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Equipe 84

Rock Progressivo Italiano

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Equipe 84 Sacrificio album cover
3.00 | 19 ratings | 3 reviews | 0% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1974

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. E lucifero disse (3:48)
2. Sacrificio (gli dei) (5:07)
3. La montagna sacra (6:36)
4. Porte chiuse (4:52)
5. Un cavallo...un amore (2:14)
6. Mercante senza fiori (3:41)
7. Se c'e (5:46)
8. Risvegliarsi un mattio (5:37)
9. L'attore (3:17)
10. Dicono (5:36)

Total Time 46:33

Line-up / Musicians

Maurizio Vandelli / vocals, guitar
Thomas Gagliardone / keyboards
Victor Sogliani / bass
Alfio Cantarella / drums

Releases information

LP: Ariston 12134 (1974)
CD: Media Arte Mi0006 (2009) Korean mini-lp sleeve, limited edition

Thanks to finnforest for the addition
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EQUIPE 84 Sacrificio ratings distribution

(19 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(0%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(26%)
Good, but non-essential (53%)
Collectors/fans only (16%)
Poor. Only for completionists (5%)

EQUIPE 84 Sacrificio reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Equipe 84's proggiest affair

Equipe 84 were one of the most famous Italian beat bands of the 1960s. Like Giganti and Dik Dik they made a brief but fruitful foray into the burgeoning RPI scene of the early 1970s. This album would be their most determined (and only real) effort at joining the scene and while they never truly succeeded in being recognized as such, it is a wonderful album nonetheless. It features good songwriting, great melodies and vocals, and lots of typical RPI instrumentation like organ, piano, flute, and strings, all very tastefully arranged. The sound is crisp and lively, the performances emotional and convincing. Perhaps to gain some cred on the scene they enlisted several collaborators like Ricky Belloni and Paolo Siani from Nuova Idea, Alberto Camerini, Hugo Heredia, and Gianni D'Errico. If you don't go into "Sacrificio" expecting "Darwin" or "Ys", you might find it to be the delightful gem that I did.

As if to make clear this album was a departure, it begins with nearly 4 minutes of droning noise, sound effects, and whispers which increase in pitch and oscillation for a disorienting and weird effect. Quite the opening! The title track is next and it's great! Majestic organ and the odd repeating guitar motif, along with the creative drumming lend a stifled feeling that breaks free only occasionally into the lovely chorus. "La Montagna Sacra" continues in strong fashion with a great brisk acoustic guitar and a really jumping rhythm with lively bass and drumming, along with occasional wispy synth playing. Over this the vocals are very good, relaxing, melodic, typically warm and romantic Italian singing. A nice mid section features heavily distorted electric guitars contrasting the vocals and keys. "Un Cavallo Un Amore" is a short but fantastic piece of classically influenced acoustic guitar, a la Steve Howe's "Mood for a Day."

Side two begins with the wonderful "Mercante Senza Fiori" featuring dramatic songwriting and superb guitar strokes, along with some nice use of strings and cool bass lines. Such warm, inviting music! "Se C'e" mixes an upbeat ditty with a slower and gorgeous melodic vocal over a huge keyboard sound. "Dicono" closes the album with more thunder effects and a big, lush keyboard intro. The remaining tracks are less proggy and more typical to Italian melodic pop, but even those are handled with so much class, with marvelous melodies and interesting arrangements.

While "Sacrificio" is not as overtly progressive and challenging as some of its peers of the period, it is an immensely beautiful and likeable album if you give it a chance. If you crave complexity and dissonance, look elsewhere. If you love great melodies and want to enjoy some beautiful RPI of the more traditional school, try "Sacrificio." The CD was recently issued in a limited edition of 700 as a Korean mini-lp sleeve. The colorful color art looks great on the outstretched gatefold, and the inside includes the original band photos and lyrics. They also include a reprint of a color drawing plate that must have accompanied the original vinyl release. I can't give this fine music less than 4 stars personally, but if I was rating solely on how progressive it is I could not give more than 3.

Review by Tarcisio Moura
3 stars 3.5 stars, really. Progressive music may never sold that many records but brought to rock´n roll something it quite not had before: respect as a serious form of art. Now jazz and classical musicians were among the ones that were rocking. And, of course, several other succesful groups wanted to be taken seriously too. Many pop artists released ´progressive´, ´concept´ albums (even ´rock operas´) in the 70´s. Of course most of the final results were pitious effords, that most people (including the musicians themselves) would rather forget they ever existed. But sometimes a pop group could prove they had both the technical musical skill and the gifted songwrting habilities to step into the progressive genre without making a fool of themselves. Certainly Equipe 84 can be included among them.

This beat group was one of the most popular bands in Italy in the 60´s and early 70´s and in 1974 released a prog record called Sacrificio. With the help of several guests (including a couple of musicians from band Nuova Idea) the Lp was released in 1974 and proved that this outfit had more talented than most people wanted to believe. Of course the music here is not exactly symphonic rock, nor it is in the same league as names like PFM, Banco or Le Orme. Still, Sacrifio was a bold and risky move for such stabilished outfit. And the results proved quite worthy.

The creepy, droning, 3 minute intro made me wonder if they went too far, but from the second track onwards the record is made of high quality prog rock. The group fortunatly kept their knack for great melodies and strong hooks, and yet the songs here are much more complex and elaborated than anything they had released so far. The title track is a good example of a very fine prog rock song, while Un Cavallo... Un Amore and Mercante Senza Fiori show them working beautiful acoustic passages. There is good use of vocal harmonies, orchestrations and even some flute and brass. Production is very good for the time.

Except for the the aforementioned intro, there was no fillers to be found in this CD. The mix of progressive rock, folk and italian popular music made it a truly succesful experiment. It is only a shame that this band did not follow this path afterwards. However, they proved their point and Sacrificio was, at least, an artistic success. It stood well the test of time. And I´m glad I found this little prog gem. If you´re into the italian prog scene of the 70´s you should check this out.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars The city of Modena is known for being the center of luxurious car companies like Ferrari, Lamborghini and Maserati as well as having one of greatest universities of Italy.But it was also the birthcity of the most famous Italian Beat band of the 60's, Equipe 84, centered around guitarist/keyboardist/singer Maurizio Vandelli and bassist Victor Sogliani.The original line-up featured also Franco Ceccarelli on guitar and Alfio Cantarella on drums, but the group suffered several come's and go's during a 10-year span, once a young Franz Di Cioccio played drums for them before joining Premiata Forneria Marconi.Equipe 84 started as a pure Psychedelic Pop combo in mid-60's, before adapting new influences in their music like Baroque and Rock elements through the years, leading to their most experimental record ''Sacrificio'' in 1974, released on Ariston, with Thomas Gagliardone playing the keyboards.

The opening side of the LP is actually showing some unusual music compared to the standards of Equipe 84.The first three tracks are rather melancholic and somewhat challenging Italian Prog/Art Rock with good keyboard parts and evident psychedelic influences, connected with bizarre breaks, but always colored by warm Italian vocals.There are some fiery acoustic parts, light Classical influences in the organ washes and a Gregorian atmosphere on the dark opening piece, trully a step forward than anything the group had released so far.Before the side closed Equipe 84 return with the more conservative style of melodic Soft/Folk Rock with hints of their recent past.

The second side is rather unrelated to the first one with plenty of melodic Pop Rock, more simplistic song structures and dated orchestral moves in a typical Italian style, lacking the surprises of the opening cuts.Of course the group was always capable of producing nice, syrupy melodies and harmonies, but that was not actually where the album was intended to head to, listening to the very good opening textures.Groovy Pop runs, sweet orchestral ballads and secure choruses were a thing of the past, but the group recycles them in this work as well.The atmospheric closer ''Dicono'' is the peak of the second side, no doubt.Definitely not on par with the qualitive tracks of the opening side, but this is really cool Psych/Pop/Prog with a tight combination of female choirs, acoustic themes and spacey keyboards, showing the group was definitely talented.

After seven studio albums and countless singles Equipe 84 split in 1977 with Vandelli trying to revive its fame several times in the future until Victor Sogliani's death in mid-90's.He also has a few personal albums credited to his name, released from 1970 to 1990.

This historical Italian Beat combo shouldn't be necessarily among Prog fans reference points.Their ''Sacrificio'' album contains hints of the Italian Prog movement with both demanding and atmospheric parts and it maybe of some interest for lovers of the Italian sound.Otherwise you should look somewhere else for purely challenging Prog music...2.5 stars.

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