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Franco Battiato

Rock Progressivo Italiano

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Franco Battiato Come Un Cammello In Una Grondaia album cover
2.35 | 13 ratings | 4 reviews | 8% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1991

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Povera Patria (3:44)
2. Le Sacre Sinfonie Del Tempo (3:44)
3. Come Un Cammello In Una Grondaia (3:31)
4. L'Ombra Della Luce (4:52)
- Richard Wagner :
5. Schmerzen (2:50)
- Johann Paul Aegidius Martin :
6. Plaisir D'Amour (3:56)
- Johannes Brahms :
7. Gestillte Sensucht (5:48)
- Ludwig Van Beethoven :
8. Oh Sweet Were The Hours (3:39)

Total time 32:04

Line-up / Musicians

- Francesco Battiato / vocals, composer (1-4), arranger (1-4,7,8)

- Antonio Ballista / grand piano, orchestra direction (5,6)
- Filippo Destrieri / keyboards, computer
- Gavyn Wright / violin
- Roger Chase / viola
- Anthony Pleeth / cello
- Ambrosian Singers Of London / chorus vocals (8)
- John McCarthy / choir direction (8)
- Astarte Orchestra Of London
- Giusto Pio / orchestra direction (1-4,7,8)
- Felix Mottl / orchestration (5)
- Hector Berlioz / orchestration (6)

Releases information

Artwork: EMI Creative Service

LP EMI ‎- 66 7981211 (1991, Italy)

CD EMI ‎- 090 7981212 (1991, Italy)
CD EMI ‎- 50999 522410 2 4 (2008, Italy) Remastered by Roberto Barillari

Thanks to andrea for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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Buy FRANCO BATTIATO Come Un Cammello In Una Grondaia Music

FRANCO BATTIATO Come Un Cammello In Una Grondaia ratings distribution

(13 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(8%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(8%)
Good, but non-essential (54%)
Collectors/fans only (31%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

FRANCO BATTIATO Come Un Cammello In Una Grondaia reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by andrea
2 stars There's no trace of rock in this album... Battiato's interest in classical music here is almost overwhelming: no drums nor guitars in the line up, just piano, strings and orchestra... The result is not completely convincing and at length this work could seem a little bit pretentious...

The opener "Povera patria" (Poor Fatherland) begins with a delicate arpeggio of piano and the soaring voice of Franco Battiato... "Poor Fatherland! Crushed by the abuses of power of some infamous people / Who don't know what decency is..." Lyrics deal with the difficult social and political situation of Italy in that period and draw almost a kind laic prayer... A great track, but in my opinion the rest of the album is not at the same level...

The following three tracks are not bad... "Le sacre sinfonie del tempo" (The sacred symphonies of the Time), "Come un cammello in una grondaia" (Like a camel in a gutter pipe) and "L'ombra della luce" (The shadow of the Light) are quiet and mystical although rather sad... "I know that behind every violence there's the Evil / If I were a little bit shrewder I would avoid temptations / The sky weighs like lead tonight / How many pains and useless sufferance..."

The last four tracks are classical lieder interpreted by Battiato... "Schmerzen" (Richard Wagner), "Plaisir d'amour" (Johann Paul Aegidius Martin), "Gestillte Sehnsucht" (Johannes Brahms) and "Oh sweet were the hours" (Ludwig Van Beethoven) in my opinion are frankly boring: when Battiato sings in German, French and English his pronunciation is not perfect (just to use an euphemism)... Probably his interpretation was intended to be an "hommage" to the classical composer, but here it risks to seem a kind of "profanation"...

In the whole an album recommended only for Battiato's die hard fans...

Review by memowakeman
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Sometimes what you feel about the album and the rating may be different, i remember an old thread where people said how come a reviewer state an album is good while the rating was 2 stars, the answer is simple, because 2 stars means collectors and only fans, it doesn`t say "bad nor terrible". I am saying that because this time i am experiencing that, this album is very enjoyable for me, i could listen to itseveral times and its nice, but i would only recommend it for fans of Battiato career.

I am far from being an expert of Franco Battiato history or career, so i am not the right person to talk about him as a reference point, anyway, i could warn you that this artist has passed through different phases, if you are new into his music, you will notice that "Fetus", "Clic", "Battiato" and this album (just making a bad comparision, for instance) are all of them very different from each other, some of them showing a clear rock element, making some progressive moments, and others like this (and as Andrea Parentin pointed out in his review) have no rock element within the music; in some cases you can enjoy all the artist`s phases, no matter the commercial success or the lack of your favorite element on it, you just enjoy them, that`s it. Right now, i find myself to be involved in that case, though i am sure there might be an album by him that i wont like, so far i DO enjoy all of his albums i`ve listened, some more than others, naturally, but that is what makes better an artist, you can like it no matter the difference between one album to other.

Well let`s talk about the album itself, this one i got it in a local store but i wasn`t meaning to buy it, actually i had never heard this title before, but when i saw it and also the price was nice, i decided to buy it and i dont regret of that. This album features 8 sweet ballads which actually may be pretty similar to each other, all of them are short songs and the album`s lenght reaches only 32 minutes.

There are no guitars, nor bombastic keyboards, not even drums so you can imagine this album is really soft and with no prog rock element at all, however, you will find some pleasant moments led by Franco`s melancholic vocals which in some moments causes the feeling of either sadness or depression, i wish i could learn Italian faster in order to understand the whole lyrics, i am sure that would make a better listen, though.

There also are no outstanding moments, as i said above, the songs are pretty alike, so is the atmosphere and instrumentation, worht mentioning is the fact that this album features an orchestra, which can be noticeable in track 5 "Schmerzen" which i believe is sung in German, this is one of my favorite moments along with the first song "Povera Patria" which to my ears is beautiful. I am used to review song by song, but in some albums i think it is not necessary, i could say that this album is divided in 2 parts, the first 4 songs which are sung in Italian and which are very alike, and the last 4 songs which are tracks inspred by classical composers and sung in different languages.

As the lenght of this album is short, sometimes i have listened to it 2 or 3 times in a row, i enjoy it, but i am sure the majority of you may find it completely boring and with no sign of enjoyment, that is why i will give it 2 stars, because its only for fans and collectors, if you are one of them, then try it and enjoy it, or not.

Review by octopus-4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
2 stars A Persian scientist of the XII Century was used to say "I live like a camel into a gutter" to show how is language was inadequate to speak of science. This is where the album's title is from. The cover is a paint of Battiato himself who has signed it with his arabic nickname.

It's a very short album as almost all in his production with 4 "minimal" songs on the A side and the arrangement of 4 lieders on the B side.

If the four songs can't be considered as classical music, all the instrumentation is classical and also the melodies have an operistic touch. Of the four the best is the last: "L'Ombra Della Luce" (Light's Shadow) both as music and lyrics.

The B side is classical music, with Battiato singing in German on themes of Wagner and Brahms , in Engllish on Beethoven and in French on the lieder of the less known (at least by me) Johann Martin.

This album can be seen as a prelude to Battiato's big opera "Gilgamesh" and had an unexpected "quite" good result in terms of sales.

From a progressive point of view it's not much interesting and I have to say that even as classical music I've heard better things. This album falls in the same "twilight zone" of the opera written by Roger Waters "Ca Ira": not enough rock and not enough classical so that everybody is disappointed.

My rating is not going to change the average.

Review by jamesbaldwin
3 stars With this Lp Franco Battiato ends his commercial pop phase and inaugurates a cultured phase, which is expressed in this case with a piano and orchestra music directed by the faithful Giusto Pio. There is no rock music here, no guitar no drums, nothing. Only classical music: piano, strings, orchestra.

In Italy this record became famous for the first song, "Povera Patria" (Poor Fatherland), which shook consciences at a time when the political life of the nation was at a turning point, in fact Battiato with this song represents the mood of the population for the crisis political, moral and economic that would bring a political revolution in Italy, with the end of the Catholic party and the end of socialist and communist parties because of corruption, which in addition to being a political and judicial problem had also become an economic problem because the public works in Italy they had suffered the consequence. Battiato in this text sings:

"Poor homeland crushed by the abuses of power Of infamous people who do not know what modesty is They believe themselves to be powerful and what they do is all right And everything belongs to them Among the rulers how many perfect and useless buffoons This country is devastated by pain But they do not give you a little regret Those bodies on the ground without more heat? It will not change will not change It will not change, maybe it will change...

But how to excuse the hyenas in stadiums and newspapers? In the mud sinks the boot of the pigs I am a little ashamed of it and it hurts me See a man as an animal It will not change will not change Yes that will change, you will see that it will change...

We can hope that the world will return to more normal quotas May he contemplate the sky and the flowers That one no longer speaks of dictatorships If we have a little more to live Meanwhile, spring is slow to arrive....."

The "boot of the pigs" is Italy (in fact it has a geographic shape similar to a boot). The following three songs are good but not at the same level of Povera Patria. "Le Sacre Sinfonie del Tempo" (The Sacred Symphonies of the Time), is more quiet. "Come un Cammello in una Grondaia" (Like a Camel in a Gutter Pipe) is fast and lively. "L'ombra della Luce" (The Shadow of the Light) is like a lullaby, but a requiem lullaby... anyway, after Povera Patria, it is the best. With this song end Side A. A good side.

Side B includes four classical lieder, sung in foreign languages: "Schmerzen" (by Richard Wagner), "Plaisir d'amour" (by Johann Paul Aegidius Martin), "Gestillte Sehnsucht" (by Johannes Brahms) and "Oh sweet were the hours" (by Ludwig Van Beethoven). These songs are not remarkable and they sound a little bit boring. Maybe the best is "Plaisir d'amour". The pronunciation of Battiato is no good. Side B not convinces and seem to me pretentious.

Overall, the album is discreet. Vote 7+. Rating: Three stars.

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