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CARONTE

The Trip

Rock Progressivo Italiano


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The Trip Caronte album cover
3.74 | 114 ratings | 12 reviews | 20% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
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Studio Album, released in 1971

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Caronte 1 (6:45)
2. Two Brothers (8:15)
3. Little Janie (4:00)
4. L'Ultima Ora e Ode a J. Hendrix (10:18)
5. Caronte 2 (3:32)

Total Time 32:50

Line-up / Musicians

- William Gray / electric & acoustic guitars, vocals
- Joe Vescovi / Hammond organ, piano, church organ, Mellotron, arrangements, lead vocals
- Arvid "WEGG" Andersen / bass, lead vocals
- Pino Sinnone / percussion

Releases information

Artwork: From a drawing by Gustave Doré (6 January 1832 - 23 January 1883)

LP RCA Italiana ‎- PSL 10509 (1971, Italy)

CD RCA Italiana ‎- ND74299 (1989, Italy)
CD Sony Music ‎- 88697900062 (2011, Italy) Remastered

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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THE TRIP Caronte ratings distribution


3.74
(114 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(20%)
20%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(49%)
49%
Good, but non-essential (26%)
26%
Collectors/fans only (4%)
4%
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)
1%

THE TRIP Caronte reviews


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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by lor68
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars This issue is a bit better than their debut album and, for sure, their symphonic orientation in the direction of such ELP music is so evident here. Nevertheless the composition about the vicissitudes by "Caronte" ("...Dimonio dagli Occhi di Bragia", as it is described within l'Inferno, regarding la "Divina Commedia" by Dante Alighieri) is very prolix and finally tired. This concept is difficult to assimilate and not much inspiring too, but at last the fans of such classic prog from the UK, and also those ones who support Le ORME, probably will find interesting breaks through inside. I don't know whether this is enough or not, however this is their best effort;then make your choice. Quite interesting but not completely essential, and sometimes boring too!!
Review by Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Folk
3 stars 3.5 stars really!!!

Obviously one Italian album looking towards the British isles and not just for the music influences, but in its artwork also, but with good reasons since a good part of the members are British, with even Ritchie Blackmore (!!) being a one-time member. Your standard rock quartet with an impressive duo upfront of Vescovi (vocals and KB) and Grey (guitars), the group alternates between Vanilla Fudge (Stein(s organ sound) and The Nice.

A usually short Italian classic (just over 30 min), the album is quite impressive but at the same time awkward in its mix of influences and musical spectrum. Some rather weak track (Little Jamie) is rubbing shoulders to real excellent epics (Two Brothers and the first title track), whilev the other major track Ultima Hora E Ode A Hendrix is an uncomfortable almost-plagiarism to the great master of the XIXth century. This leaves the brilliant interplay between the two soloists, but unfortunatel guitarist Grey will leave at the end of the album, taking with him the drummer. Grey will not be replaced, but Furio Chirico (of Arti e Mestieri) will step in and the group will veer towards jazz-rock for their remaining two albums.

Although hardly flawless (being typically excessive like only our Italian friends can be ;-) Caronte is one of the most influential Italian prog albums, and is a must to understand how the country became a powerhouse in progressive rock during the 70's.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars THE TRIP were an English band,formed in 1967,who moved to Italy in order to gain success,featuring Ritchie Blackmore as the original guitarist.Soon Blackmore and drummer Ian Board left and two Italians, Joe Vescovi and Pino Sinnone filled the posts of keyboardist and drummer.''The trip'',their debut,was released in 1970 and ,reportedly,it was a good blues/heavy rock album with classical touches,close to DEEP PURPLE's early sound,and with little interest for prog fans.Things much changed with ''Caronte'',published a year later.

Regarded by many as the first trully Italian progressive rock album,''Caronte'' delivers classical influences by THE NICE blended with DEEP PURPLE/ATOMIC ROOSTER heavy rock,some pop influences and lots of dark passages (hints of KING CRIMSON).Actually,the intro and outro (both named ''Caronte'') are two great instrumental classical/rock pieces of music,which could have been easily written by THE NICE.''Two brothers'' is a also a great track with both KING CRIMSON and DEEP PURPLE influences,a nice psychedelic/heavy prog dynamite.''Little Janie'' is a mediocre track with pop leanings (though it features some nice mellotron),while their familiar organ-driven style returns on ''L'ultima ora...'',which is a masterful track with dark bluesy vocals,tons of classical doses and spectacular ending covered by church organ and mainly by a mournful symphonic guitar solo,a thrilling progressive treasure!...Not only for their title as the first Italian-based trully prog band,but also for their daring music,THE TRIP is a band you should add in your collection.Another early-70's gem to discover!...3,5 stars for this album...

Review by DamoXt7942
FORUM & SITE ADMIN GROUP Avant/Cross/Neo/Post Teams
4 stars Complex and variable flavour and taste hit us listeners again and again...this is typically Italian progressive rock! (...it's a shame that I bought this album without any knowledge of The Trip. :P )

From the first track (Caronte 1), their Trip has exploded. Beginning with avantgarde stream, a Mellotron hopping quickly here and there, and then a guitar glowling with heavy riff...already the sound squeezes our brain strongly! On second one (Two Brothers), heavier guitar tune and vocal push and push us. As everyone says, that is heavy Italian prog I suggest. Little Janie has a bit lighter pop sound and lets us flexible, but immediately L'Ultima... gushes Italian Classical atmosphere out with impressing us deeply and completely. To the last Caronte 2, again avant-tasty and speedy Mellotron rushes over, and comfortable flavour is left for us.

Exactly cool, I wanna say. Namely, this is 'eavy-Italian progressive rock!

Review by ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars I quite liked their debut album, and this one is a perfect continuation of the work started one year prior to this release.

The fundamentals have not changed: "The Trip" stills play a solid psychedelic rock (sung in English) and the best of this album are the instrumental passages. Just listen to the superb and wild opening number to make up your mind. Logically, the model resides in the Floydean atmospheres of the late middle sixties.

But even three years after that period, it must have been quite daring for an Italian band to play such music. Don't forget that in these prehistorically days, Banco nor PFM had seen the light. "The Trip" must then be considered as a pioneer in the peninsula, although as I have said in my review of their first album that they have nothing to share with the Italian genre. Psyche music and English lyrics: that's what you get here.

At times, they play somewhat heavier as well ("Two Brothers"). Solid keys à la "Atomic Rooster" is quite well performed. The echoed vocals are just another confirmation of the musical style of the era.

The longest number has to be considered as a tribute to Hendrix. Still: lots of keyboards, melody and little crazy guitar. Another highlight of this work: the heavy groove is catchy, the loaded organ is powerful: I have to admit that I quite like these sort of sounds. Vocals are just average, but I have already mentioned that the vocal department was not quite in line. Anyway: nobody's perfect.

I think that this album is worth seven out of ten, but due to its historical importance I will upgrade it to four stars. But be aware that this is a psychedelic rock album sung in English.

Review by andrea
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars "Caronte" is the second studio album by Anglo-Italian band The Trip and was released in 1971 on the RCA label with a consolidated line up featuring Arvid "Wegg" Andersen (vocals, bass), Billy Gray (electric and acoustic guitar, vocals), Joe Vescovi (vocals, Hammond organ, piano church organ, Mellotron) and Pino Sinnone (drums, percussion). It's a concept album inspired by the memory of some dead rock heroes such as Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin where the band blend classical influences with hard rock and psychedelia, Italian culture and American dreams, showing great creativity and musicianship. The art work was taken from some Gustave Doré's illustrations for Dante Alighieri's "Divine Comedy", that were re-elaborated with irony and a touch of colour in a curious pop-art style to depict the content of the album...

The instrumental opener "Caronte I" (Charon I) starts by pulsing bass lines, dark organ waves and spectral electric guitar blows that take you into the underworld, across the river of woe, where you can embark on Charon's ferryboat like Dante and Virgil. Your journey through hell begins... "Dear Charon, thank you for the invitation to look apon a souls damnation. With us are a chosen few that we should like to interview..." (Quote from the liner notes).

The following "Two Brothers" opens with the noise of brakes and tires on the asphalt and was inspired by the final scene of "Easy Rider", the 1969 American independent road drama film written by Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper and Terry Southern. Shots and a riderless motorcycle flying through the air, a running man desperately trying to escape from his killers, the road covered in blood, fire and flames, steel and leather... The atmosphere is dark while bass and organ weave a requiem for the dead riders, then the rhythm rises as the music and lyrics evoke the protagonists on their highway to hell...

The dreamy, delicate ballad "Little Janie" opens the second side of the LP. It's a piece dedicated to Janis Joplin and evokes her tragic fate... Next comes the long, complex "L'ultima ora e Ode a J. Hendrix" (The last hour and Ode to J. Hendrix) that conjures up the reeling shadow of the dead guitar hero in a curious mix of classical inspired organ patterns, powerful rock passages and crying guitar solos. Every now and again this piece could recall the last part of the first New Trolls' "Concerto Grosso"...

Then the short instrumental "Caronte II" closes this particular journey through hell leaving up to your imagination the rest of the story...

On the whole, a very good album and one of the very first examples of Italian Progressive Rock along with "Collage" by Le Orme or "L'uomo" by Osanna.

Review by VianaProghead
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Review Nº 563

The Trip was an Italian progressive rock band, one of the first bands in the Italian prog rock scene. Working and living in Italy, the band eventually became made up of a majority of Italian members although that was not how things started. The band was formed originally in England in 1966 as Maiocchi & The Trip. It was formed as a support band for the beat-pop singer Ricky Maiocchi. It was originally a psychedelic rock band with Riki Maiocchi (voice), Ritchie Blackmore (guitar), William Gray (voice and guitar), Arvid Andersen (voice and bass) and Ian Broad (drums). Like many British bands, The Trip traveled to Italy in search of shows and stayed. Soon after, in 1967, the two founders, Maiocchi and Blackmore, and Broad left the band and returned to England. The band stayed in Italy and reformed in the same year as The Trip with Gray tooking over the guitar duties playing much in the style of Blackmore and with two new members, the Italians Joe Vescovi (keyboards) and Pino Sinnone (drums). When Vescovi was recruited he soon assumed the leadership and began to move to more progressive sounds working with the influence of bands such as Vanilla Fudge, The Nice and Quatermass, which were worshiped in Italy. In this vein with four members, they produced two albums the eponymous debut "The Trip" in 1970 and "Caronte" in 1971. "Caronte" is in general considered their best work, really.

"Caronte" is a conceptual album based on the Charon character from Dante's "Divine Comedy", recast as a metaphor of the conformism. It's also based in the Italian culture and the dreams of the "American Way Of Life". It was also inspired by the memory of some dead rock heroes. Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix are mentioned, respectively in songs "Little Janie" and "L'Ultima Ora E Ode A J. Hendrix" (The Last hour and ode to Jimi Hendrix), as victims of a conformist society. The cover art from the album include drawings by Gustave Doré of Dante Alighieri's "Divine Comedy" re-elaborated with a kind of a pop-art style depicting a part painted, the sky and the scarf, and a small picture below with the image of the four members of the band in the flower-power style. Somehow it depicts the content of the all album.

While their debut finds The Trip mixing blues rock with heavy organ and rich harmonies, and some classical influences, their sophomore release finds their music moving toward the realm of the British prog rock. Vescovi, with his self-proclaimed influence of Keith Emerson, is up to task. But, while the influence is obvious, there's still originality in The Trip's take on the progressive. Yet they never lose their heavy blues-rock roots. This can clearly see all over the album.

The first track "Caronte 1" is a nice instrumental. There's a fine interplay between Vescovi's organ and Gray's guitar playing. Massive organ riffs together with a hard rock tuned guitar create a dynamic proto-prog, a blitz of the late 60's psychedelic rock rhythms with touches of The Nice. It brings a 60's vibe into the new decade. With "Two Brothers" a snappy rock groove emerges in catchy vocal interludes. In its unbridled dynamics, the vocal performance is briefly a reminiscent of "21st Century Schizoid Man" of King Crimson. Later, the keyboard's weight is given a psychedelic finish and moves away from the bombastic keynote. In contrast, "Little Janie" with its lively The Beatles style, looks like a relic from the 60's. It's a nice pop song featuring piano and Mellotron together. Gray's guitar is pleasantly understated, and Vescovi's vocals are nice here too. This is a nice number to listen to but that seems rather misplaced compared to the rest of the concept. The lengthiest track "L'Ultima Ora E Ode A J. Hendrix" is the undisputed climax on the album. It combines a great keyboard work, nice guitar lines and good vocal harmonies. The echoed vocals are just another confirmation of the musical style of that era. This musical bow to the genius of the guitar virtuoso Jimi Hendrix, who died a year earlier, is performed with solemn pathos. The brilliant church organ sound and the remote strings let this track be full of a great emotional brilliance. With the last track "Caronte 2", it's time to take up the main theme. It takes us back to the beginning with a promising organ with a percussive intro supported by a guitar work. But, this is nothing more than a keyboard workout. You have to remain silent for a moment to catch your breath from the previous track.

Conclusion: Even if "Caronte" sounds indisputably out of date after more than 30 years and in 1971 were still a band on the threshold of actual prog rock, these historical recordings from a rock historical point of view can convince. The Trip injected into the sound of the 60's some new codes, not only to overcome the limits of their culture and their time, but to create a new sound. Certainly, the path to be taken to create a "new Italian prog" was still long, but in this sense "Caronte" was certainly an essential catalyst. Later, Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso, Premiata Forneria Marconi and Le Orme moved to another level. But, we must consider that when The Trip released "Caronte" in 1971, nothing had ever been heard in Italy of so extraordinarily "prog". So, The Trip have defined and anticipated groove of a generation who will remain faithful to the end. It's true that many others have had most success. Well, but that is another story, indeed.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

Latest members reviews

3 stars This is an adventure into the unexpected. This Italian Symphonic Prog album has a very British feel to it. I had to look at the cover several times to really convince myself that this band is indeed from Italy. The music is somewhere between Vanilla Fudge, The Nice, ELP and Deep Purple. Heavy ... (read more)

Report this review (#223770) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Monday, June 29, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars An unusual release for the Italian scene of the first 70s, and maybe unusual as an Italian record, as heavy music had never proved popular in Italy. What made possible the release of an Italian heavy prog record in 1971 is maybe be the presence of two English musicians (guitarist William Gray and ba ... (read more)

Report this review (#221819) | Posted by Jack A Lynn | Friday, June 19, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I think Caronte is a great album: the first song Caronte 1 is an instrumentakl track with interesting passages and effective variety of rhythm. Two Brothers introduces some noise such as engine sound, sirens..... Little Janie is a tender ballad, but the best song on the album is L'Ultima Ora e Od ... (read more)

Report this review (#169545) | Posted by Moonlit.Knight | Friday, May 2, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars The second work released in 1971 "Caronte". Organ rock of violent sound. It is a sound like THE NICE. The exploding organ is exactly Kieth Emerson. A classical melody shines to the roaring sound where the ear is deafened. It is an explosion of young energy. The appearance that they are freely ... (read more)

Report this review (#75106) | Posted by braindamage | Sunday, April 16, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This L.P. is the begin of the prog-rock in Italy. It is a perfect mix between the "English sound" (Vanilla fudge, for example) and the "Baroque" and melodic italian sound. Keyboard and Composer Joe Vescovi has a solid classic background, Billy Gray is a good lead and rhytm guitar, "Wegg" Ander ... (read more)

Report this review (#18975) | Posted by | Sunday, July 18, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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