MENU
Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography

PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI (PFM)

Rock Progressivo Italiano • Italy


From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM) picture
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...!

Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM) official website

PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI (PFM) MP3, Free Download (music stream)


Open extended player in a new pop-up window | Random Playlist (50) | How to submit new MP3s

PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI (PFM) forum topics / tours, shows & news


PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI (PFM) forum topics
No topics found for : "premiata forneria marconi (pfm)"
Create a topic now
PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI (PFM) tours, shows & news
No topics found for : "premiata forneria marconi (pfm)"
Post an entries now

PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI (PFM) Videos (YouTube and more)


Showing only random 3 | Show all PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI (PFM) videos (11) | Search and add more videos to PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI (PFM)

Buy PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI (PFM) Music


Photos of GhostsPhotos of Ghosts
Import
Sony/Bmg Italy 1998
Audio CD$5.66
$5.65 (used)
Per Un AmicoPer Un Amico
Import
Sony/Bmg Italy 1998
Audio CD$4.48
$4.47 (used)
Storia Di Un MinutoStoria Di Un Minuto
Import
Sony/Bmg Italy 2005
Audio CD$4.66
$4.65 (used)
Stati Di Immaginazione-ReissueStati Di Immaginazione-Reissue
Import
Imports 2014
Audio CD$5.57
$5.56 (used)
World Became the WorldWorld Became the World
Import
Imports 2014
Audio CD$5.29
$5.28 (used)
PasspartuPasspartu
Import
Sony/Bmg Italy 1998
Audio CD$12.44
$11.96 (used)
L'isola Di NienteL'isola Di Niente
Import
RCA IMPORT 1998
Audio CD$4.86
$4.85 (used)
Un'IsolaUn'Isola
Import
Imports 2014
Audio CD$17.08
$17.88 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
1974 PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI PFM -SEALED 8 TRACK TAPE- WORLD BECAME MANTICORE USD $24.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Premiata Forneria Marconi PFM - Photos of Ghosts Orig. US LP Italian Prog rock USD $9.99 [0 bids]
USD $15.00 Buy It Now
2 days
Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM) / Cook / ELP / Manticore / UK 1st LP / EX+ USD $19.51 Buy It Now 3 days
Premiata Forneria Marconi PFM Per Un Amico ORIG Italy Gatefold DZSLN 55155 EX USD $99.99 [0 bids]
USD $139.99 Buy It Now
4 days
L'Isola di Niente by Premiata Forneria Marconi, PFM (CD, Jul-1998, BMG... USD $10.95 Buy It Now 4 days
Performance by Premiata Forneria Marconi/PFM (CD, Sep-2014) USD $11.95 Buy It Now 4 days
Premiata Forneria Marconi PFM ex promo LP The World Became the World USD $19.99 Buy It Now 5 days
Premiata Forneria Marconi-Pfm 35 Ani...E Un Minuto CD Box set, Import Very Good USD $29.34 Buy It Now 5 days
PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI/PFM - JET LAG USED - VERY GOOD CD USD $13.26 Buy It Now 7 days
Premiata Forneria Marconi, PFM - Serendipity [New CD] Italy - Import USD $8.32 Buy It Now 7 days
Premiata Forneria Marconi, PFM - Serendipity [New CD] Italy - Import USD $15.43 Buy It Now 7 days
Premiata Forneria Marconi PFM MISS BAKER JAPAN MINI LP CD BVCM-37702 USD $8.79 Buy It Now 7 days
Premiata Forneria Marconi PFM? PFM! JAPAN MINI LP CD BVCM-37701 USD $17.59 Buy It Now 7 days
Premiata Forneria Marconi PFM Come Tiva Riva Alla Citta JAPAN MINI LP CD USD $11.99 Buy It Now 7 days
PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI / PFM - THE WORLD BECAME THE WORLD - NEW USD $19.51 Buy It Now 8 days
1977 PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI PFM ANTOLOGIA ITALY ONLY LP BANCO CAMEL NEKTAR USD $20.00 Buy It Now 8 days
Premiata Forneria Marconi-Pfm 35 Ani...E Un Minuto CD Box set, Import Very Good USD $47.86 Buy It Now 8 days
PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI/PFM - ULISSE USED - VERY GOOD CD USD $10.50 Buy It Now 8 days
PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI/PFM - PERFORMANCE USED - VERY GOOD CD USD $10.50 Buy It Now 8 days
Come Tiva Riva Alla Citta by Premiata Forneria Marconi PFM Japan Mini LP CD USD $2.99 Buy It Now 8 days
L'Isola di Niente by Premiata Forneria Marconi, PFM (CD, Jul-1998, BMG... USD $14.43 Buy It Now 9 days
1973 Premiata Forneria Marconi PFM LP - Photos of Ghosts, Gatefold, VG+ USD $10.00 Buy It Now 9 days
1976 PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI PFM PRIME IMPRESISON RELEASED IN ITALY ONLY LP USD $20.00 Buy It Now 11 days
1974 PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI PFM LIVE IN THE USA + CANADA NUMERO UNO ITALY LP USD $24.99 Buy It Now 11 days
PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI/PFM - JET LAG NEW CD USD $13.72 Buy It Now 11 days
PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI/PFM - SERENDIPITY NEW CD USD $14.86 Buy It Now 11 days
PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI/PFM - ULISSE NEW CD USD $11.42 Buy It Now 11 days
PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI/PFM - PERFORMANCE NEW CD USD $14.85 Buy It Now 11 days
PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI PFM Live in Usa URUGUAY RARE BACK COVER ITALY PROG NM- USD $30.00 Buy It Now 14 days
Premiata Forneria Marconi PFM / In Classic ~ Da Mozart A Celebration (+1) [2 CD] USD $23.99 Buy It Now 16 days
Ulisse by Premiata Forneria Marconi/PFM (CD, Sep-2014) USD $5.60 Buy It Now 18 days
Serendipity by Premiata Forneria Marconi/PFM. USD $25.15 Buy It Now 18 days
Ulisse by Premiata Forneria Marconi/PFM. USD $25.15 Buy It Now 18 days
Performance by Premiata Forneria Marconi/PFM. USD $16.04 Buy It Now 19 days
Premiata Forneria Marconi, PFM - Performance [New CD] Italy - Import USD $8.33 Buy It Now 19 days
Premiata Forneria Marconi, PFM - Performance [New CD] Italy - Import USD $8.82 Buy It Now 19 days
Premiata Forneria Marconi, PFM - Photos Of Ghosts JAPAN LP w/OBI and LYRIC SHEET USD $49.99 Buy It Now 19 days
L'Isola di Niente by Premiata Forneria Marconi, PFM (CD, Jul-1998, BMG... USD $4.53 Buy It Now 20 days
Jet Lag by Premiata Forneria Marconi/PFM (CD) free shipping USD $10.99 Buy It Now 21 days
PFM, Premiata Forneria Marconi - PFM [New CD] Germany - Import USD $19.00 Buy It Now 24 days
PFM: Celebration 1972-2012 by Premiata Forneria Marconi/PFM (CD, Oct-2012, 3... USD $29.44 Buy It Now 25 days
Serendipity by Premiata Forneria Marconi/PFM (CD, Sep-2014) USD $5.35 Buy It Now 25 days
Premiata Forneria Marconi, PFM - Ulisse [New CD] Italy - Import USD $8.53 Buy It Now 25 days
Premiata Forneria Marconi, PFM - Ulisse [New CD] Italy - Import USD $9.18 Buy It Now 25 days
PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI (PFM) - LIVE IN U.S.A. 2013 EU vinyl LP, SEALED! USD $37.99 Buy It Now 27 days
Storia di un Minuto by Premiata Forneria Marconi/PFM (Vinyl, Oct-2014) USD $13.63 Buy It Now 27 days
Performance by Premiata Forneria Marconi/PFM (CD, Sep-2014) USD $5.41 Buy It Now 27 days
PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI (PFM) - "Photos Of Ghosts" LP - 1973 ORIG 1st US -RARE USD $15.88 Buy It Now 27 days
Premiata Forneria Marconi PFM Isotope The World Became MM4 LP/show Advert 1974 USD $13.02 Buy It Now 28 days
Premiata Forneria Marconi PFM Isotope The World Became MM4 LP/Tour Advert 1974 USD $13.02 Buy It Now 28 days
Premiata Forneria Marconi PFM LP The World Became the World USD $9.75 Buy It Now 28 days
Premiata Forneria Marconi PFM promo LP Photos of Ghosts USD $9.75 Buy It Now 28 days
Come Ti Va in Riva Alla Citta by Premiata Forneria Marconi, PFM (CD,... USD $4.39 Buy It Now 28 days
P.F.M. Premiata Forneria Marconi PFM Cook CD mini LP HQCD 3 CD K2HD Master NEW USD $45.99 Buy It Now 28 days
Storia di un Minuto by Premiata Forneria Marconi/PFM (Vinyl, Oct-2014) USD $26.57 Buy It Now 29 days
L'Isola di Niente by Premiata Forneria Marconi/PFM (Vinyl, Jan-2015) USD $25.16 Buy It Now 29 days

More places to buy PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI (PFM) music online Buy PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI (PFM) & Prog Rock Digital Music online:
PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI (PFM) has no upcoming shows, according to LAST.FM syndicated events and shows feed

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)

2.52 | 41 ratings
Quelli (pre-PFM)
1969
4.36 | 1140 ratings
Storia Di Un Minuto
1972
4.40 | 1437 ratings
Per Un Amico
1972
4.07 | 457 ratings
Photos Of Ghosts
1973
4.24 | 726 ratings
L'Isola Di Niente
1974
4.01 | 318 ratings
The World Became The World
1974
3.94 | 406 ratings
Chocolate Kings
1975
3.17 | 258 ratings
Jet Lag
1977
3.07 | 148 ratings
Passpart¨
1978
2.63 | 114 ratings
Suonare Suonare
1980
2.06 | 95 ratings
Come Ti Va In Riva Alla CittÓ
1981
1.97 | 68 ratings
PFM? PFM!
1984
1.94 | 74 ratings
Miss Baker
1987
2.71 | 78 ratings
Ulisse
1997
3.06 | 88 ratings
Serendipity
2000
3.55 | 145 ratings
Dracula Opera Rock
2005
4.09 | 364 ratings
Stati Di Immaginazione
2006
3.48 | 107 ratings
A.D. 2010 - La buona novella (Opera apocrifa da La buona novella di Fabrizio De AndrŔ)
2010
3.88 | 132 ratings
PFM In Classic - Da Mozart A Celebration
2013

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

4.13 | 161 ratings
Cook (aka Live in the USA)
1974
2.50 | 30 ratings
Performance
1982
3.26 | 22 ratings
PFM - 10 anni live 1971-81
1996
2.88 | 8 ratings
PFM - Absolutely Live 1971-1978
1996
2.95 | 2 ratings
PFM - The Best Of Absolutely Live 1971-1978
1996
3.12 | 25 ratings
www.pfmpfm.it (il Best)
1998
3.35 | 14 ratings
A Celebration Live
1998
3.76 | 12 ratings
PFM - Live In Japan
2002
3.86 | 78 ratings
Live In Japan 2002
2002
3.98 | 48 ratings
PFM & Pagani - Piazza Del Campo
2005
2.17 | 17 ratings
PFM canta De AndrÚ (CD + DVD)
2008
4.28 | 45 ratings
Live in Roma (With Ian Anderson)
2012
4.33 | 12 ratings
Paper Charms: The Complete BBC Recordings 1974-1976
2014
4.10 | 22 ratings
Un' Isola
2014
3.73 | 15 ratings
Un amico
2014
3.97 | 15 ratings
A Ghost
2015
3.67 | 12 ratings
Un Minuto
2015
3.88 | 16 ratings
The World
2015
5.00 | 4 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)

4.41 | 79 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
1.65 | 9 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
4.42 | 12 ratings
35.... E Un Minuto
2007
4.01 | 18 ratings
River Of Life: The Manticore Years Anthology 1973-1977
2010
3.00 | 3 ratings
Amico Faber
2011
3.49 | 11 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
 Jet Lag by PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI (PFM) album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.17 | 258 ratings

BUY
Jet Lag
Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM) Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Walkscore

2 stars Decent music, but the singing ruins it.

This is the second album w/ singer Bernardo Lanzetti. The music is actually pretty decent in most places, but the singing RUINS it. Unfortunately, on this album Lanzetti really exaggerates his vibrato at every turn, making otherwise just-weak vocals now completely unlistenable. Maybe they thought this would differentiate the new electric PFM sound from the other prog-rock bands, or make PFM sound identifiably Italian, or something, but it just doesn't work. Songs like "Jet Lag" and "Traveler" could have been decent, but are *completely* ruined. In fact, the only vocal song I can listen to on this album is "Cerco La Lingua", on which the vibrato is not quite so over-done. Otherwise, it is the instrumentals that are worth hearing. The opener, "Peninsula", a short acoustic guitar instrumental, is the best track on the album, followed by the fusion-y Meridiani (which has some great jazzy bass playing and a good guitar solo). The song "Left-Handed Theory" has a vocal, but that only appears in the middle third of the piece, so if you cut that out (easily done in the age of digital nowadays), you get another great instrumental track. But those 4 pieces are pretty-much it. This is on the low end of 2 PA stars. I give it 3.6 out of 10 on my 10-point scale.

 Chocolate Kings by PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI (PFM) album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.94 | 406 ratings

BUY
Chocolate Kings
Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM) Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Walkscore

3 stars A Step Down.

Thinking PFM could compete with/mirror the success of the big UK prog-rock bands like ELP and Yes, they were encouraged to hire an English singer, and to switch completely to English-language lyrics. To do this, they brought on Bernardo Lanzetti as lead singer. They also went full-tilt electric. The result is a big shift in their sound, but it is a major step down from the beauty that defined their earlier work. There is by now very little subtlety, and they go for a louder arena-rock style. They are still writing decent music though. "From Under", "Harlequin" and "Out on the Roundabout" provide good examples of mid-70s progressive rock. Lanzetti's vocals, however, are really inferior, and to my mind would ruin their subsequent album (Jet Lag). On this album, they were able to rain him in enough to make listening to the singing here passable, but at every turn you are just waiting for the instrumental passages. "Chocolate Kings" is OK, but goes on to long and the singing makes one want to hit skip. "Paper Charms" would have been great music, but the singing here is the worst on the album, thus leaving a bad taste in one's mouth, particularly after repeated listenings. After many years, I can hardly sit through this in one go. I give it 6.3 out of 10 on my 10-point scale, which is on the low side of 3 PA stars.

 L'Isola Di Niente by PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI (PFM) album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.24 | 726 ratings

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

Review by Walkscore

4 stars The last of the first phase of PFM, and PFM's third-best album.

L'isola Di Niente continues in much the same format as Per Un Amico, but with a harder edge, and the use of even more progressive rock staples (synth solos, etc), and with the addition of a choir at certain places (including opening the album). This is, to my mind, the last great PFM album. Like 'Per Un Amico', they also recorded an entirely English-language version of this album, with English lyrics by Peter Sinfield (called 'The World became the World'), and again, this Italian version is far superior to that Engligh version (on this album, however, there is one song they wrote in English: "Is My Face On Straight", so not all the singing here on the Italian version is in Italian). The music here is again quite varied, even more rock than the previous album. There are some great moments. I really like the brash guitar chords that follow the choir on the opening title track, which is on the whole great, and there are some really excellent sections towards the ends of both "La Luna Nuova" and "Via Lumiere". The fourth track "Dolcissimma Maria" is one of PFM's best-ever songs, and the most musical piece on this album. Saying this, the transitions between the very diverse musical sections on this album work less well than they did on their two previous albums, and the album comes across as a somewhat fragmented listen. There are many sections you hear that are very musical, but they don't develop them, and the listener is left wondering why they didn't stay a bit longer on them, add a solo, etc. This album just squeeks by into a 4-star rating: I give this 7.9 out of 10, which is the minimum needed to attain 4 PA stars on my 10-point scale. It is the end of their first period - after this, their albums would go downhill.

 Photos Of Ghosts by PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI (PFM) album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.07 | 457 ratings

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

Review by Walkscore

3 stars Get the Italian version (Per Un Amico) Instead.

Greg Lake liked PFM and signed them to his Manticore label. Their first album for Manticore is their album 'Per Un Amico' but with new English lyrics written by Peter Sinfield, as well as a new instrumental ("Old Rain") and "Celebration" which is just "E Festa" from their first album but with new English lyrics (also written by Sinfield). There are three problems with this. First of all, the singing of the new English lyrics is not as good as the vocals for the original Italian lyrics. It is not (just) that this required Italian singers to sing in English, but the musicality of the singing is far inferior here, compared to the original Italian. Second, I don't like most of the English lyrics, which in most cases carry different meanings than their original Italian (Sinfield did not bother trying to re-write the original Italian lyrics, but instead substituted his own poetry). Third, and for me the worst part - they put lyrics on much more of the music here than on the originals, including some excellent instrumental sections. So, instead of being able to listen to the great musicality of those sections, one has to try to listen through these (inferior) lyrics. (They left "Il Banchetto" though, thankfully, so at least that song remains untouched!). Despite having some great music underneath the problematic lyrics/singing, I can only give this 6.1 out of 10 on my 10-point scale. To my mind, the only reason to pick this up is for the new instrumental, "Old Rain", which has a very nice flute solo. Otherwise, definitely stick to the original Italian version ("Per Un Amico").

 Per Un Amico by PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI (PFM) album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.40 | 1437 ratings

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

Review by Walkscore

4 stars PFM's second-best album.

While this is the album that many fans point to as their best, I think their first album (Storia Di Un Minuto) is far superior. However, this is still their second-best album, and is highly recommended. This one is more rock than their first album, and while still quite diverse is not as sensitive, nor consistently-musical as their first album. The album gets off to an excellent start with the fantastic "Appena Un Poco", one of their best tracks. However, the other tracks are not up to the same standard. "Generale" in particular is not very musical (yes, it is definitely complex progressive rock, but this does not always mean musical), and interrupts the flow of the album. "Ill Banchetto" and "Geranio" are good, and have some excellent sections, but are not as consistently-excellent as the music on their debut. Nonetheless, take altogether, the album deserves four stars. I give this 8.3 out of 10 on my 10-point scale.

 Storia Di Un Minuto by PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI (PFM) album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.36 | 1140 ratings

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

Review by Walkscore

5 stars PFM's best album.

This album set the trademark PFM sound, and it is on this album they are most successful at excelling at this. The music is intensely beautiful and musical, and highly diverse, effortlessly weaving together different styles (from baroque classical, to jazz, latin folk, to heavy Crimson-like rock). Unlike Per Un Amico, every track on this album is excellent, and they pull you in, with each new track/segment building on the previous, maintaining interest and momentum. The first three albums all have great singing, and I think this one is best on this front too, mainly because of the sensitivity of the vocalists. The dynamics are incredible, going from soft-as-a-whisper to frontal-assault, but without ever being pretentious. Really excellent music. For me, this is the best album that best represents the RPI genre. I give this 9.4 out of 10 on my 10-point scale, which translates to 10 PA stars.

 Passpart¨ by PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI (PFM) album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.07 | 148 ratings

BUY
Passpart¨
Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM) Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

3 stars With 1978's `Passpart˙', Premiata Forneria Marconi returned to purely Italian vocals after the English language only albums, `Chocolate Kings' and `Jet-Lag' in the couple of years before, abandoning the heavy jazz-fusion experiments of the latter. While the group certainly didn't return to the symphonic prog or the ground-breaking purer RPI sounds of their earlier years, they headed in something that could be best described as a constantly acoustic-based folky pop direction, yet still thankfully miles away from anything obnoxiously radio/chart friendly. It's proven to be a real one-off in their discography, but an album that has much to recommend it for the more forgiving and accepting of listeners.

`Passpart˙' is an album that has the band placing the greatest priority on presenting a concise tune with exquisite vocals throughout, and despite very little in the way of instrumental flourishes (only one track is purely vocal-free), every piece has something interesting about it that lifts it above the more straight-forward pop/rock music of the era. The playing on even the most pedestrian moments is still full of a vibrant urgency, and there is an energetic finesse to the performance of the musicians that helps keep the album moving briskly. Vocalist Bernardo Lanzetti has never sounded better and is a world away from his efforts on the previous two discs, singing in Italian with a genuine warmth and smoothness that was frequently absent on those English discs.

The joyful `Viene Il Santo' is a pleasing melodic opener of spirited piano, acoustic guitar flair and twirling flute with welcome bursts of energy and vocal drama, containing plenty of the classic PFM qualities, just packed tighter into a pop-length tune, and sprightly `Svita La Vita' is a short and sweet acoustic folk number with sweetly recurring themes. `Se Fossi Cosa' is one of the more atmospheric and more overtly `proggy' pieces, a gentle melancholy to its longer drifting passages of carefully chiming guitars, Lanzetti's raspy sombre vocal, Flavio Premoli's floating low-key synths and early a.m saxophone, and `Le trame Bl¨' adds a bouncy and playful funkiness with quick bubbly Minimoog/synth soloing, bursts of Franz Di Cioccio's busy drumming, Jan Patrick Djivas' bouncing bass and a catchy repeated refrain throughout.

The second side opens with one of the absolute highlights of the disc, the all-instrumental infectious title track, full of dazzling acoustic guitars runs, murmuring slinking bass adding a jazz- fusion touch and fun little synth trills here and there. `I Cavalieri Del Tavolo Cubico' is probably the closest the band come to the previous `Jet-Lag' disc, an electric piano-driven jazz-fusion rocker with added poppier tropical elements by way of exotic percussion, thick funky bass and Franco Mussida's spiky electric guitar soloing that moves from slow-burn to nimble fire. `Su Una Mosca E Sui Dolci' could also have easily fit on the earlier PFM works, a thoughtful and intelligent longer composition with drowsy synth drifts, restrained electric guitar ruminations, a lovely lead vocal and comforting group harmonies grafted to the all-over acoustic prettiness, and it turns out to be a very dignified and exquisite track from the band. But sadly `FantalitÓ' is a shorter jazzy-popper to close on, perfectly breezy and easy to enjoy, but probably the most throwaway moment of the album despite a lovely repeated group vocal chorus spot.

`P.F.M's Suonare Suonare' in 1980 would extend the commercial style present here a little further, and the recently released `Live Collection' performance from the 25th November 1980 with an accompanying DVD showed they still had the musical chops to put on a good show, but the rest of the decade would see a string of forgettable pop releases until a fine comeback work in 2005 with `Dracula Opera Rock' and especially the all-instrumental and much-loved `Stati di Immaginazione' a year later.

Some collectors only want to accept the best and most well-known/classic works of the wide range of progressive-music acts, but others find great worth in looking into the unappreciated curios or lesser-regarded works from the same artists. For those listeners, or for those who want to explore the less than glorious years of the defining and important Italian groups, P.F.M's `Passpart˙' proves to be a perfectly lovely album that improves with every single listen, offering a few very special gems and a bunch of charming lighter well-played pieces that makes it perfectly worthwhile and definitely underrated.

Three stars.

 Per Un Amico by PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI (PFM) album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.40 | 1437 ratings

BUY
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. In fact, I may go so far as to say that this is the single best song in the entire PFM catalog. "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 | 726 ratings

BUY
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
4.13 | 161 ratings

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

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

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

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

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — jazz music reviews and archives | MetalMusicArchives.com — metal music reviews and archives