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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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Come Ti Va Riva Alla CittaCome Ti Va Riva Alla Citta
Sony/Bmg Italy 1999
$6.87
$1.70 (used)
Storia Di Un MinutoStoria Di Un Minuto
Sony/Bmg Italy 2005
$7.79
$16.05 (used)
Chocolate KingsChocolate Kings
Sony/Bmg Italy 1998
$7.69
$3.87 (used)
L'isola Di NienteL'isola Di Niente
Sony/Bmg Italy 1998
$8.11
$2.99 (used)
Per Un AmicoPer Un Amico
Sony/Bmg Italy 1998
$7.69
$6.99 (used)
Stati Di Immaginazione-ReissueStati Di Immaginazione-Reissue
Columbia 2014
$9.36
$14.23 (used)
Manticore Studio Albums 1973-1977Manticore Studio Albums 1973-1977
Manticore Uk 2018
$24.22
$31.33 (used)
Photos of GhostsPhotos of Ghosts
Sony/Bmg Italy 1998
$7.44
$5.99 (used)
World Became the WorldWorld Became the World
Limited Edition
Jvc Japan 2000
$31.41
$11.88 (used)
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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 | 50 ratings
Quelli (pre-PFM)
1969
4.36 | 1280 ratings
Storia Di Un Minuto
1972
4.41 | 1610 ratings
Per Un Amico
1972
4.06 | 513 ratings
Photos Of Ghosts
1973
4.24 | 819 ratings
L'Isola Di Niente
1974
4.01 | 364 ratings
The World Became The World
1974
3.94 | 452 ratings
Chocolate Kings
1975
3.18 | 296 ratings
Jet Lag
1977
3.07 | 173 ratings
Passpartù
1978
2.64 | 131 ratings
Suonare Suonare
1980
2.05 | 108 ratings
Come Ti Va In Riva Alla Città
1981
1.98 | 78 ratings
PFM? PFM!
1984
1.95 | 87 ratings
Miss Baker
1987
2.67 | 93 ratings
Ulisse
1997
3.01 | 103 ratings
Serendipity
2000
3.52 | 161 ratings
Dracula Opera Rock
2005
4.10 | 405 ratings
Stati Di Immaginazione
2006
3.48 | 117 ratings
A.D. 2010 - La buona novella (Opera apocrifa da La buona novella di Fabrizio De Andrè)
2010
3.89 | 156 ratings
PFM In Classic - Da Mozart A Celebration
2013
2.84 | 69 ratings
Emotional Tattoos
2017

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

4.15 | 185 ratings
Cook (aka Live in the USA)
1974
2.48 | 33 ratings
Performance
1982
3.27 | 24 ratings
PFM - 10 anni live 1971-81
1996
3.18 | 11 ratings
PFM - Absolutely Live 1971-1978
1996
2.86 | 3 ratings
PFM - The Best Of Absolutely Live 1971-1978
1996
3.13 | 27 ratings
www.pfmpfm.it (il Best)
1998
3.38 | 15 ratings
A Celebration Live
1998
3.78 | 14 ratings
PFM - Live In Japan
2002
3.87 | 82 ratings
Live In Japan 2002
2002
3.99 | 56 ratings
PFM & Pagani - Piazza Del Campo
2005
2.19 | 18 ratings
PFM canta De André (CD + DVD)
2008
4.28 | 48 ratings
Live in Roma (With Ian Anderson)
2012
4.36 | 14 ratings
Paper Charms: The Complete BBC Recordings 1974-1976
2014
4.16 | 28 ratings
Un' Isola
2014
4.05 | 20 ratings
Un amico
2014
4.08 | 21 ratings
A Ghost
2015
4.06 | 18 ratings
Un Minuto
2015
4.09 | 23 ratings
The World
2015
4.88 | 8 ratings
Il suono del tempo
2015
4.50 | 2 ratings
Live Collection - 25 novembre 1980
2015
3.50 | 2 ratings
Celebration - Live in Nottingham 1976
2019

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

4.42 | 84 ratings
Live In Japan 2002
2002

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

2.04 | 4 ratings
PFM - The Award-Winnig Marcony Bakery
1976
3.19 | 8 ratings
Prime Impressioni
1976
5.00 | 1 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
3.00 | 2 ratings
Golden Collection
2001
3.80 | 8 ratings
Gli Anni Settanta
2002
3.69 | 4 ratings
I QUELLI (pre PFM): Flashback: I Grandi Successi Originali
2003
3.09 | 2 ratings
Cuore Rock
2006
4.36 | 14 ratings
35.... E Un Minuto
2007
4.01 | 19 ratings
River Of Life: The Manticore Years Anthology 1973-1977
2010
3.00 | 3 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)

2.00 | 2 ratings
I Krel - Fin che le braccia diventino ali
1970
4.00 | 3 ratings
La Carrozza Di Hans
1971
3.50 | 2 ratings
Celebration
1973
3.50 | 2 ratings
The World Became The World
1974
3.50 | 2 ratings
Four Holes In The Ground
1974
4.00 | 3 ratings
Dolcissima Maria
1974
3.50 | 2 ratings
Chocolate Kings
1975
3.00 | 2 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
4.41 | 1610 ratings

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

Review by Kempokid
Collaborator Prog Metal Team

2 stars After seeing the extreme amount of 4 and 5 star reviews of this album, I really feel like I've missed something major with this album, as it's another one of those that even after many listens, I still cannot fully enjoy. I definitely believe that PFM are capable of doing some amazing things, as their debut album is a very high quality, beautiful album, but with Per Un Amico, I really struggle with a lot of it. I find that the band definitely works best when trying to create soft, beautiful melodies in their music, rather than during their energetic or experimental moments, both of which the album has a lot more of than Storia di un Minuto, unfortunately having the majority of them either carry on too long for me, add little to the overall feel f the song, or are just somewhat clunky in execution. Whatever the exact reason is, all I know is that I just seem unable to connect with this album properly.

I feel like the most confusing part of this all to me is thatI find the opening track, Appena un po' to be a near perfect song in every way. The classical inspired opening is absolutely incredible, being soft, incredibly catchy, and evoking a feeling of royalty, as if this could be played in a movie scene of a king walking down his halls, with layers upon layers of guitars and flutes building on top of one another until the song kicks into more proggy territory. The accompaniment of the violins to this more complex, heavy section works incredibly, and displays the highly symphonic sound of the band. The layered vocals that come in after this are soft and very pleasant, carrying a lovely melody along with them, while the warm mellotron lines are nothing short of majestic, all in all making this an absolutely stunning song in basically every way, and an easy to choose highlight of the entire band. I then get very quickly taken out of this awe inspiring beauty by the opening section of the following song, Generale. To be fair, this opening section is very fun, reminding me of a more rock oriented take on Emerson Lake and Palmer's Karn Evil 9's second moevement. The song unfortunately has the same issues as it however, as it feels like more of an unstructured jam rather than a cohesive song, and doesn't really do much for me beyond the opening riff, which admittedly is extremely enjoyable. On the whole, the song does jump around far too much, trying out a range of different tones and styles, such as one quite sinilar to that of a marching band, and another making heavy use of an organ, but none of them really sounding particularly good.

The last 3 songs all have a similar issue to them, that being that they're simply quite boring, albeit with some decent moments. The title track has the issue of the main, mellow aspects of the song aren't anything particularly special to me, which is a shame considering this is usually where I find the band finds their stride the most, but at least the faster instrumental section manages to be much better, especially with the drums that progressively get faster as it goes on, all without ever losing the tightness at hand. It's unfortunate that the song eventually goes back to this quieter verse later in the song, as it causes my mind to start wandering again. Il Banchetto shows much better grasp on great melody, being the other song on the album that I can find some enjoyment in. Everything about it just feels very well crafted, oh, except for that dreadful middle section reminding me of King Crimson's Moonchild, but with worse production and borderline unlistenable instruments. This section derails the entire rest of the song, which had a beautiful ebb and flow, going between pleasant verses and intrumental sections, making this much more experimental, sparse section just ruins the song for me, which is a massive shame, given the fact that the rest of it is so nice. Geranio is what I consider to be a fairly mediocre song, having some decent elements throughout, but shifting gears far too often in ways that simply don't quite work out properly, such as the fun, but ultimately average upbeat pop section. I do however, like the way the song crescendos as it approaches its end, and do find it to be am excellent way to end the album, even if the rest of the song is very hit or miss.

Overall, no matter how I've listened to this album, whether it's analysing it incredibly attentively, listening to it casually in the background while doing other things, or somewhere in between, little on this album has connected with me outside of the incredible opening track. Some songs feel thrown together, while others just feel like they simply were missing any particularly great ideas to begin with. It's great that on the next couple of albums after this, along with what came before, I can appreciate this band's work, but this one just doesn't work for me at all, mo matter how much I try.

Best tracks: Appena un po'

Weakest tracks: Generale, Geranio

Verdict: I personally find this album to be pretty ill conceived in quite a number of ways, but despite this, the love this album has received shows that it's likely that I'm just missing something here. I'd recommend starting of with PFM's first album in any case, due to the more conventional writing and the greater beauty it has, but if you want some symphonic prog with some quirkier touches to songwriting, than you may enjoy this album.

 Celebration - Live in Nottingham 1976 by PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI (PFM) album cover Live, 2019
3.50 | 2 ratings

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Celebration - Live in Nottingham 1976
Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM) Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars The very first album I ever bought by an Italian progressive rock group was 'Chocolate Kings' by P.F.M., and to be honest I knew very little about them at the time but was impressed that they were on ELP's own label. It was the first album to feature new singer Bernardo Lanzetti and the complex music, which also contained violin and woodwind, just blew me away. The band's performance on 1st May 1976, at Nottingham University, was recorded for posterity and as it was the 'Chocolate Kings' tour I must confess I am in my element. These guys were/are masters of their instruments, and the complex layers they intertwine shows just why they were accepted outside the Italian market, and indeed by this time they had toured Japan, were returning from their fourth tour of the USA, and 'Chocolate Kings' had reached gold status.

They do get lumped into the RPI (Rock Progressive Italiano) sub-genre just because they play progressive rock and are Italian, but to my ears they are quite different with a much greater use of jazz and interplay between instruments as opposed to heavy layers of keyboards which seems to be a signature of many. With Mauro Pagani moving between flute and violin, often within the same song, he provides extra emphasis and dynamics while Lanzetti has always been a star, as anyone who knows his work with the likes of Acqua Fragile or Mangala Vallis (among others) will attest to. His Roger Chapman style vocals may not be to everyone's taste, but it allowed the band to expand their market more than they could otherwise.

Okay, so it is 1976, which means that there are long solos, some which work more than other, but this double CD set really does capture a band at probably the pinnacle of their career (fans may not always agree on their best album, but for me it is 'Chocolate Kings' followed by 'Jet Lag'). There is an interesting essay from Mark Powell to introduce the band to anyone who may not have previously come across them, and overall this is yet another great release from Esoteric who continue to show just how old albums should be treated.

 Per Un Amico by PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI (PFM) album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.41 | 1610 ratings

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

Review by Menswear
Prog Reviewer

5 stars What maturity!

What hasn't been said about this band, evenmore this record? Yep, everything's been said. You can digest multitudes of reviews, over-analysing their style and describing songs or musical textures. It takes a certain amount of imagination and comprehension to transcribe art into comprehensible linguo.

In the end, the best is just to listen to it. So do it!

I have to admit: this album shows how 'complete' and mature they are. Violin use à la Curved Air? Check. ELP loudness? Check. Gentle Giant complexity and keyboard palette? Check. Genesis flute and delicate touch? Check. They dabble in almost everything and still hitting high marks in every song: atmospheric, joyous, grandeur, complexity, technical pyrothecnics, you name it. Rarely I heard a blend so many genres flowing effortlessly BUT still feeling original, this has to be a feat in itself.

This short album is one heck of a curiculum vitae making « The Award Winning Marconi Bakery » one monumental band not only in RPI but in Rock History.

 Celebration - Live in Nottingham 1976 by PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI (PFM) album cover Live, 2019
3.50 | 2 ratings

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Celebration - Live in Nottingham 1976
Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM) Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

3 stars For years I've been appreciating the releases of the British label Esoteric Recordings. Usually they are reissues of old albums, very often from the 70's, covering both highly regarded classic artists and less known acts and their hard-to-find-as-originals albums. The well written liner notes and some bonus material on discs are an essential part of it all. And what's best, progressive rock plays a significant part in ER's impressive and ever growing catalogue.

This recent release offers something new, ie. previously unreleased material. P.F.M. is without a question the most notable of Italian prog bands, and the first one to reach wide international success. The ELP fellows Greg Lake and Peter Sinfield were to thank for that; in December 1972 Lake witnessed PFM's homeland gig and invited them to England, and Sinfield wrote English lyrics for them and produced albums released via ELP's own label Manticore. The whole history of PFM is once again told (by the label boss Mark Powell) in the liner notes of this 2-CD.

The end of 1975 saw the Italian release of the album Chocolate Kings with the new vocalist Bernardo Lanzetti (formerly of Acqua Fragile), and Manticore's UK/USA release followed in April 1976, coinciding with a UK tour. This particular gig was held at the University of Nottingham, and it was captured on tape by Manticore Records and broadcast on a local radio. The line-up is Lanzetti, Flavio Premoli (keyboards), Franco Mussida (guitar), Mauro Pagani (woodwinds, violin), Patrick Djivas (bass) and Franz Di Cioccio (drums). I haven't listened to the mentioned studio album, which contains five tracks, three of them included here. The set opens with 'Paper Charms', a 10-minute piece of Yes & King Crimson influenced intense prog rock in which Lanzetti's vocals come and go. His raspy voice has always reminded me of Family's Roger Chapman. On the heavily extended version of 'Four Holes in the Ground' (originally from The World Became the World, 1974) Pagani plays both flute and violin. The energy of the band at the top of their game is strongly felt. In fact for a large part Lanzetti, fluent enough in English but not very brilliant vocalist technically, remains in a pretty small role, which is actually positive. As he raises his voice he sounds also like the rockiest voice in Gentle Giant (whichever Shulman he was, Derek?).

The third track widens the dynamics towards the more delicate end of the spectre: 'Dove... quando' is on PFM's debut album Storia di un minuto (1972) an acoustically oriented, calm and folky song, and pretty well its thoughtful spirit was captured in this gig too, although I think that for example the electric piano makes it a bit different. 5-minute 'Acoustic Guitar Solo' proves that Franco Mussida's competence doesn't badly pale in comparison to Howe or Hackett. The 1st disc is finished by two further Chocolate Kings tracks. There are effective riffs and strong playing, but all in all I'm missing the Mellotron-contained, more pastoral prog style of PFM's earliest albums.

Two further early tracks come on 2nd disc, the jolly near-instrumental 'Celebration' and 'La Carrozza di Hans' which are to me more rewarding in this set than the "thicker" Lanzetti-era material. The live sound is relatively good, just slightly stuffy, but the live energy makes up for little imperfections. This is a fairly recommended release if you're a fan of PFM and especially if you're fond of live albums in general. 3½ stars.

 Storia Di Un Minuto by PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI (PFM) album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.36 | 1280 ratings

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

Review by The Crow
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Plain and simple, I can say that Storia Di Un Minuto is one of my favorite prog-rock albums of the 70's!

A marvelous record almost from beginning to end with some influences from Genesis, but with an incredible romantic Italian flavor which makes the hearing of Storia Di Un Minuto an unique and unforgettable experience.

I especially like the masterful work in keyboards, the splendid acoustic sections, the beautiful singing of Franco Mussida, the orchestral elements and the good rhythmus that this album has which makes this disc truly enjoyable, despite some forgettable moments like the overlong jazz ending of Dove?Quando? Part 2 and the bit disjointed La Carroza di Hans.

However, the albums is short, addictive and very well written!

Best Tracks: Impressioni di Settembre (a very good example of the music of this band), E Festa (funny and with great keyboards) and Dove?Quando? Part 1 (just incredibly delicate)

Conclusion: Storia Di Un Minuto is an almost flawless example of the best 70's prog-rock. It has some influences of similar acts like Genesis and Yes, but just like the Spanish band Triana they were able to mix these elements with other sounds of their own country like folk, medieval and romantic Italian music to create something unique, beautiful and truly remarkable.

A much-recommended piece of true progressive music!

My rating: ****

 Dracula Opera Rock by PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI (PFM) album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.52 | 161 ratings

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Dracula Opera Rock
Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM) Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by TenYearsAfter

3 stars Between 1972 and 1974 PFM produced five legendary albums, inspired by early King Crimson, Per Un Amico (1972) is generally considered as their finest effort. King Crimson ex-member Pete Sinfield even contributed with English lyrics to two PFM albums, and was the support-act (with Mel Collins) during their first European tour, in mid-1973. Then PFM started to sound more jazzrock inspired, and on this album from 2005 PFM even presents a blend of rock and opera! It took a few listening sessions before I go tinto this music, but gradually I started to appreciate PFM their musical adventure.

The shorter compositions sound elaborate, featuring compelling sumptuous parts (with classical orchestrations and The Bulgarian Symphony Orchestra), strong vocals (loaded with the typical opera pathos) and powerful soli on guitar and keyboards.

Some pieces are more mellow or dreamy, like Non Guardarmi (warm melancholical vocals, classical guitar and violins) and Terra Madre (emotional vocals and sensitive guitar). Remarkable is the track La morte Non Muore: swinging with fiery guitar and a female choir, reminding me of the musicals Hair and Jesus Christ Superstar.

The long final compositions Un Destino Di Rondine (just over 11 minutes) is my highlight of this album: compelling and bombastic with intense, almost desperate sounding vocals from Dolce Nera, and a strong build-up tot a splendid, sumptuous grand finale with howling guitar runs and fluent synthesizer flights.

If you are up to this captivating blend of rock and opera, this is an interesting album to discover from the Classic Italian Prog formation PFM, always in the mood for scouting musical borders.

My rating: 3,5 star.

 River Of Life: The Manticore Years Anthology 1973-1977 by PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI (PFM) album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2010
4.01 | 19 ratings

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River Of Life: The Manticore Years Anthology 1973-1977
Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM) Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by TenYearsAfter

4 stars If you are (hardly) not familiar with PFM this double CD is an excellent introduction to the highly appreciated Classic Italian prog band. Because it spans the time between 1973 and 1977, PFM released four studio-albums in that era and were at their artistic pinnacle. This 2-CD also includes additional live material and an unreleased B-side of an UK single.

CD 1 focuses on the albums Photos Of Ghosts (1973) and The World Became The World (1974, the English version of L'Isola Di Niente) with additional the previously unreleased track La Carozza Di Hans (B-side of the UK single, this version fails to keep my attention) and songs from the live LP Cook (aka Live In The USA) from 1975. PFM their music has obvious hints of early King Crimson (mainly their debut album). But the inventive arrangements with captivating musical ideas, the both tasteful as virtuosic work on guitar, keyboards and violin and the shifting moods and changing styles turns PFM into an unique progrock formation. For example, in River Of Life PFM flowingly changes from classical with flute, acoustic guitar and harpsichord to mellow symphonic rock with Mellotron and Minimoog. And Photos Of Ghosts delivers a thrilling acceleration while in Il Banchetto we can enjoy a shift from classical to lush keyboard oriented symphonic rock in which the harp is subtly blended, concluded with virtuosic Grand piano. The way PFM succeeds to generate excitement and surprise is breathtaking! In the composition The World Became The World I notice a very delicate mix of Fender Rhodes electric piano and warm vocals, then a sumptuous eruption featuring majestic violin-Mellotron but the fat Minimoog flights give a special favour to the music. In the live track Four Holes In The Ground the band showcases their heavy side with fiery guitar leads and use of the wah-wah pedal.

But my highlight on CD1 is the long final track Alta Loma Nine Till Five (around 15 minutes). It opens with bluesy guitar and dreamy Mellotron, then the guitar gradually turns into more heavy, the interplay with the Mellotron is awesome. Halfway there's a break with bass guitar, then a strongly build-up violin solo, now the keyboard support is from the Hammond organ. In the end PFM delivers a grand finale with catchy violin work, culminating in a version of Rossini's Willem Tell Overture with fat Minimoog runs, goose bumps!

CD 2 opens with a 15 minute previously unreleased live version of Is My Face On Straight (USA 1974), the vocals lack a bit power but I am carried away by the cascades of solos, from flute and guitar (with biting wah-wah) to accordion, sensational Minimoog and delicate Fender Rhodes electric piano. The sound is not really optimal but PFM the remastering of the almost 35 years old material is good. The 3 songs of the LP Chocolate Kings (from 1975), immediately you can recognize Bernardo Lanzetti his distinctive, theatrical voice (like in Harlequin featuring an exiting break with swirling violin) and PFM their sound has move more towards early Yes (Howe and Wakeman sound), especially in From Under. Then 3 live previously non released tracks from 1976, these sound a bit sloppy but how classy PFM plays like the Fender piano intro in Dove Quando and the violin with Hammond in Out Of The Roundabout. Finally 3 tracks from the LP Jet Lag from 1977, now PFM their musical direction has moved more towards jazz-rock, especially in Storia In L.A. (fluent synthesizer solo) and the title track (wonderful Fender piano with powerful bass).

I don't know how many fans are pleased with both PFM their symphonic rock - as the jazzrock sound. But this double CD delivers a comprehensive view on their era between 1973 and 1977, embellished with interesting live material from 1974 and 1976.

 Cook (aka Live in the USA) by PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI (PFM) album cover Live, 1974
4.15 | 185 ratings

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

Review by TenYearsAfter

5 stars My review # 100 is a celebration with PFM.

PFM was my first musical encounter with Italian progrock, when I stumbled upon the LP The World Became The World in the late Seventies. It was the start of a long and captivating journey through the prolific world of the Italian progressive rock, from Formula Tre, The Trip and New Trolls to Nuova Era, La Maschera Di Cera and Pandora, etc. etc. an endless source! A few years ago a dream came true when PFM visited The Netherlands for a gig. I was blown away by their skills, variety, inspiration and live sound (more powerful and adventurous than the studio versions). And the fact that PFM played all their 'classic' compositions, including most of the Live In USA tracks, one of my favourite Classic Italian Prog albums. Full circle!

Four Holes In The Ground (7.22) : This Pete Sinfield song starts with swinging progressive rock featuring a lush instrumentation with fat Minimoog synthesizer flights, biting wah-wah guitar and folky flute. The interplay and the rhythm-section are awesome, these are very skillful and creative musicians. Then the music slows down to a dreamy atmosphere with majestic Mellotron violins, tender vocals and delicate work on the flute. Finally again that swinging rhythm and great interplay, the Minimoog shines!

Dove ... Quando (4.30) : This short but wonderful composition delivers a dreamy climate with the distinctive electric piano, blended with romantic Italian vocals and beautiful flute.

Just Look Away (8.05) : The long intro features acoustic guitar, ranging from dreamy with twanging and tremolo to propulsive rhythm guitar. Then a mellow Hammond organ joins, followe by the sound of the Minimoog and flute. The music turns into a beautiful ballad, with twanging acoustic guitar and flute, in the end a bombastic eruption in which the flute dominates.

Celebration (8.55) : This is PFM their 'stage favourite', even the most shy proghead start dancing, what a cheerfull and catch atmosphere. There is huge crowd participation, accompanied by drum beats and then the legendary fat Minimoog synthesizer runs, along vocal harmonies in English. Halfway a mellow part with wonderful Mellotron violins and then a dynamic rhythm-section and flashy Minimoog flights, culminating in the sumptuous eruption of the The World Became The World, I am carried away by the fat Moog and glorious Mellotron, this is Prog Heaven.

Mr. Nine Till Five (4.25) : This is a very varied track (with jazzrock overtones), delivering swirling electric piano, biting wah-wah guitar and powerful vocals, blending rock, jazz and classical. The interplay is awesome and we can enjoy lots of shifting moods and exciting soli.

Alta Loma Five Till Nine (15.20) : This extended version features a long and moving guitar solo that starts bluesy but gradually turns into an eclectic sound with howling runs, reminding me of Steve Howe his varied style. The guitar is accompanied by Mellotron violins, a compelling combination, emphasizing PFM their variety. Halfway Pagani his violin joins, then great interplay between the guitar, violin and Minimoog. This culminates into a bombastic grand finale with the catchy William Tell Overture, the swirling violin and Minimoog dominate, goose bumps!

Huge variety (from rock and blues to jazz and symphonic), outstanding musicians, awesome soli on a wide range of instruments, exciting breaks and shifting moods, this is top notch Classic Italian Prog!

More interesting Italian Prog bands to discover: Museo Rosenbach, Corte Dei Miracoli, Rustichelli & Bordini, Sensitiva Immagine, Germinale, The RedZen, Ubi Maior, Obscura, Hostsonaten, Aries, VIII Strada and Notabene, to name a few.

 Emotional Tattoos by PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI (PFM) album cover Studio Album, 2017
2.84 | 69 ratings

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Emotional Tattoos
Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM) Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by peblo

1 stars This is the worst record PFM has put out in their entire career. Electronic, autotuned and un-imagintative. The only song I can enjoy is freedom square. The drums sound like garbage, I dont know how they managed to make that samples sound that bad in 2017. The keyboards sound like crap too, If I wanted a record with [&*!#]ty korg triton sound on it I'd be listening to El Payo Juan Manuel. Got the special edition vinyl as a gift from a fella at Metal Hammer who had it as a presskit and I confirmed its utter crap. I use it to calibrate my turntable and the CD's to keep the birds from [&*!#]ting at my window fence. Disgusting
 Emotional Tattoos by PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI (PFM) album cover Studio Album, 2017
2.84 | 69 ratings

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Emotional Tattoos
Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM) Rock Progressivo Italiano

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

3 stars Legendary Italian proggers Premiata Forneria Marconi (P.F.M) need little introduction, the symphonic band delivering three of the defining RPI LP's back in the early Seventies, and then achieving a commercial momentum once they began offering albums exclusively performed in English in the middle of that decade. Decades of line-up shuffles and musical style changes have been part of the band's history ever since, but this latest version is now led by founding member/drummer Franz Di Cioccio, who also takes on the lead vocals due to the departure of guitarist and fellow founder Franco Mussida a couple of years back, with the rest of the band being comprised of a mix of long-time serving PFM members and newer musicians.

2017's `Emotional Tattoos', the first album for PFM since signing to worldwide prog distribution specialists InsideOut Music, is an equally reliable and inconsistent listen, despite having plenty that can be praised about it. The musicianship, especially Marco Sfogli's guitars, Patrick Djivas' nicely fat upfront bass and Di Cioccio's busy driving drumming are never short of superb, and the latter's voice is confident. However, despite a few exceptions, the prog-rock sophistication of old has been replaced by a collection of melodic yet dignified mid-tempo AOR vocal rockers with little traces of proggy soloing mostly only worked into little thirty-odd second bursts here and there. That's not to say that this is a bad album in any way, just that it's really not what the majority of their fans would have been looking forward to from a new PFM work (although offering both an English version and Italian version is appreciated!), and it's especially disappointing when you consider that their last few studio works, `Stati di Immaginzione' from 2006 and 2010's `AD 2010: La Buona Novella', were superb and full of progressive rock majesty.

Looking at some of what's on offer (and the Italian version should be the preferred edition, which is the one discussed here), opener `Il Regno' evolves out of its weary dreaminess into tough whirring keyboards, heaving guitars and Franz's raspy croon. Lovely murmuring bass from Patrick, Lucio Fabbri's elegant violin licking at the edges and Alessandro Scaglione's zippy keyboarding soloing throughout `Oniro' are the first hint of the classic PFM sound, and sleek darker rocker ` La lezione' pulses with a tougher danger with its strident drums and frequently reprising twisting guitar runs.

`Mayday' is a fairly dull moody rocker lifted by fleeting tense themes, but `La danza degli specchi' is a big improvement. While some of the groovier funky spots try a little desperately to be cool, it sure jumps around in endless different directions and tempo changes in only six minutes, and there's traces of those chiming guitars, vocal flamboyance and racing darting synth runs of the PFM of old scattered throughout! `Il cielo che c'è' is a classy ballad that's easy to enjoy, and `Quartiere generale' is a catchy pop-rocker lifted by fancy reprising violin themes.

The greatest moment of the disc arrives with `Freedom Square', a folk-flecked instrumental loaded with all the spirited acoustic guitars, twirling violin jigs and keyboard driven fanfare pomp that fans forever associate with the classic PFM sound - what a shame that it's one of the shortest pieces on the album at only four and a half minutes! The busy `Dalla Terra alla Luna' grafts an easily melodic tune to heavy crashing bluster with plenty of humming Hammond organ, keyboard wig-outs and rambunctious drumming, `Le Cose Belle' is a sweet romantic ballad with tasteful playing, and closer `Big Bang' is simply another reliably enjoyable tune elevated by sparkling piano, crisp guitar and fluid bass runs (the final minute is truly sublime, and another example of `what could have been' if the album had been made up of more winning moments like this).

It's not surprising to see PFM playing in a mostly fairly straightforward rock manner here, like so many older acts do. But it's a shame when other renowned vintage Italian bands such as Metamorfosi, Cherry Five and Maxophone have all delivered extravagant and ambitious recent works of great vitality, and in comparison there's very little to associate `Emotional Tattoos' with the symphonic rockers of legend that are PFM. Sadly, the album is also overlong at 62 minutes (does InsideOut Music put demands on all the artists that sign for them that the music must have enough material to cover a double vinyl release?) when a nice 45 or so minute single-LP length, with a couple of more overtly `proggy' or symphonic pieces would have made this a much more approachable affair to be replayed more often. Still, it's nice that the band are still active, but perhaps PFM should look to their own past next time for future inspiration on where to take the band in this modern era.

Three stars.

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

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