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Stormy Six


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Stormy Six Un Biglietto Del Tram album cover
3.82 | 64 ratings | 4 reviews | 23% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1975

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Stalingrado (5:25)
2. La Fabbrica (3:36)
3. Arrivano Gli Americani (5:50)
4. 8 Settembre (4:49)
5. Nuvole A Vinca (4:18)
6. Dante Di Nanni (4:12)
7. Gianfranco Mattei (4:17)
8. La Sepoltura Dei Morti (3:47)
9. Un Biglietto Del Tram (5:40)

Total time 41:54

Line-up / Musicians

- Franco Fabbri / guitar, mandolin, bass, recorder, vocals
- Umberto Fiori / guitar, harmonica, vocals
- Carlo De Martini / violin, mandolin, vocals
- Tommaso Leddi / violin, mandolin, balalaika, guitar, flute, vocals
- Luca Piscicelli / bass, mandola, vocals
- Antonio Zanuso / drums

Releases information

Artwork: Piero Leddi

LP L'Orchestra ‎- OLP 10001 (1975, Italy)
LP Vinyl Magic ‎- VMLP 096 (2012, Italy)

CD Fonit Cetra ‎- CDM 2112 (1996, Italy)
CD L'Orchestra ‎- VM CD 096 (2004, Italy)

Thanks to avestin for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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STORMY SIX Un Biglietto Del Tram ratings distribution

(64 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(23%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(33%)
Good, but non-essential (33%)
Collectors/fans only (6%)
Poor. Only for completionists (5%)

STORMY SIX Un Biglietto Del Tram reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
3 stars Of the original RIO-chart signataires, Stormy Six was the one that was least RIO sounding and longest living band. Most likely their inclusion was probably due to a strong left-wing tendencies as well as pure aesthetics. Indeed the group had started out as a folk group back in 69 with a pop singer Rocchi in their ranks, but by the present Biglietto (their fourth album), they'd managed to throw away all sorts of commercial temptations, while keeping their folk orientations and even growing increasingly experimental, even spoofing CS&N in their second album in a lengthy track.

By the time of this album (Ticket for the tram), the group's folk was mixed in with some early jazz, but taken another strong left-wing twist with Umberto Fiori's arrival in SS at the texts . Their nine shorter songs (from 3:45 to 6 mins) all had some light avant-garde feel, but nothing remotely close to their future RIO co-signataires. Mostly acoustic with a trio of guitar/mandolin players and a violinist over a mandolin- playing stand-up bassist and drummer, the group's composition are a very even batch of folk tunes with none standing out, leaving very few space for real instrumental interplay, other than in the inevitable jig (the track Gianfranco Mattei). The lyrics are inevitably political, often referring to ancient political leaders and historical situations, and therefore often the folk tends to veer a bit tarantella, but never too overtly. Indeed SS plays the modern card despite being mainly acoustic, at least for now.

Some progheads might consider this album a must and one of SS' peaks, but I beg to differ. In terms of political relevance, I'll take early Area albums (even if my Italian is barely above the discernible level) ; and in terms of inventive folk, I'll choose the Canzoniere Del Lazio combo over this Biglietto. If you're not familiar to SS, try to start elsewhere, either chronologically from the debut or the RIO period first and then come back to such an album if you still wish it.

Review by andrea
5 stars Stormy Six were formed in Milan in the mid sixties and began their career as a "beat" band. Later their music turned to folk and West Coast and finally to progressive rock. In 1975 Stormy Six released their fourth album, "Un biglietto del tram", on the independent label L'Orchestra that they contributed to found. The line up featured Franco Fabbri (guitar, vocals), Umberto Fiori (guitar, vocals), Carlo De Martini (sax, violin), Tommaso Leddi (violin, mandolin, balalajka, guitar), Luca Piscicelli (bass, vocals) and Antonio Zanuso (drums). The overall sound on this album is acoustic and well refined featuring an original blend of folk, classical and progressive rock influences. In the early seventies the band got involved in politics and kept tight links with the left-wing protest movements and lyrics on this work reflect the commitment of the band. "Un biglietto del tram" is, in fact, a concept album based on some events of the last period of World War II and celebrates the Italian Resistance movement against the Nazi-Fascists.

The opener "Stalingrado" (Stalingrad) is an epic track about the battle of Stalingrad that was fought between 17th July 1942 and 2nd February 1943 and marked a turning of the tide of war in favour of the Allies (this battle is also the subject of a good film directed by Joseph Vilsmaier in 1993). Old waltzes and Cossack dances clash while lyrics describe hunger, debris, bombardments and roads paved with blood while the city resists like iron. Hope rises as the news of the Nazi-Fascist defeat spreads out and some workers celebrate the victory drinking a toast... "On its frozen way the swastika knows it / From now on it will find Stalingrad in every city...".

"La fabbrica" (The factory) is a lively track about the strikes that started on 5th March 1943, after the news of Stalingrad victory reached Northern Italy. While the Italian "betrayed" troops are dying in the mud in Russia along Don river, in some Italian factories blue collar workers begin their fight against the regime... "As in Stalingrad the Nazis crumbled / At the red Breda factory on strike the Fascists rushed away...".

Next comes the ironic, almost caustic "Arrivano gli americani" (The Americans are coming). It describes the arrivals of the American troops... "Statues sweat blood, they talk inside the churches / They announce a big miracle from the hereafter... The Americans are coming as Garibaldi's troops from Mars...". There was a strong anti-Americanism feeling in the left wings movements during the seventies (and in the extreme right wing as well) and here Americans are depicted in words and music almost as looney tunes characters, as bringers of consumerism and capitalism, as "Chocolate Kings" giving away "bars of freedom" as if they were bars of chocolate...

"8 settembre" (September, 8) is sad and dark. After a delicate acoustic intro, lyrics describe a man walking along the rail-road singing a song to sooth his tension. He has thrown away his uniform and now he tries to go home. All is lost, the Italian army melted and the country is broken. The north is under the control of the Germans, from the south the allies are coming and the king has fled. It's 8th September 1943, a gloomy day for Italy that marks the beginning of a bloody civil war between Fascists and Anti-Fascists. "In a village the Death has come wearing the uniform... In the square a smothered scream rises / They were killed like dogs with a sign hanging on their neck: Partisans!".

"Nuvole a Vinca" (Clouds in Vinca) is another beautiful and melancholic track about a Nazi- Fascists massacre of helpless civilians suspected to support the partisans. In Vinca, a village in the Alpi Apuane mountains, in Tuscany, on 24th August 1944, Nazi troops and Fascists brigades killed 174 inhabitants, most of them were just women and children. Lyrics describe a breathtaking landscape, in the sky there are black and white clouds, old peasants are able to look at them and predict the weather... Then a black cloud comes up the bends of the mountain and it brings nothing but pain... "They do the shooting, damned butchers! / What a good aim, they never miss the target!".

The evocative "Dante di Nanni" is a kind of haunting ghost dance. Dante Di Nanni was a partisan who died as a hero, fighting as a lion against the Nazi-Fascists who surrounded the house where he was sheltered. But his ghost is still walking around in the city, untamed... "I met him one morning on the subway / He was bleeding hard and smiling... Thirty years have passed since the day he was killed / It took hundred men to have him... And they can't feel safe yet / Because they know he's still strolling around, Dante Di Nanni". "Gianfranco Mattei" is tense and proud and features strong classical influences. Gianfranco Mattei was an university professor who contributed to the partisans attacks by making bombing devices. He was arrested by the Nazi-Fascists thanks to a spy and committed suicide in his cell to avoid revealing the names of his companions under the pressure of tortures... "Gianfranco Mattei, your science went too far / Gianfranco Mattei, you will never go back on your teaching post... Gianfranco Mattei, your tribune is always there / Gianfranco Mattei, your lesson won't get lost".

"La sepoltura dei morti" (The burial of the dead) is a melancholic ballad dealing with fading memories... "April is really cruel / Lilac flowers blossom upon the dead / Winter has buried their souvenir leaving nothing but pity / And now a life is just a yellowed face, just a photograph / Death doesn't worth even the price of the newspaper / That you read and then throw away...".

Last track "Un biglietto del tram" (A tram ticket) is a kind of ghastly waltz where some ghosts of victims of the Nazi-Fascists still asking for justice seem to move through the indifference of busy people. One of them makes you a present, a tram ticket to go back in Piazzale Loreto, a place full of dark memories. In 1944 the Nazi-Fascists killed there fifteen partisans and exposed their corpses on the square. In 1945 in Piazzale Loreto were exposed the corpses of Benito Mussolini, his lover Claretta Petacci and other members of the National Fascist Party...

On the whole an excellent album and an interesting way to explore obscure memories coming out from recent Italian history. In my opinion this is the best Stormy Six's album. At the end of the 70's the band had prolific collaboration with foreign artists and Stormy Six were one of the five founder members of the RIO-Rock In Opposition international movement, that gave them the opportunity to play all over Europe and their music became more experimental but in recent reunions they went back to their roots and "Un biglietto del tram" still represents the band at their best.

Review by octopus-4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
4 stars This is the first true prog album of Stormy Six. It can be considered RPI or Prrog-Folk, as RIO has still to come in 1974. The folk element is enhanced by the violin that's the principal soloist throughout the whole album.

The songs are IMO excellent prog-folk and as in their previous albums the lyrics are the most important thing, so instead of speaking of the great instrumental final of "Nuvole a Vinca" with its great violin or the little attempt to "experiment" of "8 Settembre", I think is important speaking of what the subjetcs of the songs are.

This is an album about the last years of the second world war that starts with "Stalingrado" (Stalingrad). It has been one of the bloodiest battles of the human history and has been the beginning of Hitler's defeat. There's a mention to the Italians who were fighting together with the Nazis and have been left back. After the German defeat they had a long retreat in the cold Russian winter which caused more casualties than the battle itself.

"La Fabbrica" (The Factory) is about an episodeat the beginning of 1943. The fascists are still ruling and the workers of a factory in Turin decide to strike. The fascists attempted a repression but the workers were so many and so "committed" that the fascist squads had to retreat.

"Arrivano Gli Americani" is a little sarcastic. When the American troops desembarked in the South of Italy they were acclaimed as savers (and they were). The sarcasm is about the fact that the Catholic Church tried to describe them as "Sent by the Virgin Mary after all our prayers". The same Catholic Church that 20 years before had helped the fascists in getting the power. A nice sentence is "Americans, Martian Garibaldines throw tablets of freedom". It was probably as the people was seeing them. The reference to Garibaldi is because they followed the same path from South to North as Garibaldi about ine century before.

"8 Settembre" (Sept, 8th) is one of the most tragic dates of the recent Italian history. The fascist government has been deposed and the General Badoglio negotiates secretly the armistice. The Italian army is totally disbanded and not informed and when the Nazis decide to revenge after what they consider a betrayal the Italian soldiers didn't defend. It's since that date that the Nazis start killing and deporting every soldier that they find and destroying entire towns including of course the civilians.

"Nuvole di Vinca" is about one of those episodes. A farmer sees the Nazis coming to Vinca and tries to alert the people but he fails and all are closed into the town's church then the Nazis shoot them all leaving no survivors.

"Dante di Nanni" is a former soldier become partisan that who was able to stop a platoon of more than 100 Nazis and fascists for more than three hours, killing many of them fighting all alone from a ladder. Instead of using the last bullet for himself he raised up from the balcony and shot one hidden gun on the top of a church. After then he was waiting to be shot but the Nazis were so surprised to realized that only one man was able of that and they gave him enough time to raise his fist, cry "Long life to Italy" and fall down from the balcony.

"Gianfranco Mattei" is another paartisan. He committed suicide in the jail of Via Tasso in Rome to avoid revealing the names of his mates under torture.

"La Sepoltura dei Morti" (Dead's Burial) and "Un Biglietto del Tram" are the unhappy ending. The war is gone but the consequences are not. Even taking a bus to go to Piazzale Loreto where the corpses of Mussolini and other big names of the fascist party are exposed is not enough to ill the wounds that the war and the fascism have left.

From a musical point of view this is an excellent album with a strong concept. I have just spotted that another reviewer has detailed the tracks as I've done, also better than me, I think. So if you want to go more in depth click on the album title and read also Andrea's review. 4 stars for me.

Latest members reviews

4 stars EXCELLENT! But beware! this is NOT your typical prog album. More like a prog-folk type album. Somehow the songs are catchy as hell and even though they are simple there is an under-current of things going on. Do not expect long instrumental passages or very complex music. It is more like a per ... (read more)

Report this review (#110710) | Posted by | Sunday, February 4, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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