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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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Io Sono Nato LiberoIo Sono Nato Libero
Import
Sony/Bmg Italy 1998
Audio CD$4.53
$4.52 (used)
DarwinDarwin
Import
Sony/Bmg Italy 1999
Audio CD$2.49
$2.48 (used)
Banco Del Mutuo SoccorsoBanco Del Mutuo Soccorso
Import
Sony/Bmg Italy 2010
Audio CD$4.33
$4.32 (used)
Banco Del Mutuo SoccorsoBanco Del Mutuo Soccorso
Import
Imports 2016
Vinyl$17.81
$21.38 (used)
BancoBanco
Import
Sony/Bmg Italy 2006
Audio CD$3.66
$3.65 (used)
Di TerraDi Terra
Import
EMI Music Italy 1995
Audio CD$7.22
$6.99 (used)
Un Idea Che Non Puoi FermareUn Idea Che Non Puoi Fermare
Import
Imports 2014
Audio CD$9.69
$9.68 (used)
Seguendo Le TracceSeguendo Le Tracce
Import
Imports 2005
Audio CD$13.24
$13.23 (used)
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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)

4.29 | 722 ratings
Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso
1972
4.37 | 938 ratings
Darwin!
1972
4.37 | 871 ratings
Io Sono Nato Libero
1973
4.08 | 214 ratings
Banco
1975
3.46 | 140 ratings
Garofano Rosso
1976
4.00 | 209 ratings
Come In Un'Ultima Cena
1976
3.16 | 59 ratings
As In A Last Supper
1976
3.75 | 190 ratings
...Di Terra
1978
3.75 | 143 ratings
Canto Di Primavera
1979
1.59 | 50 ratings
Urgentissimo
1980
2.05 | 42 ratings
Buone Notizie
1981
2.01 | 46 ratings
Banco (1983)
1983
1.28 | 44 ratings
...E Via
1985
2.24 | 39 ratings
Donna Plautilla
1989
2.17 | 30 ratings
Non Mettere Le Dita Nel Naso
1989
3.54 | 39 ratings
B.M.S. (Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso, 1991 version)
1991
3.44 | 73 ratings
Darwin (1991 version)
1991
2.26 | 33 ratings
Il 13
1994

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

2.05 | 41 ratings
Capolinea
1979
2.09 | 4 ratings
Live
1993
2.32 | 15 ratings
Papagayo Club 1972
1994
3.80 | 39 ratings
Nudo
1997
3.38 | 8 ratings
Nudo - Live In Tokyo
1998
3.60 | 23 ratings
En Concierto, May 1999 - Mexico City.
1999
3.90 | 23 ratings
No Palco
2003
4.23 | 47 ratings
Seguendo Le Tracce
2005
3.25 | 8 ratings
Quaranta (Live Prog Exhibition 2010)
2012

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

4.34 | 20 ratings
In Concerto: Cio' Che Si Vede
1992
3.81 | 8 ratings
Live 1980
2007

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

4.19 | 24 ratings
Da qui messere si domina la valle
1991
3.00 | 7 ratings
La Storia
1993
2.21 | 5 ratings
I Grandi Successi
1993
1.75 | 4 ratings
Banco d'accusa
1996
3.95 | 3 ratings
Le Origini
1996
2.07 | 5 ratings
Antologia
1996
1.00 | 2 ratings
Nudo (Japanese version)
1997
1.00 | 2 ratings
Musica pi
1997
3.88 | 7 ratings
Gli Anni 70
1998
3.75 | 4 ratings
Made In Italy
2004
3.82 | 2 ratings
I Miti Musica
2005
3.00 | 1 ratings
Collezione Italiana
2006
2.00 | 1 ratings
D.O.C.
2006
1.67 | 3 ratings
Le Pi Belle Canzoni Di... Il Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso
2006
0.00 | 0 ratings
Il Ragno
2008
4.57 | 7 ratings
Banco del Mutuo Soccorso - 40 anni (Debut album 40th anniversary Deluxe Edition)
2012
0.00 | 0 ratings
Essential
2012
5.00 | 4 ratings
Darwin!
2013
3.86 | 7 ratings
Un'idea che non puoi fermare
2014

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

3.50 | 2 ratings
Non Mi Rompete
1973
2.00 | 1 ratings
Canto Di Primavera
1979
2.00 | 1 ratings
Niente
1979
2.00 | 2 ratings
Paolo Pa / Ma Che Idea
1980
2.00 | 1 ratings
Paolo Pa
1980
2.00 | 1 ratings
Il Ragno
1980
2.00 | 1 ratings
Baciami Alfredo
1981
3.50 | 2 ratings
Lontano Da (DJ - Special Mix)
1983
1.50 | 2 ratings
Moby Dick
1983
1.95 | 3 ratings
Grande Joe
1985
1.50 | 2 ratings
Vedo Il Telefono
1989

BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Darwin! by BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.37 | 938 ratings

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Darwin!
Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Jazz-Rock / Fusion / Canterbury Team

4 stars The much-acclaimed and revered epitome of 1970s 'classic' RPI here finds criticism and disconnect.

1. "L'Evoluzione" (13:59) This song offers a perfect opportunity for me to express a few of my dislikes in Banco music. Banco songs can sometimes be too busy. Like the comment in Amadeus about Mozart using just too many notes, the average, untrained human brain can only take in so much. Then there are the tendencies that Banco uses to compose support music for individual soli that is too rigid and monotonous--that goes on for far longer than one would like to hear. And then there are the flaws in the mixes of the instruments. Still, there is the fact of the amazing complexity and sophistication that is always a part of Banco compositions. Admirable and laudable, but they do not always translate into enjoyable listening experiences. Sometimes there can be just . . . too much going on at once. And I am often found having trouble finding, much less attaching to, lead or woven melodies. Where are they? And I will finally admit that after all these listens to Banco materials: I am just not that big of a fan of Francesco Di Giacomo's voice. He may be the equivalent of the Peter Hammill of Italy--you either love him or you hate him. (Like with Hammill), I fall into this latter category. (Well, I don't really hate him. I don't always enjoy his voice or vocal performances.) (8.5/10)

2. "La Conquista Della Posizione Eretta" (8:42) until the final two minutes, this is an instrumental song of typical Banco complexity and breakneck speed but possessing some nice, interesting, engaging melodies on the top (mostly from the synthesizer). Still, this song feels a bit too much like a song that would run over the introductory or end credits of a 1970s spy film. One of the more tolerable, even enjoyable, Francesco Di Giacomo vocals. (9.5/10)

3. "Danza Dei Grandi Rettili" (3:42) opens with a kind of sophisticated coffee-house jazz feel. For 45 seconds. Then the full-house orchestral hall sound bursts forth. For a bit. Reverting back to caf dynamics, the jazzy sound returns for some piano and jazz guitar interplay. The louder 'chorus' section returns with some cool organ and synth interplay before a bridge back to the original sound and theme occurs. Piano, jazz bass, brushed drums, and jazz lead guitar play out to the end--and, it is assumed, the sparse applause of the smokey caf. (9/10)

4. "Cento Mani E Cento Occhi" (5:22) opens with a driving, dynamic burst of straightforward organ-based rock. Francesco's poorly recorded voice is oddly mixed. There then follows a kind of Keith Emerson section before the vocals return. In the second half of the song, a kind of all-male barrel-house vocal ensemble becomes the form of vocal delivery--in both the louder and even the softer sections. A well constructed and performed song that is somehow poorly recorded and troublesome to connect with. Better to sit back and enjoy as spectator. (8.5/10)

5. "750,000 Anni Fa ... L'Amore?" (5:38) opens as a gentle, contemplative piano-based song over which a very strong, passionate, almost operatic vocal is sung by Francesco Di Giacomo. The man can definitely sing! There's even a section where Francesco's voice alone exudes the force that an entire full rock band might try to display--just his voice! Perhaps he was a failed or frustrated opera singer. The odd synth interlude in the middle is unfortunate. But, it is short-lived. We return to the piano and solo voce format where Francesco and Gianni Nocenzi perform their magic--until the rest of the rock band finally joins in for the final 35 seconds. (9/10)

6. "Miserere Alla Storia" (5:58) opens with a fade in of an already in full-form and fast-pace jazz-rock weave, but, then, just as it reaches front and center, it stops! Instead we are left with some spacious organ, bass, synthesizer play beneath a distant soloing clarinet. At two minute mark a very aggressive, demonic (non-Francesco) vocal sets up the onset of a new instrumental section of driving film soundtrack music. Piano soloing over staccato rhythm section ensues at the end of the fourth minute before returning first to the soundtrack "chase scene" theme and then to a pensive soft section for bass and fading clarinet to take us out. Odd song. (8.5/10)

7. "Ed Ora Io Domando Tempo Al Tempo Ed Egli Mi Risponde ... Non Ne Ho!" (3:29) opens with themes and sounds that could come from several ethnic musical traditions--and which sounds a lot like some of Woody Allen's clarinet- led Italian music as used in his films. The song is partly beautiful, partly grotesquely sad, partly funny--and definitely interesting. (9/10)

A near-masterpiece of Rock Progressivo Italiano and a clear example of how brilliant ideas in the hands of virtuoso artists do not always result in glowing masterpieces of artistic product.

 Come In Un'Ultima Cena by BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.00 | 209 ratings

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Come In Un'Ultima Cena
Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso Rock Progressivo Italiano

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

5 stars One of the most ground-breaking Italian progressive groups of the Seventies (actually, of all time), Banco del Mutuo Soccorso had an interesting first few years of releases. Three landmark RPI works (the self-titled debut, `Darwin!' and `Io Sono Nato Libero'), an English language remake disc and an all-instrumental soundtrack work `Garofano Rosso' arrived within the five years covering 1972-1976, and the group also delivered a further work `Come in Un'Ultima Cena' (`As In a Last Supper') in both Italian and English versions. While it's not quite up to the genre-setting standard of their first three releases, it's still a hugely impressive, intelligent and varied work that more than ever before showcases the charismatic vocals of frontman Francesco Di Giacomo, more than ably backed up by dazzling instrumental prowess of the musicians around him.

Unsurprisingly, a work inspired by the spiritual themes and symbolism of one of Leonardo Da Vinci's most famous paintings `L'ultima Cena' proves to give the music a bombastic and rich drama, and opener `...a cena, per esempio' sets things up nicely, with brash keyboard bursts, ripples of doomy and ravishing cascading piano, a jazzy swing in amongst electric guitar bite, melting Moog runs and Francesco's melancholic croon purring away with dignity. `Il Ragno' has a bass-powered funky grooving saunter that perhaps brings the album the closest to a more accessible commercial piece, but it's far from radio- friendly and still full of Banco's trademark twitching instrumental bursts. The melody of ` cos buono Giovanni, ma...' is deeply stirring thanks to Francesco's warm and sweet vocal over pretty synth trills, breezy flute, warm acoustic guitar flecks and effective sparse orchestration, and `Slogan' takes the album in a nightmarish direction with serrated buzzsaw-like cuttingelectric guitar splinters over gloomy piano and ballistic hair-tearing up-tempo symphonic bursts, a fanfare of blaring horns and thrashing drum spasms.

After a tense introduction, `Si Dice' is a frequently introspective piece that rises for a more boisterous chorus within its more compact framing, `Voil Mida' arrives like a delirious call-to-arms with its runaway dark-jazz piano and creeping organ bristles, a malevolent bounce to its histrionic bursts and stop/start snapping twists before Francesco's voice arrives with a joyful and lighter swoon. `Quando la buona gente dice' is a spirited and lively vocal-led interlude with rapid little instrumental fills,`La notte piena' a gorgeous ruminative recorder and gentle classical guitar ballad and `Fino alla mia porta' a wonderful final race of instrumental flourishes and symphonic pomp.

`Come in Un'Ultima Cena' remains a very underrated work with something of an ill-conceived lesser reputation from this important Italian group. The only problem is that they perhaps set their personal standard so impossibly high with their first three works (that remain benchmark Italian progressive discs to this very day), but close inspection and repeated plays reveals `Come in...' retains all the same vocally rich, lyrically thoughtful and instrumentally flamboyant work as those others, just crafted to a more melodic and focused work that stands proudly with great dignity on its own merits.

A disappointment? Not even slightly...

Four and half stars.

 Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso by BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.29 | 722 ratings

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Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso
Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by RisingForce

5 stars Banco del Mutuo Soccorso is the eponymous debut album by Italian Progressive rock band "Banco del Mutuo Soccorso".

The album was recorded for "Dischi Ricordi" in 1972.

The beautiful and original cover of the original vinyl was shaped like a piggy bank; a slit was extracted from a strip of cardboard with the faces of the members of the group.

The image on the cover is by illustrator "Mimmo Mellino".

The album "Banco del Mutuo Soccorso" also called (il salvadanaio) "Money Box" contains six songs, that start with a medieval epic dreamy intro "In Volo", which ends with an obvious what announcement is coming;"Entro il cratere ove gorgoglia, il tempo".

"The time" (Il Tempo), of course, is to "RIP", which comes with all its power Prog and the famous start of timing/tempo on 5/4, which supports a well the tenor voice clear and decisive, which clearly enhances every refinement of musical arrangements and of the lyrics set in a medieval battle and that focuses on the horrors of war.

Each instrument takes place in the solid sound without any prevalence and this, despite the potential timbre of the virtuoso dual keyboards work by the Piano, Hammond organ and Moog of the Brothers "Nocenzi" "Vittorio and Gianni" plus the use of flute reeds (played by some of the members of the band,in addition to their usual instrument), made the sound of "Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso" increasingly.

The personal solos are relatively limited and give the work a solid and consistent groove.

The voice of "Big" Francesco Di Giacomo arrives and retracts like a wave alternating moments of calibrated power to more subtle dynamics.

Follows a short interval Baroque "Passaggio" where "Vittorio Nocenzi" enters an empty room, he plays the harpsichord and singing the melody softly and after comes out the other side of the room, slamming the door.

Closes the first side the album "Metamorfosis" masterful demonstration of balance and skill in which the "Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso" attests to both its complete independence from preconceived Anglo-Saxon and creating an Italian Progressive rock with its ability to make the most its characteristic high skill of "first Mediterranean group in two complementary keyboards."

Only after 8 minutes of articulated Progressive rock of classical and medieval references with baroquisms never extremes that blend in a immovable nucleus where the guitar with counterpoints and original arrangements it leans on an always powerful rhythm section; It appears in the sound the poignant voice of "Francesco Di Giacomo", which is the premise, with a powerful final, to the second side of the album.

The second side of the album is occupied almost entirely (over 18 minutes), from "Il Giardino Del Mago" song in which the band experiments with all its musical narrative potential by developing a balanced symphonic different variants of the theme.

Very tense and romantic moments alternate with break atmospheres of symphonic rock, epic, classical or even space.

The end of the song, pure epic Progressive rock which flows into the closing track "Traccia", synthesis of Baroque rock with radical hard sound and Italian Mediterranean character.

A classic great epic debut album, a load-bearing column of the genre Progressive that keeps the future.

In the same year 1972 "Il Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso" publishes their second album "Darwin!" an evolution of Progressive rock.

 Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso by BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.29 | 722 ratings

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Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso
Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Modrigue
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Rock Progressivo e Classico

3.5 stars

First album of BANCO DEL MUTUO SUCCURSO, this self-titled opus combines the majesty of classical music and the power of early 70's hard rock, with a touching proper Italian sensibility. The disc is strangely structured, as it features three long songs with different durations and three short passages.

Beginning in a mysterious atmosphere, "In Volo" is in fact a pleasant medieval theme played at the flute, introducing the best song of the record, "R.I.P.". Lifely and catchy, the track presents a good balance nervous guitar and piano, with a beautiful melancholic interlude. One of the best compositions from the RPI genre! "Passaggio" is a short transition simply consisting in keyboardist Vittorio Nocenzi entering the room, playing harpsichord, and leaving the room by slamming the door!

The mini-epic "Metamorfosi" is quite interesting. Its first half is instrumental and features a powerful combination of seventies' hard rock and classical keyboards. This part surely shares similitudes with ELP. The second half is softer and more delicate, and the finale is haunting. This song has some weaknesses, but is overall pretty cool. Unfortunately, although it mixes the same musical elements, the same cannot be said for the 18 minutes uneven "Il Giardino Del Mago". Not as convincing, the longest track of the disc contains a few nice moments, however these can get a bit repetitive at times. "Traccia" concludes the record with a baroque hard rock theme.

At first sight, by looking at the instruments, "Banco del Mutuo Succurso" may look similar to symphonic prog acts. Nevertheless, the approach is very different from English bands such as ELP or GENESIS, and the sensibility is typically Italian. Some passages are powerful whereas others are touching. Despite lengthy moments on "Il Giardino Del Mago", this debut album remains my favorite from the band, maybe because this is their rock-iest effort from their "classical" prog period.

Recommended if you want to discover the Rock Progressivo Italiano, and a good entry point to the genre for 70's hard rock fans.

 Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso by BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.29 | 722 ratings

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Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso
Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Jazz-Rock / Fusion / Canterbury Team

5 stars Ever since re-entering the music scene in 2008 after an absence of nearly twenty years I was overwhelmed by many international music scenes of which I had previously been relatively unaware. Rock progressivo Italiano is one of these. And with my enthusiastic interest drawn to the amazing number of modern artists contributing to what has proved to be quite an exciting revival of my once-beloved progressive rock music, I have not always given older albums the time and attention necessary to truly familiarize myself with them much less appreciate them. Still, I have slowly acquired the much revered "classics." (This one has 663 ratings/reviews on PA alone!) Banco has impressed me from my initial listens. The maturity and sophistication of songmaking is astounding. And to put into the formula the fact that this album and Darwin! (both 1972 releases) predate many of the most cherished masterpieces of the Golden Age only increases my appreciation and awe. The dynamic range, confidence to be quiet and subtle and then be bold and loud, all the while using thoughtful not-whimsical constructs and virtuosic command of all instruments is a wonder to behold. While the sound of lead vocalist Francesco Di Giacomo's voice is one that has still not grown comfortable or favorable to me, I find nothing but musical excellence throughout Banco's first album. It's display of musical and instrumental mastery is undeniable. Where it may lack slightly is in memorability. After several years of owning this and occasionally spinning it through my brain I still find little or no connection with the music--it has not penetrated my soul in the way that many of the 'less sophisticated' masterpieces of the era have. Not the way Darwin! and especially Io sono nato libero have done. Hence, a rating is very difficult for me to render as I do not rate this one on the same par as the two aforementioned classics, yet it is such an amazing collection of constructs it is difficult for me to give it anything less than the five stars it truly deserves. To me, it is an excellent addition to any prog rock music collection but in terms of its contribution to music history I cannot deny that it is probably essential and is definitely a masterpiece of progressive rock music . . . just not as great as either Darwin! or Io sono nato libero.
 Grande Joe by BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1985
1.95 | 3 ratings

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Grande Joe
Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

2 stars The first time that I listened to BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO was to their very good "...di terra" album from 1978 which was lent to me in 1985 by a friend and musician who was one of the keyboard players in a band in which I was playing then, called "Argos" (of course, it is not the same band which is included now in the Prog Archives database, as I realized a few days ago). The band on which I was playing the drums then had eight members!

Also in 1985, one saturday evening I was watching TV, and in one of the channels of the Mexican TV there was the broadcasting of the "Sanremo Music Festival 1985". I watched to the TV programme for some minutes, not really being a fan of this kind of music festivals. But I was very surprised when BANCO appeared in the TV screen playing live, or more likely doing a playback, to a very Pop Rock song, which after doing some research in Wikipedia and in youtube, thirty years later, now I know it was called "Grande Joe", the song which is in this single. I was very surprised to see BANCO on TV in 1985 playing this song after liking a lot their "...di terra" album.

After finding it now and listening to this song several times in youtube and watching to a video of them doing a playback of this song in front of an audience (maybe it is an official video for this song, or maybe the scenes, with some edits and added visual effects, were also recorded at the Sanremo Music Festival, but I can`t remember very clearly now if they are the same scenes that I watched on TV then...maybe not...I watched to them on TV thirty years ago!) now I know the reason I was so surprised by this song. This "Grande Joe" song is a very Pop Rock song in the very typical style of the eighties: programmed drums, electronic drums, very typical eighties keyboard sounds (maybe also some programmed keyboards), the use of some reverb,...

The song is not bad. In fact It is a good Italian Pop Rock song, with good vocals by the late Francesco Di Giacomo. But the change of musical style (in comparison to their musical style of the seventies) was very drastic for me in 1985, and it still is today. As I don`t speak, read and write in the Italian language, I can`t understand the content of the lyrics. Who is "Grande Joe"? I don`t know. I also don`t know if this song was a Hit Single for the band in Italy or in other countries.

It seems that the eighties was a time for change in musical style for a lot of the Prog Rock bands of the seventies . It also happened to some Italian Prog Rock bands, like BANCO, P.F.M. and LE ORME.

For collectors and fans only.

 Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso by BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.29 | 722 ratings

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Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso
Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE Team

5 stars Much like Gentle Giant who were an inspiration, the Italian group BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO (Bank Of Mutual Rescue) was founded by musical brothers, in this case Vittorio and Gianni Nocenzi. In the early 70s at the peak of the first golden age of progressive rock but unlike many contemporaries who needed an album or two to get their feet wet, these guys hit a major home run on their eponymous debut album in 1972, which has become one of the most revered albums in all of progressive rock and for good reason. This album is absolutely BRILLIANT!!!

Although they had already formed in 1969 they found no reason to revisit the psychedelic 60s and instead channeled their energies into a highly artful form of symphonic prog that not only borrowed some of the lightness from Genesis, but also included energetic keyboard outbursts like ELP as well as the folk inspired sounds from their homeland inspired by Jethro Tull as heard on clarinet and a kind of trumpet called the clarino. BANCO adeptly blended acoustic and electric instruments with daring vocals in Italian and mastered the art of lulling you into an addictive melody that simultaneously hooked you in while stunning with sophisticated musical wizardry. This album delivers the absolute perfect ratchet effect and never lets me drift away for a second.

This is a highly complex album delivering classically derived compositions put entirely into a rock context. Massive sprawling tracks like "Metamorfosi" and "Il Giardino Del Mago" are so stuffed with musical ideas that they never let the listener's attention stray from their path. While BANCO does let loose on occasion and really rock out, they are much more adept at spending long periods of time with subtleties and delicate passages that take their time to make the journey an interesting one before coming to a conclusion.

This era of Italian prog is notorious for poor production and i highly advise getting one of the newer remastered versions of this release, for even on these it is not perfect but a huge improvement over some of the weaknesses of the original, however it is the music that overpowers any production complaints. This is one of those few touched-by-God albums where unearthly energies conspired to make something magnanimous beyond the sum of the parts. I have tried and failed to find any flaws in this music. It is a timeless as a Mozart symphony, as daring as "Dark Side Of The Moon" in a totally different way and although many a prog band would borrow from this style, BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO was revolutionary when it was released easily separating itself from contemporaries like PFM.

Wending from sophisticated piano runs to complex guitar runs, BANCO delivered an outstanding debut album that is one of those albums i can really put on replay and never tire of. If you're new to this band, this is the perfect place to start but don't expect to be able to take this in quickly because the true beauty of this album is how it unfolds slowly and demands that you put it on again and again. Don't waste your time on all those fraudulent derivatives and mortgage scams, put your money in an investment of greatness that delivers musical satisfaction time and time again.

 ...Di Terra by BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.75 | 190 ratings

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

Review by Argonaught

5 stars It's with great pleasure that I declare ... di Terra one of the best albums I have ever had.

Normally, I am not a huge fan of RPI; I used to have half a dozen to a dozen albums by PRM, Banco, and a number of albums and/or bands whose names had a word 'Locanda' in them. Some were good, others were not so good. All in all, I thought I'd moved on.

And then came ... di Terra, which I somehow had been escaping my attention for a few decade. So praise me to the PA brethren who pointed in the .. di Terra direction.

There is absolutely nothing on this album that I do not like. I classify this kind of musical as contemporary classical, which can sound like nu jazz in one place, like fusion or jazz-rock in another, and even like a Debussy composition elsewhere on the album.

In the same category, I list Viljans ga and the latest live album by Jaga Jazzist (with Britten Sinfonia), but .. di Terra, I think, is even better.

The musicianship is flawless, as expected. The compositions are tasteful, mature and complex, but without being too convoluted or lengthy to enjoy.

Special bonus for refraining from singing, although some folks will disagree with this postulate. An extra special bonus for the length of the album that is neither too short, nor too long.

Also importantly, the .. di Terra has passed the rigorous "car test" with flying colors, which means it sounds pretty good even in mildly "audiophob" circumstances of a moving budget compact :)

I can't say I quite get the album art, but this "offence" will not cost ... di Terra half a star :)

Recommended to all those who like the late 20 century's take on romantic classical and symphonic music.

 ...Di Terra by BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.75 | 190 ratings

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

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

5 stars Banco del Mutuo Soccorso are a defining Italian progressive band from the early Seventies, with their first three albums (at least) being absolute classics of the R.P.I field, as well as hugely daring and adventurous works. They were a combination of very talented musicians and the grand bellowing near-operatic croon of Francesco Di Giacomo, however, from time to time, the band would deliver a purely instrumental album (the previous one being the soundtrack work `Garofano Rosso'), and this resulted in 1978's `...Di Terra'. A real one-off that sounds like no-other album they ever delivered, the group were joined by an orchestra here, and despite Italian bands working with orchestration not being an especially new idea (the New Troll's `Concerto Grosso' series instantly comes to mind), here the two forces gelled together and complimented each-other successfully with frequently very experimental and exciting results, with plenty of welcome darker and edgier moments as well.

Banco make an impossibly grand statement of intent right from the start with the purely orchestral overture `Nil Cielo...'. Faraway piano and eerie orchestration quickly turns reflective, then gradually grows in triumph as if sound-tracking the sun rising and announcing a new day. `Terramdare' brings relentless maddening drumming, clanging metallic percussion and maniacal piano that sounds like a cross between `Ummagumma'- era Rick Wright from Pink Floyd and the schizophrenic sci-fi jazz of Vangelis' `Hypothesis' which spirals in circles around droning bombastic horns, chasing bass and disorientating synth effects. Despite opening with more whiplash percussion and moments of chest beating Moog fanfares that sound like a call-to-arms, `Non Senza Dolore' offers groaning vocal drones that stretch into infinity and almost ambient stirring respites. The violin slices, grumbling bass and repulsive malevolent piano of `Io Vivo' bring spastic eruptions of violence, insane hostility and stalking tension, strangely in a similar fashion that bands like Present and Dn would deliver!

Gorgeous solo piano dazzles away throughout `N Pi' to open the second side alongside wavering pretty synths full of positivity and life, before the piece movies into slinking cool jazz/fusion grooves with electric piano, flute and saxophone, mostly leaving any orchestral pomp for the final minute. Chamber rock and Univers Zero-styled darkness consumes the gothic `Nei Suoni...'. Drifting electronics, a heartbeat pulse, tiny little Hammond organ ripples then gorgeous melodic bass bursts through over eerie violins and intimidating cinematic strings, with a very ice-cold chilling piano finale that descends into clawing tension. The closing title track lets a little light back in. Frantic and urgent for the first half, a very up-tempo beat drives chugging bass and strident acoustic guitar strums over thunderous orchestration before a powerful and uplifting final electric guitar solo...but those final piano notes tease a hint that more melancholy is never too far away...

Without question, `...Di Terra' is a hugely divisive album from this Italian band. Purists who cannot imagine the Banco band without the charismatic powerful voice of Francesco may be likely to dismiss it altogether, others may be put off by the knowledge of the band using an orchestra. But this is not some straight-forward rock band with syrupy cliched strings slapped over the top of their music, or lazy interpratation of a traditional classical piece. This is experimental rock music with avant-garde daring that offers plenty of edge, mystery and exciting darker flourishes, and is as far from the easy-listening dreck that rock and orchestra combinations usually present. It's a lively, thrilling, even occasionally uneasy atmospheric work, and it defiantly stands on it's own in the fascinating discography of Banco del Mutuo Soccorso.

Four and a half stars, rounded up to five.

 Darwin! by BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.37 | 938 ratings

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Darwin!
Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Sanki

5 stars Cento was one of the first songs I learned from the progarchives some years ago. I did not know that Italian groups made great music in the 70s; I had no idea what RPI was. So, a big thank you to progarchives for introducing me to RPI. I now seek Italian groups in particular (book by Andrea Parentin is very useful). Banco, along with Quella, Le Orme and PFM, remains a favorite. I like the operatic voice of Francesco, and use of the peculiar Italian instruments for sure but there is also great compositions, wonderful harmonies and rhythm in these pieces. Slow passages and fast (almost manic) paced parts are interwoven perfectly. L'Evoluzione and Cento Mani stand out but there are no weak moments in this album for my liking. I can certainly pick up and listen to this album any time with no regrets.
Thanks to Todd for the artist addition. and to NotAProghead for the last updates

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