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Genco Puro & Co. picture
Genco Puro & Co. biography
Genco Puro & Co. was really a show name for a solo artist, one Riccardo Pirolli from Sicily. After releasing a few singles in the '60s he recorded one full length studio album in 1972 with the assistance of Franco Battiato and other unnamed musicians. Battiato's full role is not certain, but the two were friends, Battiato sang on two tracks, and according to he may have written seven of the album's twelve songs under the ghost name Ed De Joy. Pirolli was a guest on Battiato's "Fetus" album and both were label mates on the Bla Bla label. Another noted guest on this album is Capsicum Red/I Pooh's Bruno "Red" Canzian.

The Genco Puro album is certainly a part of Italian rock history. It features short pop songs with traditional, strong Italian melodies accented with progressive tendencies. You will hear songs built on acoustic guitars and keyboards, with piano, Moog, sound effects, and orchestrations. Pirolli ended up working as a sound engineer and arranger. While not a progressive masterpiece it is certainly of interest to RPI fans and especially to the fans of Franco Battiato.
[Jim Russell/Finnforest]

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2.50 | 8 ratings
Area Di Servizo

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GENCO PURO & CO. Reviews

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 Area Di Servizo by GENCO PURO & CO. album cover Studio Album, 1972
2.50 | 8 ratings

Area Di Servizo
Genco Puro & Co. Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

2 stars Genco Puro & Co. was the name chosen by Italian musician/singer Riccardo Pirolli for the release of his only personal album to date.As Ricardo Rolli he released a couple of singles in the 60's for Durium and Decca and participated on Battiato's ''Fetus'' album in 1971.Pirolli released a couple of singles in 1972 and in return Battiato helped him in his sole full-LP release ''Area di servizio'' for Bla Bla in 1972, singing in a couple of tracks, while the tracks are composed by a mysterious figure named Ed De Joy, reputedly it was Battiato himself.

The original album contains 12 short tracks, none of them exceeds the 4-min. mark, and most of them are a mix of typical Italian-styled Melodic Pop with light Progressive Rock influences here and there.So, there is not much to expect from Genco Puro & Co. than decent song choruses blended often with some artistic music structure, mainly due to De Joy's keyboard arrangements.These are mainly built around piano and moog synthesizers, alternating from Orchestral Pop/Rock to more demanding still melodic passages.The rest of the instrumentation is based on standard acoustic melodies and a soft rhythm section.Of course there are also a few mediocre ballads in a typical singer/songwriter style.The opening tracks are quite good, however the rest of the album is of minor prog interest, flowing more and more in Melodic Pop vein.

Pirolli released another single after the album and remained linked with the music industry, working as a sound engineer and arranger.

The original album is very rare, however a couple of CD reissues by Artis and BTF (with bonus tracks straight out of Genco Puro & Co.'s early singles) make this one an easy to find record.Still the interest for prog fans should be kept relatively low for this album and the only true reason to buy it is the presence of Battiato and the sometimes intricate synth pasasages...2.5 stars.

 Area Di Servizo by GENCO PURO & CO. album cover Studio Album, 1972
2.50 | 8 ratings

Area Di Servizo
Genco Puro & Co. Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Finnforest
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars The breezier side of classic Italian

Riccardo Pirolli was a Sicilian musician who had some early singles before playing guitar on the Franco Battiato album "Fetus" (credited as Riccardo Rolli there but it is the same man.) As they were friends and label-mates on Bla Bla records, Battiato decided to help Pirolli with his solo project for which he gave the name Genco Puro & Co. Battiato helped Pirolli by singing on two tracks and according to some was responsible for writing or co-writing seven of the album's twelve tracks under the moniker "Ed De Joy." There were other musicians as well but the only one known to me is Bruno Canzian of Capsicum Red/I Pooh fame. Interestingly, every track is co-written and credited to "Conz" which sounds an awful lot like a shortened version nick-name of Canzian. Pirolli himself is credited with co-writing five tracks. This would be his only album but Pirolli would continue in the music field as an arranger and engineer.

The Genco Puro sound is definitely on the lighter, folksier, more pop side of the early Italian Prog scene. This is nothing like Semiramis or Balletto di Bronzo, this is one of those melodic singer/songwriter albums. The songs are short and mostly built around keyboards, acoustic guitars, and pleasant Italian vocals. The prog flavorings are definitely there in the form of mellotron and Moog experimentations, the latter Moog treatments with a period trippy feeling on some songs. While the album feels pretty unremarkable at first it is one of those albums with strong melodies-if you continue to play it these simple songs will begin to work into your skull to stay. The strength of the album lies not in the proggy tendencies but in the quality of the simple songwriting and heartfelt melody, with wonderful piano playing frequently adding feelings of nostalgia and longing to the pieces. Battiato takes over the vocals on "Giorno D'Estate" which is one of more unremarkable tracks actually. But his other lead vocal is more interesting on the faraway "Nebbia" with its echoed vocals and experimental bent-great track. "La Mia Citta" picks up substantially into a playful rocker with full band and again the Moog, Pirolli unfortunately does get a bit carried away with it, employing it on almost every track. "Come un Fiume" is probably the compositional highlight putting all the various components together with a more ambitious feel. Nice rolling pianos atop acoustic guitar and mellotron with some astute drum work keeping everything in line. Side A certainly contains the bulk of the good material while the second side begins to drag. The closer "Burattini" champions the second half with a heavy bass line chugging over mellotron and some odd repetitive notes.

"Area Di Servizio" is certainly an album that Battiato fans will want to own, and a modest recommendation to those who love lighter, shorter song-based Italian Prog. It is a pleasant melodic piece of RPI history but certainly not essential for anyone else. This is for those with a serious commitment to Italian progressive music (we know who we are!) The BTF/VM remaster is a gatefold mini-lp sleeve and comes with two bonus tracks that are more rocking and feisty. Unfortunately the liner notes/artist history are pretty scant on this one. 2 affectionate stars.

Thanks to Finnforest for the artist addition.

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