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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)

2.55 | 56 ratings
Quelli (pre-PFM)
1969
4.34 | 1412 ratings
Storia Di Un Minuto
1972
4.40 | 1785 ratings
Per Un Amico
1972
4.02 | 556 ratings
Photos Of Ghosts
1973
4.22 | 907 ratings
L'Isola Di Niente
1974
4.02 | 388 ratings
The World Became the World
1974
3.93 | 483 ratings
Chocolate Kings
1975
3.18 | 316 ratings
Jet Lag
1977
3.07 | 189 ratings
Passpartù
1978
2.69 | 138 ratings
Suonare Suonare
1980
2.08 | 114 ratings
Come Ti Va In Riva Alla Città
1981
1.95 | 84 ratings
PFM? PFM!
1984
1.94 | 95 ratings
Miss Baker
1987
2.67 | 101 ratings
Ulisse
1997
3.00 | 107 ratings
Serendipity
2000
3.51 | 168 ratings
Dracula Opera Rock
2005
4.07 | 420 ratings
Stati Di Immaginazione
2006
3.47 | 120 ratings
A.D. 2010 - La Buona Novella
2010
3.87 | 162 ratings
PFM In Classic - Da Mozart A Celebration
2013
2.84 | 87 ratings
Emotional Tattoos
2017
0.00 | 0 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 | 196 ratings
Cook [Aka: Live in the USA]
1974
2.50 | 34 ratings
Performance
1982
3.29 | 27 ratings
PFM - 10 anni live 1971-81
1996
3.31 | 13 ratings
PFM - Absolutely Live 1971-1978
1996
2.86 | 3 ratings
PFM - The Best Of Absolutely Live 1971-1978
1996
3.11 | 27 ratings
www.pfmpfm.it (il Best)
1998
3.34 | 16 ratings
A Celebration Live
1998
3.78 | 14 ratings
PFM - Live In Japan
2002
3.86 | 83 ratings
Live In Japan 2002
2002
3.99 | 57 ratings
PFM & Pagani - Piazza Del Campo
2005
2.23 | 21 ratings
PFM canta De André (CD + DVD)
2008
4.28 | 50 ratings
Live in Roma (With Ian Anderson)
2012
4.17 | 18 ratings
Paper Charms: The Complete BBC Recordings 1974-1976
2014
4.12 | 32 ratings
Un' Isola
2014
3.95 | 21 ratings
Un amico
2014
4.05 | 23 ratings
A Ghost
2015
4.00 | 20 ratings
Un Minuto
2015
4.00 | 24 ratings
The World
2015
5.00 | 8 ratings
Il suono del tempo
2015
4.50 | 2 ratings
Live Collection - 25 novembre 1980
2015
3.51 | 3 ratings
Celebration - Live in Nottingham 1976
2019

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

4.43 | 89 ratings
Live In Japan 2002
2002

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

2.08 | 5 ratings
PFM - The Award-Winnig Marcony Bakery
1976
3.31 | 10 ratings
Prime Impressioni
1976
4.25 | 4 ratings
Celebration
1976
3.60 | 5 ratings
PFM - Antologia
1977
3.00 | 2 ratings
L'album di... PFM
1988
2.67 | 3 ratings
PFM - I Grandi Del Rock
1993
1.74 | 10 ratings
P.F.M. Story
1995
2.50 | 4 ratings
I Miti Musica
2000
5.00 | 1 ratings
Pieces From Manticore
2000
3.67 | 3 ratings
Golden Collection
2001
3.80 | 10 ratings
Gli Anni Settanta
2002
3.64 | 5 ratings
I QUELLI (pre PFM): Flashback: I Grandi Successi Originali
2003
3.08 | 3 ratings
Cuore Rock
2006
4.33 | 15 ratings
35.... E Un Minuto
2007
4.01 | 20 ratings
River Of Life: The Manticore Years Anthology 1973-1977
2010
3.25 | 4 ratings
Amico Faber
2011
3.50 | 12 ratings
Celebration 1972-2012
2012

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

2.33 | 3 ratings
I Krel - Fin che le braccia diventino ali
1970
4.25 | 4 ratings
La Carrozza Di Hans
1971
4.00 | 4 ratings
Celebration
1973
3.67 | 3 ratings
The World Became The World
1974
4.00 | 3 ratings
Four Holes In The Ground
1974
4.25 | 4 ratings
Dolcissima Maria
1974
4.00 | 3 ratings
Chocolate Kings
1975
2.33 | 3 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 | 1785 ratings

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

Review by Gallifrey

3 stars Listening diary 18th September 2021: Premiata Forneria Marconi - Per Un Amico (symphonic prog, 1972)

Arguably the defining album of the Rock Progressivo Italiano scene, and you can definitely tell - every one of the hallmarks of that sound is here in abundance, from the dancing keyboards to the impassioned vocals to the long solo sections. And like a lot of RPI, I respect it, but I stop just short of truly liking it. It certainly attempts to put a bit of passion into what was a very pompous and occasionally soulless subgenre, particularly outside of the big names, but the overt instrumental showiness is still there, as is the aversion to anything remotely memorable or catchy. It's well performed and has an endearing conviction to the long-winded jam sessions, but it doesn't resonate with me much beyond surface level.

5.8 (3rd listen)

Part of my listening diary from my facebook music blog - www.facebook.com/TheExoskeletalJunction

 Photos Of Ghosts by PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI (PFM) album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.02 | 556 ratings

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

Review by prog_traveller!!

4 stars In 1972, the second work of Premiata Forneria Marconi was released in the shops ''Per Un Amico ''. The tour that followed was a good success and, given the undeniable talents of the members of the PFM, fans and onlookers began to flock to it even from abroad ... one of these was none other than Greg Lake, singer and bassist of the supergroup Emerson, Lake & Palmer. Particularly impressed, Lake, decided it was time to introduce them beyond Italy borders, and particularly in his England. Written for Manticore Records, Premoli and his associates should have played a new version of '' Per Un Amico '', created specifically for the English-speaking public ... but here is the first problem: given the poor knowledge of English, no one in the band was able to translate the lyrics. Lyricist Peter Sinfield was then called, who had made a good reputation for having played in the first four records of King Crimson (he will also support EL & P, from '' Brain Salad Surgery '' to '' Love Beach ' '). By mutual agreement, it was decided that Sinfield would write new lyrics in English, with no apparent connection with his Italian counterparts, to add to the backing tracks. Sinfield's poetic philosophy is very similar to that of our D'Annunzio. That is, great importance is given to the power of the word itself and to the musicality of the verse ... everything is seasoned with a good dose of hermeticism and abstraction. Although the lyrics move a lot away from the '' Mediterranean '' present in the originals, the result is anything but despicable. (Obviously the Sinfield-D'Annunzio comparison should not be taken literally ... it was written just to convey the idea).

Now let's move on to examining the traces. The opening is entrusted to "River Of Life" (based on the music of "Barely Un Po '"), a piece characterized by a sudden change of rhythm: the first minute and a half of acoustic guitar and flute is followed by a powerful detachment for keyboard and violin . . . but it's only a moment. It then continues with a jester-like tune, which leads to a slow and melancholy final upholstered with keyboards. The subsequent "Celebration" (a revised version of "È Festa") is instead extrapolated from the first album '' Storia Di Un Minuto '': defined by many as the meeting point between tarantella and prog-rock, it represents one of the creative peaks of the album. The cheerful rhythm, generated by a powerful guitar turn to which the large Premoli keyboards are added, is the forerunner for the central piece (where the verses present here in the introduction on the page are sung) ... after about ten seconds nothing short of wonderful, where Pagani's flute duets with piano notes, the PFM take up the initial theme, to which they add a masterful choir.

Another great piece is the title track "Photos Of Ghosts" (corresponding to "Per Un Amico"). The melody is soft and delicate ... given its evocative beauty it remains imprinted on the head already at the first listen. There is an atmosphere that oscillates between the medieval and the Victorian à-la '' Selling England By The Pound '' by Genesis. The following "Old Rain", a song composed from scratch and not present on the Italian version, is a first-rate instrumental ... The evident references to the more serene moments of the first King Crimson (at times it recalls "Lady Of The Dancing Water" ) combined with a light jazz streak, suggest suggestive images: imagine you are near a small calm and placid pond, behind you there is a slightly yellowed grove, and suddenly a melancholy light rain begins to fall. .. here, this is what comes to my mind listening to this song. The fifth track, "Il Banchetto", is the only one to be offered in Italian ... a light and velvety progressive as we saw it in the previous "Photos Of Ghosts". After this return to the Italic roots, we return to singing in English with the propulsive "Mr. 9'Till 5" (in which a drum solo appears, which combined with the flute, emulates a military march ... original is titled "General"). It ends with the excellent "Promenade The Puzzle" (equivalent to "Geranio"), where PFM manages to perfectly blend, in the first five minutes, progressive and pop. The piece, then, thanks to dark sounding keyboards and piano touches (reminiscent of funereal bells), masterfully turns towards disturbing atmospheres ... this gives this last composition a further added value.

After this careful examination, I feel I can evaluate this album in a very positive way ... I'd say a 4,4/5.

 L'Isola Di Niente by PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI (PFM) album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.22 | 907 ratings

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

Review by prog_traveller!!

4 stars The first major line-up change in the Premiata takes place with this album. The modest Giorgio Piazza is replaced by that technical monster named Patrick Jan Erard Djivas. For the first time the bass, within the group's musical mix, plays harmoniously, with jazzy sounds and, not just accompaniment.

This is how I intended to begin my review of the album "L'Isola di niente" because with this record the Premiata "churns out" songs that will remain printed forever in the DNA of the group and all its aficionados. The disc begins with the song that gives the album its title: The Island of Nothing. The beginning of the piece opens with a choir sung by the Accademia Paolina in Milan: religious, for church. Here you can breathe an ancient and rarefied area that explodes with the beginning of Mussida's guitar in a deadly rhythm, full of grit and "new" sounds. A song with a continuous change of pace with Djivas already in evidence and the usual Di Cioccio to roll and keep simple and at the same time complicated tempos. In the song there are various interludes of guitar and keyboards that intercalate different soloists and then merge into a "unique", very particular sound. The piece ends with an arpeggio and a soloist by Mussida that really takes you to an island where you can dream. There follows another song Is My Face On Straight. With this song, the collaboration with Pete Sinfield that began the year before with Photos of Gosths continues. The piece begins with an arpeggio by Mussida and gradually takes on exceptional musical forms. Mussida, as always, makes sparks as Pagani reaches the apex on the flute with a solo that gives goosebumps and a unique skill (by far the best flute solo among all the songs ever played by PFM) of the piece is all by Flavio Premoli, virtuoso of the instrument, with a wonderful accordion who wants to underline, in a very important musical moment for the group, his roots, the origin.

The second side of the La Luna Nuova album opens, the most beautiful piece of the entire album. The song that is still played by the group today and loudly requested by the public. A complicated but at the same time simple track. The song starts with a folk motif, and gradually sounds more and more classic, in the sense of classical music, with the violin and the moog playing together two different very complex soloists. The base plays jazz-rock. The song is captivating and is a measure of the high quality achieved by the group. We continue with another classic from P.F.M., Dolcissima Maria. This song is a ballad that takes the group back to its Mediterranean roots. Of course, perhaps it contrasts with the rest of the album due to too much rhythmic difference but, as I said before, it is a song of incredible sweetness and positivity.

"Via Lumière" is an instrumental of the highest rank. Here the PFM expresses the best in terms of technique, musicality, inventiveness. It opens with a long solo on Djivas' bass, to continue with odd tempos, melodic bass lines and, at the same time, jazzy and rhythmic, a Jan Anderson-style flute solo and a great Flavio Premoli who renounces his progressive fugues for provide, with a fundamental soundtrack, a capital proof. Surprise ending with a "dip" in Caribbean waters, serene and joyful, designed by a sumptuous and romantic carpet of keyboards.

 Suonare Suonare by PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI (PFM) album cover Studio Album, 1980
2.69 | 138 ratings

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Suonare Suonare
Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM) Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Prog123

4 stars In the 80's the Progressive Rock bands of the surviving 70's recycle themselves as Rock bands with mixed fortunes. Their problem is to remain credible and, above all, to be able to write credible songs. However there have also been bands that have created (although not in Progressive Rock) great albums (not to mention masterpieces). PFM's "Suonare suonare" is one of the first examples that come to mind. The fact is that for PFM they simply tried to translate into POP the Jazz Rock played in the albums "Choccolate Kings", "Jet lag" and "Passpartù" where the talented singer Bernardo lanzetti was present. The result is that, once Lanzetti comes out of the band, PFM manages to create a truly convincing album that contains some of the band's most famous songs. Beginning to "Suonare suonare" (one of the iconic pieces of the band). It is an excellent Rock sung by Franz Di Cioccio who, not having an interesting vocal range, puts everything on the feeling and power (which he does not have). Stylistically, "Suonare suonare" is a mid tempo with an arrangement that makes it very epic and exciting. A great opening track that incorporates atmospheres dear to Eugenio Finardi, also for the text that describes a life situation very well to explain people's behavior. "Volo a vela" is a Rock with Folk parts (the violin) and a very poetic and fairytale text and, at the same time, very reflective and not at all trivial. "Si può fare" is another Rock piece where power comes first. However, it is also very technical and engaging. Furthermore, Franz Di Cioccio proves to be more than an honest singer (despite his enormous limitations). The violin solo by Lucio Fabbri is an excellent closure of a piece that is not at all trivial. "Topolino" (The title is a tribute to the Italian comic book "Topolino" ["Mickey Mouse"] which since 1949 has been collecting the stories of Disney Mice and Ducks) tells the memories of youth and is a good Jazz Rock even if it sounds a bit too cold. However, it should be noted that Lucio Fabbri's violin does a lot of Curved Air, when present. Another iconic piece of the band is "Maestro della voce" (dedicated to Demetrio Stratos, who recently passed away). Bass intro (which in concert becomes a pretext for a really fiery solo). The music is really engaging being a great mid tempo Rock with an extraordinary text that Franz Di Cioccio interprets really well with a really impressive transport (in relation to his skills ... he is not a singer!). "Sogno americano" is a cheerful Rock piece and a bit west cost (in the sense given by the 80's Hard Rock bands). "Bianco e nero" is the piece closest to PFM with Lanzetti even if, then, it develops on the usual excellent bassline of Patrick Djivas and the typical style of Italian Rock of those years that I find a bit cheerful but banal (even if I don't mind ). However, the solos section is excellent and technically it is also emotional (and that of the guitar a bit Bluesy). "Tanti auguri" is a cheerful Folk Rock (at the time it was a genre used in Italy for disengaged and cheerful songs) that could (distantly) sound too derivative from certain English Folk Rock bands. However it is a great final track for a great album.

For 1980 "suonare suonare" it's a great album. It is certainly not Progressive but it contains a lot of Jazz Rock elements and really technical moments. However "Suonare suonare" is a Rock album. And what a Rock album. Because, then, you feel that it is 100% PFM and does not present moments of tiredness or forcing. It contains no fillers and "Suonare suonare" and "Maestro della voce" are two of PFM's most famous pieces. Well ... Woe to believe it is an album made to recycle and continue a stunted career just to make easy money

 Per Un Amico by PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI (PFM) album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.40 | 1785 ratings

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

Review by prog_traveller!!

4 stars Premiata Forneria Marconi - Per Un Amico - 1972,

Not long after the first and my personally favorite album "Storia Di Un Minuto" comes another masterpiece by one of the most influential bands in the world of prog rock.

"Per Un Amico" represents the further progress of this band and expands their musical style. Symphonic Prog stile prevails, but the individual songs and parts are more complex, multi-layered and a little more demanding, as well as more classical references appear.

Whispered, gentle vocals stayed the same, as did the wonderful interplay of acoustic (flute, violin, acoustic guitar) and electric (Mellotron, synths, electric guitar) sounds but this time compositions bring diverse lines and more complex interplay.

From very symphonic and pastoral, with pleasant medieval and folk melodies to complex moments, where a jazz-rock fusion occurs to extremely rock 'n roll atmospheres from time to time, makes this a record without any defects, extremely cohesive and pleasant to the ears.

 Storia Di Un Minuto by PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI (PFM) album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.34 | 1412 ratings

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

Review by prog_traveller!!

5 stars RPI is one of the most important movements in the history of progressive rock. Having said that, the first album from Premiata Forneria Marconi "Storia Di Un Minuto" represents one of the greatest gems and achievements in prog rock.

This is a wonderful, very mature sounding record. It's very melodic, symphonic progressive rock represented with analog keyboards (Mellotron, piano, harpsichord, organ, etc.), plus a lot of flute, and of course bass, electric and acoustic guitar and drums. It immediately shows the band's professionalism, technical skills and the originality of the songs.

The music is mostly very calm, flowing and melancholic, but of course there is often an up-tempo part and rock outbursts in between. The singing on the whole record, is almost only a whisper, very, very gentle, but but perfectly accompanied by Mellotron and the acoustic guitar.

 L'Isola Di Niente by PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI (PFM) album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.22 | 907 ratings

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

Review by zeuhl1
Collaborator RPI Team

5 stars The last truly classic PFM album, L'Isola di Niente was released in 1974 and it is truly their most ambitious release to date. Opening with the title track, we are greeted with a huge church-like choir echoing a capella (an odd and daring choice for sure), it shifts to uncharacteristic crashing chords and the nimble bass of Patrick Djivas (recently pooched from the seminal band Area). Crisply recorded the song veers between flickers of Genesis, Yes and King Crimson that really don't sound as much like their influences as a synthesis that is now fully original. This is one of the better and more representative songs in their repertoire and it transitions through acoustic sections to electric sections smoothly. Echoes of Fripp from Franco Mussida over a delicate arpeggiation take us out. Second song Is My Face on Straight is the lone English lyric song on the album and sounds closer to the songwriting on their next album, Chocolate Kings. Some might find this the weak point of the album as it could sit comfortably on the second Kansas album. But with flute and convoluted bass and drum interplay-nobody is mistaking this for Kansas. Awkward lyrics that seem like this is the sequel to Mr. 9 to 5 are one of the drawbacks (it's sometimes an advantage to speak little Italian-as subpar lyrics still sound magical!). Instruments fade as the vocals repeat the question 'Is my face on straight?' to side one's fade out.

Side two begins with the violin and percussion invitation to the dance-the distinctly tarantella infused La Luna Nuova (oddly retitled Four Holes in the Ground for their US/UK release). The repeating figure gives way to a joyous synth line rivaling the seminal E Festa (or Celebration in the States). This song is one of their epics-it builds from simplest to complex very quickly in several movements. Yes fans will resonate with this song that has sweeping slow mellotron lines that underpin convoluted synth, bass, guitar and drums chasing each other in something that could have been an outtake from Relayer. Dizzyingly good stuff. This is the one tune I'd play first for any prog fans trying to dip their toes into RPI. Second song on side two is the genteel and delicate Dolcissima Maria -an acoustic guitar and flute ballad that again has some Fripp-like leads (this time the jazzy first album stylings). It leads to an instrumental outtro melody that is one of their signature themes, and one of the only times I've seen people sing along with a song that has no words Final song Via Lumiere is the jazziest this band ever got close to with a bass solo intro from DJivas that veers into a quiet Weather Report section before Mussida and Pagani introduce a violin and electric guitar duet over complex drums from Di Coccio. Electric piano keeps a faint jazzrock vibe underneath as Djivas introduces some Chris Squire impressions on bass as the band heads off into the sunset with an elegiac touch. This instrumental song is another tune I'd play for non RPI prog fans.

Overall, this album is vastly superior to the US/UK version and is well worth tracking down. I'd only owned the US version on vinyl until I recently ran across a late 70's repress on Numero Uno. The sound quality is light years beyond my US copy of The World Became the World. Djivas' abilities on bass give the band yet another weapon in their bag of tricks to make this PFM's most varied and dangerous album in their whole catalogue. Its release in the UK (and minimally in the States) as an aforementioned drastically different version with English lyrics from Peter Sinfield is easier to find. HIghly recommended-one of the best albums from one of the best bands to ever come from Italy. This one transcends RPI and belongs with the best of all 70's prog. Five stars

 Photos Of Ghosts by PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI (PFM) album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.02 | 556 ratings

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

Review by jamesbaldwin
Prog Reviewer

3 stars After churning out the first two albums, the "Premiata Forneria Marconi" starts to conquer America, and therefore a third Lp, "Photos of Ghosts", can be packaged, with the lyrics of Pete Sinfield, King Crimson's freak lyricist, and sung in English by the members of the group, especially from guitarist Franco Mussida.

Sinfield's texts have the advantage of not being the simple translation of the originals in Italian. The record contains all five songs of "Per un Amico (For a friend)", the most prog album of the group, and the most rock and festive song of the debut album, "E' Festa". To these songs is added an unpublished piece, instrumental, by Flavio Premoli, with a very relaxed atmosphere, jazz, thanks to the always precious sounds of Pagani's violin and flute. It is a very experimental piece for the PFM, which has never been so close to free jazz and constitutes the main point of interest on the album. (Rating 8).

Despite the skill of the composers, and the attention for singing in English, this Lp in my opinion does not represent the best of their music, both because they preferred the songs of "Per un amico" to those of "Storia di un Minuto", and because the integration of the various pieces and the singing in English lose something of the original artistic inspiration.

The album remains good, but not excellent. Rating 8, three and a half stars.

 Per Un Amico by PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI (PFM) album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.40 | 1785 ratings

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

Review by jamesbaldwin
Prog Reviewer

4 stars PFM churns out its second album in less than a year, that magical 1972, which will remains their best year. Flavio Premoli joins Franco Mussida and Mauro Pagani to the writing of the music and more elaborate and progressive arrangements will follow.

The first side of "For a Friend" follows the structure of "Storia di un Minuto". First piece: melodic but orchestral song; second extroverted piece, with gladness, almost an ethnic dance; an finally as third song a symphonic piece.

1. Appena un po' (Just a little (7:43)). Orchestral beginning in crescendo with synths (had PFM already heard Genesis' Watcher of the Skies?), more delicate than "Impressions of September" of the debut album, and in fact the classical guitar of Mussida arrives immediately, then accompanied by the flute by Pagani, who finally traces a beautiful melody (it took almost two minutes), and by Premoli's harpsichord, which gives an incentive to the sophistication and pomposity of the arrangements. The sound redesigns the melody with the electric instruments (it is all a continuous orchestral refinement) and around 3 minutes the singing arrives, with some sweet, unexcelled choirs. Around 4 and a half minutes comes a classic, baroque piece, a minuet worthy of the Gentle Giant, almost math-rock, a typical prog digression, nice, but too long. Until the voice returns and brings back the melody. Around 6 and a half minutes the grand finale starts, in crescendo, with Premoli's synths to draw again the main melody with a very nice solemn mood. Very pretentious track, which shows that PFM has become the most proggy Italian group, with all the positive (creativity) and negative (research of sophistication and technicality at the expense of emotion) sides of the case. Rating 8.

2. "Generale". (General (4:18)). Instrumental piece with continuous changes of rhythm, and solos of the instrumentalists. Beautiful the initial piece with Pagani on the violin and beautiful the solo of Mussica electric's guitar. It looks like an ethnic dance, we are definitely in the field of folk-rock, then the music stops and an acoustic march begins: it is the usual prog digression, now we have a syncopated acoustic blues, followed by the folk-rock piece that this time is played electric. It is a real tour de force, a music with a sustained rhythm, a display of virtuosity... in my opinion excessive, too similar to the exercise of style, although always of the highest quality. Rating 7,5 / 8.

The first two songs are good, but they don't reach the heights of "Impressioni di Settembre" and "E 'Festa".

3. Per un Amico (For a Friend (5:23)). It is the masterpiece of the album. Delicate beginning with the flute, Genesis- style, choir voices alternating with the violin pendants. The voices are a little limp, too effeminate, but the instrumental part, very proggy, is fabulous, thanks to the interlude characterized by the violin solo, which takes place together with a fine work on the guitar and an odd rhythm played by Franz Di Cioccio. Then comes the acoustic guitar and the virtuosity of Di Piazza's bass. Maybe in the solo the electric guitar would have been better than the acoustic guitar. Finally the synthesizers arrive. The song is a show of solos, until finally the initial melody restarts but ends with a crescendo of synths without the singing. The end is not good. It is a small production and technical masterpiece, with a fascinating part thanks to Pagani's violin. But there is much more sophistication than inspiration. Rating 8+. This song is better than Dove... Quando part 1. But overall this side is a little inferior to the corrispondent on debut album.

End of A-side.

The second side does not repeat the structure of the three songs of the debut album and relies on an 8-minute mini-suites, focusing on more dilated compositions.

4. Il Banchetto (The Banquet (8:39)). Beginning as an acoustic ballad, voices with choirs again, pleasant music. Around two minutes there is Premoli's instrumental interlude, graceful, cute but around 4 minutes the music becomes fabulous music, with sounds similar to the Gentle Giant of Acquiring The Taste, really cloying. When it comes to 5 and a half minutes, a jazz piano replaces the synths, bringing a more serious and classic feeling. But these Premoli solos are uninspired, worth less than those of Banks of Genesis. At the end the choirs return to conclude the narration. This song, of excessive length, in the second part described the quintessence of the flaws of prog and provided the weak point of the album. Rating 6.

5. Geranio (Geranium (8:03)). Bucolic, acoustic beginning, thanks to Pagani's flute, very present, then the choirs arrived, but they are always soft, neutral, almost asexual: they are the weak point of the album, it was much better when Mussida sang alone in the debut album . A syncopated, bluesy, very strange instrumental moment follows, in this second part Di Cioccio has a way to let off steam. An instrumental variation arrives, an interlude: it is a value, it seems to hear Richard Strauss, the violin noticed remarkable melodic peaks, and in the end a circus gong arrives. The choirs return, the rhythm increases more and more, in a paroxysmal way, we are listening to a very refined, melodic, high-class but somewhat cloying and pompous symphonic prog rock that then freezes, paralyzes itself within a repetitive phrase for over a minute, ending the record with this fading: we were witnessing all this wonder of creative arrangements and then the Lp ends repeating the musical phrase until the fading? But what came to mind at PFM? Remarkable track but missed masterpiece. Rating 8.

In this second album, more than in the first, there is a lack of a true singer, who could shows delicacy and determination, could expresses various emotions. The singing is in fact always managed with choirs, doubled voices very sweet and a little anemic, not very expressive: emotions do not convey, pathos is not present. It just whispering the words almost asexually. I am not saying that these choirs are ugly, on the contrary, they are very well balanced, and the voices are pleasant, but they lack depth and interpretation. On the contrary, the music is much more complex, layered and elaborated compared to the debut Lp, this album is definitely prog, according to the canons of symphonic prog. But the songs don't reach the quality, very high, of "Storia di un minuto", and two of them are rather weak.

Overall, rated 8.5, four stars.

 Storia Di Un Minuto by PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI (PFM) album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.34 | 1412 ratings

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

Review by jamesbaldwin
Prog Reviewer

5 stars This album is still considered the most significant of the Italian prog. "Le Orme" with "Collage", of the year before, are considered the first commercial group to have brought the prog in Italy, but the "Premiata Forneria Marconi", with this LP, and in particular with "Impressioni di Settembre", is the first famous group to have produced a successful, commercial, prog - rock record. In this first album, Franco Mussida and Mauro Pagani write almost all the songs, and Mussida and Premoli share the vocal parts.

Introduction (1:10) + 2. Impressions of September (5:44). "September Impressions" combines the prog-rock to catchy but high-class melody (sung well, with a gentle touch, by Franco Mussida) and features one of the first moog synthesizers. This combination has made it a classic. The production and arrangement are still wonderfully handcrafted (live, to capture the spontaneity of live performances), definitely not perfect and inferior to those of the English bands that inspired PFM (as well as Le Orme): Lake & Palmer, King Crimson, Genesis, Jethro Tull. But a melody like that of "Impressions of September" these three groups cannot easily churn it out - with the exception of the Genesis of Tresapass and Jethro Tull of Aqualung. Masterpiece.Rating 8.5 / 9.

3. It's Party (4:52). Piece rhythmically exuberant and sustained, driven by Mussida guitar and the moog played by Premoli, who is also the singer. That it is a party can be seen from the title and the cheerful music, bordering on the nursery rhyme, and similar to a Mediterranean "tarantella". The vocal section as usual is very delicate (not having a real singer in the group). This is followed by an instrumental piece guided from the bass by Piazza and a solo by Premoli on the harpsichord. Rating 8.

4. Where ... When ... (Part I) (4:08). Fabulous, Renaissance beginning, worthy of Genesis, doubled voice, acoustic guitar, nocturnal and whispered atmosphere, Pagani's flute and Premoli's harpsichord give a very classic touch, accentuated by Mussida's guitar. The song this time doesn't have an explosion and stays on a minor pitch from start to finish. Very refined, atmospheric, it lacks a winning variation to be remarkable. Simple on a compositional level. Rating 7.5 / 8.

B- Side 5. Where ... When ... (Part II) (6:00). The second part of the song opens with an organ and a violin embroidering the same melody with which the first side ended. Here, however, the atmosphere is very baroque. Premoli's piano exhibits virtuosity in which Di Cioccio's drums participate, then the piece becomes orchestral and the melody appears to us in all its beauty. Around 3 and a half minutes Premoli's swing piano brings a nice variation, followed by Pagani's flute and Di Cioccio's drums, and at this point we are lapping free-jazz. Creativity is at its best, and is characterized by its refinement and delicacy. The initial organ returns towards the end, ending the song a little too quickly. But anyway, how beautiful it is! Rating 9.

6. Hans's carriage (6:46). Hard-rock begins then Pagani's flute and voice, finally the acoustic guitar, with the doubled voice of Mussida, very delicate, and the atmosphere becomes bucolic, pastoral. A piece on classical guitar follows in which Mussida takes some space. Strangely, the song no longer picks up the thread after the digression on the guitar, but folk and finally hard-folk concert music returns, thanks to the electric guitar similar to the initial piece. Rating 8+. Piece that brings together folk, hard-rock and symphonic piece.

7. Thank you very much (5:52). Last song with acoustic beginning and voices in chorus (Premoli), then there is a symphonic chorus, a bit 'noisy, with sounds from country band, and the voices sing a "Thank you for living." Here the production is a bit 'sensationalist, the PFM look for the GRAND FINAL, and in fact after a pause of music toward the three minutes, returns orchestral music, choirs and finally return to the grand final upbeat, much triumphalistic. Rating 8.

Ladies and gentlemen, we are facing a masterpiece, one of the most representative records of the Italian prog, together with Collage by the Orme, which anticipated it, with Darwin by Banco del Mutuo Soccorso, of the same year, and with Arbeit Macht Frei by Area , of the following year. With this album, Italian progressive music has taken on a precise identity, linked to melody, delicate singing, orchestral folk, and orchestral and classical virtuosity. This is a very inspired, highly creative record.

Rating 9+. Masterpiece. Five Stars.

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

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