return before gorgeous violin and piano finish it off.

"Dialogo" A tumbling bit of guitar and synthesizer kick this off, and soon there's a funky bass line in 6/4 time along with a nasally synthesizer lead. The vocals arrive over piano, and the late verse has a slight Supertramp feel.

"Verso La Locanda" A strange bit of piano opens this track- it sounds like a nervous child practicing at home under the watchful eye of an instructor. A refreshing violin and some rock music rescues the lad. This is, however, the most disjointed of the material on this album, with several abrupt changes and an apparent lack of direction. The verse is one of the quietest points. The flute plays over a calm electric guitar, but everything settles into a nice groove with yet another interesting bass line, and as it picks up, a wild synthesizer solo concludes this difficult music.

"Sogno, Risveglio E..." This has the same feel as the previous track initially, like that of a person practicing the piano at home, although the player here is clearly more advanced- in fact, the piano is brilliant, and the ghostly violin adhering to it, followed by a reluctant flute, is one of the highlights of the album, despite not being a rock song at all. Vocals follow, with discordant fills on the piano. It is strange to me that the band would choose this sleepy work as the conclusion to such an otherwise dynamic and disorderly affair, but perhaps that is my American sensibilities peeking through!

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Send comments to Epignosis (BETA) | Report this review (#273934) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Review by andrea
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Quella Vecchia Locanda were one of the many prog bands formed in Rome in early seventies. They released their eponymous debut album in 1972 for the Help label with a line up featuring Giorgio Giorgi (vocals, flute), Massimo Roselli (piano, organ mellotron, moog, vocals), Donald Lax (violin), Patrick Traina (drums, percussion), Romualdo Coletta (bass) and Raimondo Maria Cocco (electric and acoustic guitars, vocals). The musicians had a strong classical background and their music is a very interesting blending of classical influences with rock and folk. The beautiful art cover tries to describe the content of the album, a concept about difficult relationships and solitude...

The opener "Prologo" (Prologue) depicts in music and words a desperate and gloomy landscape of solitude and alienation, an old and decrepit house in a dark wood where even the worms refuse to live, where love for life gets hate in return. The very first notes are picked up from Johannes Brahms' piano trio, op. n. 8, then the music develops in a shifting way before calm down... "These walls are heatless and dark / You can find here nothing but pain / Light I'm looking for you / Life, I'm running after you".

"Un villaggio, un'illusione" (A village, an illusion) describes a desperate and frenzy running through burnt grass without a goal, lead by the thirst for life... "There's a village out there / It's open to everyone but not to me / My destiny is dreadful / I need someone beside me...". A sudden change of rhythm underline the fear of a refusal and the sensation that bullets shot from the village could penetrate into your body and turn the green grass to red like fire...

"Realtà" (Reality) is a beautiful dreamy ballad where the dread illusion melts and hope rises... "I can breath / I can see the light... Pain, hate and love do not make any sense to me by now / I look at the sky that resembles to me / A storm starts raging / Shouts, lightning, wind... They do not notice the people who is suffering and envy their honey... I'm dreaming of something that could give you a real peace... Who can understand this reality?".

"Immagini sfocate" (Unfocused images) is a short and hypnotic track where an aggressive and psychedelic guitar riff emerges from experimental sounds... "I'm dreaming, I think so / All is dark around me / Only mysterious forces can explain...". The psychedelic dream fades on the next track, the complex "Il cieco" (The blind man) where the sounds of life bring back to reality and lyrics describe the meeting with a blind man who need someone beside him and asks for help...

"Dialogo" (Dialogue) is a beautiful complex track where classic influences are perfectly blended with rock and a touch of jazz in the musical dialogue between the scared hermit banned from society and the blind man. New positive feelings come to life...

"Verso la locanda" (Towards the inn) is another excellent track, bittersweet and dreamy, where the violin leads the way to the house of joy... "Thousand shadows are running in my direction / Come, my friend / The way is long but I will lead you / That's the inn...".

The final track "Sogno, risveglio e..." (Dream, awake and...) opens with a delicate piano pattern, then violin and flute come in... "The roof crumbles / The walls falls down / In the theatre of the world...". Here the melancholic and dreamy mood and a reprise of the initial theme could suggest that what is crumbling is the dreadful house of solitude in the dark wood...

A must for every Italiaprog lover...

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Send comments to andrea (BETA) | Report this review (#276008) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, April 02, 2010

Review by stefro
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars One of only two albums produced by this most fascinating of groups, Quella Vecchia Locanda's self-titled debut is an intense and hugely-inventive slice of genre-bending Italian prog jam-packed with enough ideas to fill any number of albums. Many fans consider the group's follow-up, 'Il Tempo Della Gioia' to be the superior recording, but this reviewer thinks differently. Whilst QVL's sophomore effort is also a great album, it is their eponymously-titled offering that shows just what an incredible bunch of musicians they really were. From the striking artwork to the plethora of instruments on show, 'Quella Vecchia Locanda' is a thoroughly exiciting listen, filled with unexpected musical twists and, at times, sublime instrumental passages. There isn't a dud song to be found, and the album more than deserves it's place at the head of Italian prog table, sitting proudly next to the likes of PFM's 'Per Un Amico', Le Orme's 'Felona E Sorona' and Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso's 'Darwin!'. A genuine genre classic. STEFAN TURNER, LONDON, 2010

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Send comments to stefro (BETA) | Report this review (#282956) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, May 21, 2010

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Metal Team
4 stars One of the reasons RPI attracts me so much is the endless diversity between bands. Most bands only managed one or two albums, but with each new discovery you get introduced into an entirely new sound world, often taking influences from the UK bands but molding everything into something personal and unique.

Quella Vecchia Locanda is no exception. Their debut is a prime example of the creative bliss that struck Italy in the early 70's, mixing clashing elements such as heavy prog, classical piano and violin, Jethro Tull folk flutes, Italian pop and much more into one heartfelt and passionate album. The vocals are outstanding, very emotive, both tender and full. This nation can sing! The music reminds me a bit of the Paese Dei Balocchi album, another example of that rare successful marriage between rock and classical orchestration.

With no dip anywhere in the entire album, this is yet another highly original and captivating RPI album. Looking forward to the next one!

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Send comments to Bonnek (BETA) | Report this review (#299949) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Review by Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars The debut album by Quella Vecchia Locanda is a concept album about a person experiencing an allegorical dream, in which they try to seek out a legendary inn ("Quella Vecchia Locanda" meaning "That Old Inn"...) in which the joy they used to feel in life can still be found. Though the typical RPI influences of Trespass-era Genesis and Jethro Tull are to the fore on this album, at the same time it also displays an impressive ability to synthesise these sounds into something new, yielding a gentle, acoustic style of prog much along the same lines as Premiata Forneria Marconi's work.

This album is distinguished from PFM's albums of 1972 by the fact that there's much less acoustic guitar involved - in fact, I think the star performer here is Massimo Roselli, the band's keyboardist, whose gentle piano outro to the final track brings a tear to my eye every time. A true overlooked classic, any fan of classic albums from the RPI boom of 1972 should follow the example of this album's protagonist and seek out "That Old Inn"...

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Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#503000) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, August 14, 2011

Review by Matti
COLLABORATOR Neo-Prog Team
3 stars This is the debut by an excellent RPI group that released only 2 (now-classic) albums before collapsing due to the lack of greater success. As with PFM, the sound of QVL included flute and violin, but these bands have otherwise quite different styles. Instead of PFM's soft, pastoral and romantic side QVL has more dynamic rock attitude, and more complex time signatures. (I prefer PFM.) These musicians share the passion for classical - especially Baroque - music, and many of them had classical studies. This shows mostly in the virtuotic use of instruments, especially on violin and keyboards (including harpsichord). The compositions are complex but not "symphonic" in the YES sense. The longest track lasts no more than 5:15.

One can make comparisons to e.g. KING CRIMSON and GENTLE GIANT, but QVL don't quite have the wide pallette of moods, forms or arrangements (like PFM also does), but instead play with high intensity - and complexity WITHIN the tracks - most of the time. One of the highlights is the soft instrumental first half of the ending track (title meaning "sleep, waking up and...") with the piano lead, where also the flute part is gentle. Then suddenly the sharp violin - soon followed by vocals, guitars and drums - brings more edge to the track. The flute is often very JETHRO TULL influenced. Acoustic guitar is not much heard even if there is some folk flavour here and there. The violin is often a bit too strong for my taste. Since I have several negative notions about this undisputed classic, I give it three stars only. Probably not on my Top Ten of Rock Progressivo Italiano albums, but definitely worth recommending if you enjoy classical influences served with the rock power.

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Send comments to Matti (BETA) | Report this review (#868405) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, November 29, 2012

Latest members reviews

3 stars One of the Better "Ba-progue" Bands? Well, there is no about that this album should make an enjoyable listening for those who like the baroque style in music (as I do). It's well put together and masterfully played. The album art is near-exquisite and in good synergy with the music. Man ... (read more)

Report this review (#891403) | Posted by Argonaught | Saturday, January 12, 2013 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I would place this landmark release somewhere between 3.5 and 4 stars. Quella Vecchia Locanda's excellent debut left an important mark on the RPI scene, although it wasn't recognized at the time. Even the band's record label, HELP! (a subsidiary of RCA) did not realize the group's potential, and t ... (read more)

Report this review (#491513) | Posted by coasterzombie | Thursday, July 28, 2011 | Review Permanlink

3 stars I am supposed to rate this album, huh huh huh. This band sadly only released two albums. Very few Italian bands have long life spans and there is a lot of very interesting 1-2 albums bands in this scene. Quella Vecchia Locande is one of them. Their music is a mix of everything from Genesis, Y ... (read more)

Report this review (#250451) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Saturday, November 14, 2009 | Review Permanlink

2 stars This album fails to captivate me for the most part: I find the music far too subtle and inconsistent. I do like this debut much more than their second album, thanks mostly to the great opener 'Prologo', which is the best song in this band's entire catalog. This song is one of the few moments wher ... (read more)

Report this review (#202730) | Posted by AdamHearst | Saturday, February 14, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars O.k. let me start to say that i have a huge selection of italian progressive musique so, with that in mind, i have to say that in all the italian music i have, this album is my fave. There is everything i love in this album, slow atmospheric passage, great rock riff and the addition of violin an ... (read more)

Report this review (#75378) | Posted by Fido73 | Tuesday, April 18, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Debut board released in 1972 "Quella Vecchia Locanda". Acoustic, classical heavy rock. It is very variegated music. The ensemble is also variegated. The speed and the throb feeling look like P.F.M. However, it is considerably inferior in the exact sheath stability and the refinement degree of ... (read more)

Report this review (#70195) | Posted by braindamage | Wednesday, February 22, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Are you tired of italian progressive masterpieces? Well, whatever is your ANSWER... now its right... I got sometime to get used to this record, and you will need a few time too, this is a very atmospheric and energetic album, sometimes similar to jethro tull cause the flute, and similar to p ... (read more)

Report this review (#5933) | Posted by | Friday, September 17, 2004 | Review Permanlink

5 stars For some reason, Il Tempo della Gioia gets all the attention...but I prefer this, their debut, for its enthusiasm and greater energy. The two albums were several years apart, and personnel changes occured (the violin player and bass player) between them. Interesting trivia...the violin playe ... (read more)

Report this review (#5932) | Posted by | Wednesday, July 14, 2004 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This is the most melodic side of prog you can imagine, the italian way. But they have a voice of their own and most of the songs are pure heaven. This is their best effort, though their second is also recommended. ... (read more)

Report this review (#5921) | Posted by | Monday, December 22, 2003 | Review Permanlink

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