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BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO

Rock Progressivo Italiano • Italy


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Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso biography
One of the most important progressive rock bands to come from Italy, BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO, along with LE ORME and PFM are regarded as the big three of the RPI genre. This is not only because of their longevity and the level of success they achieved in their own country, but also because each were able to make considerable inroads abroad, something which didn't happen for most of their contemporaries.

Despite not releasing their first album until 1972, the band actually formed in 1969, their sound centering around the virtuoso dual keyboard work of the Nocenzi brothers, Gianni and Vittorio. The early line-up fluctuated with various members coming and going before any recorded output was released, including drummers Franco Pontecorvi and Mario Achilli, bassist Fabrizio Falco and guitarists Gianfranco Coletta (ex CHETRO & CO) and Claudio Falco. This early incarnation of the band did, however, record some material but this wouldn't surface until 1989 (see the "Donna Plautilla" album).

Joining the Nocenzi brothers for a more stable line-up in time for their first album was ex-FIORI DI CAMPO guitarist Marcello Todaro and three members of LE ESPERIENZE, vocalist Francesco Di Giacomo, drummer Pier Luigi Calderoni and bassist Renato D'Angelo. Their eponymous first album was a remarkably mature piece of inventive symphonic progressive rock with classical influences, featuring excellent musicianship and the emotionally charged vocal delivery of Di Giacomo. This was quickly followed up by the equally highly regarded "Darwin" and "Io Sono Nato Libero," forming a trio of albums that are essential listening for anyone with even the most casual interest in the RPI genre.

A change of guitarist followed shortly after the recording of "Io Sono Nato Libero," when Todaro left and joined CRYSTALS and was replaced by Rodolfo Maltese, formerly of HOMO SAPIENS. Around this time the band attempted to make inroads outside their native Italy and released the English sung "Banco" on ELP'S Manticore label. In reality this was largely a compilation, as it consisted of re-recorded songs from their first three albums with the exception of one track. To promote this they toured the USA and UK with limited success. "Banco" was followed in 1976 by the film soundtrack album "Garofano Rosso," and in the same year two versions of the same album, one Italian and one English, "Come In Un'Ultima Cena" and "As In A Last Supper" were released. 1978 saw the release of anoth...
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DarwinDarwin
Import
Sony/Bmg Italy 1999
Audio CD$5.52
$3.87 (used)
Io Sono Nato LiberoIo Sono Nato Libero
Import
Sony/Bmg Italy 1998
Audio CD$7.92
$8.25 (used)
Di TerraDi Terra
Import
EMI Music Italy 1995
Audio CD$5.93
$4.93 (used)
En Concierto Mexico City - May 1999En Concierto Mexico City - May 1999
Sol And Deneb
Audio CD$29.69
$14.98 (used)
Garofano RossoGarofano Rosso
Import
Emi Uk/Zoom 2007
Audio CD$7.88
$5.99 (used)
NudoNudo
Import
EMI 1998
Audio CD$34.99
$61.21 (used)
Come in Unultima CenaCome in Unultima Cena
Import
Emi 2007
Audio CD$5.98
$9.98 (used)
Banco Del Mutuo SoccorsoBanco Del Mutuo Soccorso
Import
Sony Import 2012
Audio CD$17.49
$25.32 (used)
Canto Di PrimaveraCanto Di Primavera
Import
EMI Music Italy 1995
Audio CD$5.91
$9.98 (used)
Banco Del Mutuo SoccorsoBanco Del Mutuo Soccorso
Import · Limited Edition
Bmg Japan 2006
Audio CD$75.89
$34.95 (used)
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BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO shows & tickets


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BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO discography


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

BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.28 | 543 ratings
Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso
1972
4.37 | 723 ratings
Darwin!
1972
4.41 | 672 ratings
Io Sono Nato Libero
1973
4.13 | 179 ratings
Banco (1975)
1975
3.44 | 117 ratings
Garofano Rosso
1976
4.00 | 173 ratings
Come in un'ultima cena
1976
3.11 | 42 ratings
As In A Last Supper
1976
3.67 | 161 ratings
...Di Terra
1978
3.74 | 118 ratings
Canto di primavera
1979
1.60 | 37 ratings
Urgentissimo
1980
2.13 | 30 ratings
Buone notizie
1981
1.99 | 36 ratings
Banco (1983)
1983
1.24 | 32 ratings
...E Via
1985
2.27 | 28 ratings
Donna Plautilla
1989
2.13 | 20 ratings
Non Mettere Le Dita Nel Naso
1989
3.50 | 28 ratings
B.M.S. (Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso, 1991 version)
1991
3.42 | 59 ratings
Darwin (1991 version)
1991
2.28 | 24 ratings
Il 13
1994

BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

1.99 | 36 ratings
Capolinea
1979
2.09 | 4 ratings
Live
1993
2.23 | 12 ratings
Papagayo Club 1972
1994
3.76 | 38 ratings
Nudo (2CD version)
1997
3.64 | 20 ratings
En Concierto, May 1999 - Mexico City.
1999
3.38 | 8 ratings
Live In Tokyo
2000
3.73 | 24 ratings
No Palco
2003
4.11 | 45 ratings
Seguendo Le Tracce
2005
3.43 | 7 ratings
Quaranta (Live Prog Exhibition 2010)
2012

BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.24 | 19 ratings
In Concerto: Cio' Che Si Vede ╚
1992
3.92 | 5 ratings
Live 1980
2007

BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.04 | 25 ratings
Da qui messere si domina la valle
1991
3.40 | 5 ratings
La Storia
1993
2.05 | 3 ratings
I Grandi Successi
1993
1.33 | 3 ratings
Banco d'accusa
1996
3.95 | 3 ratings
Le Origini
1996
2.15 | 4 ratings
Antologia
1996
2.50 | 2 ratings
Nudo (Japanese version)
1997
1.00 | 1 ratings
Musica pi¨
1997
4.00 | 5 ratings
Gli Anni 70
1998
3.75 | 4 ratings
Made In Italy
2004
3.82 | 2 ratings
I Miti Musica
2005
2.00 | 1 ratings
D.O.C.
2006
2.00 | 2 ratings
Le Pi¨ Belle Canzoni Di... Il Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso
2006
4.67 | 3 ratings
Banco del Mutuo Soccorso - 40 anni (Debut album 40th anniversary Deluxe Edition)
2012
5.00 | 2 ratings
Darwin!
2013

BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Banco (1975) by BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.13 | 179 ratings

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Banco (1975)
Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Dr÷mmarenAdrian

5 stars I haven't listened so much to Banco del Mutuo Soccorso before, just some pieces here and there and of course liked what I heard but now I bought the vinyl "Banco"(1975) which is the band's fourth studio album and have listened to it some marvelous times. This is really so fantastic music you could guess it to be. The wonderful cover with the singer looking at a shining shoe on a brown background. The time of music on this record is very long, fourty six minutes which is totally perfect because all the tunes here are so amazing.

We must thank Pier Luigi Calderoni(drums, percussion), Gianni Nocenzi(grand piano, clarinet, synthesizer), Renato D'Angelo(bass, guitar), Rodolfo Maltese(guitars, trumpet, vocals), Vittorio Nocenzi(organs, synthesizers, strings) and Francesco di Giacomo(vocals) for the music they give us.

I have written it already but it couldn't be said too many times. This is incredible music, amongst the best prog that exists on planet earth. From the lovely classical intro "Chorale" to the end with "Traccia II" they deliver so good music that you become exhausted. I think I like "Metamorphosis" and "Nothingńs the same" the two longest most but of course it's best to hear it all on the same occation. The inspiration there comes from many direction, the classical world, rock music, folk and another prog of course. This music and band makes my happy and fileld with joy and I hope the rest will bring me just as satisfied as this. A highly recommended record which is in masterclass! Five stars!

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 Darwin! by BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.37 | 723 ratings

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Darwin!
Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Utnapishtim

5 stars The intimate rivalry between so many bands in Italian musical landscape of '70 has created some Music Giants. Banco de Mutuo Soccorso? a Unique Band. I love Concept Albums. I think they transmit to the listeners a more complete musical experience. Is the case of RPI that often give to us some examples of Concepts. This one explain in artistic terms the Darwin's theory of evolution. Listening to it, you might materialize in a primordial past, when everything was still forming. The atmospheres in opening song "L'evoluzione" makes order between elements of primordial soup that will create the first forms of life. The song goes to fixing the idea of no creation by gods, leaving free space to natural evolution order. Surely the value-added of the album is the combination between two Nocenzi brother's keyboards which create perfect synthetized atmospheres that with elegance turn to fascinating piano executions. A crescendo of men goals in "La Conquista Della Posizione Eretta" creates in my mind clear images of a primitive men leaving the position to 4 feet and run free between the trees. Finally the visions of brushwood and stones go away from this new man that look at the horizon. Like an intermezzo the song "Danza Dei Grandi Rettili" play for many dancing dinosaurs, while Francesco Di Giacomo's voice seem to make "noise" from the depths of the soul when sing about hunting time whit other men in "Cento Mani E Cento Occhi" . His voice can let be beauty, fascinating, pure, every "ugly love" in "750.000 Anni Fa... L'amore" "Miserere Alla Storia" philosophically offers men's constructions, which arrives until the Star of Sirius, between millennial glories and perfect insistent rhythms. "Ed Ora Io Domando Tempo Al Tempo Ed Egli Mi Risponde... Non Ne Ho!" is their way to conclude this wonderful album. Apparently does not seem to belong to the same theme, but personally I think with this song they want to express a kind of reflection about time which all in all dominates everything, in the same way that a holy law dominates evolution.

5 Stars - NECESSARY TO KNOW PROG, NECESSARY TO LOVE PROG!

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 Garofano Rosso by BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.44 | 117 ratings

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Garofano Rosso
Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars It's pretty obvious that Garofano Rosso is not your typical Banco album, simply because of the astonishing non-presence of lead singer Francesco di Giacomo, so why even bother making this a cause celebre, criticizing for no more reason than it not fitting the comfort zone?

I love this album and always have, a soundtrack that showcases the incredible instrumental talents of the players especially the upfront bass meanderings of Renato D'Angelo and the work of drummer Pier Luigi Calderoni, who does some admirable percussive work throughout but also the incredibly varied orchestral arrangements that add a completely non-prog element to the music. Here the French horn, trumpets (clarino and tromba ), vibraphone and timpani take up a large musical storefront , even though the Nocenzi brothers still lather on the keyboards with sizzling gusto.

All the pieces save the intro "Zobeida", which is the weakest track here, are astounding slices of Italian-flavored prog-rock, with liberal doses of expressive intent, veering into jazz, experimental, symphonic and orchestral with unabashed ease.

From "Funerale" on, the music starts evoking some heavenly realms, dreamy passages that suggest cinematographic images (pealing church bells), trumpets leading the fanfare with swirly organ as the piano leads the merry escapade. Romanticized and elegant, the melodies are purely dazzling.

"10 Giugno 1924" begins with a furious cavalcade, all guns blazing intensely, Calderoni's drums beating a marshalling drive. Sounds like some escape scene from a wild Italian film, slightly dissonant and hyperactive, with Maltese's electric guitar the only supplier of melody.

Veering into the quasi-medieval and the all too brief "Quasi Saltarello", a little ditty that shows a myriad of baroque essences and aromas that point playfully towards the core trio of essential pieces: "Esterno Notte", the title track and "Suggestioni di un Ritorno in Campagna", the vivid music surely serves cinematographic necessities that can also be selfishly enjoyed by closing one's eyes and imagining another gripping silver screen scene. Starting off with a surreal synth medley involving splendid acoustic guitar, a nascent melody that is serenely elegant and tasteful as the piano takes over. Brooding stuff! The title track relies on a more typical Banco premise, piano, guitar and synths carving out a multi-phased assault on the senses, held together by that solid rhythm section. The Nocenzi brothers understand ivory interplay (presumably learnt in the womb), complementing each other impeccably. This is something ELP fans wold gulp up in a jiffy! On the final piece of the triad, the majestic piano interplay with Maltese's lead guitar is an album highlight, another Banco speciality at its finest, this piece recalls "Metamorphosis" for its bouncy and nervous piano tones but in a perhaps more subtle style, jazzier, cooler and less bombastic. Simply stated, this is RPI of the highest order, complex interactions between the gifted musicians, common melodic vision and this album's icing on the cake.

The disc ends with 5 easy little pieces, each between 2 and 3 minutes and all fascinating mosaics of sound: "Passagieta in Biccicleta" is slightly more playful and childlike, trumpets galore pushing along a basic rhythmic pulse, this piece sounds like an Italian version of UK jazz-rock legends Nucleus, erupting drum attacks propulsed by a demonic bass, synth adornments and lots of atmospherics! "Tema di Giovanna" is piano central, the grandiose keys interweaving with synthesized flutters and D'Angelo carving a solid bass furrow. Very pretty! "Siracusa" is carousel time, you can imagine the Fellini clowns eating their sopressata sandwiches as their buffoons prance around them playing their leisurely instruments in a hot piazza somewhere in the boot! "Notturno Breve" is spooky melody featuring mostly synths and organs, in a dapper baroque style, evoking times gone by and keeping the mood solid and entertaining. Finally, "Lasciando la Casa" puts this puppy to bed, another splurging symphonic rendition with just the right amount of fanfare, bombast and bravado. The electric guitar sizzles among the phased arrangements and settles this into the night sky.

Perhaps not the finest Banco recording ever but Garofano Rosso is one of the best instrumental packages from the 70s progressive rock scene and should be seen as the latter and not the former. As such and especially because of its unique qualities, this is a prog collector's dream album. While some may lament Di Giacomo not presenting his dramatic voice, the music simply stands all the tests and proves once and for all, the mammoth talents of the musicians involved.

4 Red Carnations

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 Canto di primavera by BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.74 | 118 ratings

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Canto di primavera
Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars Closing to the end of the 70's and the fading of the prog movement, Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso would face the first departure in six years.Renato D'Angelo left the group, being replaced by Gianni Colaiacomo, the last bassist of Kaleidon.A new album was recorded at the CAP Studios in Milano, entitled ''Canto di primavera'', marking the return of Di Giacomo's vocals.It would be released in 1979, as expected on the Ricordi label.

This would be more or less the last interesting work by these Italian Prog giants, although there seems to be a turn towards less complex and experimental rock forms, as proposed by the limited length of the eight tracks on the album.The jazzy flavor, that has been following Banco since their third album, is again present with Rodolfo Maltese's trumpet and trombone, guest player Luigi Cinque's sax and the clarinet of Gianni Nocenzi always in evidence, offering intersing Jazz/Orchestral Rock tunes, while there are tons of smooth electric piano lines, performed by Gianni Nocenzi.Of course the structures remain in a rather typical Italian Prog path, sometimes close to the jazzier side of MAXOPHONE, with good melodies and the comeback of Di Giacomo adding the needed Italian romantic vocals, which are more than welcome.For the first time the folky vibes are so strong in a Banco album.Lots of acoustic guitars and even a couple of charango and bouzouki performances by Maltese strengthen the more Ethnic side of the group.A couple of Classical-inspired sweet ballads with Di Giacomo's voice in full shape offer dreamy and ethereal soundscapes, while the symphonic touches are not absent either, especially in the more complex tracks, through they are delivered mostly through the use of the rising synthesizers of Vittorio Nocenzi than the forgotten but powerful organ or harsichord of the recent past.

Regarding its prog value, the band took the downfall, entering the 80's, with several studio albums in a Pop/Disco/Rock vein, most of them released on their new record label CBS, in a search for commercial success and only a couple of great live albums hold some interest from this point on.Gianni Nocenzi left Banco in 1983 and released some solo albums (as his brother Vittorio also did), before returning in 2002.The most interesting work by a classic Banco member though came in 1987 and it was Maltese's 'Il gabbiano Jonathan''.'Many important figures played with the group since the 80's, like multi-instrumentalist Gabriel Amato, who afterwards released a few solo albums, guitarist Filippo Marcheggiani from the Prog Metal band Scenario and the expert of wind instruments Alessandro Papotto, member of Nodo Gordiano and later Periferia del Mondo.From the live albums, the 2005 ''Seguendo le tracce'' is propably the best, while the DVD ''Ci˛ che ci vede e'' from a 1992 reunion of the group is the best optical documentary of a great Italian Rock legend.

With ''Canto di primavera'' Banco say farewell both to the 70's and Progressive Rock with a more than decent work.Propably one of the most atmospheric albums of the band, including smooth interplays, deep lyricism and interesting Italian-flavored melodies.Recommended.

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 ...Di Terra by BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.67 | 161 ratings

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...Di Terra
Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by ProgShine
Collaborator Errors & Omissions and Crossover Team

4 stars I understand that Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso was involved with some movies soundtrack. And I understand that soundtracks very often are just background for the images. But for Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso? No, it doesn't work.

But wait, I'm not saying that this album is bad, on the contrary, is brilliant! But this Italian band is known by the great Symphonic music and the great and impacting vocals of Francesco DiGiacomo.

And where's Francesco vocals? In fact, where's he at all? It's really hard to understand. If the vocals were in it would be a 5, easy.

Very, very weird cover by the way.

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 Io Sono Nato Libero by BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.41 | 672 ratings

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Io Sono Nato Libero
Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by sinslice

5 stars The best, most inspired and original Banco expression.

The first track, the suite "Canto Nomade per un Prigionero Politico" is the most accomplished of the group, outlining the extraordinary quality instrumental. The lyrics are good and the voice of De Giacomo plays a successful role. The classic and runs great keyboards and piano, we also consider most important protagonism acoustic guitars. And the production is better than previous works.

"Non Mi Rompete" and "Traccia II" provided a respite and are good interludes, appropriate. Regarding the first part of his lyric says: "Why are you bothering me maybe if I'm dreaming of a trip winged a chariot without wheels dragged by horses of the mistral, the mistral ... in flight ".

"La CittÓ Sottile" (The City Thin) and "Dopo ... Niente Pi¨ I Stesso ╚" (After...Nothing is the Same Anymore), contain an excellent mix between complexity and harmony.

4+ stars.

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 Darwin! by BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.37 | 723 ratings

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Darwin!
Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Mr. Mustard

4 stars Darwin continues the extravagant and chaotic sound of Banco's debut album, with more focused songwriting to yield a more cohesive and enjoyable album. While the intricate instrumental passages, operatic vocals, and overall tight musicianship are still present, the slightly over-ambitious nature of the debut is mostly not, making this a bit easier to follow.

The album opens with the 14-minute 'L'Evoluzione.' This is pretty similar to the 18-minute track on the debut, except the ideas on this one are more diverse and melodically satisfying, and the arrangement is a bit more coherent. Though I still believe Banco are at their best with the shorter songs in the 5-9 minute range.

'La Conquista Della Posizione Eretta' is a good example of this. In its nearly nine-minute length, it accomplishes more than most of Banco's 10+ minute works, and is one of the band's best. The song mostly confines to the bands darker and dramatic edge, and fools extensively with synth to give it a rather symphonic atmosphere with changing intensity levels throughout.

'Danza Dei Grandi Rettili' is a fun instrumental with a very gentle jazz sound. A great juxtapose to the overall intense and fast-paced sound the band usually tries to achieve.

But this soon changes with the chaotic 'Cento Mani E Cento Occhi' and it's brief all-over- the-place opening. The main theme is great, and in between repetitions are some interesting keyboard interludes, some of which remind me greatly of ELP.

The remaining tracks don't quite meet the same level as the first few, but are far from uninteresting. '750.000 Anni Fa... L'Amore?' Is mostly a mid-tempo piano based song. 'Miserere Alla Storia' starts off with some bouncy synth shenanigans (which return later in the song) before settling into a mid-tempo with clarinet work.

The final 'Ed Ora Io Domando Tempo Al Tempo Ed Egli Mi Risponde... Non Ne Ho!' is a baroque-tinted song with harpsichord, and an almost marching, anthem like feel with an obvious Italian inflection.

Overall, this is a delightfully adventurous album with tons of crazy moments, but never gets too out of hand. Controlled chaos is what I'd call it, and works perfectly for this album.

7/10

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 Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso by BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.28 | 543 ratings

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Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso
Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Mr. Mustard

3 stars Along with PFM's debut album, the self-entitled debut album from Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso represents the cornerstone of Italian Prog. But the comparison really stops there, as this is an entirely different brand of music. Firstly, it's much darker, heavier, with more eclectic atmosphere, not completely relying on the symphonic edge of PFM and a few other Italian bands. In fact, I would say this is a better representation of the Italian sound as a whole. The most standout features of the album and the band are the dramatic vocal delivery in Italian, the dark and extravagant atmosphere, and an overall sound and style similar to Genesis, Gentle Giant, and ELP.

The album is segregated into some shorter two-minute songs with two longer epics lasting over ten minutes.

'In Volo,' 'Passaggio,' and 'Traccia' are sort of interludes, and give the album a bit of variety. But the real centerpieces here are the three longer tracks. 'R.I.P' is a fun, upbeat song with a hard rocking drive and constant pounding drums. Besides that there is some loose guitar and intense keyboard playing throughout.

The remaining two epics are a bit harder to follow, if only for their more elaborate structure. Both the songs go through an elaborate change in mood and intensity, often changing between softer organ/synth leads to more dramatic and heavier piano or guitar.

Overall, while it may be overly ambitious in some places (especially the lengthy 'Il Giardino Del Mago.'), think this is a solid debut album from an iconic Italian Prog band.

6/10

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 Darwin! by BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.37 | 723 ratings

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Darwin!
Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by sinslice

3 stars Credulity = Evolution

From the brain of a human to a monkey there is an unbridgeable gulf. Particularly, do not share almost nothing of the concept of this album. I do not want to be dogmatic, it's just the opposite of my conception of man and his existence. Just to mention just a sample, never assert creatives 6 days 24 hours. According to the Bible, the seventh day had not been completed on 1st century CE On the other hand, the atrocities of the Church can not be credited to God.

Anyway, musically is optimal. Based on keyboards and with distinctive Italian flair. Great instrumentation task. DiGiacomo's voice is suited perfect for this work, and the group as a whole. In the context of the time, definitely a transcendent work.

Musically: 4 stars Lyrically: 1 star

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 Darwin! by BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.37 | 723 ratings

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Darwin!
Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Il Tastiere

5 stars Darwin! What can be said about that hasn't been said a milion time? It's a classic progressive rock LP and milestone in RPI subgenere. This album re-enact the birth of the world and mankind, civilization, the war between science and church and even love. Everything is told in perfect Di Giacomo's Style and the attention to details in the arrangements is exquisite. There's no dead point and there's no way you'll going to get bored by listening to this album. It is one of those perfect LP and the review could stop right here! But, let's get deep into it and let's see every aspect of every song.

In the past I had the idea that L'Evoluzione was the perfect prog song, and for good reasons; beatuful lyrics and intro, a breathtaking middle part, adrenalinic solos, what more can you ask for? Everything is played perfectly and the music written by Giacomo and Vittorio Nocenzi is the best. This is probably their apotheosis and no wonder if this LP is considered their best. Probably the solos are too rushed and undifined in some parts and they knew that probably knew it infact in the 1991 remake they re-edited the solo and removed some of the weak parts. Though this little flaws the song is perfect to me.

Then we have La conquista della posizione eretta, another great song from this LP. Chaotic yet well-executed! The drums are rageous and again both Vittorio and Gianni give us great examples of their talent at both the piano and sinthesiezers. The song ends with a beautiful Di Giacomo singing, talking about the first time the man stand stood by his two legs for the first time, marking the transition from quadruped to biped and starting a new era for mankind.

Next song is La danza dei grandi rettili, a very funky jazzy track, everything is calm, quiet and well arranged! Just a nice track with smooth guitar, jazzy piano and synth solos. A good way for chilling out after the first two track. The title is a clear reference to dinosaurs who lived the earth, and that's a good way to... tribute them! Nice job!

Then, oh boy, Cento mani e Cento occhi. Another great track which opens up with a synth intro, then, the hunt is on. In the beginning the song re-enact minutly an hunting scene and then the democratic share with the community made by, of course, a hundred hands and a hundred eyes as the title suggest. The music again is fantastic, full of keyboard solos, tempo changes and other good stuff!

Next track is 750,000 Anni Fa ... L'Amore? A long title, but it sure has its point! The lyrics talks about a love story in the prehistoric era: a man hide himself from a gorgeus woman and he has no courage to talk to her because of his aspect; he is ugly, dirty and he thinks that surely she will escape only by seeing him. So he only hides in the shadows, watching her everytime and feeling a ever growing sentiment that he can't express. This song has been very popoular by the years, first because it was rare that a (nasty) progressive rock band like Banco made such a romantic platonic love song and then because there was a clear influence of the italian "canzone" tradition making it the perfect example of how new way of doing music could approach to the old form without twisting the tradition. They just added something new to that language making it one of the most important Italian song of all time and it's remember still today. If you name Banco to everyone who lived in that period, even though they wasn't a great fan of the genere, they surely remember this song. The song is infact accessible to everyone who never approached the genere and satisfy both old and new listeners. The piano accompain great part of the songs, the chords and the singing are simple and beautiful and though its semplicity it remains a classic in Banco's repertory.

Then it's time for miserere alla storia, very strange and different from all the other songs in the LP, but still an ok track. The real different is that the lyrics, if you can call so, are acted by Gianni Nocenzi and it's probably the re-enacting of coming of the church and anticipate the theme of the next track. Again this song, full of great solos and passages, is again fantastic and there is no much to say about the track it self. Just a good song, that's all!

Last song is Ed Ora Io Domando Tempo Al Tempo Ed Egli Mi Risponde... Non Ne Ho! Geez! Thought "750.000 Anni Fa... L'amore" was a long title? Well, think again! This song is hilarious but so true. This is more like a complaint against the church and how in the years they created so much troubles in arts and, most important, science fields. As you probably know, church denied his theories about evolution, claiming that it was impossible that man could descent from monkeys, so the church putted Charles Darwin in a bad light and still today, though the church excuses, there is still who believe creationism. The song infact is very cynical and the lyrics full of rage, it's accompained by the sound of a creeking wheel, accordions and 3/4 tempos; a kind of mockery of the church's thought, designed as an old, giant and creeking wheel that squash everyone who dare contradict them. A perfect closing track for this majestic LP.

This is one hell of an album, a must for every RPI fan and a good starting point for the newbies. In 1991 Banco made a remake of this album, it is pretty cool, but I personally think the original is way better. The concept of this album is just fantastic, one of the greates operas in progressive rock history to me and and an immortal classic that still holds up to these days.

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