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Il Rovescio Della Medaglia

Rock Progressivo Italiano

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Il Rovescio Della Medaglia Io Come Io album cover
2.83 | 61 ratings | 10 reviews | 3% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1972

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Io (6:36)
2. Fenomeno (9:04) :
- a) Proiezione
- b) Rappresentazione
3. Non Io (6:12)
4. Io come Io (7:03) :
- a) Divenire
- b) Logica

Total Time 28:55

Line-up / Musicians

- Pino Ballarini / vocals, flute
- Enzo Vita / guitars
- Stefano Urso / bass
- Gino Campoli / drums

Releases information

Artwork: Brandimarte (metal medallion)

LP RCA Italiana - PSL 10545 (1972, Italy)

CD RCA - 74321-22082-2 (1994, Italy)
CD BMG Italy - 74321 981662 (2004, Italy) Remastered by Rodolfo Grappa (?)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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IL ROVESCIO DELLA MEDAGLIA Io Come Io ratings distribution

(61 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(3%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(21%)
Good, but non-essential (48%)
Collectors/fans only (20%)
Poor. Only for completionists (8%)


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by clarke2001
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
1 stars My first huge disappointment with Italian Symphonic progressive rock.

And this is not some of the seminal bands from the seventies doing bad material in the late 80's. No. This is the band in their prime. Even if they had the best musical ideas/melodies in the world, they wouldn't reach me, because of representation, arrangements and production: they're all horrible.

But the reality is cruel: good ideas are few, and they're not good ideas that will manifest themselves and provide a pleasant feeling to a listener (me), they're there just theoretically: I squeezed them by analysis, not by actual listening of the album.

Sounds bad, doesn't it? Well, it is.

There ARE some catchy melodies here and there: they are few and far between, and they're often repeating themselves in some uninspiring and slightly derivative way, they might be even characterised as slightly symphonic (not classical). Major and minor scales are more present then blues scales. But nothing special. A voice is an acquired taste, personally I think it's not bad but the delivery is not the happiest one. There are also a few nice trick with delay on voice.

But unfortunately, there are much more cons. The sound is horrible: fuzzing guitars playing the melody, bass (the same fuzzing tone one octave deeper) repeating the same damn melody deeper (sometimes in octaves + thirds), on the bottom of all that uninspired drumming. The buss and drums are not following each other at all, but not because this is some free-form music. The songs are not just hollow, they're empty. At the moments this band sounds like a bunch of kids playing punk for the first time on stage. If you were ever playing in the band, you probably experienced one of those moments when everybody's tired of playing, and one is playing an instrument without heart or inspiration, just to make some noise, making an amateurish at best, cacophonic directionless at worse, "Io Come Io" at worst case.

Please, do the human kind a favour and avoid this album that shouldn't have been ever released. Maybe in some other arrangement, on the some other, less bad hair day. Or probably, in some parallel universe. Poor universe.

Review by Tarcisio Moura
2 stars Unfortunatly I have to agree too much to Clarke2001īs review. I know not all italian groups in the 70īs were great, but thatīs in theory. Because the high quality of that period is evident. Everything I hear from Italy at that period was from very good to brilliant, even if you donīt like the style you had to agree theyīre good somehow. So I was taken aback by the very bad sound of this album. Production, arrangements, playing and songwriting all seems to conspire against the final work. The bass sound is specially annoying, terrible.

There are some hints of good ideas here and there, and the general notion that the musicians might be good at their instruments. The main problem is that of the production: it is so bad is hard to tell whatīs realy wrong here. I heard this CD as many times I could stand, just to believe it was even released with such a poor sound. Hard to tell if they would come up with something really interesting had they got a better studio or producer or both, but certainly it could not be worse.

Iīll give it two stars because I still want to belive that the production ruined it all. Well, they DID release a couple of follow ups so they might have their qualities after all. whcih, by the way is not shown here at all. My first major italian prog rock disappointment, specially considering it was released in progīs prime time. Avoid this one.

Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars The second album from this Italian band (not playing Italian music), is not very different from their debut one). It holds less than twenty-nine minutes of music which even in terms of an Italian band of the early seventies is pretty short.

Production is better (but this was easy) and compositions are less improvised. Still, the music is in the pure heavy-rock vein with little fiorittura. There are hardly one symphonic track to be heard on Io Come Io.

So, if you are keen on this type of music (basic heavy prog music), there is nothing wrong with this album. I prefer it when compared to their debut one.

The music is mostly instrumental and I would have wished Fenomeno to be more melodic. The structure is more complex than usual and the combination between harder parts and more smoother ones offers a good result and shows the potential of the band.

There are no masterpiece stuff of course available on this album, but a track as Non Lo is somewhat of a different style: very quiet instrumental part to start with (flute), peaceful vocals as well. This song shows an evolution in their style, which will be more marked during their next release Contaminazione. It is the highlight here.

The closing number is more chaotic and more difficult to access. In this type of songs, the noticeable influence of KC can't be ignored.

In all, this album is not too bad. I would even increase the rating from average (five out of ten) to three stars.

Review by DamoXt7942
FORUM & SITE ADMIN GROUP Avant/Cross/Neo/Post Teams
3 stars RDM's heavy story would go on...

First I was surprised at the sleeve. It is a Japanese paper-sleeved album WITH A GOLD (No, maybe Copper! :P) MEDAL...and this work is as heavy as, and more avantgarde (rather than progressive) than the previous one. The sound in itself gets clearer, but their stickiness and sliminess are previously as it was. However, I think sadly the product is more refined and polished. Could you understand me? That is, Il Rovescio Della Medaglia's identity or personality is not beauty nor cleanliness I consider. They should be powerful and metallically heavy, not be refined or polished. Getting to be more avantgarde is great for them, but...what a pity.

As above mentioned, I can't find anything amazing. The album itself is not so bad and I like this, but for Italian prog fans, why can I overevaluate this? If possible, as a copper medal in the sleeve (!) , they could be heavier and more progressive, I'm always disappointed with listening to this work.

Review by andrea
3 stars "Io come io" is the second album by Roman band Il Rovescio della Medaglia and was released in 1972 on the RCA label with a consolidated line up featuring Enzo Vita (guitar), Stefano Urso (bass), Gino Campoli (drums) and Pino Ballarini (vocals, flute). It's another concept album in a hard rock style that in some way confirms qualities and flaws of its predecessor, "La bibbia". The music is full of energy but the overall sound quality reflects the hurried recording sessions and an approximative production. To explain the concept, the liner notes quote some lines from German philosopher Hegel... "In philosophy the determinations of knowledge are considered not unilaterally, only as determinations of things, but together with the knowledge to which they refer, at least together with things; i.e. they are taken not merely as objective determinations, but also as subjective determinations, or rather as determinate species of the mutual relation of subject and object...". However, do not worry! Despite the ambitious liner notes and the subject matter (an introspective quest for Truth), the lyrics are not abstruse nor pretentious and Hegel's thought here is filtered and interpreted very loosely and with a particular hippy style point of view...

The opener "Io" (I) starts by the sound of gong, then drums and electric guitar set a tense atmosphere. The music and lyrics evoke strange visions. Things and people, places and feelings come through the mist of time, something is coming closer. It's the memory of a past experience, a shadow. It's a man who once taught to the protagonist the secrets of life, he was old then but now he's much younger than the protagonist himself. It's like in a strange dream where the protagonist has to face the thought of life and death, he has yet to understand how beautiful life is and he trembles because he can't understand what death really means... "You say that everything I said to you is true / But I'm scared when you say you don't know how good it is to die!"...

"Fenomeno" (Phenomenon) is a long track divided into two parts respectively subtitled "Proiezione" (Projection) and "Rappresentazione" (Representation). It begins by a strummed acoustic guitar pattern broken by heavy electric guitar riffs and a choir that could recall Il Balletto di Bronzo's "Ys". The music and lyrics conjure up the image of the protagonist lost on a mysterious road, wandering in a thousand directions without a clue, desperately trying to understand what's false or true. The world around him is empty, amorphous and lifeless, in the morning there's no sun, in the evening there's no moon. After a calm middle section, suddenly the rhythm rises. The protagonist can see a light and someone calls him, a door opens for him... "Time, space, now I no longer live / Am I the real me?"...

The cathartic "Non io" (Not I) opens the second side of the original LP. It begins with a delicate acoustic guitar arpeggio and soaring flute notes, the atmosphere is peaceful and dreamy. The music and lyrics depicts the new awareness of the protagonist who can see his past days unfold behind him. Now he hates money and reflects about the true values of life such as the love of a mother for her children. Naked, barefoot, the protagonists wants to go where the sky ends and the sea begins in search for ideals that can't fade away over time like beauty or richness... "I still want to go on my way, where the sky joins the sea / Leaving alone behind me that man who has no truth...".

The last track, "Io come io" (I as I), is divided into two parts subtitled "Divenire" (Becoming) and "Logica" (Logic) and marks the achievement of the inner journey of the protagonist. He's found the light and the light is burning in him like a sun that will never die. The positive energy of the long instrumental coda describes the power of Truth and self-awareness...

On the whole, an interesting concept and a good work.

Latest members reviews

1 stars Time sometimes serves as an argument for excuse or even a convenient field to build a myth. Many people consider "Io Come Io" as a classic example of great Italian 70's prog rock. The main reason of my disagreement is basically the fact that this album does not remind the sound of Italian pro ... (read more)

Report this review (#299591) | Posted by DeKay | Saturday, September 18, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Inspired by Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel this album (eng title sound as 'I as I'... terrible in all languages) is the 2nd album by RDM. And, in my humble opinion, 'Io Come Io' is one of the first Heavy Metal album of history. If the words are inspired by Hegel, the music is clearly a mix be ... (read more)

Report this review (#236549) | Posted by 1967/ 1976 | Wednesday, September 2, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I feared to listen to this album. Now i must admit that it sounds like a sophisticated italian art rock band. The compositions are well conceived and have different textures and dynamics. There is definetely some free rock tendencies in the rythm section, this is probably due to the use of effec ... (read more)

Report this review (#168595) | Posted by pwawrzyn | Thursday, April 24, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars In the year of 1972 the Italian Progressive rock was developing almost all the slopes that existed in this context, as it shows are the works of Banco del Mutuo Soccorso, Premiata Forneria Marconi and Le Orme, among other very many groups, but remarcable it is the quick maturity of many of the ... (read more)

Report this review (#166905) | Posted by Alberto Muņoz | Monday, April 14, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Sometimes I've wondered when and how a real distinction between Hard Rock and Heavy Metal could be made. I still don't know when, but I'm getting more and more convinced that the real distinction between these two genres lies in the fact that Heavy Metal tends to leave the bluesy influence behin ... (read more)

Report this review (#147690) | Posted by paolo.beenees | Saturday, October 27, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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