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BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO

Rock Progressivo Italiano • Italy


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Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso picture
Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso biography
Founded in Rome, Italy in 1969 - Between 1997-2018 active playing Live - Reformed in 2016

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...
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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 | 930 ratings
Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso
1972
4.38 | 1222 ratings
Darwin!
1972
4.38 | 1120 ratings
Io Sono Nato Libero
1973
4.05 | 271 ratings
Banco
1975
3.49 | 172 ratings
Garofano Rosso
1976
4.00 | 270 ratings
Come In Un'Ultima Cena
1976
3.33 | 82 ratings
As In A Last Supper
1976
3.76 | 229 ratings
...Di Terra
1978
3.73 | 181 ratings
Canto Di Primavera
1979
1.72 | 65 ratings
Urgentissimo
1980
2.13 | 60 ratings
Buone Notizie
1981
1.87 | 62 ratings
Banco (1983)
1983
1.26 | 58 ratings
...E Via
1985
2.29 | 49 ratings
Donna Plautilla
1989
2.13 | 35 ratings
Non Mettere Le Dita Nel Naso
1989
3.42 | 53 ratings
B.M.S. (Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso, 1991 version)
1991
3.42 | 86 ratings
Darwin (1991 version)
1991
2.43 | 49 ratings
Il 13
1994
3.84 | 138 ratings
Transiberiana
2019

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

2.08 | 55 ratings
Capolinea
1979
2.11 | 8 ratings
Live
1993
2.27 | 18 ratings
Papagayo Club 1972
1994
3.77 | 49 ratings
Nudo
1997
3.44 | 9 ratings
Nudo - Live In Tokyo
1998
3.70 | 24 ratings
En Concierto, May 1999 - Mexico City.
1999
3.75 | 31 ratings
No Palco
2003
4.12 | 61 ratings
Seguendo Le Tracce
2005
3.50 | 12 ratings
Quaranta (Live Prog Exhibition 2010)
2012

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

4.32 | 25 ratings
In Concerto: Cio' Che Si Vede Č
1992
3.77 | 12 ratings
Live 1980
2007

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

4.19 | 28 ratings
Da qui messere si domina la valle
1991
3.25 | 8 ratings
La Storia
1993
2.20 | 6 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 pių
1997
3.94 | 8 ratings
Gli Anni 70
1998
3.75 | 4 ratings
Made In Italy
2004
3.92 | 3 ratings
I Miti Musica
2005
4.67 | 3 ratings
Collezione Italiana
2006
3.50 | 2 ratings
D.O.C.
2006
2.50 | 4 ratings
Le Pių Belle Canzoni Di... Il Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso
2006
4.00 | 1 ratings
Il Ragno
2008
4.56 | 9 ratings
Banco del Mutuo Soccorso - 40 anni (Debut album 40th anniversary Deluxe Edition)
2012
5.00 | 2 ratings
Essential
2012
5.00 | 8 ratings
Darwin!
2013
4.00 | 12 ratings
Un'idea che non puoi fermare
2014
4.80 | 5 ratings
Io sono nato libero 1973-2017 (Legasy Edition)
2017

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
4.00 | 3 ratings
Canto Di Primavera
1979
3.33 | 3 ratings
Niente
1979
2.67 | 3 ratings
Paolo Pa / Ma Che Idea
1980
3.00 | 2 ratings
Paolo Pa
1980
2.00 | 1 ratings
Il Ragno
1980
3.00 | 2 ratings
Baciami Alfredo
1981
3.00 | 3 ratings
Lontano Da (DJ - Special Mix)
1983
1.33 | 3 ratings
Moby Dick
1983
1.96 | 4 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
4.38 | 1222 ratings

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Darwin!
Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by jude111

5 stars An amazing thing about Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso on this website is that both Darwin! and Io Sono Nato Libero have near-identical ratings at 4.38, with well over 1,100 souls rating each. For some reason, I came to Io Sono Nato Libero first, and I quite enjoyed it. It reminded me a bit of PFM's Per un amico - nice understated vocals married to gorgeous, mid-tempo acoustic-based prog. So I just assumed Darwin! would be more of the same. That was my mistake. My impression upon first listening was: "Is this Pink Floyd circa Meddle?" The Floyd resemblance isn't just in the first minute or so, but also in the descending piano line on the first track that tells me they *must* have been listening to Echoes (which pre-dated Darwin! by a year). But *not* derivative! I understand now why both Banco albums are so highly-loved, but they're doing very different things. Darwin's electric guitars are more pronounced, as are its synths. This is a faster, harder-rocking, funkier album, and a love-at-first-listen for me, ear candy in the very best sense.

The 2nd tune is quite fast and often hard-hitting; not at all what one normally associates with space-rock, yet how else to describe it? Floyd on speed? The tonal colors are bright technicolor, the melodies instantly appealing, but spacy nonetheless, like something that could turn up in Dr Who back in the day. There's an organ melody line that turns up a few times; it sounded *so* familiar, but it took me awhile to figure out what it is. Holy cow, it's the Special's Ghost Town! (First time, at the 2:20 mark.) Seriously, was someone in the band listening to this when they wrote that song? When the treated piano enters towards the end, the Echoes comparison enters again, and just in case you think it might be a coincidence, the sound of wind enters (a la One of These Days, also on Meddle).

When the third tune begins, you half-expect Gilmour's vocals to enter. The fourth tune ends with a burst of chanting, and it's just so original. I just have to say, this isn't what I expected at all, and I'm loving it. It's been ages since I discovered a prog album for the first time from the classic period and was bowled over. All these years I never gave Darwin! a chance, it wasn't on my radar, and assumed that PFM were the undisputed masters. But since first listening to Darwin! yesterday and having it on non-stop repeat ever since, I've realized that Banco have won over my heart. I can't wait to hear Io Sono Nato Libero again with fresh ears, and listen to their other well-loved albums that I haven't heard yet.

 Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso by BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.29 | 930 ratings

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Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso
Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by prog_traveller!!

4 stars On their debut album their characteristic style is already fully outlined, it is a fundamental work for the Italian progressive world. They devoted themselves to a Mediterranean form of progressive rock music characterized by fulminant keystrokes and devoted singing, which discharges at the right time in an overflowing dynamic and delights in perfectly summed up symphonic-abstract emotions.

It opens with a medieval-style intro- a medieval introduction, followed by the splendid suite "R.I.P." - based on a leading riff with a few "dry" chords, essentially rock'n'roll, it evolves into unbridled solos, and in a subsequent slowed part, with classical pianism. The characteristic sound of the band is forming, made up of moments of great intensity, melancholy ballads, and the "tradition".

After a short " Passaggio", we can listen to "Metamorphosi" which, as the title suggests, is a rather experimental track. "Il Giardino Del Mago" is divided into 4 parts, and it is presented with a perfect "fusion" between classical baroque music, experimentation and rock'n roll, extraordinary vocal performance of Di Giacomo, and the unforgettable acrobatics of the other musicians. It Features balanced instrumentation and varied arrangements. The album is filled with a profound overall concept in which rapid keyboard interludes, rocking guitar riffs, folkloric gentleness and transfigured vocal melodies always merged into a multi-layered soundscape.

 Transiberiana by BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.84 | 138 ratings

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Transiberiana
Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by prog_traveller!!

4 stars Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso is a band that in a period of only two years (1972-73), presented three fantastic albums to the world, that are definitely obligatory pieces of music for all prog rock fans.

Compared to the band's classic albums, this work represents a reformation, a new beginning, not only because of the changed staff, but also musically. With a renewed line-up with the already present Filippo Marcheggiani (lead guitar) and the new arrivals Tony D'Alessio (vocals), Nicola Di Gia (rhythm guitar), Marco Capozi (bass) and Fabio Moresco (drums), the Banco tries the way of a change but at the same time keeping evident the link with one's own history. "Transiberiana" is a more than dignified job with its own particular identity, straddling the old traditions and the search for post-2000 sounds. The theme is travel, and with the descriptive power of their music, they transport the listener into the icy depths of Siberia (it has always represented a metaphor of infinite vastness and wild lands ) , frozen ramparts formed by forgotten asteroids, and of a train derailing, a Snowpiercer on Earth.

They rely on a mix of progressive tradition, still clearly recognizable retro and symphonic influence, but with a more modern feel and approach to composing. The demonstrated virtues may be traditional, but the approach of the group is decidedly contemporary, (elements of Art Rock and AOR can be heard). Everything is held up in great shape, both in the writing and in the execution phase, which ranges from the classic progressive sounds to the jazzy piano, enriched by attempts at solos related to prog-metal.

Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso presented a strong, high-quality, modern progressive rock album, that after 25 years can only be called a surprise. The band has broken new ground, their music is fresh, powerful, and dynamic.

 Io Sono Nato Libero by BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.38 | 1120 ratings

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Io Sono Nato Libero
Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by prog_traveller!!

5 stars "Io sono nato libero", is a historic third album by Banco del Mutuo soccorso. Banco has reached the pinnacle of his compositional ability with this album and this is one of the most famous and important Italian progressive rock bands and albums.

The album starts with "Canto Nomade Per Un Prigioniero Politico" and is their masterpiece, and one the best examples of what progressive rock means - very complex structure, extended instrumental passages, but never forgetting the importance of a melody. The sound is rooted in dramatic symphonic prog rock with a variety of styles. This epic is worthy of being alongside the greatest epics of the genre.

The band manages to create something beyond regular rock music through sounds of classical music and jazz. They use "standard" rock instruments, but through their incredible talent and composing abilities, they successfully deliver complex arrangements and compositional strength that give the orchestral feeling. Piano and keyboard are used interchangeably, segments in some parts perfectly combine the work of guitar, piano, bass and drums - multitude of sound layers that make the music extremely rich and all followed by a beautiful voice.

Essential album.

 Darwin! by BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.38 | 1222 ratings

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Darwin!
Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by prog_traveller!!

5 stars DARWIN! - Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso - 1972

Fantastic and strange texture of music, very interesting time structures, stylistic shifts run throughout the album's seven tracks.

"L'Evoluzione" starts with the smooth introduction, a mixture of mystery and expectation can be felt in the dense atmosphere that can almost be cut with a knife, incredibly nice voice with the company of beautiful piano and then a full band enters and announces the mood and things to come. They show all their versatility, progressive rock in the purest sense of the word, radical changes and perfect arrangements.

"Danza Dei Grandi Rettili" is a softer and more jazzy tune and only expands the wide musical arc that represents this album.

Great compositional arrangements and a constant battle between classical musical elements with powerful organ and guitar sounds, introduction of some great sound effects and the emotional side that is typical of RPI, make this album an incredible accomplishment and a true progressive rock milestone.

I believe that no progressive rock collection is going to be complete if you don't have Darwin, a true masterpiece.

 Io Sono Nato Libero by BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.38 | 1120 ratings

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Io Sono Nato Libero
Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Menswear
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Lots of flavors.

Like a huge banquet, this album by The Bank Of Mutual Relief is composed of many tasty dishes: ELP/Triumvirat synths, exotic acoustic guitars, majestic grand piano, passionate vocals, uptempo rhythms and bongos (at least in the first song) and baroquish approach. I do see more dynamism and energy in Banco than say, PFM. And this is where I hop on the Banco bus: more fire. Yes, without being heavy, Banco raises more hell than Marconi Bakery.

I find their delivery more in-your-face, less romantic, more rock n' roll and to me, this is more appealing than the eternal romantism that the Italian scene is known for. The keys are upfront, varied and catchy. So if you're into rich, pompous keyboard palette with baroque grand piano segments, you'll like this record for sure.

Flowing effortlessly from start to finish (and what a finale with Traccia II) this is some grandiose music. Yummers!

 Transiberiana by BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.84 | 138 ratings

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Transiberiana
Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by DiversionConVinilos

4 stars The return to the stage of this legendary band, one of the banners of the progressive Italian. After suffering the erratic course of so many groups of this style in the 80s and 90s, and without the presence of the late Francesco Di Giacomo, few ventured that the BMS could resurface. But they have. After 25 years of silence (since 1994 they have not published anything) expectations were set very high on this work. And I believe they have fulfilled these expectations: Transiberiana is really an updated return to the origins: well developed and imaginative themes with a conceptual ambition and a rich and complex instrumentation. Music of the highest quality and inspiration, with a clearly progressive sound, but with a modern treatment.
 Io Sono Nato Libero by BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.38 | 1120 ratings

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Io Sono Nato Libero
Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by jamesbaldwin
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Third opera for the Banco.

Side A 1. Nomadic Song For A Political Prisoner (15:46). The most important song of the album, which traces the theme of freedom starting from a wonderful poem by Giacomo Leopardi. The synth-based beginning is reminiscent of Darwin but the song is less overwhelming, proceeds with various rhythmic cuts and lacks a memorable melody. Around 6 minutes there is a nice crescendo after which Di Giacomo sings: I was born, born free. Strangely, the best piece is the instrumental one that follows the singing: excellent synth progression, followed by an acoustic piece with guitars and percussion, truly remarkable, at which point I would expect Di Giacomo's voice again and instead the song ends with of the virtuosity of Nocenzi. Remarkable piece, with the central part to scream, but didactic beginning and final stretched too long. In short, it is prog, for better or for worse. Rated 8+.

2. Don't Break Me (5:09). Bucolic song, led by Di Giacomo's acoustic guitar and celestial voice. It gives off a feeling of lightness and sparklingness. Very fluffy. Become a live workhorse because it is catchy. In my opinion it is a song with a beautiful melody, but which should be developed in three minutes as Here Come the Sun (the two songs are similar, they are a melodic pop folk led by a few and clear acoustic guitar chords) after half a minute shows the string, one of the Banco's most pop and superficial things. The instrumental ending tries a little to ennoble it with a prog guise, but it remains an unassuming ditty that lowers the quality of the album. Rating 6.5 / 7

Side B 3. The Subtle City (7:13). Excellent piano start with hints of classical music. Nocenzi's piano and Di Giacomo's voice are always, always, the Banco's delight. Avant-garde song, melodically remarkable but which becomes theatrical, with a reciting voice, instead of making Di Giacomo's song explode. Partially missed opportunity. We are on high levels, but the potential of the song is not exploited to the fullest, and after an excellent start the piece does not take off, does not explode, indeed, towards the middle, the dissonances in Gentle Giant style arrive. Vote 8. , 4. After ... Nothing Is The Same Again (9:55). Main track of the second side, it has a beginning and an end with Nocenzi repeating Minnear's lesson from Gentle Giant. Keyboards that show off phrases of math rock with reminiscences of the Middle Ages: it can be beautiful but it is often affected, cloying, narcissistic, as in this case. After an uncertain beginning, Di Giacomo's song arrives, at first not very incisive but then comes a melodic aria worthy of a melodrama that remains the peak of the second side. The song proceeds with an instrumental interlude followed by a short, suggestive theatrical piece, but the real music is not the accompaniment of recited voices, then a nice sung acceleration returns, before the instrumental ending, almost ugly as the beginning. Very sophisticated song, very prog, which touches notable peaks but which does not fully exploit the melodic inspiration, and has flaws at the beginning and at the end. Vote 8.

5. Track II (2:39). Short instrumental piece, led by the synth. Vaguely solemn, it was designed just for the finale. Dated and pretentious. Rating 5.5.

Io sono nato libero, in my opinion, it is not Banco's masterpiece, even if it is perhaps its most "prog" album, indeed, precisely because it is their most prog album. If we look at the melodies and the clarity and sobriety of the debut album, we see that the Banco here has lost almost everything that is immediate, and melodic in a high and memorable sense, to focus on the sophistication of the composition (and this is good) and arrangements (and this is bad if it replaces memorable melodies), as well as virtuosity. Comparing Banco's first three albums with Pfm's first three, I see that the debuts were fantastic, because very "Italian", melodic, spontaneous, inspired, the second album veered towards English or American prog, still achieving excellent results in the Banco and fairly good results in the Pfm, and finally the third album was contaminated too much and deteriorated in quality in the Pfm, while it held up well in the Banco, but without giving a masterpiece. Overall, Banco beats Pfm clearly, in my opinion.

Rated 8.5. Four star

 Darwin! by BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.38 | 1222 ratings

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Darwin!
Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by jamesbaldwin
Prog Reviewer

5 stars If you find a clock in a forest, you understand that there is a designer behind it, you do not think that he formed himself. So said the theologian William Paley to justify the argument that Nature was created by a Creator, according to an Intelligent Design. Banco del Mutuo Soccorso in 1972 dismantled this theory, saying that THE CREATED HAS CREATED ITSELF since the first lines of the album. And they anticipated in this the English Richard Dawkins, one of the most important living evolutionists, who in 1986 published The Blind Watchmaker, overturning the saying of William Paley: natural selection is the Blind Watchmaker

Second album for Banco del Mutuo Soccorso, a concept album based on Darwin's theory.

1. L'Evoluzione (13:59). Beginning that combines epic and melody, immediately reaching a notable pathos. You immediately notice that the arrangements are much more pumped than the debut album, and that the synth is now king. Around 7-8 minutes the music stops and you hear the clarinet, which together with the synth is the trademark of this record, and which will be the protagonist of the second side of the disc. The rock progression restarts, then there is a long instrumental digression and in the finale the initial melody returns but is immediately marred by the virtuosity of Nocenzi, who seems to want to show off his technique. It's a great song, but I have the impression that something of the immediacy of the debut album has been lost: the greater instrumental refinement actually prevents the melody from taking flight. Rating 8,5/9

2. La Conquista Della Posizione Eretta (8:42). The second song seems to be the continuation of the first, with Nocenzi producing virtuosity. It is an almost instrumental song: Di Giacomo's vocals arrive only in the finale, as had already happened in the last song of the first side of the debut album. The musical difference lies in the rhythms, much more sustained, in the arrangements, much more charged, and guided by the synth. In short, music is more complex and layered, and this can be good or bad. Then the music slows down, and finally Di Giacomo's voice arrives, always very beautiful. Final falling with the wind. Rating: 8.

Side B: 3. Danza Dei Grandi Rettili (3:42) is an instrumental piece, pop-jazz music, it's a nice ballad for piano, bass and clarinet, with synths making a progression. Rating 7,5.

4. Cento Mani E Cento Occhi (5:22). It is the weakest song of the album. too forced, too based on rhythm, without melody, without the possibility of Di Giacomo's voice emerging, here the negative influence of Gentle Giant seems evident. The Banco in my opinion is wasted for a rock song of this type. In fact, the best part is the slow one. Here perhaps the defect is due to the will to narrate. The fact is that Banco continues to show a very high potential, and wanting to put too much meat on the fire with its sumptuous arrangements: when you have such excellent compositional skills, virtuosos like Nocenzi and Di Giacomo, a beautiful melody, piano and voice is enough to being at the top of music, you don't need to waste energy on a thousand sounds. Rating 7.

5. 750,000 Anni Fa ... L'Amore? (5:38) is a masterpiece. And it is no coincidence that Banco give its best with a piano and voice ballad, these two elements are enough for the Banco to record a masterpiece, thanks to Di Giacomo's vocals, what is needed is just a beautiful melody, and here is the case . Masterpiece. And it is surprising that the instrumental interlude is so little melodic, and lowers the tension of the song, and is similar to certain pieces of Gentle Giant (Acquiring the Taste) and also the ending in crescendo, immediately truncated. This song is definitely a masterpiece but at the same time it is definitely imperfect: the instrumental interlude is of low quality and the ending could have been longer and more powerful. Banco makes the same mistakes as Pfm by chasing English music in its formalities instead of focusing on the melody. And despite these imperfections, the rating of the song is 9, if it had been arranged at best it would have been one of the absolute masterpieces of the whole melodic prog. Rating 9.

6. Miserere Alla Storia (5:58) .It is a song that at first seems instrumental, the clarinet recalls Stravinsky's Spring Festival, but with sounds almost like Kletzmer music, then the theatrical vocals arrive, which make the piece grotesque, and finally an alienating music starts, very ad effect, the Banco now pursues new sensations and the music is more and more colorful and baroque, they have definitely created a particular, sumptuous sound, which starts from the melody and reaches the sumptuous and sometimes mad rock. Vote 8

7. Ed Ora Io Domando Tempo Al Tempo Ed Egli Mi Risponde ... Non Ne Ho! (3:29) Final with a melodic song but with a circus flavor, which tries to close the circle with the wheel of time that comes and goes. Very well done, but in the second side the Banco has given himself above all to ironic, mellifluous, grotesque, aggressive, and finally circus melodies: great performance but where it gave its best: in the piano and voice piece, where the melody was epic and dramatic. Anyway, rating 7,5/8.

Ultimately, with the second album in the same year, 1972, Banco turns towards more English sounds and proves to conform to a much more refined and pyrotechnic prog rock, as Pfm did with Per un amico (which actually had a sound more American than English). But what happens when these two groups want to imitate the British or the Americans? Pfm with Per un amico, in my opinion, produces a very good record, for heaven's sake, but clearly inferior to Storia di un minuto, because it loses immediacy, melody, pure emotion, and doesn't gain enough virtuosity to make the music enjoyable as much as the debut.

Does the Banco end up the same? In my opinion, the Banco produces a second masterpiece, which is a masterpiece for reasons other than the debut album of the same name: Darwin loses in melody, simplicity of arrangement, immediacy but gains in arrangement, virtuosity, extension of the musical contents, and sound: here the Banco creates its own characteristic sound, with rhythmic progressions, synths superimposed on the piano, clarinet, and an alienating and grotesque mood. On the first album the sound is very heterogeneous.

Darwin is better or worse than the debut? I do not know, we are more or less on the same level, it is certain that Banco in my opinion demonstrates with Darwin that it has taken a step forward in outlining a new music that Pfm cannot claim to have done with Per un Amico because despite being a very refined disc, compositionally is less inspired than Darwin.

Banco demonstrates with this album that it has enormous potential, and if only Nocenzi had been more inspired in composing memorable melodies here he would have obtained one of the greatest masterpieces of the whole prog.

Masterpiece. Rating 9+. Five stars.

 Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso by BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.29 | 930 ratings

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Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso
Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by jamesbaldwin
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Here's to you the Banco's debut. One of the most important record in history of Italian prog.

Side A:

There are four songs but in the reality just two true songs and two fragments of songs. These fragments are the introduction to a mini-suite.

The first fragment, "In Volo" is a recited song, with a Renaissance style, worthy of Genesis, or Gentle Giant as a mood, but overall today it is dated. It serves to create the atmosphere, it is understood immediately that Banco wanted to be prog. Their debut, in fact, is among the most prog Italian record: more prog than Storia di un Minuto by Pfm or Collage by Le Orme.

In volo opens to "RIP", which is one of the absolute masterpieces of all Italian prog. Here we meet, summarized in 7 minutes without frills, all the art of Banco: an excellent melody created by the keyboards of the Nocenzi brothers accompanied by the tenor operatic voice of Francesco Di Giacomo, aggressive instrumental progressions led by drums (Calderoni) and electric guitar (Todaro), Baroque instrumental solos alternating with pauses. We are in full symphonic rock, but what makes this music unique is the beauty of the melodies, punctuated by Di Giacomo's vocals. Masterpiece. Vote 9.

After the second fragment, a ballad on the harpsichord, comes the second song, "Metamorfofi", which starts with a rhythmic progression, moves on to a classical piano piece, returns to the rhythmic progression, and only in the end comes the vocals, preceded by phrases on the guitar that trace its melody. Daring theatrical finale. It looks like a minisuite but in reality it is a melodic verse/chorus song, like all the other two songs, reworked, dilated to make it sound like a suite, which obsessively fights over some piano phrases. It is an excellent song always thanks to the beautiful melody and the excellent arrangements that are able to deepen a musical motif, to create variations around it without tiring. It's not love at first sight like the first song but it's a remarkable piece without flaws. Rating 8,5.

SIDE B.

And on the second side the same goes for the suite "Il giardino del mago" which .... is not a suite! Again the group insists spasmodically, almost paranoidly on a banal piano phrase but manages to create rock music, alternating with classical and jazz, reworking that little musical content, then the rhythmic progressions and the voice of Di Giacomo, protagonist here, arrive to do the rest, that is to make listening always interesting, only at times close to the cacophony and anguish of the Van der Graafs. And in all this the piano composition prevails, not the virtuosity a la Keith Emerson. It's another perfect song, 8.5 rating.

The final fragment takes up the frenzied rhythm with which the suite (which is not a suite) had closed, adding Mediterranean choirs to make the ending even more pompous.

In my opinion this album would have been slightly better without the three fragments. It remains a masterpiece, however thanks to three wonderful melodic songs that many bands would not be able to write even in 20 years.

Rating album: 9+. Masterpiece. Five stars.

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

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