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STORIA DI UN MINUTO

Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM)

Rock Progressivo Italiano


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Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM) Storia Di Un Minuto album cover
4.38 | 853 ratings | 60 reviews | 57% 5 stars

Essential: a masterpiece of
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Studio Album, released in 1972

Songs / Tracks Listing

Side 1
1. Introduzione (1:10)
2. Impressioni di Settembre (5:44)
3. E' Festa (4:52)
4. Dove... Quando... (Parte I) (4:08)

Side 2
5. Dove... Quando... (Parte II) (6:00)
6. La Carrozza di Hans (6:46)
7. Grazie Davvero (5:52)

Total Time: 34:34

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Franz Di Cioccio / drums, Moog, aggeggi, vocals
- Franco Mussida / electric & acoustic guitars, 12-string guitar, mandoloncello, vocals
- Mauro Pagani / flute, ottavino, violin, vocals
- Giorgio Piazza / bass, vocals
- Flavio Premoli / organ, piano, mellotron, harpsichord, piano a puntine, moog, vocals

Releases information

LP Numero Uno-ZSLN 55055-Ita (1972)

CD Crime/King K32Y2180 (1988, Japan)
CD RCA/BMG ND 74059 (1989, Italy)
CD RCA/BMG V.130.006 (1990, Brazil, 90)
CD Si-Wan Records SRMC1009 (199?, Korea)
CD RCA/BMG 74321 765422 (2001, Italy, digipack gold)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to NotAProghead for the last updates
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PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI (PFM) Storia Di Un Minuto ratings distribution


4.38
(853 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(57%)
57%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(31%)
31%
Good, but non-essential (8%)
8%
Collectors/fans only (2%)
2%
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)
2%

PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI (PFM) Storia Di Un Minuto reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Folk
4 stars 4.5 stars really!!!

PFM's debut SDUM (Story a minute long) must certainly rank among the best "premiŔres ouvres" in the music world (and certainly of Italy with QVL and PDP's respective debut) ever published and unlike many other such works, it had the chance of wide public notice. But in fact of experiences, these fives were no rookies at all, and had way more experience than their average competition. Recorded in late 71 and early 72, SDUM was released early 72 and obviously they had heard some of the UK canons of the genre such as KC, ELP, GG and even Genesis whom had toured for the first time in their country. The album has a superb contrasting gatefold artwork, hinting at dark (night at the back) and bright (day at the front of the album) history that obviously lasts more than a minute since it seems to come down from prehistory (the inner gatefold), but on galactic time, man's history is about a minute's time.

After the short self-explanatory Introduzione, (which I find a good condensÚ of what PFM is about), the group's best known track comes in triumphantly, taking its inspiration between KC's debut (the drumming could be Giles') and ELP's Lucky Man, but adding a typically pompous Italian slant. Starting on sizzling guitar riff Festa could've been an early 70's British heavy prog song (ala Atomic Rooster) if it had an organ instead of moog answering the riffs, but soon enough a piccolo and weird Focus-like vocals interrupt the reverie and the madness continues, with the mellotron holding the centre of the debate.

One of the rare real critics I have for this album is the way they divided the album centrepiece over the two sides of the vinyl, but this less a problem on the Cd. Dove Quando's first movement starts in typical PFM fashion, having those soft vocals over mostly acoustic music that is close to classical music (at times) The second part is an instrumental expansion of the musical themes developed in its first movement, but dares pushing a little jazz in the arrangements. And a bit later going wild in the call and response. Both Han's Car and Thanks are excellent tracks that are again within the realm of the music developed on the A-side of the album.

Rumours has it that these seasoned veterans chose to play this album live in the studio and I can easily believe it as it's got an exciting feel to it that other PFM albums don't. And if this was indeed true (live in studio), why the hell didn't they apply the same treatment to the patchy PUA and the soporific LIDN.

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#15792) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, February 19, 2004

Review by loserboy
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars This is another absolutely essential Italian progressive jem from the '70's. "Storia Di Un Minuto" contains some of PFM's finest moments and stands alone as perhaps thier most notable release ever. This masterpiece is full of great songs and musicianship with some of the most memorable songs of the '70's. This would certainly rank up there on the scale of most popular Italian prog releases.

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Send comments to loserboy (BETA) | Report this review (#15795) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, March 13, 2004

Review by Fitzcarraldo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars PFM and Italian Progressive Rock are almost synonymous; the band is often used as a benchmark against which other Italian bands are measured ("Do they sound like PFM?"). This is understandable, as PFM were in a class of their own. The musicianship and consummate songwriting is immediately evident on this, their first album.

"Storia Di Un Minuto", "Per Un Amico" and "L'Isola Di Niente", the first three PFM Italian albums, are all Progressive Rock classics. In fact I also like the Anglicised versions of these ("Photos Of Ghosts" and "The World Became The World") plus quite a bit of PFM's later music too, even though the band developed a more jazzy and pop sound and became less Progressive.

The music on this album is so melodious, with oodles of acoustic guitar, piano, synthesizer, Mellotron and organ. Not forgetting bass, drums, flute and violin. The sounds from these instruments are weaved together expertly and provide a joyous musical texture. Frankly, this music sounds so good I couldn't care less what genre of music it comes from.

I like all the tracks very much, but the more well-known are 'Impressioni di Settembre', '╚ Festa' and 'La Carrozza Di Hans', these becoming the band's anthems at concerts by all accounts. No wonder, as they are superb. I marvel at how 'together' each track sounds. '╚ Festa' (which could be translated as "it's a party", "it's party time" or "it's festivity") is almost onomatopoeic: it's so vivacious, so infectious that I put it on sometimes just to get a lift. Great bass, guitar, keyboards, drums and flute. 'Grazie Davvero' is also a favourite of mine, with calm parts, big-band sounding parts, great acoustic guitar, and melody, melody, melody.

I can't really say which other bands, if any, the music reminds me of, although it does feel very Italian in style and there are definitely some reminders of classical music, perhaps baroque, plus Italian country tunes. I like the way the music is constructed: there are many changes in melody, tempo and mood in each track.

'╚ Festa' plus the tracks from the band's second album "Per Un Amico" were rehashed with English lyrics (except 'Il Banchetto', which stayed in Italian) by Pete Sinfield for the PFM album "Photos Of Ghosts", released by ELP's Manticore Records and which is perhaps better known outside Italy. So if you are familiar with "Photos of Ghosts" you will recognise '╚ Festa' on "Storia Di Un Minuto" instantly, and you should be delighted to hear for the first time the band's anthem 'La Carrozza Di Hans' (I like so much the calm interludes using acoustic guitar, vocals and organ). The original vocals in Italian on all these songs are very pleasant indeed.

Even though the album came out in 1972 the music does not sound at all dated. At only 34 minutes, it's over all too quickly but, as with PFM's other albums, I get up feeling invigorated. In my opinion this album is a classic and I unreservedly recommend it to you. I cannot give this album anything other than 5 stars. Don't hesitate to get it.

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Send comments to Fitzcarraldo (BETA) | Report this review (#15797) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, July 10, 2004

Review by Tony R
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
5 stars 5 Star Masterpiece-no doubt at all. Buy this album and cherish it with its two siblings "Per Un Amico" and "L'isole Di Niente".Right up there with the best Genesis in my view! First up,most reviewers seem to fall into two camps:English lyrics or Italian lyrics? Me,overall I prefer the Italian originals as the vocalist seems to struggle with the English ones,which is by no means a criticism.

PFM throw every "Prog" instrument into the mix to wonderful effect. Acoustic guitar, flute,Moogs and Mellotrons, and violin. It all blends so fantasticaly well,with wonderful melodies and moods.Magical.

Standouts, if you can call them standouts on an album this good:E Festa-a riotous, joyous, bombastic workout with its infectious keyboards and anthemic hooks. Impressioni di Settembre is beautiful and a masterpiece of 70's prog meets classical subtlety - this track is so wonderful. Heck, the two Dove Quando tracks are brilliant too and so is La Carrozza di Hans.

At 34 minutes the album is short but perfectly formed and as other reviewers have noted - it all still sounds so fresh. The songwriting and performance are right out the top drawer- definitely one to own and show off!

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Send comments to Tony R (BETA) | Report this review (#15806) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, May 28, 2005

Review by NJprogfan
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Pastoral, symphonic Italian masterpiece. To think that this was their first album and they used not just the basic guitar, bass and drums but flutes, violin, some brass and the mighty melotron is just incredible. And speaking of the melotron, they use it for dramatic effect as well as King Crimson and Genesis. Song-wise, there isn't one over seven minutes but they use every second magnificently. Take "E-festa" for example, for a song under five minutes, it incorporates numerous time changes, uses many instruments, yet rocks and is extremely memorable, if it's not one of the greatest prog songs under five minutes you'll have to prove it. "Storia di un Minuto" and the next two albums by PFM are at the pinnacle of symphonic prog rock, wholely original, beautiful, and essential. For those who want to try out the Italian scene, give it a spin and tell me you're not impressed. A no-brainer five star album.

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Send comments to NJprogfan (BETA) | Report this review (#37039) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, June 20, 2005

Review by erik neuteboom
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars The debut album "Storia di un minuto" has strong echoes from early King Crimson, especially the 'feminine' side. In general the seven compositions (all around the 5 minutes) contain beautiful and mellow climates featuring lots of acoustic guitar, soaring keyboards and warm vocals, interfered by bombastic Mellotron drenched eruptions and fat synthesizers. At other moments you can hear shifting moods with fiery electric guitar and swinging rhythms. The highlight is the track "Dove-Quando Part Two" delivering a great variety and a wide range of instruments, from flute, piano and violin to organ and electric guitar. IT'S ONLY 34 MINUTES BUT I PREFER QUALITY ABOVE QUANTITY, THIS IS A CLASSIC ALBUM SO I CONTINUE THE FIVE STAR PARTY!!

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Send comments to erik neuteboom (BETA) | Report this review (#39525) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, July 15, 2005

Review by Atkingani
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
5 stars 1975 was a great year for me: just entering my 18th, becoming officially an adult (according to Brazilian laws), getting my driver's license, being able to go to wherever I wanted, starting the University, etc. I'm quite sure that it was also in 1975 that I realized that the music I'd listened to for a couple of years until then was named progressive. It was the year I met PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI.

I believe that the 2 first PFM's albums were released in Brazil in the previous year although I wasn't aware, but when I got into them a new world flourished for me. Then, progressive was not an exclusivity of English-speaking bands and the Italian language fitted very well for the genre: some mediaeval spelling mixed with the tongue's modern sweetness gave a special flavor to the genre. Hearing "Storia Di Un Minuto" was and still is a great experience - a fantastic one when I remember my first time.

We didn't know at the time but now we know clearly that PFM line-up was outstanding: Mussida is a great guitar player, many times overlooked when compared with other guitarists; Di Cioccio, a splendid drummer furtherly to become a successful and charismatic front man; Pagani and Premoli, both skilful and talented and the forgotten Piazza, a fair bass player - his later replacement by Djivas added even more quality to the band. This gathering of craftsmanship helped to bring Italian prog to a deserved front row and to place PFM among the most expressive actors in the prog scene.

The general production is fair specially if one considers this to be the first band album (in fact, PFM existed previously with a different name). For some reason, even do not knowing the album content there's a feeling that we are facing a great work - more or less as we feel with King Crimson's first output. Opening track, properly named 'Introduzione' starts in a lazy manner only to give room to a powerful final section that acts like a really overture for the following songs.

'Impressioni di Settembre' is now a classic prog song and not only in Italy; the way the theme is developed bears the characteristic which shall be a kind of PFM's trademark: a slow and peaceful beginning followed by a grandiloquent and majestic core. Voice, guitars and keyboards work together to convey the listener to an astral voyage, a pastoral-like progressive symphony; all spiced by continuous drops of soft flute and heavy drumming.

'╚ festa' shows PFM's rock face in a grand mood. I'd prefer to hear this track as the album finisher (or at least, a reprise) - just like they generally do when in concert. The song is really a feast, a delightful banquet, irrigated by magnificent instrument playing.

'Dove. Quando. (parte I)' has doubtlessly one of the most beautiful and progressive intros I had the opportunity to listen to; amazing and astonishing. The song itself is a tasty ballad dominated by flute and acoustic guitars. The singing in Italian adds an extra charm to this bucolic and gorgeous theme.

'Dove. Quando. (parte II)' is really a different song, sharing with previous and homonymous track some chords and the general theme. During 6 precious minutes the hearer is carried through diverse natures: jazz, classical, a bit rock and folk - all instrumental. The result is superb.

'La carrozza di Hans', another classic, is the great overall progressive moment of the album. Everything works in a great level but the guitar solo, the tempo changes, the hard passages, the fusion contribute largely for the song grandiosity, giving it epic contours.

'Grazie davvero', the finishing track, is also the most Italian-style song - PFM should never forget their roots: the peninsular smell is pleasantly omnipresent. Grazie, PREMIATA.

Some could say, and I agree partially, that PFM was influenced by other progressive bands, specifically those from Britain, however this album is unique since it shaped not only band's particular style but also helped greatly to give the final weaving to what we presently call Italian prog; consequently, a MASTERPIECE. Final rating: 5.

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Send comments to Atkingani (BETA) | Report this review (#74679) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Review by andrea
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars When PFM released their first album, all the members of the band were already experienced musicians and their live performances were excellent. So, according to the band, they chose to record "Storia di un minuto" playing "live in studio" to keep the freshness of their concerts and the result was a "fresh" and very personal blending of progressive rock, classical influences and Italian folklore, powerful and delicate in the meantime.

The first track "Introduzione" is just a short introduction with reminiscences of King Crimson that leads to "Impressioni di settmbre" (September's Impressions), probably the best known PFM's song. Still echoes "from the Court of the Crimson King", while the suggestive lyrics written by Mogol "paint" the feelings of a man "looking for himself" in the countryside on a foggy September's morning. "How many dew-drops around me / I'm looking for the Sun but I can't find it / The country is still asleep, maybe not / It's awake, it's staring at me, I don't know / Already the smell of the soil, smell of grain / Comes up slowly towards me / And life beats softly in my chest / It breaths the fog, I think to you / How much green all around here and even further / The grass seem almost a sea / And my thoughts fly lightly and go away / I'm almost afraid they get lost... But in the meantime the Sun is leaking through the fog / As always the day will be!". The instrumental refrain is really catchy, with the powerful sound of the moog in the forefront, "Ó la Emerson Lake & Palmer" (according to the band, "Lucky Man" was really a source of inspiration for this track). The album version is slightly different and more dilated if compared to the single version that you can usually find in the anthologies (for instance in "Prime Impressioni" or "Gli anni settanta"). In 1973 "Impressioni di settembre" was released in English as "The World Become The World", with lyrics by Peter Sinfield. But I prefer by far the original version!

"E' festa" is another outstanding track. It's a kind of joyful and frenzy "Rock- Tarantella" almost completely instrumental with a short vocal part. "As always that's the feast of a light bird that keeps on flying." Here elements of Italian folklore are blended with classical influences. The English version of this song was released on "Photos Of Ghosts" as "Celebration", though in my opinion the Italian version is better.

The first part of "Dove. Quando." (Where. When.) is a dreamy and delicate ballad about a man longing for his sweetheart. The inspiration for the music comes from XV century and the shy vocals get along very well with melody and lyrics. "Where do you live? Where are you? / Just inside of me / What are you doing? How do you look? / Just as me / Inventing you here and there is an old game by now / It's already knocking the hurry of you. What would I do my love, what smile will you have? / From your ayes and noes what will I learn? / Serene princess from Heaven who will be mine / It's already knocking the hurry of you.". In the second part, completely instrumental, the band develop the theme of the first part trying to blend their classical influences with jazz and rock and the result is definitely good.

"La carrozza di Hans" (The carriage of Hans) is my favourite PFM's song. The piece is built up around the amazing guitar work of Franco Mussida. I dreamt many times to play it properly with my acoustic guitar and when I was a teenager Franco Mussida seemed to me like a merchant of musical dreams, but my guitar never turned from a "pumpkin" into a magnificent carriage like in Cinderella's fairy-tale. "Look! Search! Run far away, fly! / Hans the merchant is waiting for you, fly..." By the way, in this track there's not only amazing guitar technique to be found, but a perfect interaction between the guitar and the other instruments. The album version is slightly different from the single version, but I love them both.

The last track "Grazie davvero" (Thanks a lot) is another good track with a melancholic mood and lyrics about the rain that brings life to the world, the "ageless water" playing with the colours and sounding falling on a pond. "It's already raining / It rains softly, it rains on me. Thanks so much for living / Thanks for the day that's here / Thanks for the time that will come. It's already raining / It rains softly, it rains on me." A great finale for one of the most important albums of the Italian prog scene of the early seventies.

In the whole an album without weak moments and that helped to draw an Italian way to progressive rock. Essential in every prog collection!

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Send comments to andrea (BETA) | Report this review (#85167) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, July 30, 2006

Review by clarke2001
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars The first appearance of Moog synth on Italian record should be reason enough to have this album in your collection, not to mention the fact that it's used wisely, perfectly blended with the rest of the instruments, utilizing lovely melodies. Speaking of melodies, this album contains the sweetest flute solo that I ever heard. It's only 5 seconds long, accompanied with harpsichord, but it's wonderful. Speaking of wonderful, "Impressioni Di Settembre" is one of the most wonderful songs that I ever heard (again). Speaking of impression, the grand finale "Grazie Davvero" is very impressive, utilising fanfare-like sounds in absolutely bombastic arrangement in 3/4 time measure. Speaking of time measures, there are some simply lunatic ones (I was never able to count them) where you can hear lunatic interplay between Hammond organ and electric guitar. Speaking of electric guitar, acoustic guitar is doing even more nice parts, ranging from fast and raging to dreamy and quiet. Speaking of quiet, album opens very quietly and gradually grows in loudness until it reaches it's finest moment with extraordinary vocals. Speaking of vocals, lyrics are excellent as well. Speaking of lyrics, album's inner sleeve contains them and you suddenly realise this is a concept album. Album cover is beautiful. Drums are perfect. Production is lovely. Bass, mellotron and piano lines are remarkable. Album is full of fine of humour, but that is noticeable only if you listen to the instrument's passage very carefully. I think the guys had a great time in studio.

The only bad things about this album are a) it's way too short and b) album will cause loads of boring good reviews in years to come.

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Send comments to clarke2001 (BETA) | Report this review (#96119) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, October 28, 2006

Review by silvertree
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars What an incredible first album ! This is truly a masterpiece of Italian Progressive Rock. You have to have this next to your Genesis and King Crimson albums ! Open your ears to Italian prog. This is the best that you can get. You can then work your way in their discography. You won't regret it. This album contains real classics of progressive music with incredible musicianship. These guys surpass their British counterparts by very far.

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Send comments to silvertree (BETA) | Report this review (#98983) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Review by Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars It's hard to believe that music can get any better than the first two songs on this record. "Introduzione" opens so quietly with a vocal, flute and piano melody, only to build to a loud drum, guitar and flute soundscape. "Impressioni Di Settembre" is one of the best songs ever ! Opening with gentle vocals, guitar and flute, the melody is amazing.They really contrast the gentle and heavy well in this song. Lots of mellotron too.

More mellotron on the next song "E Festa" an uptempo song with piano, guitar, flute and drums. At 2 1/2 minutes the sound gets dreamy with vocals, then back to the uptempo passage again. "Dove...Quando...Part I" is melancholic and it features soft vocals with acoustic guitar and flute. While part 2 of this song is completely different with organ, violin and a piano melody, this is followed by a violin melody with piano. The song closes with a jazzy passage. "La Carrozza Di Hans" has many tempo and mood shifts. Great song ! "Grazie Davvero" is melancholic with acoustic guitar, although it changes throughout.

This really should be in the collection of every person who loves beautiful music.

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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#100289) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, November 24, 2006

Review by Guillermo
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars This is a very good debut album by the best Italian Progressive Rock band that I have listened to until now.

I think that this band was very influenced then by King Crimson`s early albums (particularly by "In the Court of the Crimson King", "In the Wake of Poseidon" and "Lizard"). But this band was clearly very Italian in style, with influences from Italian Classical Music composers, and I also think that most of the musicians in PFM were Classically trained musicians, so the music is very good, and the musicians too, particularly in the cases of guitarist Franco Mussida, multi-instrumentist Mauro Pagani and keyboard player Flavio Premoli. Drummer Franz Di Cioccio`s style is very influenced by Michael Giles and Andy McCulloch, both former drummers of King Crimson.

"Introduzione"and "Impressioni di Settembre" are nostalgical musical pieces with good musical atmospheres and with a vey good use of the mellotron.

"E' Festa" is clearly a very "Happy Italian Song" with very good use of the synthesizer playing melodies.

Both parts of "Dove... Quando..." are beautiful, also "very Italian" in style.

"La Carrozza di Hans" and "Grazie Davvero" are good songs, but less interesting for my taste.

Maybe if I could understand the Italian language I could enjoy this album more. But musically this album is very good, and the singers are also competent.

PFM is a fine band.

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Send comments to Guillermo (BETA) | Report this review (#111973) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I started collecting PFM when got acquainted with the music of other legendary bands such as Gensis, ELP, Yes, and Pink Floyd. So, when I listened to this album for the first time, I thought that the band was heavily influenced by Genesis and in some parts ELP and King Crimson. The only difference is probably that PFM uses violin and flute. I started the journey with PFM when I had "Chocolate Kings" album which I immediately liked it at first spin. The music of PFM is unique and it has a class of its own. The music of PFM has nice pastoral melodies combined with dynamic style from low to high points and vice versa. I also like the "Photos of Ghost" album which has a very catchy "River of Life".

"Dove...Quando...(Parte I)" has excellent acoustic guitar and horns in mellow style, continued with Part II which adds violins and pianos, resulting a music in symphonic style and surprisingly being interjected with jazzy style with flute as the lead instrument . "E' Festa" is taken from Italian version of "Celebration" (Photos of Ghost). "La Carrozza Di Hans" has pretty similar style as Genesis, especially when organ enters the scene. The inclusion of violin (which never happened with Genesis) adds an excellent nuance to the music. "Grazie Davvero" has a flavor of circus music and it has varied styles and textures that make great composition. It's really an excellent track!

Overall, this album is a MUST for those who want to explore further on progressive music as this album has become legendary by now. It has excellent songs as result of powerful songwriting and composition. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

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Send comments to Gatot (BETA) | Report this review (#120949) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, May 07, 2007

Review by Zitro
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars A classic of the Italian Progressive Rock movement in the 70s. Rarely I have heard a progressive rock band start so strong in a debut album, especially during that time. This album shows a lot of potential and the musicians being very comfortable with each other. The songs are definitively very progressive at that time, borrowing a bit of influence from bands such as ELP and King Crimson, but it really has its own identity. It sounds a bit pastoral and besides using rock instruments (including the mellotron), it uses the flute and the violin as well. The final result is an elegant, romantic and joyous Italian experience that makes you look back at an earlier time in history.

Talking of elegance and romantic moods, the song that follows the introduction tune Impressioni di Settembre has plenty of it. This is the clear highlight of the album and is my absolute favorite tune to have come from Italy. It begins with very soft acoustic guitars, flutes and some of the best vocals I have ever heard, building up to an unexpected magnificent moog synthesizer motif under an addictive groove. The second verse is a bit different and with drums, and again all of a sudden, some other moog theme appears accompained by an amazing rhythm and gorgeous vocals. The verses appear again for a brief time before the first moog theme comes again and is repeated a few times with different arrangements, including a solo in the background. The last two minutes focuses on vocal harmonies.

The other songs are of consistent quality and don't disappoint. E' Festa is a festive song with constant use of the mellotron and moog synthesizer. The song never lets go and features many time signature changes. Dove Quando is an excellent composition, beginning with elegant guitar and very mellow and timid arrangements (Parte I) and finishing in pure complex Prog fashion, blending classical music, jazz, and rock. (Parte II). La Carroza Di Hans is mostly subtle and low in volume, with nice use of acoustic guitars until a big climax arrives with great use of the violin. the closer Grazie Davvero is a more traditional (Italian) song, with the use of an orchestra, but it keeps changing tempos and themes frequently like any of the songs here.

Overall, Highly recommended to a newbie of Italian Progressive Rock. The vocals are exceptionally good and I would never like to hear them singing another language. The only big problem with this album is the short duration.

1. Introduzione (B+)

2. Impressioni di Settembre (A+)

3. E' Festa (B+)

4. Dove... Quando... (Parte I) (B+)

5. Dove... Quando... (Parte II) (A-)

6. La Carrozza di Hans (B)

7. Grazie Davvero (B-)

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Send comments to Zitro (BETA) | Report this review (#130949) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Review by fuxi
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars As so many of Prog Archives' seasoned reviewers have pointed out, this album offers proof (if proof were needed) that classic symphonic prog didn't develop in England alone. If you like early King Crimson, classic Yes and Genesis, STORIA DI UN MINUTO will be a real must. On the other hand, I don't believe this album is the masterpiece some people make it out to be.

I came to this music without preconceptions. Although I've enjoyed prog since the mid-seventies, I didn't discover PFM until this year (2007), thanks to Prog Archives recommendations, and I really believe the band now seem a little dated. Those lazy vocals on "La Carozza di Hans", for example (most probably influenced by the Beatles' WHITE ALBUM and ABBEY ROAD) sound sleep-inducing, although the band give this track an absolutely astonishing instrumental ending. "Grazie Davvero", on the other hand, sounds like an Italian take on "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band", complete with over-insistent brass section. (I well recognise the genre! In the late 1960s, Boudewijn de Groot, the Dutch version of Bob Dylan, tried similar things.) So at certain moments, you might say, PFM are very much a product of their time, or of the times that came right before them.

Other tracks, though, feature solos, sudden tempo-changes and adventurous group playing that will knock you out flat. PFM fans will know that I'm thinking especially of "Dove...Quando...(Parte 2)", which features the most exquisite playing on (among other things) piano, violin (or is it really a viola?) and flute. If anything, such music (recorded in 1971, as far as I can tell) sounds more varied and sophisticated than anything Yes or Genesis were trying to do at the time; it also runs more smoothly and remains highly enjoyable.

Overall verdict: three and a half stars.

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Send comments to fuxi (BETA) | Report this review (#132613) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, August 11, 2007

Review by Ricochet
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars The main reasons for which PFM rhymes and proliferates with the Italian Symphonic movement can be various, focusing on the strength and the fascination of the genre's language,and reasoning (incontestably) with music being a spiritual isolation, a beautiful act class and, given the band's primary ideal, a valorous and distinctive value. PFM surprise even nowadays, through music and concept, but, mainly, they share three albums, classically stamped, which reflect a giant movement's most popular and grand expression, by a small delicacy of interpretation. Does PFM, knowingly one of the best bands, torment themselves into getting an entire extent of fabulous rock and art? Absolutely not, though they do play and seek, intentionally, a clear-obscure personality, an endless caprice, fully bathed in essences, and a gullible mild sublimeness and nostalgia, on the real edge of rock and complexity.

To my shame, a imagined a lot of softness and biased ardor in Italian Symph's regular inspiration, only for one of the best such expressions (and, incidentally, one close to being my first ever experience from the entire universal-lengthen catalog) to prove me wrong. The italienesque sapience comes indeed with linguine morphs of passionate, sweet-ceramic or soporifically suave, otherwise the accent would fall on gainful dappers or gigantic tones. But PFM finds a different approach, with no stop at it, combining the sweet candor (and a quite original candid warmth) with notch and fruitful hard arrangements and artistic challenges, much to complement dynamic and suspense, under empathies and lucid vocalities. In rest, the band (and most awarding Storia Di Un Minuto plays and sings under genuine and basic treats of excellent music and extra-viral emotion. The music vibrations of this album are deceitful at times, but always masterful. The dependency is pure progressive, but also aspires and supports originality.

A work like Storia Di Un Minuto, not that heavy at all but surely more shaped than within a "minute"'s veritable splendor, is profoundly something of genius, but most especially of a major sensibility. It has most of the classic prog puzzling instrumentality, describing it with an indulgence of a careful expression. The art sounds simple, in terms of fantasy and numbness, colors and serenities. The band here consists of musical poets, who are also aggressive melomans. With a huge effort of mixing the traditional rock band weight with instruments of finesse and radical expressions (mandoloncello, ottavino, clavicembalo!!) and a contrapuntal vocal spirit (almost all the artists know to sign a bit from the tale), Storia Di Un Minuto is an album of very good inspiration, drying a lot to signal a suple supreme progressive act. My personal hero is Mauro Pagani, playing wonderful flute macro-arrangements and ample sonorities - somehow, I am also sure many will love the piquant guitar frenzy, interpreted by Franco Mussida, and di Cioccio's vocal ethereal lead. All the rock passions and lyrical impressions conserve PFM's out stand and show a soul conditioned musical act; there are full caprices of all the beloved dynamics and symphonic dialects, sensing and scoping the artistic embrace and the full demise of imperfections.

The walkthrough that follows is the easiest impression yet, since the entire album burns under a clever light of ingenuity. But it is true that each piece enchants specifically. Introduzione is a "prelude-simfonietta", with a hard climax. Impressioni di setembre is agil and tasteful, a first melodic fantasy in the album, with a grand tumultuousness of a prog deep rock rhythm, by scenic keyboards grave choruses. E' Festa is absolutely sensational, as an embalming musical play, going from sensibility till plenitude. Flawless, really, if only the vocals wouldn't oscillate so darkly. Dove...Quando... is a bipartite compositions (disturbingly cut between the two sides, if you have the LP or the vinyl), which overwhelms, under a mini-fantasy of music and complete fragrances, the surreal, the corpulent and the "tempestuoso" of the music. La Carozza di Hans is unnaturally splendid and charming, mostly loving crazy and eclectic rock fireworks, under a mindful melody and beloved heartbeat. Grazie Devvero ends with another full effect, in a constrict ensemble of movements and a graceful freedom; the orchestral-touch beholds the simple guild of the final flair.

Storia Di Un Minuto is wonderful, as a typical PFM magic-clasp, and as a simple and hallucinating classic album motive. I'd hate to say that this wouldn't be a five star grand creation, a strong and charming music and, most gently said, one of the most lucid Italian symphonic dreams, sharing a pretty immortal essence.

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Send comments to Ricochet (BETA) | Report this review (#133579) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, August 18, 2007

Review by ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars "Introduzione" is an incredible and condensed resume of this PFM debut album. Extremely quiet and peaceful.

Since I discovered the band in 1975 with "The World Became the World", I was surprised while listening to "Impressioni Di Settembre". It is actually the Italian and original of the song "The World." Both versions are rather different. This Italian one is softer, more delicate while the English one is more bombastic. It is hard to tell which one is best, but what's for sure is that "Impressioni" is the best song out of this debut album. Extraordinary melody, wonderful fluting and strong finale. One of my preferred PFM songs.

"E' Festa" is a very dynamic song that makes me irresistibly think of "Hocus Focus" released a few months before this one : same incredible beat, great instrumental part. The hardest parts are ewxquisitely combined with the sweetest and most melodic ones. A great achievement.

Both "Dove." are not of the same interest to me. While "Part I" is light, pastoral and rather tranquil, "Part II" is fully jazzy and therefore not very appealing TO ME (but the band will be rather jazz influenced on some later work).

"La Carrozza Di Hans" has fully "Crimson" / "Genesis" flavor ("In The Court." / "Trespass" albums). Scary intro and extremely sweet and pleasant piece of music. Very much like "Dove, Part I, this song is almost acoustic except for its finale during which the violin adds an original touch.

"Grazie Davvero" is a bizarre track, somewhat experimental and chaotic. Probably the most difficult one to approach. Still, it features some melodic and appealing moments.

I can hardly consider this album as a masterpiece. It is historical and rather different at the time of release ('72) but it is too much inconsistent. The best ("Impressioni", "E Festa") is balanced with the average ("Dove... Part II") or the good ("Dove... Part I", "La Carrozza Di Hans").

Seven out of ten would be the most accurate rating as far as I'm concerned. But I'll upgrade it to four thanks to the two great songs it is holding.

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Send comments to ZowieZiggy (BETA) | Report this review (#150988) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, November 15, 2007

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Dreamy beginnings of a legendary group.

As an Italian music fanatic I do love PFM but I have to say that I find the deifying of this group to be puzzling. Perhaps people consider them the essence of Italian because of their long history with many releases whereas many of their counterparts were one or two-shot bands. I personally find that many of those one-shots are much dearer to my heart than PFM, whose music may be more polished and sound closer to their English rivals, but in pursuing that sound have less of the intrinsic Italian traditional flavor I hold so dear. I'm less interested personally in hearing the Italian take on English influences than the actual unique qualities that draws me to those small groups that cooked their magnum opus straight from their heart and hometown, with little thought about what the foreign press were raving about. But that's just a personal impression not meant to diss PFM in any way. They're definitely one of the greats and Storia is a fine early Italian release. I just cringe a bit when people imply that to hear PFM/Banco/Orme is to have sufficiently sampled Italian prog...far from it. There is so much more out there than the big 3.

I agree wholeheartedly with Guigo that this and Per Un Amico should have been released together as PFM's White Album, the two go so well together. You will find much the same magic here as on the slightly more consistent Per Un Amico: Agile, thoughtful piano, great guitar work, flutes, superb arrangements/production, and very pleasant Italian vocals. "Dove.Quando part 1" is a perfect example of PFM in this era, rather mellow with wistful flute and finger-picked acoustic guitars. This album has a dreamy quality with lots of acoustic moments to counter the heavier symphonic portions. It is very well played with a good sound although as I mentioned I think Amico is a slightly more impressive overall composition. PFM newbies wishing to check out this band should start with Per Un Amico. If that works for you try this one, L'isola, Stati, and Chocolate Kings. The 2003 BMG mini is made in Europe and does not have the lyric sheet like the Japanese ones do. The sound seems good though. 3 Ż stars, a very good debut.

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Send comments to Finnforest (BETA) | Report this review (#156801) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, December 27, 2007

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Neo Prog Team
4 stars 4.5 stars really...

The legends of the Italian progressive rock scene were formed in Milan in 1970 by ex-members of a band called ''Quelli'' along with multi-instrumentalist Mario Pagani,coming from ''Dalton''.After a few gigs,PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI recorder their debut ''Storia di un minuto'',a milestone of the classic italian prog sound.Inspired by the works of GENESIS and KING CRIMSON and adding their typical mediterrenean flavor,they blended classic rock with elements from classical music and the italian tradition to present a superb work full of memorable moments,demanding orchestrations and ethereal italian vocal lines,led by nice mellotron work,smooth flute parts and delicate acoustic and electric guitars.Very close to a masterpiece of the italian and global progressive rock world and a must-have for anyone's collection!

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Send comments to apps79 (BETA) | Report this review (#159745) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, January 25, 2008

Review by LinusW
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Italian Prog Specialist
5 stars It is perfectly clear now that Italian progressive rock has a certain something. A distict flavour of southern Europe, very hard to describe in mere words, even harder when you're trying to describe it in something else than your native language. Now, since this is only my first dabble in a vast and surely varied genre of music, I might just be jumping to conclusions. But could this kind of romantic melancholy and joie-de-vivre (yes, both of them) have been born in any other place? The melancholy isn't melancholic in that dark Anekdoten-esque kind of way, the lighter, happier parts are in no way as bubbly as they tend to be with Yes. And from an outsiders view, Italian just sounds...fresh, even while just picking up the meaning of a few words here and there.

Having aired those few thoughts, music doesn't get much better than this. I put this record on late one night a couple of weeks ago, sat down in my comfy armchair with a glass of whiskey by my side. And what happened was that I couldn't get past the introduction (Introduzione, naturally), Impressioni Di Settembre and E' Festa. I just repeated them once, twice, three times before I could even continue with the rest of the album. Now, a masterpiece album for me always tend to have these characteristics. Some songs that just resonate so deeply with your soul that you feel them, physically, be it by galloping heartbeat or restless legs or not being able to resist laughing out loud, all by yourself. Storia Di Un Minuto not only meets these criterias, it surpasses them with ease.

Now what is this beast of an album if I, against my will, try to break it down musically? I see that many other reviewers cite early King Crimson and Genesis as obvious influences. I agree upon hearing a little KC, but instead of Genesis, I'd say that the biggest influence here is Jethro Tull. The early, jazzier Tull. The period from This Was to Benefit. And I can't help noticing something else, much mure subtle in there. A certain relationship to more proto-prog-like bands. Early Deep Purple comes to mind. Even some Lucifer's Friend. Harder stuff. But it's played not as a tribute, not even as an influence, no, more like as it is expressed sub-consciously. If this seems hard to follow, don't worry, it is. Better to listen and judge for yourself.

Instruments you'll find here include things such as aggeggi, dodici, mandoloncello and ottavino. Exotic names that say very little to me, but they must have a tremendous effect on the music, and certainly add more of that unique, dreamy and often laid-back feeling. I love every instrument, tone and word here. Can't single out what is best, making this the only album I've come across so far, where all instruments are played at the right moment all the time, creating the right mood and atmosphere all the time.

I realise this has rambling praise written all over it, but I hope that the reasons for it are somewhat clear, and that everyone who haven't listened to Storia Di Un Minuto will listen to it in a near future. Worth every penny, and just a little more.

//LinusW

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Send comments to LinusW (BETA) | Report this review (#164740) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, March 23, 2008

Review by obiter
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars I suppose it's always a bit artificial when you are coming to an album having listened to the later greater stuff. For a start you know the end, or at least the middle of the story before you hear the start. Therefore, you can sagely say (cut to pompous professors arguing over a brandy and cigar at the 'club'): Well, it's not per un amico: (response) Well obviously not (or no sh*t Sherlock), but I can hear the birth pangs of the classic Italian symphonic prog genre ...) yadda yadda yadda (or blah blah blah if you're from the UK).

So attempting (badly) to review the album without prejudice

The introduction is suitably mellow but then there's a sort of the Horslips meet some spaced out Italian folk proggers/Glam Rockers moment. Odd, but true: ask any Italian Irish glam-folk rockers if you don't believe me. The very short first side never really lifts me beyond that strange mediocre mix.

Flip the record and the second side opens with piano. This is a little bit more like it. Mmm overtones of Yes, we have the symphonic sound properly engaged. My question is: are they really trying to mix classical with prog? It's too brash and, for me, doesn't work. Having packed that in for a game of soldiers PFM move swiftly on to a full-on anything Tull can do we can do better track. And, hey, they pull it off! (Finbar Saunders would definitely put in a phnaar phnaar here). There's a pleasant acoustic guitar track. Maybe that's the defining characteristic about this album: dabbling with many different ideas and sounds but there does not seem to be defining band signature.

It's good but not essential to a prog collection. Maybe, if you have not listened to any PFM this is the best place to start provided that you listen to "Per un Amico" next. You will realise how good Per un Amico is and be very pleasantly surprised.

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Send comments to obiter (BETA) | Report this review (#164972) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Storia Di Un Minuto is the debut album from leading Italian symphonic prog rock band Premiata Forneria Marconi. The album was released in 1972 and is clearly influenced by some of the big european progressive rock bands from that time.

I hear a strong King Crimson influence ( Early King Crimson) where especially the mellotron waves point in that direction. There are also a very obvious influence from the Dutch band Focus which is mostly due to the use of classical inspired flute playing and early Genesis is also an influence. The big difference here is of course the Italian lyrics. The quality is very high throughout the album and Premiata Forneria Marconi really know how to vary their music to keep the listener excited all the way through the album.

The album is not very long with its 34:34 minutes but it┤s quality music all the way. Not a moment is wasted time. Songs like Impressioni di Settembre and La Carrozza di Hans are IMO extremely well written songs but all songs are great. Besides the symphonic prog tendencies there are also a bit of folk influences here and there and even a bit of jazz in Dove... Quando... (Parte II).

The musicianship is excellent and the use of violin, flute, moog and mellotron really adds some nice touches to the music. The vocals are pleasant and calm.

The production is warm and organic.

Until I listened to this album from Premiata Forneria Marconi I only knew the Chocolate Kings album which I bought in a used records store when one of the other customers said that they sounded a bit like Genesis. Storia Di Un Minuto is an excellent progressive rock album and it┤s understandable that some people regard it as a masterpiece and give it 5 star ratings. For me Storia Di Un Minuto is a deserved 4 star rating. This one is highly recommendable to fans of early seventies symphonic prog like King Crimson, Genesis and Focus.

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Send comments to UMUR (BETA) | Report this review (#181752) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, September 04, 2008

Review by poslednijat_colobar
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Essential!Great,beautiful music.The italian scene has remarkable artists and bands.So gentle and well arrange music.I can say something,about two of the songs.I heard Impressioni di settembre and E' Festa in their cover versions from my favourite band in my country Bulgaria - Formation Studio Balkanton (FSB).And I was really surprised when I began to listen to PFM and discovered that this songs are cover versions,but not real FSB's music!I was a little bit disappointed by my countryside band.But that is another thing.This album is really twin album to some of the best albums by Genesis.The harmonization works and musicianship by PFM is really perfect;with so much jazz and classical influence.At the same time you can hear so much different instrument in such a perfect musical balance.Every little song on the album is true masterpiece!

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Send comments to poslednijat_colobar (BETA) | Report this review (#184263) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars PFM is named the best Italian Progresive (RPI) band. There is their debut album right now.The music is as usual for italian neo-classical musicians very melodic and pfofessional. You can hear neo-classical pieces with some earlier rock arrangements. If you like it, I believe, this album is very strong example of it.

It's pity, but I affraid that I like more "rock" in progresive rock music. So, even understanding how high quality is this music, it doesn't take me deeply. Sorry.

I like some classical music sometimes, so , looking from that side, I realy hear plenty of beautiful harmonies and originality in this early music of PFM. But from other hand, when I listen classic, I prefer true classic, when we are speaking about rock, it will be nice to find more rock sounds there. Classic melodies, acoustic beauties, very sweet and soft sound ( all italian beauties in one place), so - what about rock there?

Too often it reminds me of popular translation of classical music to listeners, for whom real classical sound is too complex and boring. Good job, but - what about rock?

So, all in all, I think ( because of my very personal point of view) this is beautiful and original sympho - sympho - rock ( what means plenty of sympho and few rock accessories). If you like it, it's perfect example, if you prefer more rock in your prog, just leave it.

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Send comments to snobb (BETA) | Report this review (#239331) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Metal Team
3 stars If you check the prog rock page on AllMusic there is not a word about the Italian scene. There isn't even a link in the more then a 100 artists counting list. What a mistake to make on an otherwise pretty comprehensive site. No wonder that I and so many others hadn't heard about RPI in our entire lives.

Premiata Forneria Marconi is the most popular band of the scene and there are moments where that status seems deserved. They are just so sweet, emotive, creative and accessible. However, judging from the little I heard from this scene, there are bands out there that appeal more to me. I also don't find PFM albums to be entirely consistent. There's always a dip in the song writing or an experiment to digress from their basic romantic sound that doesn't feel really accomplished. I sure appreciate their willingness to take risks and progress their sound, but the result can't always convince me.

The debut is quite consistent though, the only track that feels out of place is E'Festa. It has a charming playfulness but overall it isn't very impressive and has aged pretty badly. It's decidedly less compared to the wealth of beautiful dreamy music around it. I even like the fanfare at the end.

Another reason why I prefer their debut over the second album is that I hear a much more personal sound here. On the second album, the presence of the great UK prog bands is felt much more prominently then here. This one is all gentle sounds, acoustic guitars, flutes and mellotron with at least as many campfire moments as your average Simon and Gartfunkel album. Of course PFM plays in another league where it concerns composition and musicianship, it's just that the gentle melancholy feels similar. There are some toy synths in Impressioni Di Settembre that are somehow inadequate but overall the use keys is not too disruptive.

This album only lasts for 34 minutes. Given that I could have lived without E'Festa, the album is unsatisfactorily short. Nevertheless, the 30 remaining minutes are very solid and packed with creativity. Something that is largely preferable over 80-minute albums that don't get to the point.

Now, I really wonder what further surprises this scene has in store for me.

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Send comments to Bonnek (BETA) | Report this review (#260551) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Review by Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Metal Team
4 stars The debut album from Premiata Forneria Marconi was released the same year as their breakthrough follow-up Per Un Amico but there are quite a few differences between the two releases.

Storia Di Un Minuto features a much less consistent production with uneven mixing where on one instance the music seems too quite but once the band gets into a more energetic section it becomes a bit too loud. This is of course understandable considering that it was recorded in 1972! Although Per Un Amico also has some of those difficulties I consider it a much better production which ultimately results in me playing it a lot more. It can be considered unfair because the material on both these albums has that distinct Premiata Forneria Marconi style with many of these tracks easily being interchangeable between the two releases which would even later be proven on Photos Of Ghost.

The album begins with an an introduction number where we also get to hear the first example of uneven production. No matter where I set the volume on my speakers I always have to pick up the remote and adjust it as this one minute tune progresses. Eventually I always end up lowering the volume significantly during the last 20 seconds! Fortunately the album's highlight compositions comes early in the shape of Impressioni Di Settembre and lightens the mood. It's such a beautiful composition with one of the most memorable Moog performance ever put on a studio recording.

I would assume that E' Festa is considered this album's highlight since it's the only track off this release that made it to the band's English-language re-release album a year later. Personally I never considered it as such although it's nonetheless an interesting performance. Next up is the two part Dove... Quando which I guess had to be split up due to the vinyl record's length limitations although it still doesn't explain why the compositions couldn't be moved around in order to place it all on one side. I prefer the first part of this composition slightly more because the second part is a wild instrumental number that goes all over the place and in the end feels slightly less then the sum of its parts.

I strongly recommend listening to La Carrozza Di Hans with earphones on because it definitely enhances this performance, plus you won't have to adjust the volume as much. This has to do with a great acoustic section which unfortunately is played much too quiet in comparison to the second act. There is a similar problem with Grazie Davvero which also features a distinct Brain Damage-sounding guitar riff that I just can't overlook. I realize that Dark Side Of The Moon was release a year later but no matter how I twist and turn this idea in my heard I like the Pink Floyd version better.

This album's material is well worth a high ratings that Storia Di Un Minuto has received so far but the production ruins some of the moments for me and so I shall settle for a shaky excellent addition rating.

***** star songs: Impressioni Di Settembre (5:44)

**** star songs: Introduzione (1:10) E' Festa (4:52) Dove... Quando... (Parte I) (4:11) Dove... Quando... (Parte II) (6:01) La Carrozza Di Hans (6:47) Grazie Davvero (5:52)

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Send comments to Rune2000 (BETA) | Report this review (#274355) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, March 26, 2010

Review by Flucktrot
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Just like those people in class who always got As without having to pay attention or even kiss up, PFM just make creating solid--sometimes incredible--progressive rock seem so easy. And just like these geniuses in school, not everything they did turned to gold, but they were always capable of making unique creative contributions.

Enough of the analogies--PFM is a very talented band that made some great music, starting right here in their debut. In Storia, I hear a group of musicians who are quite comfortable playing with each other, as well as playing off each other, but still left a bit on the table in the songwriting department.

Highlights for me include Impressione, E Festa and Dove. Impressione is one of those quintessential tunes, just like the opener on the following album, that set PFM apart from any other progressive band, alternating between dreamy verses and powerfully beautiful choruses, and with expertly placed flute and tympani. Simply wonderful, and the high point of the album for me.

E Festa shows a different side of the band from the rest of the album by rocking out a bit. I probably would prefer this as the album closer, but that's a minor quibble. The Dove series shows the variety of the band, with a very mellow and pastoral opening, followed by some uptempo, quasi-improvisational instrumental work. Here it's hard not to be impressed by their collective musical ability.

Due to somewhat uneven flow and quality of songs, I see this as an overly qualified 4-star album--particularly considering that this is a debut in 1972--but just short of a masterpiece. However, it's hard to imagine any progger not finding this a meaningful addition to their collection.

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Send comments to Flucktrot (BETA) | Report this review (#285995) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, June 11, 2010

Review by progrules
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Now this is prog !

Especially when compared to the successor Per un Amico this debut is even much more hard to grasp prog. I've listened to the album many times now but I'm just unable to get hold of it in any way. I still don't know exactly how good it is, I just know it's good and it's also very special.

The short opener with the logical title Introduzione is setting the tone already with several moods and styles within one minute. Second is the famous Impressione di Settembre song which sounds both accessible and intricate to me. E Festa is much more rocky all over sudden showing the diversity within PFM's possibilities. Typical seventies this one. Next up are the the Dove Quando tracks which are my favorites really. And also the best examples of what I mean in my opening lines. This is prog of the highest caliber. I mean I could get all 5 songs of Per un Amico under my belt but these two songs are true enigmas, I just don't know what to think of them, what to feel for them, they're like ghosts or something. And at the same time they secure a four star rating definitely because of that. Because this duo is what prog is about: be complex, creating incredible feeling/atmosphere and be hard to grasp. And that's what these tracks are. Truly amazing !!

The two remaining songs La Carozza di Hans and Grazie Davvero aren't the very best of this special debut but are still very much worth while and don't really diminish the value of the album's greatness. They're just less exiting and significant.

So why did I say before that the Dove Quando tracks secure the 4 stars and not 5 ? That's the crucial question here. Well, that has simply to do with my personal taste that hasn't got the right attitude to deal with Italian Prog in general. Like I also said in my review of Per un Amico: I'm glad I did the dive into these two very special and indispensable albums for any progfan. So in other words: this album scores 5 stars objectively and 3,5 for my personal taste. But I could never decide for 3 stars here simply because it's too special for that. Special and also unique are the best words to describe the two masterpieces of PFM. Don't miss out !

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Send comments to progrules (BETA) | Report this review (#303762) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Review by Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Premiata Forneria Marconi's debut album - which includes re-recorded versions of two songs from their debut single from the previous year - showcases their wonderful brand of pastoral prog. In terms of approach, Genesis is the obvious influence that I can detect - not surprising, considering that Gabriel and company had just made it big in Italy the previous year - but at the same time PFM attain a sound which Genesis themselves never quite captured on their own albums. It's a perfect blend of the acoustic, medieval-tinged music of Trespass and the more bold and brassy approach showcased on Nursery Cryme, with some jazzy interjections reminiscent of early King Crimson. Blending these elements seamlessly, PFM create an individual sound and an album unique of being considered alongside the best of their inspirations - and a perfect entry point for anyone wishing to explore the Italian prog scene. Five stars.

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Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#491059) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Review by J-Man
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Storia Di Un Minuto, the debut album from legendary Italian progressive rock band Premiata Forneria Marconi, is often regarded as a classic prog rock album as well as one of the most important releases in Italian rock music. Both of these statements are pretty difficult to argue with - the lush, pastoral sound of Storia Di Un Minuto practically defined Italian symphonic prog for years to come, and this lovely debut also managed to skyrocket to the top of the Italian album charts within the first week of its release. Premiata Forneria Marconi really struck gold with Storia Di Un Minuto, and this still stands as one of the most beautiful albums in its genre. I personally think that Premiata Forneria Marconi improved even more with their next album, but there's no denying that this is a terrific and downright essential example of Italian prog.

On this album you'll find a rather eclectic style of symphonic progressive rock that rests somewhere between early efforts from King Crimson, Genesis, and ELP. Storia Di Un Minuto is quite different from all of these bands, though, and the classically inspired instrumentation and songwriting gives Premiata Forneria Marconi a sound that was undeniably distinct during this time period. I simply love how the music is arranged; the wide array of keyboard and guitar tones, violins, and flutes always compliment each other perfectly within the context of the music, and every song is performed with high amounts of raw energy and beauty. Even this early in their career, Premiata Forneria Marconi was a group of impeccable musicians with a knack for crafting well-written and beautiful compositions.

At just under thirty-five minutes, Storia Di Un Minuto is a pretty short album, but that shouldn't be seen as an issue since all of the music here is top-notch. Songs like "Impressioni Di Settembre", both parts of "Dove...Quando...", and "La Corroza di Hans" should be seen as absolute masterpieces of progressive rock music, and there is hardly a weak moment contained within any of the other tracks. The production of Storia Di Un Minuto is also pretty great; the warm and organic sound suits the music perfectly. I do find myself reaching for the volume nob an uncomfortable amount of times since the loud parts are very loud and the quiet parts are very quiet, but it's a pretty minor complaint in the long run.

Storia Di Un Minuto was one of the albums that helped define Italian symphonic progressive rock, and it still stands today as one of the genre's most expressive musical statements. I think the band outdid themselves with Per Un Amico (released later in 1972), but this is still a very worthy purchase for any fan of PFM or symphonic prog in general. 4 stars are deserved for this beautiful and highly influential debut.

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Send comments to J-Man (BETA) | Report this review (#562878) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, November 05, 2011

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Team
5 stars PFM's masterpiece debut is the place to start for Italian Prog.

Premiata Forneri Marconi are quintessential to the Italian prog scene and their album "Storia Di Un Minuto", translated as "Story a Minute Long", is among their best compositions, and this was their debut. Every track on the album is refreshingly innovative and simply excellent music for headphones.

The band are virtuosos consisting of Franz Di Cioccio on drums, Moog, aggeggi, and vocals, Franco Mussida on electric & acoustic guitar, dodici, 12 string guitar, mandoloncello, Mauro Pagani on flute, ottavino, violin, Giorgio Piazza on bass and Flavio Premoli on organ, pianoforte, Mellotron, clavicembalo, piano a puntine, and Moog.

'Impressioni di Settembre' is a definitive highlight, with a soaring keyboard melody driving it, along with 'E' Festa', the Italian original of the 'Celebration' single. The Italian version is certainly as dynamic and energetic as the remake, and of course the music is upbeat and has a sense of fun. It is one of the best tracks for PFM and most well-known, appearing on their compilations in some form.

'Dove... Quando... (Parte I) and (Parte II)' are excellent PFM tracks. Parte I slows the pace down considerably with gorgeous flute and 12 string guitar. Cioccio's vocals are delightful and it has a lulling melody exuding beauty and memorable instrumental pieces. Parte II begins with a medieval sound with organ and violin. It breaks into Premoli's piano played fortissimo and joined by wild percussion. Pagani's violin is sumptuous and some of the best music on the album is found in this passage. The dreamscape is fractured by a fast tempo of jazz infused rhythms and flute.

After the lengthy instrumentals Italian vocals return immediately on 'La Carrozza di Hans'. There are more lush sounds of flute and ambient keyboards. The vocals are gentle and multi layered with a high falsetto range. The acoustics are well played with extraordinary finger picking prowess and soon the drums crash in to add a very strong rhythm along with beautiful violin. There are odd time changes and some inspirational melodies, showcasing the tight musicianship ranging from intricate passages to lush gentle nuances.

'Grazie Davvero' closes the album with a guitar picking motif that is so close to Pink Floyd's 'Brain Damage' that it is astonishing. The music changes to majestic blasts of brass and the vocals intensify. This caps off an essential PFM album and it earns extra credit for being a debut.

Of course the band went onto become the darlings of Rock Progressive Italiano but here is an excellent place to start, right from the beginning. The albums to follow would continue the mark of excellence and PFM would maintain a consistent influence in the 70s prog rock scene.

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Send comments to AtomicCrimsonRush (BETA) | Report this review (#613505) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, January 19, 2012

Review by Negoba
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Yummy Yummy RPI Classic

No tour of Italian Prog would be valid without PFM, and so it was that I acquired their debut album after being pretty ambivalent toward the samples I'd heard. I am not a big fan of early King Crimson or ELP, which clearly heavily influenced this disc. However, one of my biggest beefs with those bands is meandering songs and an overbloated approach. PFM, in contrast, takes the big keys and Moody Blues airiness and adds a much more economic sense of composition and monstrously better focus within each song. Once again, I prefer the 2nd generation better than the 1st in this case.

While each individual song is nicely constructed and consistent, the songs do not relate very well to each other. There is an airy COTKC track, a heavy prog track, an acoustic guitar showpiece, an overture. Each performs its specific task wonderfully. But going from track 2 to 3 it's almost as if I'm listening to a different band. And while PFM often equals or even bests their influences, those influences are often obvious and always looming over the music. Besides the Italian flavor, PFM (at least on this album) really isn't adding anything to prog in general other than great skill. (Unlike for instance Il Balletto di Bronzo's YS which has a place in the greater prog canon without consideration of origin or genre). Similarly, the vocals are beautifully delivered but not distinctive.

But now we get to the real point. These guys can play. And write. This is really good stuff. Each song is good enough to challenge the best in the prog genre. Always it is the entire band playing a piece of music, never a specific player taking over just to show technique. There is no extraneous material, and things move from idea to idea quickly. There are a LOT of musical statements on this disc.

Another excellent addition to any prog collection, but not truly essential to this listener.

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Send comments to Negoba (BETA) | Report this review (#651022) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, March 08, 2012

Review by stefro
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Some rank this 1972 album, the Italian group's debut, as even better than it's highly-praised follow-up, the magnificent 'Per Un Amico'. But they're wrong. Although undoubtedly one of the key Italian albums of that country's golden prog-rock period and filled with strong moments, 'Storia Di Un Minuto', a complex, mellifluous work, can't quite beat the glorious pastoral beauty found at the very heart of 'Per Un Amico'. Of course, there are many fans & critics who will disagree, and even for this writer it's a real close-run thing. Yet there is a darkness in 'Storia Di Un Minuto' that distracts, juxtaposing oddly with the glowing mellotronic warmth found throughout 'Per Un Amico'. One of the more accessible Italian prog-rock albums, 'Per Un Amico' carries an almost universal appeal thanks to it's soft tones and carefully-orchestrated sound, whereas it's predecessor opts for a slightly more oppressive atmosphere(especially towards the album's finale). 'Per Un Amico' simply shines, the opening song 'Appena Un Po' and the glistening title- track showcasing the group at what was arguably their creative zenith, the album's place in the gilded pantheon of all-time progressive rock classics long sealed. It is one of the few European albums(alongside the likes of Harmonium's symphonic-folk masterpiece 'Si On Avait Besoin D'une Cinquieme Saison') to consistently appear in the top ten of various prog album polls, and it is through 'Per Un Amico' that many discover the rest of PFM's material, such is the album's lure. But in the end, all this really proves is just how good 'Storia Di Un Minuto' really is. It may lack the outstanding clarity of it's sister album, yet it features many dazzling moments, especially in the gorgeous melody that underpins ' Impressioni Di Settembre', a song so good that PFM regenerated it for their 1974 album 'L'isola Di Niente' and again on the same year's English-language version('The World Became The World'). Also including the two-part mini-epic 'Dove...Quando', 'Storia Di Un Minuto' almost seems like a dry run for 'Per Un Amico', with a slightly more experimental edge becoming more-and-more noticeable with each subsequent listen. It is certainly superior to the group's later efforts, such as the bombastic 'Chocolate Kings' and the jazz-fusion influenced 'Jet Lag', and upon it's release in 1971 helped to mark the moment that Italian prog-rock really began to bloom. Of course, opinions are divided on PFM's mid-to-late seventies output, and the group certainly didn't enjoy the international success they hoped for after their move to Emerson Lake & Palmer's Manticore Records following the success of 'Per Un Amico'. They would never again make an album as significant as either of their opening pair, and despite almost losing the plot completely with some ill-advised commercial forays during the 1980's(who didn't?), they would retain a large and loyal following through the decades. As of 2010 PFM were still writing, recording and, occasionally, touring, yet the last few years have been quiet. 'Storia Di Un Minuto' is where the story began, and for a brief-but-brilliant few years at the beginning of the 1970's PFM really did produce some truly sumptuous music.

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Send comments to stefro (BETA) | Report this review (#1073587) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Review by siLLy puPPy
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars After toying with the Italian pop world and then the first proto-incarnation of I QUELLI, several core members of PFM decided to steer their new musical vehicle into the symphonic progressive arena where they decided to keep some of the melody-making pop sensibilities that actually landed them a few hits in their native Italy. STORIA DI UN MINUTO was released in 1972 with fairly instant success and hitting the top of the charts in their homeland and worldwide success wasn't far behind.

The thing that strikes me most about this debut by PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI which translates into 'Award-winning Marconi Bakery' (yeah, everything sounds better in Italian!) is that although they may have been influenced by modern progressive acts of the day such as Genesis and other symphonic acts, they are the group in all of prog that I have so far heard that seems to have incorporated the most obvious classical influences. At this stage they leaned less on rock as an influence and more on Chopin inspired piano runs, Paganini inspired violins and classical Spanish guitar to make some beautifully constructed music that clearly emphasized melody above all else. Despite being more influenced by the classical world, there are also many times when jazz, hard rock and beautiful Tull-like flute enter the picture making this something truly unique.

For me the melodic nature of this music is just so addictive that it makes me think of the perfect amalgamation of two time periods of music, namely the classical periods of yesteryear which actually encompasses several centuries and the newer more modern-day era of the 70s when this was created. This is a beautifully orchestrated and crafted masterpiece that will surely be as well-known centuries from now like the influences that inspired it. For me personally, it just gets better after every listen.

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Send comments to siLLy puPPy (BETA) | Report this review (#1135947) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, February 22, 2014

Latest members reviews

5 stars "Storia di un minuto" is Premiata Forneria Marconis debut album and was released in 1972. The album has an artistic cover with the face of a woman, some houses of a city and empty branches of a tree, everything colerful and interesting. This cover makes us expectant to what may come. And this ... (read more)

Report this review (#965991) | Posted by Dr÷mmarenAdrian | Tuesday, May 28, 2013 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This was my first foray into the RPI scene, and I definitely feel I received a very positive introduction that has motivated me to delve further into it. This album is very accessible, conveys many interesting and deep moods, has stellar musicianship, and presents strong, memorable melodies. T ... (read more)

Report this review (#949050) | Posted by Neo-Romantic | Thursday, April 25, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Storia Di Un Minuto is perhaps the strongest debut album by any band in the prog genre. Clearly these guys new what they were doing from the beginning. Musically this album is structurally diverse and has plenty of exciting tempo, mood, and style changes throughout. Also, the variety of instruments ... (read more)

Report this review (#843801) | Posted by Mr. Mustard | Tuesday, October 23, 2012 | Review Permanlink

5 stars One of my favourite albums of Italian progressive rock and I might add: one of my favourite albums ever. The spirit of early King Crimson and McDonald/Giles clearly hovers over this beautiful "Storia Di Un Minuto", but P.F.M. have so much more to express in their music. The mix of experimental ... (read more)

Report this review (#759504) | Posted by Life Line Project | Monday, May 28, 2012 | Review Permanlink

4 stars One of the more legendary albums in the RPI scene and overdue a review from myself. I have been listening to it on and off for the last two years, but I have never taken time off to get my thoughts about it collected into a short and concise review. This award winning bakery (Premiata Forneri ... (read more)

Report this review (#574346) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Thursday, November 24, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars The debut album by PFM already shows their amazing musicianship, though it doesn't have the very complex orchestration that you can hear on PER UN AMICO. The result is outstanding anyway. The album starts with a 1 min. introduction that leads to Impressioni di Settembre, perhaps their most popula ... (read more)

Report this review (#521683) | Posted by Turillazzo | Monday, September 12, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars PFM are far and away the most popular of all Italian prog rockers, Le Orme coming in a distant second. On this, their debut album, these seasoned musicians would craft one of the all-time classics and become highly successful in their native country, eventually leading to international fame. In my ... (read more)

Report this review (#491235) | Posted by coasterzombie | Wednesday, July 27, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Prog F***ing Monsters! The first album of PFM is a perfect example of the great influence that the English prog had on the Italian music scene in the early seventies. The style is inspired by bands like Genesis and King Crimson, with great use of mellotron, violin and wind instuments, and g ... (read more)

Report this review (#428701) | Posted by Dark Nazgul | Thursday, April 07, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars "Storia di un minuto" is certainly one of the best debut albums of all times.Are 34 minutes (only this?) the best progressive rock that Italy has in offer.The, along with the album after the PFM, "Per un Amico", one of my favorite albums of all time. The first two tracks, "Introduzione"and "Impre ... (read more)

Report this review (#340178) | Posted by voliveira | Wednesday, December 01, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars The PFM first release is a must. A symphonic, lyrical, renacentist album. The melodies are superb, the musicianship outstanding. La introduzione with its guitars and its briefly sounding riff makes the way for "impresioni di septiembre" a clasic, with its emotive liricality and wonderfull melod ... (read more)

Report this review (#271070) | Posted by shockedjazz | Wednesday, March 10, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars If you really think, this may be the best prog debut ever besides ITCOTCK I bought thisalbum after Per un Amico and being already accustomed to Italian Prog it only took 3 entire spins in that same night to like it. Although this album is IMO weaker than Per un Amico (because Per un Amico has ... (read more)

Report this review (#202190) | Posted by fil karada | Monday, February 09, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars A Masterpiece of Progressive , that cannot be compared to any other releases , of 1972 , unique , full of challenge , beautiful harmonies , amazing companionship . So , in your opinion what can we say about this excellent work . In 1974 , i had the chance to get three albums for PFM , at the s ... (read more)

Report this review (#187827) | Posted by trackstoni | Monday, November 03, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This album has it all musically. There are swirling keyboards, soaring guitars, driving rhythms and mesmerising vocals (even if they are in Italian). I suspect that Genesis must have had a great influence on PFM (and Genesis certainly spent a lot of time in Italy early in the 70s). If you don't be ... (read more)

Report this review (#151018) | Posted by scarista | Thursday, November 15, 2007 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Worth. Introduzione is just a little starter, reminds me of King Crimson's Lizard 1,8* Impressioni Di Settembre - quite fat sound. The melody is weird. I good and bad. 1, E' Festa. Very festive people. The part (starts at 2:51) that isn't in "Celebration" (album: Photos of Ghosts) sounds li ... (read more)

Report this review (#143717) | Posted by progressive | Thursday, October 11, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This album is for me directly linked to "Per un amico" and is "as good as" with all that makes us dream: the creativity, the musical know-how, surprises, hypnotism... The last album which is probably the best recent album from an "old star", I mean by that a group that more than 30 years ag beg ... (read more)

Report this review (#137198) | Posted by damme | Saturday, September 08, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars If you have any sort of affinity for Italian symphonic rock, then you should definitely own Storia di un Minuto. This is the debut effort from one of the best Italian acts around in the seventies, Premiata Forneria Marconi (which I have no idea how to pronounce).The album starts out with Intr ... (read more)

Report this review (#108460) | Posted by jfleischh | Tuesday, January 23, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Well, Clarke 2001, here's another boring good review. What a massive achievement this album is. That Storia, like Per un Amico was unheard by most prog freaks until the 90s is criminal. I've read on this site that nobody 'really' matches up to Yes, Genesis, ELP etc. I used to believe that sort ... (read more)

Report this review (#98475) | Posted by Paul Stump | Sunday, November 12, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars An attempt is made here to piece together a history of P.F.M. from their earliest days. My knowledge of the band is rather limited and the information that follows has been collected from bits and pieces that I have found on the Internet. I welcome all contributions particularly from any Italians ... (read more)

Report this review (#73760) | Posted by fratelmaestro | Saturday, April 01, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars WONDERFUL! A real great opera. One of the best known progressive rock bands to come out of Italy is Premiata Forneria Marconi, or PFM. They actually had the benefit of having international exposure because they recorded for ELP's Manticore label and recorded in English (with help from Peter ... (read more)

Report this review (#59205) | Posted by | Monday, December 05, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars A powerful and beautiful album that despite its obvious debt to King Crimson and Genesis has a potent identity all of its own. An emotive Italian response to the mellotron dominated and more pastoral elements of early UK Progressive Rock, perhaps the greatest compliment Per Un Amico can be gi ... (read more)

Report this review (#56196) | Posted by The Sea Priest | Sunday, November 13, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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