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I Dik Dik

Rock Progressivo Italiano

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I Dik Dik Suite Per Una Donna Assolutamente Relativa album cover
3.43 | 50 ratings | 8 reviews | 6% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1972

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Donna paesagio (4:02)
2. Il Viso (4:04)
3. Il Cuore (3:51)
4. Intermezzo (0:17)
5. La Cathedral Dell' Amore (4:43)
6. Le Gambe (4:11)
7. Suite Relativa (1:35)
8. Monti y Valli (4:19)
9. I Sogni (4:53)
10. La Notte (4:16)
11. Sintesi (4:36)

Total Time: 40:47

Line-up / Musicians

Since 1965:
- Erminio "Pepe" Salvaderi / guitar and vocals
- Pietruccio Montalbetti / guitar, bass and vocals
- Giancarlo "Lallo" Sbriziolo / guitar and vocals
- Mario Totaro / keyboards
- Sergio Panno / drums

Mid 70's:
- Erminio Salvaderi / guitar and vocals
- Roberto Facini / guitar
- Joe Vescovi / keyboards
- Pietruccio Montalbetti / bass
- Nunzio "Cucciolo" Favia / drums

Releases information

LP 1972 Ricordi SRML 6096
CD 1993 Si Wan Records SMRL 6095
King Records KICP 2218
CD 2003 BMG Ricordi 74321-98853-2

Thanks to erik neuteboom for the addition
and to madcapjackass for the last updates
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I DIK DIK Suite Per Una Donna Assolutamente Relativa ratings distribution

(50 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(6%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(34%)
Good, but non-essential (46%)
Collectors/fans only (8%)
Poor. Only for completionists (6%)

I DIK DIK Suite Per Una Donna Assolutamente Relativa reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by erik neuteboom
4 stars The cover from this album is one of the most non-progrock covers of all time but the music certainly is prog! This is the only progressive album I Dik Dik (the name is derived from an African gazelle) made but it is an acclaimed one by the progrock aficionados and progheads. The 11 pleasant compositions sound melodic and alternating, from folky to bombastic prog. Although every musician plays very well, the focus is on the magnificent keyboard play: sparkling piano, swinging clavinet, sensational synthesizer flights, some strong organ floods and majestic Mellotron eruptions. If you like the wonderful sound of the late Sixties (warm vocals, acoustic guitars, organ) blended with the progressive sound from the early Seventies (with echoes from The Moody Blues and The Strawbs), THIS IS A CD TO CHECK OUT!!
Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Another fine Italian album with a cover that is unforgettable. I'm surprised it ended up with some one and two star ratings. The playing is great and the vocals pretty decent too. The production seems on par and the sound on the Japanese CD is predictably quite good.

I can understand somewhat in that there is quite a bit less flair here than with some of its peers, but given that this was in the height of the classic period, they can't all be the best! But that is the downside here, this is less adventurous than some of the others you see reviewed often.

This album moves along quite easily with some recurring musical themes and always tasteful bass, acoustic guitar and keys backing up the vocal. But since it seems to grow on me I'm rounding up from a 3.5 star rating.

Bottom line here is that if you just want a sampling of classic Italian prog, skip this and go for the higher rated stuff. But if you are building a deep Italian catalog (and you really should be!) then you will need to track this one down. Try to get the Japan mini-lp sleeve version with the split back gatefold. The sense of humor shown on the cover continues on the inside!

Review by memowakeman
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Donīt look at the cover, pay attention to the music!

Well, surely you will look at the cover because itīs impossible not to see it, the realm of progressive rock has as an extra feature great cover designs which some of them are characteristic of a band, others are amazing and maybe you could be interested in the album just for the cover, this time is totally the contrary, this albumīs cover is one of the (if not the most) most awful covers i have ever seen, not only in prog rock but in music in general, sorry if im wasting your time, but i had to say it.

Anyway, i am and you are here for the music rather than cover art, so letīs review this album which was released in 1972 in the beautiful land of Italy, in that time as we know the music (prog music) in that country was very prolific (so is nowadays) but in the early 70s due to historical events or lack of imagination, problems between the members i dont know, so many bands released an album and dissappeared or some of them had a tremendous change in their music from one album to other, I Dik DIk was a band which were together since 1965 playing some popular tunes, but they (fortunately) could give us a progressive rock album called "Suite per una Donna Assolutamente Relativa" which contains 11 songs and a running time of 40 minutes.

I could say that the music here is very classic of the Italian vein and 70s movement, so it may sound alike to some other bands, but careful because im not saying that its sound could be compared with monsters such as PFM, Banco or QVL. The 11 tracks here are short ones with an average of 4 minutes each one, so you wont find an epic or an outstanding or very different track, nevertheless, you will find 40 minutes of very nice music with a 70s Italian flavour that may be enjoyable for anyone, the songs here are very catchy and may remind you to early New Trolls or some Le Orme tunes I, honestly dont have a favorite song here, since the style of the most of them is pretty alike, nice melodies, great use of keyboards and very nice drums "Il Cuore" has an special psych touch which make it different from the others, while "La Gambe" has a more bombastic keyboard sound which reminds me to Wakeman, "Monti e Valli" for instance, has a folkish sound.

In general this album is pretty good, everyone could dig this since its easy to listen, but obviously it wont keep your attention for so many time, so this is another nice album from Italy, which cannot be compared with the big 70s albums but that every Italian prog lover should check, my final grade will be 3 stars, i believe its the grade it deserves.

Enjoy it!

Review by andrea
4 stars I Dik Dik are an Italian band with more than forty years of activity. They had been very successful in Italy during the late sixties and early seventies thanks to their collaboration with Lucio Battisiti and Mogol and thanks to the Italian version of songs like "A Whiter Shade Of Pale" by Procol Harum or California Dreamin' by Mamas And Papas. They have always been just a beat and pop band and "Suite per una donna assolutamente relativa" is their only true progressive effort. The album was released in 1972 (a period when almost everybody in Italy seemed to go crazy for prog) but it was a commercial flop so, after this album, the band turned back into another musical direction.

"Suite per una donna assolutamente relativa" is a concept work featuring lyrics by the eclectic artist of Jewish origins Herbert Pagani. It was conceived like a musical and poetical journey through "planet woman": the female body here is compared to an unknown world to explore, both physically and spiritually... The music was composed by keyboardist Mario Totaro and it's an excellent mix of progressive rock and Italian melody.

The opener is the melodic and light "Donna paesaggio" (Woman Landscape)... A man is flying over a strange planet, "Woman landscape / I'm flying over you with caresses / And along my journey I can see lands, lakes, mountains and the mirage of my happiness / I will sing of you / Like a Greek poet of the ancient times... And my voice will be a hymn to your naked freedom". The music is rich and features beautiful touches of church-like organ and mellotron...

On the second track "Il viso" (The Face) our "hero" comes down with his parachute landing in a forest of "hair-trees", then he explores the brows surrounding "two lakes of blue water" (the eyes), then the nose, the ears... "I already can see your lips on the horizon / Your mouth is smiling to me / And your smile reveals a city / Atlantis of light that kills me... And to know a little bit more / I breath a while / Then I dive and go down"...

The sound of the moog marks a change of atmosphere that becomes darker in the next track "Il cuore" (The Heart). "Like a cast-away on his raft / I'm sailing down, along your veins...", our hero is now flushed away by brooks of phosphorescent blood... "I hear the thunder of a factory / The central engine of the heart appears enormous to me / I can see red Niagara falls swallowing me...". The rhythm becomes frenzy, the mood dramatic but our "explorer" awakes alive, wet and out of danger because the heart let him break through...

A short interlude leads to the "Cathedral Of Love"... "I'm climbing stairways of placenta / Like by magic I feel a body who is singing to me unknown Ave Marias / Cathedral of Love, cathedral of love / My heart beats fast but I go on...". Well, the lyrics describing the womb are a little bit bizarre (to say the least!) but the music is really good, here almost mystic I dare say, featuring excellent harmony vocals...

"The earth is trembling / New danger / Legs of woman / White vertigo... When you walk in the city / It's like a forest / That goes in a desert of concrete...". "Gambe" (Legs), describes the dizziness provoked by a "walking continent" on the streets of a city. Here the rhythm goes up sprinkled with flashes of moog, than melts in a nice short pastoral interlude (the instrumental "Suite relativa").

"Monti e valli" (Mountains and Valleys) is a bright and happy ballad and the subject matter is, as you can guess, the bosom... "I see pyramids and coliseums... Mountains and valleys of the youth / My hands are caressing you / Like ocean waves / My fingers are like horses breaking on gallop upon you...".

Next comes the delicate and sweet "I sogni" (The dreams) that tries to describe in music and words the dreams of a woman like the souvenirs of the childhood, the nightmares of the war, the wounds of past lovers that the conscience tries to hide. "I dream your dreams...". In my opinion this is the best track on this album.

Next track "La notte" (The night) tries to describe the act of procreation. Tense vocals soar over a beautiful piano pattern counter pointed by the sound of the moog... The poetry of the lyrics is perhaps a little bit clumsy and naive but the overall result is not so bad.

"Sintesi" is a reprise of the opening theme and it concludes a peculiar and interesting album... "Woman poetry / You are a miracle of rhythm and harmony / You are the most fragile fortress on earth / You resist to the world but love will open you / And from the country of your body new lives will blossom / Until life will be...".

I don't think that this is an essential album but it is a very good one and it would have deserved a better destiny. On the whole I think that this work is more ironic than pretentious, like the funny art cover, and it's really worth listen to. It was re-released on CD in 2003 by BMG with a nice paper sleeve reproducing the original LP jacket and I'm sure that Italian prog lovers will love it.

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars I DIK DIK and I GIGANTI took similar paths in their careers, both starting out as Beat bands in the mid sixties before trying their hands at Progressive music in the early seventies. Both were not very successful (when it came to album sales) with this venture into prog so we only get one Progressive album from each band. I think both bands did a good job in their attempts at this style of music but there's just a lot better RPI albums out there.

"Donna Paesagio" is led by piano early as drums, bass and acoustic guitar join in. Vocals before a minute and they sound excellent. Organ and guitar after 2 1/2 minutes then the vocals return with passion. Synths late. "Il Viso" is a ballad-like tune and my least favourite. Piano and fragile vocals as the drums beat slowly. Mellotron 1 1/2 minutes in and synths late. "Il Cuore" opens with flute as acoustic guitar then the vocals arrive. Drums then mellotron before 1 1/2 minutes. The tempo picks up. It's rather dramatic before 3 minutes. Great section. "Intermezzo" is a short drum / synths / vocal melodies piece. "La Cathedral Dell'amore" has this powerful atmosphere while vocals and drums stand out. Lots of mellotron. Synths around 2 minutes.

"Le Gambe" has a good beat and is uptempo. Vocals join in and some nice bass. Synths are prominant as well. "Suite Relativa" opens with strummed guitar. I like this. Bass comes in and a fuller sound after a minute with mellotron. Nice. It blends into "Monti Y Valli" continues with strummed guitar as organ then vocals join in. Great sound ! It's catchy and yet moving. "I Sogni" opens with powerful synths that stop when the vocals arrive around a minute. Mellotron rolls in then those synths return as contrasts continue. "La Notte" opens with piano and spacey winds. Vocals follow and synths become prominant 2 1/2 minutes in when vocals stop. Piano continues though. Vocals return then it blends into "Sintesi".Spacey at first then piano, drums, bass and mellotron take over. Vocals a minute in. Lots of synths late.

Pretty enjoyalbe but too commercial sounding much of the time for my tastes.

Review by Guldbamsen
3 stars Warm vibrant honey, honey!

I've been revisiting this little Italian record the past couple of weeks, and have subsequently changed my mind about it. At first the music struck me as bland run of the mill symphonic rock leaving me completely indifferent, and then here the other day when I was throwing a fit - acting all insane because of all those little irritating bugs that seem to thrive in hot humid weather - creeping and crawling all over my skin, I put this very album on while maniacally waving my arms around out in the garden. I was too frustrated to put anything on that I had a deep meaningful relationship with - not wanting to destroy any of that, and decided to go for the overlooked RPI album with the ridiculous cover art.

Swoop! Out in the grasses a warm heartfelt vibe came tumbling with the first luscious sways of keys and piano, and I immediately thought to myself, that I perhaps had been a bit fast to judge the album. Out there among the humming and buzzing creatures this music really came to life, and for once my neighbours didn't seem to mind the tunes.

Romantic is probably a fair word to describe the feel of this thing, but when heard in such a setting - you really get the gist of what the word actually means. It's the same effect PFM managed to convey with their first two albums - that delicate Italian sense of melody that is as important to their culture as a fine red wine from the steep hills of Barolo. There is a deeper understanding going on with these bands of what really constitutes 'feel' and emotion within music, - and the genius and, at the time, new thing was that they did it with synthesisers. Electronic robotic instruments that were miles away from the wooden heart of a cello, and yet on some of these releases - this one included, you get to hear that unique emotional vibe running through the synthesisers. I struggle to mention any other nationalities that come close in accomplishing the same feat, because where the Germans went for the outer rim of the solar system, these bands actually found a way to echo their natural music heritage in a current modern manner.

I Dik Dik started out in the 60s as a beat band enamoured by the sweeping sounds of the British invasion. When the turn of the decade finally changed the winds and brought with them a newly found curiosity about all things musically, whether that was folk or classical, I Dik Dik naturally jumped the freight train and this album ended up as the fruit of their labour. While not the most progressive of albums from the Italian RPI scene, 'Donna' as it's affectionately called still hits a fair few highs in the course of its running time. Personally I just love the recurring main theme that has a way of sneaking in the back door - either in all out rocking symphonic gestures with drums ablazing and grand pompous orchestration from synths and guitars, or it gently and gracefully pops up in the form of a frail lingering piano melody that literally sends shivers down my spine. The ending deep breaths of this album has a few of these and they are sheer sonic manna from the heavens.

This is also a a very vocal album, and it's here things get a bit generic for my tastes. Usually I adore bands that bring their 60s vibe with them into the 70s - especially when we're talking vocals, but on here they just don't do anything for me. Heartwarming and dripping with emotion they overstep the invisible border between coffee sugar and candy floss country. That is however the only negative in my opinion, and if you're sitting out there looking for bands that work within the same melodic framework as PFM, Le Orme, Samadhi and Latte e Miele, 'Donna' should be right up your alley like a big beautiful Alfa in a fiery apple red.

Latest members reviews

3 stars I will always associate this album with Hunka Munka's Dedicato a Giovanna G.: I got them at the same time; both feature die-cut covers; the titles are similar. But the similarities don't end there - I discovered much later that "Hunka Munka" himself, keyboardist Roberto Carlotto, would go on ... (read more)

Report this review (#906445) | Posted by coasterzombie | Monday, February 4, 2013 | Review Permanlink

4 stars It seems fitting that I review this album, being that I played it incessantly this week. Let's try and pay some debt while it's fresh on my mind... First, some background info on the band. Sort of a strange name "Dik Dik" is, fun to say, or maybe awkward; it comes from an African gazelle ... (read more)

Report this review (#182277) | Posted by jimmy_row | Friday, September 12, 2008 | Review Permanlink

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