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PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI (PFM)

Rock Progressivo Italiano • Italy


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Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM) biography
The pioneer of Italian Progressive groups, PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI (PFM for short) is one of the leaders of the 70s prog movement. PFM developed a style which is uniquely Italian while maintaining links with the rest of the prog world. A lyrical, romantic and delicate music, full of fineness. A great melodic and instrumental richness, somptuous compositions and arrangements. Sometimes compared with the early KING CRIMSON, the group had its own musical personality, with its elegant music.

"Per Un Amico" ("Photos of Ghosts") and "L'Isola Di Niente" as well as their first, "Storia Di Un Minuto" are all virtual classics of progressive music, obviously influenced by early KING CRIMSON and GENESIS yet sounding nothing like them. The instrumentation is superb with fluid guitar, highly original synthesizer sounds, beautiful violin and flute, and ethereal vocals that are so important to the music, that replacing them with English vocals becomes a detriment. "The World Became The World" is another English-language album, but this time with the same music, so it's not as bad as "Photos Of Ghosts".

"Marconi Bakery" is a compilation of music from the first three Italian albums. "Jet Lag", from 1977, had much of the original PFM spirit with a jazz inclination, akin to groups such as ARTI + MESTIERI, though somewhat more low-key. "Suonare Suonare" came out in 1980, and saw PFM turning back toward their original sound, from the style of "Passpartu". On "PFM - Live In Japan 2002 (Tokyo)" the band plays classic tunes from the Seventies. A must for all prog fans...!

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Per Un AmicoPer Un Amico
Import
Sony/Bmg Italy 1998
Audio CD$3.83
$3.82 (used)
Storia Di Un MinutoStoria Di Un Minuto
Import
Sony/Bmg Italy 2005
Audio CD$3.85
$3.84 (used)
Photos of GhostsPhotos of Ghosts
Import
Sony/Bmg Italy 1998
Audio CD$2.98
$2.44 (used)
L'isola Di NienteL'isola Di Niente
Import
RCA IMPORT 1998
Audio CD$2.98
$1.67 (used)
Chocolate KingsChocolate Kings
Import
Sony/Bmg Italy 1998
Audio CD$2.73
$1.62 (used)
World Became the WorldWorld Became the World
Import
Imports 2014
Audio CD$5.77
$5.76 (used)
Stati Di Immaginazione-ReissueStati Di Immaginazione-Reissue
Import
Imports 2014
Audio CD$5.78
$5.77 (used)
River of Life: Manticore Years Anthology 1973-1977River of Life: Manticore Years Anthology 1973-1977
Import · Remastered
Manticore UK 2010
Audio CD$10.91
$10.00 (used)
Per Un AmicoPer Un Amico
Import
Imports 2014
Audio CD$17.25
$97.00 (used)
Live in JapanLive in Japan
Extra tracks · Import
Sony/Bmg Italy 2004
Audio CD$4.49
$4.48 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
Premiata Forneria Marconi-Pfm 35 Ani...E Un Minuto CD Box set, Import Very Good USD $42.55 Buy It Now 16h 9m
L'Isola di Niente by Premiata Forneria Marconi, PFM (CD, Jul-1998, BMG... USD $4.85 Buy It Now 1 day
L'Isola di Niente by Premiata Forneria Marconi, PFM (CD, Jul-1998, BMG... USD $14.43 Buy It Now 1 day
Premiata Forneria Marconi PFM ?"A Celebration Live" 2CD 26 Tracks King Crimson USD $7.50 [0 bids]
4 days
Premiata Forneria Marconi PFM? PFM! JAPAN MINI LP CD NEW OUT OF PRINT BVCM-37701 USD $18.99 Buy It Now 4 days
Jet Lag by Premiata Forneria Marconi/PFM (CD, Mar-2010, Manticore) USD $10.11 Buy It Now 5 days
Jet Lag by Premiata Forneria Marconi/PFM (CD, Mar-2010, Manticore) USD $25.83 Buy It Now 5 days
Come Tiva Riva Alla Citta by Premiata Forneria Marconi PFM Japan Mini LP CD USD $5.99 Buy It Now 5 days
Premiata Forneria Marconi PFM LP The World Became the World USD $9.75 [0 bids]
6 days
Premiata Forneria Marconi PFM promo LP Photos of Ghosts USD $9.75 [0 bids]
6 days
Premiata Forneria Marconi ?PFM Photos Of Ghosts LP 1973 Australian gf Italo prog USD $30.27 Buy It Now 6 days
Jet Lag by Premiata Forneria Marconi/PFM USD $26.91 Buy It Now 8 days
Serendipity [Premiata Forneria Marconi/PFM] New CD USD $10.08 Buy It Now 8 days
Performance [Premiata Forneria Marconi/PFM] [1 disc] New CD USD $9.68 Buy It Now 8 days
Premiata Forneria Marconi PFM / In Classic ~ Da Mozart A Celebration (+1) [2 CD] USD $23.99 Buy It Now 13 days
PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI PFM The World Became The World ** orig. Canada 1974 USD $12.99 Buy It Now 14 days
PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI PFM Photos of ghosts LP G/F ROCK POP PROG USD $22.21 Buy It Now 15 days
PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI - PFM? PFM! CD JAPAN BVCM-37701 NEW 2006 USD $100.86 Buy It Now 16 days
PFM Premiata Forneria Marconi PFM 10 Anni Live 4 CD Box USD $29.99 Buy It Now 20 days
Serendipity by Premiata Forneria Marconi/PFM (CD, Sep-2014) USD $5.77 Buy It Now 21 days
PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI PFM Live in Usa URUGUAY RARE BACK COVER ITALY PROG NM- USD $40.00 Buy It Now 22 days
Ulisse by Premiata Forneria Marconi/PFM (CD, Sep-2014) USD $5.94 Buy It Now 22 days
PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI (PFM) - LIVE IN U.S.A. 2013 EU vinyl LP, SEALED! USD $37.99 Buy It Now 24 days
Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM) / Cook / ELP / Manticore / UK 1st LP / EX+ USD $19.60 Buy It Now 25 days
P.F.M. Premiata Forneria Marconi PFM Cook CD mini LP HQCD 3 CD K2HD Master NEW USD $51.99 Buy It Now 25 days
Premiata Forneria Marconi, PFM - Photos Of Ghosts JAPAN LP w/OBI and LYRIC SHEET USD $49.99 Buy It Now 26 days
Premiata Forneria Marconi/ PFM-Chocolate Kings-LP 1975 Numero Uno Made in Italy USD $21.99 Buy It Now 28 days

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PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI (PFM) discography


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

PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI (PFM) top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.55 | 38 ratings
I Quelli (pre PFM):
1969
4.37 | 1084 ratings
Storia Di Un Minuto
1972
4.40 | 1370 ratings
Per Un Amico
1972
4.08 | 440 ratings
Photos Of Ghosts
1973
4.24 | 689 ratings
L'Isola Di Niente
1974
4.00 | 303 ratings
The World Became The World
1974
3.95 | 387 ratings
Chocolate Kings
1975
3.18 | 247 ratings
Jet Lag
1977
3.07 | 141 ratings
Passpartù
1978
2.63 | 111 ratings
Suonare Suonare
1980
2.06 | 93 ratings
Come Ti Va In Riva Alla Città
1981
1.98 | 67 ratings
PFM? PFM!
1984
1.95 | 73 ratings
Miss Baker
1987
2.72 | 76 ratings
Ulisse
1997
3.05 | 84 ratings
Serendipity
2000
3.55 | 142 ratings
Dracula Opera Rock
2005
4.10 | 348 ratings
Stati Di Immaginazione
2006
3.49 | 104 ratings
A.D. 2010 - La buona novella (Opera apocrifa da La buona novella di Fabrizio De Andrè)
2010
3.93 | 119 ratings
PFM In Classic - Da Mozart A Celebration
2013

PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI (PFM) Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.12 | 154 ratings
Cook (aka Live in the USA)
1974
2.51 | 26 ratings
Performance
1982
3.24 | 21 ratings
PFM - 10 anni live 1971-81
1996
2.86 | 7 ratings
PFM - Absolutely Live 1971-1978
1996
2.95 | 2 ratings
PFM - The Best Of Absolutely Live 1971-1978
1996
3.12 | 24 ratings
www.pfmpfm.it (il Best)
1998
3.36 | 13 ratings
A Celebration Live
1998
3.71 | 12 ratings
PFM - Live In Japan
2002
3.85 | 78 ratings
Live In Japan 2002
2002
3.98 | 48 ratings
PFM & Pagani - Piazza Del Campo
2005
2.20 | 16 ratings
PFM canta De André (CD + DVD)
2008
4.27 | 43 ratings
Live in Roma (With Ian Anderson)
2012
4.27 | 11 ratings
Paper Charms: The Complete BBC Recordings 1974-1976
2014
4.07 | 21 ratings
Un' Isola
2014
3.69 | 13 ratings
Un amico
2014
3.94 | 14 ratings
A Ghost
2015
3.55 | 11 ratings
Un Minuto
2015
3.80 | 15 ratings
The World
2015
4.33 | 3 ratings
Il suono del tempo
2015
0.00 | 0 ratings
Live Collection - 25 novembre 1980
2015

PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI (PFM) Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.42 | 78 ratings
Live In Japan 2002
2002

PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI (PFM) Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

1.95 | 3 ratings
PFM - The Award-Winnig Marcony Bakery
1976
3.22 | 8 ratings
Prime Impressioni
1976
0.00 | 0 ratings
Celebration
1976
3.33 | 3 ratings
PFM - Antologia
1977
3.00 | 2 ratings
L'album di... PFM
1988
2.00 | 2 ratings
PFM - I Grandi Del Rock
1993
1.61 | 8 ratings
P.F.M. Story
1995
2.50 | 4 ratings
I Miti Musica
2000
5.00 | 1 ratings
Pieces From Manticore
2000
1.00 | 1 ratings
Golden Collection
2001
3.80 | 8 ratings
Gli Anni Settanta
2002
3.75 | 3 ratings
I QUELLI (pre PFM): Flashback: I Grandi Successi Originali
2003
3.18 | 2 ratings
Cuore Rock
2006
4.45 | 11 ratings
35.... E Un Minuto
2007
4.01 | 17 ratings
River Of Life: The Manticore Years Anthology 1973-1977
2010
3.00 | 3 ratings
Amico Faber
2011
3.47 | 10 ratings
Celebration 1972-2012
2012

PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI (PFM) Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

2.00 | 1 ratings
I Krel - Fin che le braccia diventino ali
1970
3.50 | 2 ratings
La Carrozza Di Hans
1971
2.00 | 1 ratings
Celebration
1973
2.00 | 1 ratings
The World Became The World
1974
2.00 | 1 ratings
Four Holes In The Ground
1974
3.50 | 2 ratings
Dolcissima Maria
1974
2.00 | 1 ratings
Chocolate Kings
1975
2.00 | 1 ratings
Come Ti Va
1981

PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI (PFM) Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Per Un Amico by PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI (PFM) album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.40 | 1370 ratings

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Per Un Amico
Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM) Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Magnum Vaeltaja
Collaborator Eclectic Prog Team

3 stars Contrary to most reviewers, I disagree that this second classic PFM album is an improvement over their brilliant debut, "Storia Di Un Minuto". There's no doubt that it's more refined than its predecessor, but whether that actually speaks to the enjoyment of listening to the music is a different story.

This album is a little deceiving at first, since all of the life and animation is packed into the first two tracks. The opener, "Appena Un Po", is an absolutely gorgeous, moving ballad that truly lives and breathes. Layered mellotrons create a dim, cloudy haze that gives way to very classically- arranged harpsichord before evolving further into a wild and chaotic instrumental palette. Then, once the vocals enter, the song truly ascends into a higher emotional realm. "Generale" follows the opener, with a wild and jazzy feel and a scrambled mix of ideas. While very strange, it's a very exciting piece.

Unfortunately, though, the next three songs, all very symphonic in nature, delicately and carefully arranged, feel lifeless and sterile in comparison. It's a shame that PFM couldn't have worked on spicing them up as they had the material on their debut, because the latter two thirds of the album is quite forgettable. I'll still give "Per Un Amico" 3 stars, however, if only for "Appena Un Po", which I cannot recommend strongly enough. A good, but non-essential album.

 L'Isola Di Niente by PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI (PFM) album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.24 | 689 ratings

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L'Isola Di Niente
Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM) Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Magnum Vaeltaja
Collaborator Eclectic Prog Team

4 stars PFM's last "classic" Italian release, "l'Isola di Niente" already starts to see a preference towards a more British approach of prog rock. This isn't a fault, per se; the overall quality is on par with, if not higher than, the earlier "Per Un Amico" but it still doesn't reach the peaks of "Storia di un Minuto".

The title track opens the album rather dynamically, with a haunting choir starting off before begin abruptly riffed away by the guitar. This certainly isn't the delicate rustic romance that we've heard from PFM before. But oddly enough, it works. After an opening side with some clear influences from British contemporaries (notably Yes for these ears), the PFM that we're more familiar with returns on side two.

"La Luna Nuova" is the hidden gem of this island, a lively piece evoking spry summer moods of seaside village life, and evening scenery on the Mediterranean. Very nice! The romance returns with "Dolcissima Maria" and "Via Lumiere" brings the album crashing to a chaotic jazzy end.

This album comes as much of a shock to the system for all of us who thought we knew PFM, but the oddities and experimentation ultimately pay off for a satisfying, cohesive album, if not one that's hard to get into at first. 4 stars as this is a very good album, even if it isn't textbook RPI.

 Cook (aka Live in the USA) by PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI (PFM) album cover Live, 1974
4.12 | 154 ratings

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Cook (aka Live in the USA)
Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM) Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE Team

4 stars PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI or simply PFM for those of us who are multisyllabophobes, was at the height of their success in Europe, Japan and North America around 1974 after having been discovered by ELP and added to their Manticore Records and allowing ex-King Crimson lyricist Peter Sinfield rewrite their lyrics in the English language to garner international attention. It all paid off, of course and PFM released albums in both English and their native Italian but most of all were the first act of the burgeoning Italian progressive rock scene to have huge success in touring North America and beyond. This album is the only testament of that mid-70s peak of PFM and captures them at full musical form with all those intricate mind blowing instrumental workouts and the full force of their progressive compositions pleasing huge crowds of hungry fans.

The album came out in 1974 and was released as both "LIVE IN USA" in Europe with the totally cheesy light blue album cover with a blurry photo of the band on stage and also as "COOK" in North America which displays a much cooler album cover depicting snakes in a pot over the sun with the planet Saturn in the top right hand corner. The original release contains performances from the Convocation Hall at Toronto Univerity, Ontario, Canada on the 22nd of August 1974 and from the Schaefer Central Park Music Festival in Central Park, New York City, NY, USA on the 31st of August 1974. So why did they call it LIVE IN USA when part of it was recorded in Canada? I guess they realized this faux pas and changed the title to COOK.

This is a difficult review for me because i'm only now coming to this from the perspective of the 2010 remastered Expanded Deluxe Edition that improves all the poor production flaws of the original release but more importantly expands it to a 3 disc CD boxed set that includes the entirety of the Central Park performance in NYC. Truth be told, the two additional discs are a lot better than Disc 1 which is the original release of the album. While the original disc finds the band in their prime, it does have some sloppiness attached including poor vocals, out-of-sync instrumental disasters and just doesn't capture the overall perfection of the albums. It does however prove that there are no overdubs and is the real deal totally unedited and the flaws are hardly enough to bring down the extreme exuberance and professional musicianship on board here.

DISC ONE: the original album that was basically the only thing fans knew of as LIVE IN USA aka COOK for 35 years. My main complaint on this one is basically the track selections. After hearing all three discs of the 2010 triple disker, i'm asking myself why they went with the ones that they did? The versions on the other discs are better. It contains "Four Holes In The Ground" from "The World Became The World," "Dove? Qunado?" from the debut "Storia Di Un Minuto," "Mr 9 Till 5" from "Photos Of Ghosts" and the medley finale "Alta Loma Nine Till Five" which incorporates different riffs from various tracks and includes a virtuosic workout of the "William Tell Overature" which was composed by Italian classical opera writer Gioachino Rossini around the year of 1829. Now i'm not saying anything on this original roster of track choices is bad by any means, i'm just saying that i find that Discs 2 and 3 are just BETTER! Take for example the band's most popular track of their career "Celebration." It is on the original but also on Disc 3 of the remastered and it is the latter where it just blows the roof off the house. It's simply a better performance IMHO. Of course, i admit i have not heard the original album and its purported sound quality so there were obviously issues beyond my comprehension that went into play regarding track selection.

My point is simple. If you are going to invest in this album DO get the 2010 remastered Expanded Deluxe Edition. The production is great and the performances of the NYC concert are without doubt superior to those of Toronto. On the bonus discs we not only get more classics like "River Of Life" and "Is My Face On Straight" but the duplicates are more interesting IMHO with the band's chemistry gelling and unleashing all the prog yumminess that they are famous for as well as tasty guitar and drum solos that are lengthy but not flashy in any way (not that there's anything wrong with that but does turn some off.) I can only recommend this fine collection of live performances in the manner it should have been released in the first place and that is a complete collection of the NYC venue. Simple music magic going on here with the few flaws only serving as a reminder that this is a real band of talented musicians subject to the limitations of being human doing the best they can and in this case the best really means a lot.

4 stars for the original album. 4.5 stars for the remastered Expanded Deluxe Edition. This is simply a must for PFM fans

 Photos Of Ghosts by PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI (PFM) album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.08 | 440 ratings

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Photos Of Ghosts
Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM) Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE Team

4 stars PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONIA broke big in 1972 releasing two bedazzling masterpieces that year and carried out a very successful tour around Italy which put them on the top of the Italian prog heap of outstanding bands to have emerged at that time. They were fortuitous enough to attract the attention of Greg Lake from ELP while they themselves were touring the Italian countryside, which turned out to be quite the burst of luck for PFM as ELP had just launched their very own record label Manticore Records and was scouting out new talents. Well, it's no brainer that they were extremely impressed with the outstanding musical wizardry of this band. First action to be taken was to go global for a wider reach of audiences and that meant going English language all the way and PHOTOS OF GHOSTS is the the very first album by PFM to be sung in English. However, instead of making a totally new album with new songs, what we get here are remakes of tracks from "Storia Di Un Minuto" and "Per Un Amico" with the sole exception of the instrumental "Old Rain" which is the only new track created for the album.

While lovers of Italian lyrics which suit the music better may not be totally thrilled (such as me), the rest of the world was exposed to a new international rock sound and PFM became one of the few Italian prog bands to find success abroad. PHOTOS OF GHOSTS actually cracked the top 200 albums chart on Billboard (#180) and scored successful tours across all of Europe, Japan, Canada and the US. The new lyrics were written by Peter Sinfield formerly of King Crimson and the new English lyrics are totally rewritten and not merely translated. Unfortunately the rhythmic cadences and flow of the music i find to be better suited for the original Italian language as the English sounds a little stilted and clunky as it's not their native tongue but truth be told, the lyrics are really a footnote between the massive instrumental workouts that placed PFM in a league above most of the competition and Franco Mussida's vocals are heavenly even if sounding out of their element.

It is quite confusing, this one. Here's a track-by-track list of which song came from which album and other details:

Track one "River Of Life" ("Appena Un Po") (6:56) with totally new lyrics in English and is the first track on "Per Un Amico" as well as here which is a great lead

Track two "Celebration" ("È Festa") (3:50) became their best known song once re-recorded in English. This one was totally re-recorded including all instruments as well as vocals

Track three "Photos Of Ghosts" ("Per Un Amico") (5:20) was originally track three from "Per Un Amico" with all music the same and only the lyrics re-recorded in English

Track four "Old Rain" (3:40) is a mellow piano and acoustic guitar doing a proggy dance together with flute and piccolo joining in. Prog folk as opposed to rock actually. It's a nice little interlude between the more rocking tracks

Track five "The Banquet" ("Il Banchetto") (8:34) was track four on "Per Un Amico" with same instrumental arrangement and re- recorded lyrics in English

Track six "Mr. 9 'Till 5" ("Generale") (4:07) was originally track two on "Per Un Amico" with same instrumental arrangement and only newly recorded lyrics in English

Track seven "Promenade The Puzzle" ("Geranio") (7:35) was track five on "Per Un Amico" also with same musical accompaniment with revisions only in the lyrical language department

I guess i couldn't call this one essential because i prefer the original versions and the one new track is a nice welcome newbie to the old crowd but is noticeably inferior at the same time. It is perhaps a tad too mellow for its place but it's certainly not bad either. Even though i can't find a logical argument to say this essential, i still find it to be so. This music is brilliant and breathtakingly beautiful even if the lyrics sounds a little off. So perhaps not THE most essential release of PFM but still an excellent album nonetheless. Way too good for only three stars.

 Storia Di Un Minuto by PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI (PFM) album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.37 | 1084 ratings

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Storia Di Un Minuto
Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM) Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Magnum Vaeltaja
Collaborator Eclectic Prog Team

5 stars 34 minutes in length, this album is about 3500% longer than the title would suggest! Barring this one mild creative misdirection from the band, I'd say that PFM just about nailed the Italian style of prog right on the head with this one.

The lush instrumentals, the pastoral interludes, sweeping mellotrons, the romance, the passionate Italian vocals, the toying with classical ideas, it's really all here, and all executed to its fullest. Side one of the album is an example of the all-too-rare perfect side; after a brief "Introduzione", we're greeted by the nostalgic "Impressioni di Settembre", which takes just about every aspect of RPI I just listed and stuffs it into one 6 minute package.

And if you didn't think that the album could possibly live up to the standard that its opener set, the vibrant, jovial "E' Festa" delivers some stunning guitar and keyboard interplay in what starts out as almost a blues rocker, but soon weaves itself into a very creative mosaic of a track. The absolute gem of the album, though, in terms of beauty is the classically-influenced "Dove... Quando..., Pt 1", which tugs at the heartstrings like little other music can.

After the powerhouse first side, side two does seem a little bit weaker in comparison, but certainly not enough that this first entry in the classic PFM catalog can't be considered a masterpiece. I'd highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys symphonic prog or romantic music in general. 5 stars.

 PFM In Classic - Da Mozart A Celebration by PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI (PFM) album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.93 | 119 ratings

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PFM In Classic - Da Mozart A Celebration
Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM) Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by arschiparschi

4 stars It's become a real fashion to perform your music with an orchestra again these days so I wasn't too sure what to think of this release when I first saw it, whether it would be pretentious and done just for the sake of it or a great collaboration. While I don't know about PFM's intention with this release I must say that I'm mostly very satisfied with what they've done. They haven't just done orchestral reworkings of their own songs but the first CD is filled with great classical pieces that have been rearranged to work together with the band and for the most part it works very well.

It goes without saying that the musical quality of the pieces selected could hardly be improved but PFM have treated them with respect and added their own ideas in between while some passages remain as in the original piece. Sometimes this also makes it seem a bit forced to mingle the classical orchestral piece with the band's performance so that they stand alongside each other a bit but for the most part their approach is very pleasant to listen to.

The opening of "Il flauto magico - Ouverture" with Djivas' great bass playing is absolutely gorgeous, I could listen to this bit many times in a row and still be delighted. They've included Mozart's themes so well that it could not have been a better opener. After that the quality drop a bit for me but not by a lot. Certainly Mussida's great guitar playing also really puts PFM's stamp on the music and his solo guitar opening of "Sinfonia no 5 IV mov" really comes as a highlight to me again. As Mahler's emotional symphony then sets in, the atmosphere becomes very intense (positively), followed by a great jazzy part, which balances this slow beginning nicely. The track then closes with the symphony again. While the two parts seem only formally connected, the track is still overall a nice bit two listen to, even if rather as two songs. Verdi's Nabucco Overture closes the first CD brilliantly and is again beautifully arranged. The first and last tracks on CD one are certainly the highlights to me.

Unfortunately, I find the second CD less interesting as the orchestral engagement seems a bit forced. While the classical bits were mainly orchestral with the band added later on, in this bit it's the other way round and I guess that makes it more difficult to give the orchestra cues that bring new excitement to the music. The songs themselves are no doubt great, which is why the CD is in no way bad. To me, it's just rather a rerecording of classic PFM tracks with a bit of the orchestra in the background. I don't know if they could have made more out of it but I see it more as a rerecording than an exciting new arrangement.

Finally, "Suite Italiana" is very disappointing to me. I got very excited when I heard Mendelssohn's 4th "Italian" symphony (1st movement), which is one of my favourite symphonies. It is then followed by "È Festa" (or "Celebration") but the two seem entirely unrelated. The music is great of course but it is entirely unclear to me what the link is supposed to be. So the disappointment only lies in the way the two pieces are arranged, not the pieces themselves.

Overall a nice CD to listen to, certainly for fans of classical music and of PFM. Some really nice arrangements can be found on CD 1 especially. A great addition to any PFM-collection without a doubt. Recommended!

 L'Isola Di Niente by PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI (PFM) album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.24 | 689 ratings

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L'Isola Di Niente
Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM) Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Atavachron
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Drunk with the possibilities, or in espionage terms, the plausiblilities, of rock music that is in constant flux, the Milanese legends just let it go here, offering a set that is packed with promise. Most of that promise is fulfilled on this five-cut LP from '74, their fifth in the studio, and drunk is what one should probably be when hearing this puppy for the first time. The operetta that opens the 10-minute title requires some patience but it busts out soon enough with some heavy-ass guitar riffage from Franco Mussida and a complimentary vocal, trudging its way through a thicket of tin-can symph, neat ascending arpeggios, satisfying odd-metered rock, bumblebee synth/guitar lines, more forced operetta, and ambled beach-combing.

'Is My Face on Straight' is good, could've been better, features some appealing rhythms but also some awkward Greg Lake-derived singing and doesn't distinguish this ensemble. But it's still prog, what are you gonna do. A faux cash machine sets the pace for 'La Luna Nuova', taken over by synths, flutes, gonky basses, fluppy drums, an organ, all thrown together for a nice midsection and high-quality crescendo with bracing guitar/keyboard matches. Sleepy and smitten 'Dolcissima Maria' is acceptable (if you're on your honeymoon in Liguria), and Jan Patrick Djivas' bass bumbles out jazz-rock experiment 'Via Lumiere', a not-so-bad take on the fusion of the time.

This is both a very good and yet largely facultative album; it is a noncompulsory addition to a prog listeners collection, and should be among, but not the first of, the purchases a new RPI fan will make.

 Chocolate Kings by PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI (PFM) album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.95 | 387 ratings

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Chocolate Kings
Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM) Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Groucho Barks

5 stars Ok, context: One wonderful summer, when I was young enough to do daft things like this, I spent with the perfect hippie chick and this was the soundtrack to those late night chats and drinking black coffee while watching the sun rise type interludes. So yes there may be a bias here but surely most music evokes a time and a place and people..... Anyhow, mumble, mumble years on, how does Chocolate Kings stand up? It was their first album as a 6 piece and featured the new vocals of Bernado Lanzetti...who was fluent in English...and this shows in comparison to the vocals on earlier albums (those versions sung in English). Also, as my intro to PFM then this was the touchstone and, as much as I like earlier output (discovered later), they don't work for me as the vocals are weak. Kings just transports me back but actually sounds astonishingly fresh, again listening to any 1975 prog as comparison. Actually that is my first problem here. Who to compare to? This has become so much my template that I usually compare others to PFM/Chocolate Kings! Ok, being on ELP's Manticore label then it is churlish not to mention them in passing....but this is not a keys heavy drum driven thing....PFM always had the light and shade balance of multi instruments. Yes it does have some real kick ass sections, the opening track 'From Under' as one example but they can segue seamlessly into gorgeous acoustic passages as in 'Harlequin'. The electric violin that appears throughout makes Curved Air (for one) sound rather limited and PFM used it as 'part of' rather than bolt on or 'lead' even allowing for its prominence in 'Out On The Roundabout'...so perhaps Jean- Luc Ponty has to be mentioned in passing.....without the fusion! The title track is the most 'commercial', perhaps looking for the 'Celebration' groove again. Everything bears the hallmarks of superb musician ship and the interplay between them, especially on the mirrored lines in 'Roundabout', is breathtakingly dexterous. No song has anything other than balanced dynamics and the longer 4 tracks make 7 plus minutes feel short, although they do perhaps allow 'Paper Charms' to over stay its suspended keyboard chord atmospherics welcome...for all the flute/sounding distractions...and it never quite breaks out in as smooth a way as previous tracks. But it does have a great Genesis type rolling hook once it gets in to stride. So being objective, how does the listening go, without the summer and previously mentioned person as accompaniment? It goes damned well and I had been guilty of seeing the album as the background when in fact it should have been the foreground! This is as good as it gets in a 4 000 album collection....although I would add an extra star if I could for Lady Stef...where ever she may be! Perfection!
 Stati Di Immaginazione by PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI (PFM) album cover Studio Album, 2006
4.10 | 348 ratings

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Stati Di Immaginazione
Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM) Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by sagoth66

5 stars I've been listening to this a lot lately whilst travelling around and initially only really took to Il Mondo In Testa which is an excellent song fitting in well with early 70's PFM. I have found that repeated plays reveal that the whole album is indeed littered with the classic PFM sound and can be considered one of the best prog albums around.

The opener La Terra Dell'acqua is probably what you would expect PFM to sound like, an 00s update on the early style and a band who can start with an 8 minute song that goes through their whole range of styles, never gets dull and showcases a mastering of their genre but there are many highlights on the album, the aforementioned Il Mondo In Testa which I would consider to be one of the band's catchier tunes, La Conquista which starts with groove going through a lovely guitar solo towards 'Celebration' style keyboards. Il Sogno Di Leonardo starts very quietly, something PFM do very well and drops into one of those melting keyboard moments reminiscent of a slightly more uptempo Appena Un Po. Agua Azul takes time to get going but builds into another fantastic keyboard melody. The gentler side of PFM is what sets them apart from most other prog bands and Nederland 1903 peaks beautifully right in the middle of the song. Have I missed a couple? well Cyber Alpha and Visioni Di Archimede bring quite frenzied passages to the album which gives it something for every mood.

The band had a tough time in the 80's and it would be all too easy to sit on early success so I applaud the fact they kept going long enough and releasing new material until the winning formula returned on Stati Di Immaginazione. The more I listen to this album, the more I want to listen to it. If you are a fan of their earlier work then give it a good few formal listens.

 Storia Di Un Minuto by PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI (PFM) album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.37 | 1084 ratings

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Storia Di Un Minuto
Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM) Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by justaguy

1 stars Storia Di Un Minuto is another typical Premiata Forneria Marconi album. All compositions are on the same level, quite technical and wel played. However, I wouldn't dare to compare this album with the other prog rock classic offering of Genesis, Yes, Van Der Graaf or King Crimson. PFM is too much second hand, comparing to them, like a derivative, clearly a lower grade. I don't find one really enjoyable song on the album. It is too much main stream, too much average sound and too little actually enjoyable tunes. I think, this is more for the collectors and funs of Italian progressive.
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