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FRANCO BATTIATO

Rock Progressivo Italiano • Italy


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Franco Battiato picture
Franco Battiato biography
Francesco Battiato (aka Süphan Barzani) - Born 1945-03-23 (Ionia, Sicily, Italy)

Franco Battiato is one of the most successful singers in Italy. He began his career as a "light" singer, recording a few singles. In 1971 he started his particular journey through experimental music, recording his proggiest issues: "Fetus", "Pollution", "Sulle corde di Aries". Some very atmospheric parts and some very melodic songs make these records worthwhile, along with musical references to the arabic culture and italian folk that will surface from time to time in all of his following output. His next records are gradually more and more experimental, exploring minimalism and culminating with "L' Egitto prime delle Sabbie", with two long pieces based on hardly one note and its harmonics. Very difficult, I can´t recommend this period to anyone but music scholars or any Stockhausen students. After this, came a great change of direction.
From "L'era del Cinghiale Bianco" to "Mondi Lontanissimi", these are pop-rock records, but very interesting (and even commercially successful) ones. Especially the lyrics, sometimes very deep, sometimes ironic, full of references. He starts singing in many different languages, even within one song.
With "Fisiognomica", Battiato started walking towards classical music, using orchestra on some songs and composing a couple of operas. "L'Imboscata" and "Gommalacca" are rockier than any of his previous works. The latest has a shy return to prog and experimental, yet for a wide audience.

This is the best progressive soloist in Italy and now is very popular. I recommend "Fetus", "Pollution" and "Sulle corde di Aries", a kind of trilogy and one of the Italian prog highest moments.

Why this artist must be listed in www.progarchives.com : One of the greatest experiences in Italian prog, great music quality, even his most "pop" works are deep and intellectuals. He is also one of the most popular italian singers.

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FleursFleurs
Universal Italy 2019
$44.99
PollutionPollution
Sony/Bmg Italy 1998
$6.04
$10.89 (used)
La Voce Del PadroneLa Voce Del Padrone
Emi Music Italy 2008
$13.74
$9.59 (used)
Sulle Corde Di AriesSulle Corde Di Aries
Sony/Bmg Italy 1998
$6.99
$16.06 (used)
Anthology: Le Nostre AnimeAnthology: Le Nostre Anime
Universal 2015
$19.57
$28.84 (used)
The Platinum Collection 2The Platinum Collection 2
EMI 2018
$18.26
$14.46 (used)
ClicClic
Superior Viaduct 2018
$22.23
$14.97 (used)
Battiato Studio CollectionBattiato Studio Collection
EMI Import 2001
$30.95
$4.95 (used)
FetusFetus
Sony/Bmg Italy 1998
$12.98
$1.38 (used)
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FRANCO BATTIATO discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

FRANCO BATTIATO top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.43 | 67 ratings
Fetus
1971
3.23 | 20 ratings
Foetus
1971
3.66 | 91 ratings
Pollution
1972
4.09 | 117 ratings
Sulle Corde Di Aries
1973
3.56 | 46 ratings
Clic
1974
2.11 | 17 ratings
M.elle Le
1975
2.08 | 17 ratings
Battiato [Aka: Zâ]
1977
2.96 | 16 ratings
Juke Box
1978
1.75 | 28 ratings
L'Egitto Prima Delle Sabbie
1978
3.38 | 33 ratings
L'Era Del Cinghiale Bianco
1979
2.51 | 23 ratings
Patriots
1980
3.49 | 35 ratings
La Voce Del Padrone
1981
2.35 | 21 ratings
L'Arca Di Noè
1982
2.27 | 20 ratings
Orizzonti Perduti
1983
2.60 | 17 ratings
Mondi Lontanissimi
1985
3.00 | 3 ratings
Echoes Of Sufi Dances
1985
3.00 | 2 ratings
Ecos De Danzas Sufi
1985
3.29 | 5 ratings
Nomadas
1987
4.42 | 12 ratings
Genesi
1987
3.44 | 19 ratings
Fisiognomica
1988
3.29 | 7 ratings
Musiche Per Il Film Su Benvenuto Cellini
1990
2.22 | 10 ratings
Come Un Cammello In Una Grondaia
1991
3.83 | 11 ratings
Gilgamesh
1992
3.33 | 15 ratings
Caffé De La Paix
1993
3.00 | 2 ratings
Como Un Camello En Un Canalòn
1993
3.00 | 7 ratings
Messa Arcaica
1994
2.55 | 9 ratings
L'Ombrello E La Macchina Da Cucire
1995
2.83 | 14 ratings
L'Imboscata
1996
3.00 | 3 ratings
La Emboscada
1997
4.24 | 21 ratings
Gommalacca
1998
2.45 | 12 ratings
Fleurs
1999
2.26 | 8 ratings
Campi Magnetici
2000
2.73 | 10 ratings
Ferro Battuto
2001
3.00 | 2 ratings
Hierro Forjado
2001
2.58 | 11 ratings
Fleurs 3
2002
3.71 | 10 ratings
Dieci Stratagemmi
2004
3.08 | 6 ratings
Il Vuoto
2007
3.17 | 6 ratings
Fleurs 2
2008
3.90 | 10 ratings
Inneres Auge
2009
2.05 | 3 ratings
Telesio
2011
4.00 | 5 ratings
Apriti Sesamo
2012
5.00 | 1 ratings
Ábrete Sésamo
2013
3.95 | 2 ratings
Battiato & Pinaxa: Joe Patti's Experimental Group
2014

FRANCO BATTIATO Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.28 | 7 ratings
Giubbe Rosse
1989
4.00 | 1 ratings
Concerto di Baghdad
1993
3.67 | 3 ratings
Last Summer Dance
2003

FRANCO BATTIATO Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

FRANCO BATTIATO Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.50 | 2 ratings
Feed Back
1976
2.00 | 1 ratings
1972
1976
1.10 | 2 ratings
SuperStar
1982
2.00 | 1 ratings
Battiato Collection (Espaniol songs version)
1996
4.00 | 3 ratings
Battiato Studio Collection
1996
4.50 | 2 ratings
Gli Anni Settanta
2001
3.96 | 5 ratings
La Convenzione (with Juri Camiscsca and Osage Tribe)
2002
3.00 | 1 ratings
Le Più Belle Canzoni Di... Franco Battiato
2006
2.00 | 1 ratings
D.O.C.
2006
4.00 | 1 ratings
Sigillo D'Autore
2010

FRANCO BATTIATO Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

1.00 | 2 ratings
L'amore è Partito
1965
1.00 | 2 ratings
E Più Ti Amo
1965
1.33 | 3 ratings
La torre - Le reazioni
1967
1.33 | 3 ratings
Triste come me - Il mondo va così
1967
1.33 | 3 ratings
E' l'amore - Fumo di una sigaretta
1968
1.33 | 3 ratings
Bella ragazza - Occhi d'or
1969
1.33 | 3 ratings
Sembrava una serata come tante - Gente
1969
1.50 | 2 ratings
Vento caldo - Marciapiede
1971
3.00 | 1 ratings
Energia / Una Cellula
1972
3.00 | 2 ratings
La Convenzione / Paranoia
1972

FRANCO BATTIATO Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 La Voce Del Padrone by BATTIATO, FRANCO album cover Studio Album, 1981
3.49 | 35 ratings

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La Voce Del Padrone
Franco Battiato Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by jamesbaldwin
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Helped by Giusto Pio in the arrangements and by a musical ensemble capable of combining melodic symphonism with commercial sound, Franco Battiato showed his strong talent for melody, and an almost impudent creativity in putting together cultured with popular quotations, in "La Voce del Padrone" (The Master's Voice: only seven songs and 31 minutes) that became a bestseller that has made the history of Italian pop (symphonic?) music. La Voce del Padrone was in fact a case not only musical but cultural because it has agreed public and critical and it has sold over one million records, surpassing every italian record, ranking over a year.

"Summer On A Solitary Beach" (4:34) is a beautiful start, with the waves of the sea and the keyboards in the background that gradually rise in volume and evoke a crowded beach, not solitary. Then comes a good rhythm, which then slows down in the refrain, which will remain the highest moment of the album. Tail with a sax solo (Pascoli). It's a Battiato classic. Small masterpiece. Vote 8.

"Bandiera Bianca" (White Flag, 5:19) is a sarcastic ballad, hymn style, with cynical text of social and musical satire (insulted Beethoven, Sinatra, Vivaldi). The quotes are endless and the language passes from the educated (Marcuse) to the jargon. The choir (Madrigalists of Milano) is goliardic, ruffian music. Good instrumental tail, with vibraphone (Scolese). Second classic, Vote 7,5.

"Gli Uccelli" (Birds, 4:43) is wonderful. After a symphonic beginning, punctuated by a simple but beautiful melody, the song starts on the acoustic background, then enter the drums (Golino) and the bass (Donnarumma), to bring it on the ground of the pop ballad with danceable rhythm. Tail at accelerated speed. The arrangement is excellent, thanks to master Giusto Pio. Another small masterpiece. Third classic. Vote 8. End of side A.

Side B starts with"Cuccurucucù" (untraslatable, 4:09), track propelled by a disco rhythm from the beginning to the end; it's perhaps the least interesting track, the most functional for radio programming. The text is an association of political, social ("The erotic gestures of squaw Skin of the Moon") and musical citations from the theater of the absurd, that have done history in Italy: "Lady Madonna, I Can Try, With a little Help From My Friends, Goodbye Ruby Tuesday, Come on Baby Let's Twist Again, Once Upon A Time You Dressed So Fine, Mary, Like Just A Woman, Like A Rolling Stone". Fourth classic. Vote 7.

After comes "Segnali Di Vita"(Signals of Life, 3:37), perhaps the least known of the album, the one that represents the typical minor piece. Yet it has an excellent classical contrasting section. Good orchestral ending. Vote 7+.

"Centro Di Gravità Permanente" (Permanent Center of Gravity, 3:55) is the masterpiece of the album, mixing text of the absurd with cultured quotations, a title that is a manifesto of thought ("I'm looking for a permanent center of gravity that will not make me change my mind about things and people"), and a relaxed but carefully arranged rhythm. Here we can listen to the electric guitars (Radius), percussion, and sounds similar to trumpet. It's the peak of the album that manages to be cultured, smart and commercial. Fifth classic. Vote 8+.

"Il Sentimento Nuevo" (The New Feeling, 4:18), vote 7+, is an electronic ballad with another strange text ("The tantric shivaism of Dionysian style.... The mythical desires of Libyan prostitues, The sense of possession that was pre-Alexandrian"); it has a very pimping pace, but with taste, and celebrates erotic love. Sixth classic. Battiato continues to associate sacred and profane, both in music and in texts, with extreme ease. The associations of words that he makes were completely unpublished. One more song would have been useful to make the album more consistent, but Battiato was required to produce records for half an hour.

And it was a great success. Young people and adults came together to sing these melodic and danceable songs with texts completely unpredictable and difficult to understand, full of quotes that almost nobody knew how to identify. The ultimate in snobbish and cultured lyrical taste combined with the utmost popular taste of music. The perfect synthesis of intelligence, pop easy to listen and good classical melodies.

Medium quality of the songs: 7,61. Vote album: 7,5/8. Three Stars.

 SuperStar by BATTIATO, FRANCO album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1982
1.10 | 2 ratings

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SuperStar
Franco Battiato Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by jamesbaldwin
Prog Reviewer

1 stars Superstar is not an ufficial album: is an anthological Lp (with some unreleased pieces) published in 1982 by Armando Curcio Editore on concession of the PolyGram label. It was sold in newsstands, combined with a short monograph on the singer written by Adriano Mazzoletti.

This record includes some performances published only on 45 laps at the end of the sixities.

First side. 1) E' l'amore (It is love), the first song (2:31, text by Franco Battiato, music by Giorgio Logiri and Guido Lamorgese), is a melodic song, a different version from the 45 laps (here there are the violins). 2) Fumo di una sigaretta (Smoking a cigarette), 2:43 (text by Franco Battiato, music by Giorgio Logiri and Guido Lamorgese) is another melodic song sixties style. 3) Lacrime e pioggia (Tears and rain), 3:39 (text by Vito Pallavicini, original text by Boris Bergman, music by Vangelis Papathanassiou) is an unrealesed cover of the success of the Aphrodite's Child "Rain and Tears and Candlelight". 4) Sembrava una serata come tante (It seemed like an evening like many), 3:16 (text by Franco Battiato, music by Giorgio Logiri) is a boring song. 5) Gente (People), 3:13 (text by Giovanni Bonoldi, music by Giorgio Logiri) is a trivial piece. 6) "Iloponitnatsoc", that is the contrary of Costantinople, 1:53 (text by Franco Battiato, music by Giorgio Logiri) is a fragment of Gente. The songs are just passable.

Second side. 1) Bella Ragazza (Beautiful girl), 3.10 (text by Franco Battiato, music by Giorgio Logiri and Federico Mompellio) is a beat song, in a different version respect the 45 laps. 2) Lume di Candela (Candlelight), 3:04 (text by Franco Battiato, music by Giorgio Logiri) is less than passable. 3) "Occhi d'or (Golden Eyes), 5:38 (text by Paolo Farnetti, music by Giorgio Logiri and Federico Mompellio) is terrible. 4) Hot wind - 3:07 (text by Franco Battiato, music by Pëtr Il'ič Čajkovskij: it is the re-elaboration of a theme from the Concerto n. 1 for piano and orchestra in B flat minor Op. 23 by Pëtr Il'ič Čajkovskij, arrangement by Franco Battiato). No words. 5) Sidewalk - 2:57 (text and music by Franco Battiato).

In this album, which is more than anything else a historical repert, we listen to Battiato melodic and beat singer (the beat in Italy was dominant until 1970). Battiato has neither the voice nor the propensity to Italian melodies similar to lyrical arias and in fact in this role of interpreter (the music is almost always of other musicians) Battiato is completely out of place, and in fact the results are terrible. Fortunately, a few years later, Battiato will go to progressive. With other results.

Rating album: 5. One star.

 Fleurs by BATTIATO, FRANCO album cover Studio Album, 1999
2.45 | 12 ratings

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Fleurs
Franco Battiato Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by jamesbaldwin
Prog Reviewer

2 stars I agree with octopus-4: this album is unecessary and a bit too boring.... but not bad.

Fleurs (Flowers) is a retro-operation, style Where Have All the Good Old times gone? (Recalling Kinks, Bowie, Elton John etc.). Battiato wants to sing the songs of his youth, the songs that he likes, that he listened when he was growin' up. But Battiato does not have a flexible or powerful voice, so his range of choice of songs to interpret is very limited. But as we know, the artist tends not to set limits and to throw away with ease (and unconsciousness) in any musical genre, and so sometimes gets the effect of demanding too much from his voice or from his English or French (or Arabic: fortunately here absent).

Here the result. "La Canzone Dell'Amore Perduto" is too much similar to the original (written by De Andrè) but De Andrè's voice is much better. "Ruby Tuesday" (Rolling Stones) is an experiment: no drums and the operatic voice of the soprano Simone Bartolini. A little bit proggy. Interesting but I prefer the original one. I never heard before "J'Entends Siffler Le Train", a French folk song, but it's not bad and I still agree with octopus-4: Battiato sings better in French than in English. "Aria Di Neve", by Sergio Endrigo, great Italian songwriter, is... maybe the worse of the whole album. Endrigo have written a lot of wonderful songs: why just this one, Franco?

"Ed Io Fra Di Voi", success by Charles Aznavour. Good song, but... I regret the voice of Aznavour... Again Sergio Endrigo, author of another "so and so" song: "Te Lo Leggo Negli Occhi". Melodic italian song, Sanremo festival style... I cant stand it. "La Canzone Dei Vecchi Amanti" by Jacques Brel. Good song. Chansonnier of high class. Battato resists. "Era De Maggio" traditional sung by Roberto Murolo. Very simple. "Che Cosa Resta" is at the same level of Aria di Neve

"Amore Che Vieni Amore Che Vai" by De André is one of the few songs in this compilation real fit to Battiato's voice. "Medievale" is written by Battiato and take higher the quality of the album, thanks to the interpretation of Battiato and Bartolini. "Invito Al Viaggio" (Invite to journey), lyrics by Baudelaire, music by Battiato, is possibly the best song of the album. The beginning with operatic vocals, keyboard and recitative (Manlio Sgalambro) are excellent.

Not a bad album, because Battiato is always original, but unecessary album of covers (except the last two good songs). Vote 6,5/7. Two Stars.

 Come Un Cammello In Una Grondaia by BATTIATO, FRANCO album cover Studio Album, 1991
2.22 | 10 ratings

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Come Un Cammello In Una Grondaia
Franco Battiato Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by jamesbaldwin
Prog Reviewer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 Orizzonti Perduti by BATTIATO, FRANCO album cover Studio Album, 1983
2.27 | 20 ratings

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Orizzonti Perduti
Franco Battiato Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by jamesbaldwin
Prog Reviewer

2 stars After the big and unexpected success of "La Voce del Padrone", Battiato started to publish similar albums: "L'Arca di Noè" (which seemed to recycle scraps from "La Voce del Padrone") and "Orizzonti Perduti", (Lost Orizonts) which last about half an hour (even less: this one last twenty-eight and a half minutes), with melodic pop songs, with electronic sound.

In "Orizzonti Perduti" there are no strings, no guitars, only keyboards, computer programming and percussion. And the voice of Battiato. Here there is little to do with progressive. The album begins with the hit "The season of Love", ", which enjoys a beautiful melody and a perfect keyboards arrangement. This song has become a hymn in Italy, for its singability and its wonderful text:

"La stagione dell'amore viene e va I desideri non invecchiano quasi mai con l'età Se penso a come ho speso male il mio tempo Che non tornerà, non ritornerà più La stagione dell'amore viene e va All'improvviso senza accorgerti, la vivrai, ti sorprenderà Ne abbiamo avute di occasioni Perdendole, non rimpiangerle, non rimpiangerle mai Ancora un'altro entusiasmo ti farà pulsare il cuore Nuove possibilità per conoscersi E gli orizzonti perduti non ritornano mai La stagione dell'amore tornerà Con le paure e le scommesse Questa volta quanto durerà Se penso a come ho speso male il mio tempo Che non tornerà, non ritornerà più."

"The season of love comes and goes Desires don't grow old almost never with age If I think about how I spent my time badly That he will not come back, he will not come back The season of love comes and goes Suddenly without realizing it, you will experience it, it will surprise you We had occasions Losing them, do not regret them, never regret them Yet another enthusiasm will make your heart throb New possibilities for getting to know each other And the lost horizons never come back The season of love will come back With fears and bets This time how long it will last If I think about how I spent my time badly That he will not come back, he will not come back"

After that song, there is "Tramonto Occidentale" (Occidental Sunset), a good song with a very sustained rhythm, then a rather insignificant filler (Zone Depresse), then "Un'altra Vita" (Another Life), that ends side A: catchy classical melody, suitable for the strings.

Sides B il less interesting: "Mal d'Africa" isn't bad, "La Musica è Stanca" is a filler, then there are texts often autobiographical that evoke Sicily, as in the highly rhythmic electronic ballads "Gente in Progresso" and "Tibetan Bells", which add an oriental touch (also "Hare Krishna"!) to his isle. But they are not remarkable songs.

"Orizzonti Perduti" is a melodic pop album, with a great hit, some good songs and some fillers. The album is written by a somewhat gifted melodic musician.

Vote album: 6,5/7. Two Stars.

 Mondi Lontanissimi by BATTIATO, FRANCO album cover Studio Album, 1985
2.60 | 17 ratings

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Mondi Lontanissimi
Franco Battiato Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by jamesbaldwin
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Franco Battiato, after the stratospheric (and unexpected) success of "La Voce del Padrone", publishes similar albums, which last about half an hour (sometimes less), with melodic pop songs, with electronic sound and sometimes with classical melodies - they have little to do with progressive.

After "L'Arca di Noè", which seemed to recycle scraps from "La Voce del Padrone", arrives "Orizzonti Perduti", with the hit "The season of Love", and finally "Mondi Lontanissimi", which of the three is the best, even if it benefits from the inclusion of some songs already released as singles: "I Treni di Tozeur" had been recorded by Battiato and Giuni Russo, while "Chan-son Egocentrique" had been engraved with Alice. In the album they are repeated in a new version, sung by Battiato alone (also "The King of the World", fished from "L'Era del Cinghiale Bianco" revived in a new version, less beautiful). And they are perhaps the peaks of the LP along with "No Time No Space", which enjoys an orchestral arrangement, directed by the faithful master Giusto Pio.

Good is also the initial, little known, "Via Lattea", with a mystical ballad rhythm. Battiato always moves, in the lyrics, between esotericism and non-sense, with lightness. The other songs are not ugly, but they are fillers, except the last one, where Battiato remembers the carnal instincts and write a track melodically remarkable: "L'animale" (The Animal), but it run away in a way too easy, without being covered in a carefully arrangement; missed masterpiece. End of the album.

"Mondi Lontanissimi" is a good melodic pop album, the best from "La Voce del Padrone" because, unlike the previous two discs, it enjoys excellent melodic songs and sometimes a more symphonic arrangement. The album is written by a somewhat gifted melodic musician, who closes, with the present record, the disengaged phase of the pop chart (started with Patriots).

Vote album: 7,5. Three Stars.

 L'Arca Di Noè by BATTIATO, FRANCO album cover Studio Album, 1982
2.35 | 21 ratings

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L'Arca Di Noè
Franco Battiato Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by jamesbaldwin
Prog Reviewer

2 stars If I remember correctly, when "L'Arca di Noè" (Noah's Ark) came out, "La Voce del Padrone" was still in the rankings, such was great and long its success. Noah's Ark had the ungrateful task of providing a follow-up to this bestseller that had agreed public and critical. Did it succeed? In terms of sales, yes: he managed to reach the first place in the Charts and stay there long (not as much as the predecessor). At the level of the public, no, there is no way to match La Voce del Padrone. L'Arca di Noè was an unsuccessful album, which contains only two classics: "Radio Varsavia (Warsaw)" and "Voglio Vederti Danzare" (I Want to See You Dance).

The first, which is the opening of the album, indicates a less cheerful mood than La Voce del Padrone. "Radio Varsavia" is a good electronic track with a thrilling mood, a dramatic pathos (Vote 7,5). "Voglio Vederti Danzare" is an happy electronic piece, carefree, with a waltz finale, that could have been on the previous album (Vote 7,5).

The second song, "Clamori", is one of the most conventional songs (strophe-refrain) with an uninspired melody (vote 6). The third song, "L'esodo" (The exodus) is the longest (almost five and a half minutes) and maybe the best song (vote 8), thanks to the initial chorus (Madrigalisti di Milano), to the epic and austere mood (and the arrangement by the master Giusto Pio). End of side A. Two good songs, and a quite bad song.

"Scalo a Grado" (Stop in Grado) brings a carefree and danceable rhythm, typical of La Voce del Padrone, but it is not very effective: it could be a scrap of the previous album (vote 6+). "La Torre" (The Tower) is perhaps the worst piece of the album, a danceable dance with a social satire, that does not go anywhere (vote 5,5). What Have I Said? That The Tower is the worst piece? Sorry, I must correct myself: the worst piece is "New Frontiers", maybe another scrap of the prevoius album (vote 5+). After that, comes Voglio Vederti Danzare, the last track.

Medium quality of the songs: 6,57. Vote album: 6+. Two Stars.

 Pollution by BATTIATO, FRANCO album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.66 | 91 ratings

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Pollution
Franco Battiato Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

4 stars Before FRANCO BATTIATO ventured off into minimalism and eventually new wave pop to become one Italy's top performers, he released a couple experimental progressive rock albums for his first two releases. FRANCO BATTIATO's second release (as simply BATTIATO) pretty much follows in the footsteps of his unique style as heard on the debut "Fetus" except that this one lies more in the electronic world and a clue as to where he would take his music, that meaning that the compositional layout of catchy hooks is still present with abrupt changes in genre styles, tempos, timbres all within the confines of keeping a strong melody going, although there are a lot more synthesizers on this one along with the bass, guitar and drums. BATTIATO and three other band members also contribute to a barrage of sound effects on the VCS 3 Synthesizer which leaves a very rich sounding album filled with all the cutting edge technicalities of the day including Rick Wakeman inspired synthesizer workouts.

Starting out what sounds like period piece classical musical from a previous century, it sounds as if we've visited a ball in the 17th century with Mozart as the headliner but after an explosion signals a change over it quickly becomes a jittery guitar riff followed by a haunting organ run that builds up to heavier rock. Once again an explosion changes over to a VCS 3 Synthesizer run that wouldn't sound too far off on an 80s new wave album although this one is kept within a classical music context. By the time the album gets to "Beta," it slows down with a groovy Floydian bass line along with a crafty piano run and freaky background vocals that create a seven minute plus space rock track but ends with a reprise to the classical ball music as the album begins.

POLLUTION is anything but dirty! It is a really pleasant experience to let unfold around you as one addictive track cedes to the next. There are lovely arpeggiated guitar sections such as on "Plancton" that add atmospheric keyboards and once the purely Italian vocals enter the scene sounds much more like the Italian kings of the scene such as PFM or Banco reminding from whence they emerged in the world. Again replete with daring keyboard solos kept within the context of the melody but creating synthesized polyrhythms that complement each other beautifully. The title track has a rather Krautock type intro with UFO type flying sound pulsating from synthesizers while waves crash against some unseen shores while echoey guitar strums gently stroll in as the synthesizer sounds short circuit out. What a way cool intro! It becomes a nice folky guitar piece as the vocalists all begin to sing to the heavens!

This is one of those albums that has all its ducks lined up in the right rows. It has just enough melody to reel you in and keep you hooked but so many surprises and unexpected twists and turns that it's impossible to lose your attention. While firmly placed in the Italian scene during the vocal parts, the beauty of POLLUTION is how pan-continental it sounds during the instrumental parts as BATTIATO takes all the magic of bands like Pink Floyd, Roxy Music, Yes and even Ash Ra Temple and Tangerine Dream and puts it all on the work table for a new sort of musical beast making. Just as good as the debut in a totally different way and somewhat points in the direction of the next album "Sulle Corde Di Aires" that really took the plunge and went completely in the progressive electronic arenas.

 Fetus by BATTIATO, FRANCO album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.43 | 67 ratings

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Fetus
Franco Battiato Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

4 stars FRANCO BATTIATO is known as one of the most popular pop singer / songwriters in all of Italian musical history having covered everything from new wave, new age and beat as well as venturing into other arenas such as free jazz and musique concrète, however his origins were much more rooted in the world of experimental electronic music and in the early 70s began releasing his own albums which fall into the world of progressive rock beginning with his debut album FETUS. This album was released in both Italian and English and is a concept album about the development of, yep, you guessed it? a gestating FETUS! It does however seem that the tracks are moved around depending which album you are experiencing. Personally i ALWAYS prefer Italian bands to sing in their native language because not only does it sound more natural and less stilted but the Italian language was created to sound friggin great and especially beautiful on more complex progressive pieces where the operatic vocals soar like eagles.

By the time BATTIATO got to recording his debut release he had already become quite the sensational songwriter and it's quite clear even from this early experimental stage of his career how he was able to carry on into becoming a pop sensation in his native land. FETUS is the perfect balance between catchy hooks in mostly a rock and folk styles accompanied by lots of electronic effects and progressive touches that make FETUS a true pleasure to experience. Laced with classical music as blatantly heard on "Meccanica," FETUS takes extremely strong melodies and contorts them into bizarre electronic coated rhythmic dances that meander from folk guitar passages to organ fuzzed out psychedelic frenzies. BATTIATO's vocals are quite powerful as are the brilliant arrangement that juggle dynamics, tempos and genre characteristics like a top performer at a Cirque du Soleil show. While the time run is a mere half hour, each track packs a punch with a wealth of ideas and changes crammed into every nook and cranny.

While i haven't experienced the English version, i can tell by the music that the theme that begins with a human heartbeat continues to evolve much like a gestating human in the womb as the tracks add more layers of content although are fairly short in duration. FETUS comes across as a typical Italian progressive rock album of the era with pastoral passages trading off with more bombastic ones along with BATTIATO's vocal bravado in full operatic style in the forefront. While there are plenty of experimental touches, they take a backseat to the strong melodic developments and only exist to enhance the overall song structures, not impede them. FRANCO BATTIATO created his first gem with his debut FETUS and despite appearing on the tripper's guide to psych, the Nurse With Wound List, FETUS is actually a very accessible album for the pop sensibilities are already quite developed in BATTIATO's early stages. In fact i would probably consider this progressive pop rock more than anything but labels matter not to me when music is this beautifully sublime.

 Sulle Corde Di Aries by BATTIATO, FRANCO album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.09 | 117 ratings

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Sulle Corde Di Aries
Franco Battiato Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars Very cool, spacey, folk (or religious) psychedelia--the music a man would make if he were celebrating and supporting a kind of personal 'New Age' spiritual transformation.

1. "Sequenze e frequenze" (16:23) Side One's side-long suite opens with chaotic cacophony of female voices, reed instruments, and sustained volume-pedal-controlled electric guitar chords and notes. In the second half of the second minute this evolves into a synthesizers over a droning note. AT 2:24 a male voice enters singing in a style familiar to me from Roman Catholic High Masses. Beneath the singer the synthesizers begin to shift and evolve their weave. At the four-minute mark percussion, mandola, and synthesizers continue the weave at a fairly quick pace. Though the music feels ethereal and serpentine, it also exudes a kind of ecstatic joy. At the end of the seventh minute the drone has become chopped up like a helicopter's rotors in motion while c(k)alimba and what sounds like an organ and sax play at a loose weave. Quite mesmerizing. And beautiful. The pace seems to quicken--almost like the dance of the Sufi whirling dervishes--as we reach the two-thirds mark before it starts to fade out--all but the chopper drone. A harmonium-like sound adds itself and is then joined by tuned bells (miniature piano? small xylophone?) and calimba to form a new weave--which also builds to a crescendo of volume and frenzy over the final four minutes before finally fading away in the last minute, leaving only the tuned hand percussives playing. Amazing song of invocation and worship. (10/10)

2. "Aries" (5:27) opens with the slow emergence of a single sustained, pulsating, flute-like synthesizer note. Eventually a kind of sequenced set of synth arpeggi support this before every fallls away at the 1:30 mark to allow the entrance of African hand drums, guitar arpeggi and strums and volume pedal-controlled electric guitar notes before echo-chamber-treated "la-la-la-la" vocals enter. After these cease, a wailing saxophone leads the band into an orgiastic climax. Nice celebratory song for members of the Age of Aquarius. (9/10)

3. "Aria di rivoluzione" (5:03) opens with heavily effected guitar and rapid-echo-treated solo voice. The vocal sounds almost sacred, ritualistic, perhaps from some Arabic tradition (though it is sung in Italian). The recorded talking voice of a woman speaking in German (Jutta Nienhaus) is interjected in the place of the choruses while being accompanied by violoncello. Nice little contemplative soli occur in the "C" instrumental part over hand percussives, first from volume-pedal-controlled electric guitar and synth horn, then from several high pitched reed horns, to the song's end. It would probably mean more to me if I knew what the German recitation meant. (8.5/10)

4. "Da Oriente a Occidente" (6:38) opens like an sing-a-long in an Indian ashram with folk instruments supporting multiple loosely-aligned male vocalists, but then it turns into a kind of "everybody grab an instrument" jam session (only the instrumentalists are all well-trained musicians). Awesomely hypnotic! (9/10)

Five stars; a masterpiece of progressive rock music (though I'm not sure this fits in with the more typical RPI sounds).

Thanks to MorgothSunshine for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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