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PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI (PFM)

Rock Progressivo Italiano • Italy


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Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM) picture
Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM) biography
Formed in Milan, Italy, in 1970 - Still active (after many changes and a hiatus between 1987 and 1997) as of 2017

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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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)

2.54 | 58 ratings
Quelli (pre-PFM)
1969
4.34 | 1459 ratings
Storia Di Un Minuto
1972
4.40 | 1831 ratings
Per Un Amico
1972
4.02 | 575 ratings
Photos Of Ghosts
1973
4.21 | 936 ratings
L'Isola Di Niente
1974
4.03 | 401 ratings
The World Became the World
1974
3.94 | 505 ratings
Chocolate Kings
1975
3.18 | 331 ratings
Jet Lag
1977
3.06 | 198 ratings
Passpartù
1978
2.69 | 141 ratings
Suonare Suonare
1980
2.07 | 117 ratings
Come Ti Va In Riva Alla Città
1981
1.93 | 87 ratings
PFM? PFM!
1984
1.92 | 100 ratings
Miss Baker
1987
2.66 | 104 ratings
Ulisse
1997
3.01 | 110 ratings
Serendipity
2000
3.51 | 176 ratings
Dracula Opera Rock
2005
4.05 | 438 ratings
Stati Di Immaginazione
2006
3.46 | 123 ratings
A.D. 2010 - La Buona Novella
2010
3.85 | 171 ratings
PFM In Classic - Da Mozart A Celebration
2013
2.85 | 97 ratings
Emotional Tattoos
2017
3.38 | 49 ratings
I Dreamed of Electric Sheep / Ho sognato pecore elettriche
2021

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

4.15 | 205 ratings
Cook [Aka: Live in the USA]
1974
2.50 | 36 ratings
Performance
1982
3.28 | 29 ratings
PFM - 10 anni live 1971-81
1996
3.40 | 15 ratings
PFM - Absolutely Live 1971-1978
1996
2.96 | 5 ratings
PFM - The Best Of Absolutely Live 1971-1978
1996
3.10 | 28 ratings
www.pfmpfm.it (il Best)
1998
3.38 | 19 ratings
A Celebration Live
1998
3.65 | 14 ratings
PFM - Live In Japan
2002
3.86 | 86 ratings
Live In Japan 2002
2002
3.99 | 59 ratings
PFM & Pagani - Piazza Del Campo
2005
2.26 | 23 ratings
PFM canta De André (CD + DVD)
2008
4.27 | 56 ratings
Live in Roma (With Ian Anderson)
2012
4.48 | 20 ratings
Paper Charms: The Complete BBC Recordings 1974-1976
2014
4.14 | 35 ratings
Un' Isola
2014
3.96 | 24 ratings
Un amico
2014
4.02 | 25 ratings
A Ghost
2015
4.00 | 23 ratings
Un Minuto
2015
3.96 | 26 ratings
The World
2015
4.60 | 10 ratings
Il suono del tempo
2015
3.00 | 3 ratings
Live Collection - 25 novembre 1980
2015
3.52 | 6 ratings
Celebration - Live in Nottingham 1976
2019

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

4.42 | 94 ratings
Live In Japan 2002
2002

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

2.08 | 6 ratings
PFM - The Award-Winnig Marcony Bakery
1976
3.27 | 11 ratings
Prime Impressioni
1976
4.00 | 5 ratings
Celebration
1976
3.33 | 6 ratings
PFM - Antologia
1977
2.33 | 3 ratings
L'album di... PFM
1988
3.00 | 4 ratings
PFM - I Grandi Del Rock
1993
1.74 | 11 ratings
P.F.M. Story
1995
2.40 | 5 ratings
I Miti Musica
2000
2.00 | 1 ratings
Pieces From Manticore
2000
3.75 | 4 ratings
Golden Collection
2001
3.78 | 11 ratings
Gli Anni Settanta
2002
3.53 | 6 ratings
I QUELLI (pre PFM): Flashback: I Grandi Successi Originali
2003
3.00 | 4 ratings
Cuore Rock
2006
4.19 | 16 ratings
35.... E Un Minuto
2007
4.00 | 21 ratings
River Of Life: The Manticore Years Anthology 1973-1977
2010
3.00 | 5 ratings
Amico Faber
2011
3.52 | 14 ratings
Celebration 1972-2012
2012

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

2.00 | 4 ratings
I Krel - Fin che le braccia diventino ali
1970
4.73 | 6 ratings
La Carrozza Di Hans
1971
3.40 | 5 ratings
Celebration
1973
4.00 | 5 ratings
The World Became The World
1974
4.20 | 5 ratings
Four Holes In The Ground
1974
4.33 | 6 ratings
Dolcissima Maria
1974
3.40 | 5 ratings
Chocolate Kings
1975
2.00 | 4 ratings
Come Ti Va
1981

PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI (PFM) Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 I Dreamed of Electric Sheep / Ho sognato pecore elettriche by PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI (PFM) album cover Studio Album, 2021
3.38 | 49 ratings

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I Dreamed of Electric Sheep / Ho sognato pecore elettriche
Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM) Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

4 stars Apart from diehard fans, I guess most progheads know about PFM primarily for their output in the Seventies, yet they have never gone away and have kept going with what I would consider to be minor line-up changes given their longevity. This album was released in 2021, more than 50 years on from the debut, still featuring founder drummer and lead singer Franz Di Cioccio, while bassist Patrick Djivas has been there since 1974, Lucio Fabbri (violin, viola) was there from 1979 for eight years before leaving and returning in 2002 while everyone else has also been there for quite a while. Founding keyboard player Flavio Premoli has also returned as a guest, while both Ian Anderson and Steve Hackett also pop into assist.

The version if have here is a double CD, with the album available both in English and Italian ('Ho Sognato Pecore Elettriche'), and while the former allows the non-Italian speaker to understand the concept story, I must confess I prefer the Italian just because it flows that much better in their native tongue. Playing this reminded me of why I enjoyed PFM so much back in the day, yet it has also been brought up to date and while it still contains many of the RPI elements one would expect from one of the founders of the sub-genre (love the Mini Moog), there are also plenty of others which are far more Neo in their output. The guitar can be very rocky and biting at times, and the dated layered keyboard sounds work well with this more aggressive and powerful attack.

There are times when it becomes quite classical and symphonic, others when it is far more restrained and delicate, the result being an album which never sits in one musical area for too long before moving on. This does not sound like an album recorded by musicians who are no longer in their prime and they are certainly not just releasing an album they are hoping fans will purchase as this is something which is highly relevant and deserving of being uncovered by those who have not previously come across them. This can be vital and exciting, or laid-back and reserved, and one never knows where the music is going to head next as it twists and turns. I see I need to look back and investigate their more recent releases as this is a superb release which is worth investigation by all those who enjoy progressive rock.

 Storia Di Un Minuto by PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI (PFM) album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.34 | 1459 ratings

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

Review by A Crimson Mellotron
Prog Reviewer

4 stars The early 70s symphonic prog explosion resonated quite strongly in Italy, with some of the best albums of the genre coming from the Mediterranean country, also home to some of the more beloved retro bands. 1972 was especially monumental for the local progressive rock scene, as the country's two most successful collectives released four albums in total - both Premiata Forneria Marconi and Banco del Mutuo Soccorso presented braces of excellent albums to the world, all of which are now deemed iconic. It is the PFM debut album titled 'Storia Di Un Minuto' that is considered by many the apex of the so-called rock progressivo italiano, released in January of 1972 and recorded entirely in 1971, this little record could be said to be a 'sign of the times', giving a brilliant picture of how prog rock was interpreted in Italy.

Naturally, the sound of PFM on this very first studio release reminisces quite a lot both Genesis and Yes - scenes of 'Nursery Cryme' may be vividly experienced by the listener on tracks like 'Impressioni Di Settembre' or the masterful two-part mini epic 'Dove...Quando...', or flashbacks from the quirkier instrumental episodes on 'The Yes Album' on 'E' Festa' could help us discover the main inspirations behind the writing and the musical direction of the then-newborn band, consisting of legendary drummer Franz Di Cioccio, master guitar player Franco Mussida, also the lead vocalist of the band at the time, keyboardist Flavio Premoli, flutist Mauro Pagani, co-writing the entirety of 'Storia' with Mussida, and bassist Giorgio Piazza.

The album has a very melancholic, soothing, and ethereal sounding, the more pastoral moments blend perfectly with the beautiful vocals, and the prevailing melodicism has to be the dominant characteristic of the sonic collages constructed carefully by the instrumentalists. Interestingly, the songs seem to be mostly structureless, perhaps a songwriting approach the band have taken after their British peers - this leads to some extended instrumental passages that reminisce, as mentioned before, that early 70s Genesis sound, with the pictorial flutes and the gentle 12-string and acoustic guitars. PFM display some masterful control over their instruments, moreover, allowing the songs to softly unfold in the most elegant of manners, displaying the vast array of moods this album contains. The listener is certainly left with the feeling that this is one continuous 35-minute-long piece of music, split into shorter episodes. Excellent symphonic prog compositions, full of all you would expect from a great prog album, with the sheer elegance, the angelic soundscapes, the more intense parts, and the exquisitely melodic approach to the writing; 'Storia Di Un Minuto', despite not being a necessarily perfect album, is a very impressive debut by a band full of gifted musicians, and has deservedly had its place among the genre's best reserved.

 PFM In Classic - Da Mozart A Celebration by PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI (PFM) album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.85 | 171 ratings

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

Review by Uruk_hai

4 stars Review #183

PFM launched a 2-CD album that was supported by a symphonic orchestra, what else is new?

The first CD is a collection of exquisite pieces of Classical Music from composers such as Mozart, Dvorak, and Verdi, the mixture of this orchestral music with the well-played rock arrangements by PFM was very interesting: it was not very similar to the classic records of the band, but definitely, it is very intelligent material and an amazing chapter of their catalog. About the second CD, well, I'd rather listen to the first one and that would make this a much better album; some of the most classic songs from the earlier albums of PFM were played here with very nice symphonic arrangements, but for my taste this was unnecessary: the re-recordings of old songs are not my cup of tea because I consider it takes off the originality and the uniqueness of the record. The interpretations are not bad, it's just that I don't see the point in doing new versions of songs that were much better in their original form.

SONG RATING: Il flauto magico, 5 Danza Macabra, 5 Danza Slava N. 1, 4 Sinfonia N. 5 IV Adagietto, 4 Romeo e Giuglieta, 5 La grande pasqua Russa, 4 Nabucco, 4 La luna nuova, 4 The puzzle, 3 Dove... quando? 4 Maestro della voce, 3 Impressioni di settembre, 4 Suite italiana (È festa), 4 Gugliemo Tell, 4

AVERAGE: 4.07

PERCENTAGE: 81.43

ALBUM RATING: 4 stars

 Stati Di Immaginazione by PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI (PFM) album cover Studio Album, 2006
4.05 | 438 ratings

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

Review by Uruk_hai

3 stars Review #182

When I first started researching about Progressive Rock I found out a list on Taringa that was supposed to be the definitive TOP 100 of the best Progressive Rock albums ever and among many other bands that I didn't know back then there were three PFM albums on the list: "Storia di un Minuto", "Per un Amico" and "Stati di immaginazione", I knew the first two, but it was the one from 2006 the one that I was missing so I decided to give it a try and I felt deeply disappointed.

The album is completely instrumental with a lot of jazzy tones and even some kind of very discrete Hard Rock patterns once in a while; unlike PFM's first albums, there is no symphonic beauty or interesting lyrics, this was just a trio of musicians improvising and, even when more than ten years had passed since the first time I heard it and I've discovered much more of the PFM's catalog, the RPI catalog, and the whole Progressive Rock catalog, this album never got my attention and I can't think of it as the amazing masterpiece most of the users of this website consider it. I do like it much more now than back in those days, but I would never consider this record as an indispensable material, just average Jazz Fusion and kind of boring instrumental rock.

SONG RATING: La terra dell'acqua, 4 Il mondo in testa, 4 La conquista, 4 Il sogno di Leonardo, 4 Cyber Alpha, 3 Agua azul, 3 Nederland, 4 Visioni di Archimede, 3

AVERAGE: 3.63

PERCENTAGE: 72.5

ALBUM RATING: 3 stars

 Passpartù by PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI (PFM) album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.06 | 198 ratings

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Passpartù
Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM) Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Uruk_hai

3 stars Review #181

After their incursion in Jazz Fusion with "Jet lag", PFM launched "Passpartù" which was more oriented to a pop-rock and even folkish kind of record. The title track of the album is an instrumental piece that sounds as if they were trying to ambient the reception of a hotel while pieces as "I Cavalieri del tavolo cubico" and "Su una Mosca e sui Dolci" show a musical maturity that gives no space to improvisation. A nice detail about this album is that they were once again singing in Italian, probably the American market was not so demanding with their catalog but it is really nice to see them going back to their roots.

Maybe if this album had much more keyboards, flutes, or violins, maybe with more ambitious drum patterns or maybe some more energic riffs would have made this album an excellent one, but there is a feeling of incompleteness, a weird void that wasn't filled with the modest tracklist this album has to offer.

SONG RATING: Viene il santo, 4 Svita la vita, 4 Se fossi cosa,3 Le trame blu, 3 Passpartù, 3 I cavalieri del tavolo cubico, 4 Su una mosca e sui dolci, 4 Fantalità, 2

AVERAGE: 3.38

PERCENTAGE: 67.5

ALBUM RATING: 3 stars

 Jet Lag by PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI (PFM) album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.18 | 331 ratings

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Jet Lag
Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM) Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Uruk_hai

2 stars Review #180

In "Jet lag", PFM sounded like most of the Canterbury Scene and Jazz Fusion bands that I don't enjoy listening to very often (Gilgamesh, Soft Heap, Soft Machine, Return to Forever, and Mahavishnu Orchestra to name a few): music filled with very stingy and annoying moogs and very aggressive bass lines. It's not that I don't like Jazz fusion, but those particular elements are always really hard to digest to me. Most of the songs on this record are instrumental improvisations and the few songs that include lyrics are not very memorable, I'd dare to say this is a very average PFM record and probably their least interesting record in the seventies.

Further than the excellent acoustic opening track "Peninsula", the album is completely out of my taste; don't get me wrong: if you enjoy this kind of seventies electric jazz this could be a great acquisition, but since I'm not at all in love with this musical style, I'll only listen to this in very scarce occasions and that would be only to check if my opinion changes a bit.

SONG RATING: Peninsula, 4 Jet lag, 3 Storia in "LA", 2 Breakin' in, 3 Cerco la lingua, 3 Meridiani, 3 Left-handed theory, 2 Traveler, 2

AVERAGE: 2.75

PERCENTAGE: 55

ALBUM RATING: 2 stars

 Chocolate Kings by PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI (PFM) album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.94 | 505 ratings

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Chocolate Kings
Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM) Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Uruk_hai

4 stars Review #179

This was actually the first PFM album that I've ever heard and I remember that I thought "why is this guy singing so similar to the Genesis guy?"

"Chocolate Kings" was PFM's first album totally composed in English, it was not an English version of an earlier record as "Photos of ghosts" or "The world became the world", this was completely original material. The vocalist that I thought was trying to copy Peter Gabriel was actually Bernardo Lanzetti who came out from Acqua Fragile which is a band that I was never a fan of precisely because to me, it seemed like a band making a desperate attempt to sound like Genesis.

Peter Sinfield was not involved on this record, but the lyrics written by Marva Jan Marrow were pretty good, and further than the lyrics and the language they were written on, musically, the album is pretty good. Most of the songs this album includes are extremely energic; we can appreciate a beautiful vibe of symphonic and jazzy arrangements here and there as it was usual in PFM's earlier recordings but mainly, the album is full of rock patterns; also, the vocal roles were very nicely oriented to a Rock Pop kind of album.

Not their best record but still a pretty good one.

SONG RATING: From under, 4 Harlequin, 5 Chocolate kings, 4 Out of the roundabout, 4 Paper charms, 4

AVERAGE: 4.2

PERCENTAGE: 84

ALBUM RATING: 4 stars

 L'Isola Di Niente by PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI (PFM) album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.21 | 936 ratings

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

Review by Uruk_hai

4 stars Review #178

"L'isola di Niente" was the first PFM album to include bassist Patrick Djivas as a replacement of Giorgio Piazza and this new member brought a much jazzier style to the band, actually, this record sounds very fresh: in some way, the mix of symphonic, acoustic and rocky arrangements that were present in the two previous records of PFM were taken to a much more experimental level since they were obviously adding more and more original elements to their music.

The jazzy bass intro followed by the excellent instrumental improvisation (very in the vein of King Crimson and Mahavishnu Orchestra) to "Via Lumiere", the folky accordion final in "Is my face on straight" (which was PFM's first song written originally in English with lyrics by Peter Sinfield) and the softness of "Dolcissima Maria" were excellent innovations in the musical style of PFM. "La Luna Nuova" actually is the most similar to "Per un Amico" they made on this record. "L'isola di niente" is definitely the most amazing track of the album but every song on it has its own originality and greatness.

SONG RATING: L'isola di niente, 5 Is my face on straight? 4 La luna nuova, 5 Dolcissima Maria, 4 Via lumiere, 4

AVERAGE: 4.4

PERCENTAGE: 88

ALBUM RATING: 4 stars

 Photos Of Ghosts by PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI (PFM) album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.02 | 575 ratings

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

Review by Uruk_hai

3 stars Review #177

This was totally unnecessary. "Photos of Ghosts" was PFM's first collaboration with Peter Sinfield, who helped them to recreate the songs from the beautiful "Per un Amico". I understand that back in the seventies most of the Rock bands from non-English speaking countries wanted (or needed) to record their music in English to get into the big market, but I've never been a big fan of re-recorded songs, especially if the "translations" are so far from the original content.

The five songs from "Per un Amico" were basically the same musically, the complaint is about the lyrics, "Old rain" is actually an original instrumental track that brings originality to the record but "Celebration" (English version of "È festa") was definitely the worst re-recording of the album, it just so awfully poor comparing it with the original. If I ever want to hear PFM singing in English I'd rather listen to "Chocolate Kings" with its five completely original tracks, if I ever want to listen to "Per un Amico" I'd listen to it as it was planned to: in Italian. That's it.

 Per Un Amico by PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI (PFM) album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.40 | 1831 ratings

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

Review by Uruk_hai

5 stars Review #176

"Per un amico" has become an iconic album in PFM's discography and in the whole RPI sub-genre and I believe it totally deserves it. The great detail of this record is how different is from "Storia di un minuto": while the debut album showed an exquisite collection of symphonic arrangements, "Per un amico" dared to get more into powerful rock structures and very sensual jazz patterns. The symphonic kind of music didn't disappear, this album actually has lots of them, but it got a much more eclectic and complete selection of rhythms. This album is very in the vein of several English bands like Genesis, Yes, and Gentle Giant but absolutely filled with the most original Italian lyrics and musical passages that sometimes flirt with Classical Music and unique Mediterranean influences. I won't go further because there is almost nothing that hasn't been said of this album yet, so if you don't know it just go and enjoy it.

SONG RATING: Appena un po', 5 Generale, 4 Per un amico, 5 Il banchetto, 5 Geranio, 5

AVERAGE: 4.8

PERCENTAGE: 96

ALBUM RATING: 5 stars

I ranked this album #45 on my TOP 100 favorite Progressive Rock albums of all time.

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

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