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FORMULA 3

Rock Progressivo Italiano • Italy


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Formula 3 biography
FORMULA 3 were one of Italy's first and most popular psychedelic prog rock band of its time. This band was a trio made up of Alberto Radius on guitar, vocals and bass, Gabriele Lorenzi on keyboards and bass, and Toni Cicco on drums and vocals. The melodies still have that unique Italian-Mediterranean tunefulness, but their voicings are unique. Musically these guys are somewhere in the DEEP PURPLE school with heavy emphasis on guitar and keyboard interplay. In the end they combined to write and record perhaps my favourite Italian Psych rock album ("La Grande Casa") of all time.

They put out four early albums which are all different in style. "Dies Irae" their first album is greatly overhadowed by their later releases, but let me say that you must start with this album. The second album, the eponymous FORMULA 3, appears to be a collection of singles, although the first track runs eleven minutes in length and in fact only two of the tracks were released as singles.

Probably the only one worthy of high praise is their third "Sognando E Risognando" a highly inventive album who's styles are very diverse. "La Grande Casa" is possibly their best release, and should appeal to those who enjoy PFM, Le ORME, and Il VOLO. To be fair, "Sognando E Risognando" is supposed to be more progressive than this, earlier albums more psychedelic.

FORMULA 3 additional website

COMPLETE DISCOGRAPHY:
- Dies Irae (Numero Uno ND 74271) [1970]
- Formula 3 (Numero Uno ND 74272) [1971]
- Sognando E Risognando (Numero Uno ND 74430) [1972]
- La Grande Casa (Numero Uno ND 74273) [1973]
- Frammenti Rosa (Durium ND-CD 201) [1992]
- 25 Anni Di Lucio Battisti (RCA Italiana 74321-17295-2) [1993]
- La Casa Dell'Imperatore (Carras CRR 475909-2) [1994]

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FORMULA 3 discography


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FORMULA 3 top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.96 | 48 ratings
Dies Irae (Formula 3)
1970
2.51 | 36 ratings
Formula 3
1971
3.64 | 93 ratings
Sognando e Risognando
1972
3.13 | 61 ratings
La Grande Casa
1973
2.25 | 4 ratings
King Kong
1991
2.50 | 6 ratings
La Casa Dell'imperatore
1994
2.00 | 4 ratings
I Successi Di Lucio Battisti
1996
2.00 | 4 ratings
Il Nostro Caro... Lucio
2004

FORMULA 3 Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

FORMULA 3 Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

FORMULA 3 Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.50 | 2 ratings
La Casa Dell'Imperatore Pi Cantano Lucio Battisti
1996
3.00 | 2 ratings
Flashback: I Grandi Successi Originali
2000
2.82 | 2 ratings
Superissimi, Gli Eroi Del Juke Box (Formula 3)
2006

FORMULA 3 Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

FORMULA 3 Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Sognando e Risognando by FORMULA 3 album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.64 | 93 ratings

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Sognando e Risognando
Formula 3 Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by andrea
Prog Reviewer

4 stars "Sognando e risognando" is the third album by Formula 3 and was released in 1972 on the Numero Uno label with a consolidated line up featuring Tony Cicco (drums, percussion, vocals), Gabriele Lorenzi (piano, organ, Minimoog, synth, bass, vocals) and Alberto Radius (electric and acoustic guitar, bass, vocals). It marks an evident change in the band's musical direction that here turns from the song-oriented psychedelic rock of their first two albums to a full fledged progressive rock and more complex structures. As for the art cover, don't be mislead: the provocative, macabre subject elaborated by Caesar Monti, Gianfranco Marabelli and Wanda Spinello does not represent the content of an album where horrific, gloomy atmospheres do not prevail at all...

The opener, "Sognando e risognando" (Dreaming and dreaming again), is a suite divided into four parts signed Battisti-Mogol. A different, shorter version of this piece was released in 1971 on Lucio Battisti's album Umanamente uomo: il sogno but here the band deliver a new good arrangement adding some instrumental parts. It begins by an instrumental introduction subtitled "Fermo al semaforo" (Standing at the traffic lights) that sets a foggy atmosphere and a melancholic mood. Then, on the second part subtitled "Sognando" (Dreaming), the rhythm rises and soaring vocals without words begin to drive you far from the traffic jams and the daily grind of a big city. The third part, subtitled "La stalla con i buoi" (The stable with the oxen) depicts in music and words a beautiful, pastoral country landscape where you can live in harmony with nature and your sweetheart, surrounded by singing birds, rivers full of fishes and woods. You'd better hurry up and try to reach that place as soon as possible leaving behind the hectic city life. You can do it when the traffic lights turn to green... The short last part, subtitled "Risognando" (Dreaming again) ends the piece with a soft, peaceful mood.

The long, autumnal "L'ultima foglia" (The last leaf) is an instrumental suite composed by the band and divided into three parts. The first one, subtitled "L'albero" (The tree) begins by drum rolls and dark organ waves then the rhythm rises and the electric guitar draws some disquieting melodies conveying a nightmarish atmosphere... The second part, subtitled "Non mi ritrovo" (I'm not at ease) starts by a drum solo, then the pace accelerates bringing some echoes of Latin rock la Santana while the last part, subtitled "Finale", ends the suite with a slight Gothic flavour...

"Storia di un uomo e di una donna" (Story of a man and of a woman) is a relatively short piece signed Battisti-Mogol that deals with a tormented relationship between a man and a woman that is slowly coming to an end. It opens with a soft acoustic guitar pattern and a melancholic feeling with the voice of Alberto Radius depicting the waning enthusiasm, the desire to look for another love, the fear to suffer again the pain of a broken romance... But there's still something left, a bit of love is still hanging in the air and some doubts rise, so the final curtain of this love story can wait another day!

The last track, "Aeternum", is another suite divided into four parts and composed by the band with the help of Lucio Battisti. The first part, subtitled "Tema", sets the atmosphere with a powerful incipit that after a minute gives way to a calmer passage where music and vocals describe a magic moment where time stands still and there's no need to think of a distant world nor to worry about the past. You can breathe slowly looking at the nature that surrounds you as the wind sweeps away your troubles, you can feel eternal at least for while... The second part, subtitled "Caccia" (Hunt), is evocative and dreamy and leads to the complex "Interludio", that begins by a piano solo pattern and is full of classical influences and sonic fireworks. Then the last part, subtitled "Finale", ends the album with a softer, dreamy mood...

On the whole, a very good album!

 Sognando e Risognando by FORMULA 3 album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.64 | 93 ratings

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Sognando e Risognando
Formula 3 Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Alestes

5 stars Sognando e Risognando is the third album of Formula 3 after Dies Irae and the eponymous Formula 3 (1970 and 1971).

It does show the influence of the Italian prog rock culture. Albero Radius was a fill in for Franco Mussida of the PFM while he was busy with his military service. Some of the PFM musicians will later participate in the group Il Volo,

The album is influenced by the psychedelic culture of the late 1960's as the listener who understands Italian might reduce from the lyrics.

Sognando e Risognando is a description of a trip away from the city in the company of a much coveted female, a week-end dedicated to exploration of human attraction and desire and the perils of it. Lust and excitement often is followed by disappointment and ennui, and the structure of the music does interpret well this common pendulum of human emotions.

L'Ultima Foglia is the description of angst and resolution, anxiety and final acceptance. It has a classical structure borrowed from symphonies and concerts of the late 1800's.

Recording quality is superior and stands the test of time: on a system with low distortion, full range and high power it shows the true color of high quality tecording and mastering.

 Superissimi, Gli Eroi Del Juke Box (Formula 3) by FORMULA 3 album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2006
2.82 | 2 ratings

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Superissimi, Gli Eroi Del Juke Box (Formula 3)
Formula 3 Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Prog123

3 stars Formula 3 is a band that has always been associated with Lucio Battisti. Indeed ... It would be better to say that Formula 3 was Lucio Battisti's band. They weren't simply the backing band of Lucio Battisti (especially in two tours in 1970 and 1971), when they had to express themselves through the bloodiest Rock but they signed for "Numero 1", the label of Lucio Battisti and Mogol (the lyricist of Battisti) , were produced by Lucio Battisti and Battisti himself wrote many songs for them (some he also recorded later). Also, at some point (1973), they turned into Il Volo when Lucio Battisti asked them to expand the line-up.

The style of the band is, as I read it, a great Hard Rock on the first album which then evolves towards a Progressive Rock that never manages to become immortal (but almost all the songs are great). This compilation proves it very well. Tony Cicco, Alberto Radius and Gabriele Lorenzi are among the best musicians we could boast in Italy at the time and, of course, they can interpret the songs really well. Their skill in how they play and interpret is evident, managing to involve us totally, in very different songs like "Dies Irae" (Proto Metal, for me), "Eppur mi son scordato di te" (POP / melodic Hard Rock), "Io ritorno solo" (Epic Progressive Hard Rock) or "Cara Giovanna" (POP with Progressive structures). And all this succeeding immensely to please the public who, in truth, was not so competent to distinguish these musical differences.

Concluding "Superissimi, Gli Eroi Del Juke Box" is a compilation that is part of a compilation series. Therefore its value is not very high. But the quality is, however, excellent. When I saw it I did not hesitate to buy it and, I must say, I did not regret it. But if you have all of this band (or all of these songs) you can very well avoid it.

 La Grande Casa by FORMULA 3 album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.13 | 61 ratings

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La Grande Casa
Formula 3 Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Anon-E-Mouse

2 stars Welcome to Eurovion Pop Festival. This is not even remotely Prog - beyond that the same instruments can be used to create many different types of music. Just how this band sneaked into PA remains a mystery to me.

I feel that I got duped by the dealer spruiking up this CD and seeing that it's the second highest rated album of the band on PA, I parted with my money - and time...! (Obviously the dealer just wanted to shift dud material that few Prog fans expressed interest in buying.)

But this scraping the bottom of the "Prog barrel" far too hard. Now, don't get me wrong, these musicians don't sound anything like desperate amateurs. Rather the opposite. To my ears they appear more like skilled session musicians - kinda hired hands - who could play virtually anything placed in front of them. This work just happened to be Pop.

Lyrical pieces alternate with bombastic orchestral arrangements and pretty good vocals deliver mildly enjoyable - Pop. That the lyrics are in Italian doesn't help much to possible added value as I don't speak that language.

Please, don't get me wrong, I don't mean to be rude to these capable musicians. On a general music site this piece would probably qualify for a rating between 3 and 3.5. In Prog terms I can't offer more than 2. Since I am a Prog fan, this would have been the first and also the last Formula 3 album I ever obtained.

 La Grande Casa by FORMULA 3 album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.13 | 61 ratings

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La Grande Casa
Formula 3 Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Formula Tre's fame even reached Brazil in early-70's, as the band played at the Festival Internacional da Cancao in 1972.In 1973 the band releases its last album of their early phase, now moving away from the shadow of Battisti and based on compositions mostly written by Radius.Its title was ''La grande casa'', another product of Formula Tre on Numero Uno.

The fourth album of the band is actually a Progressive/Pop record, creating mixed feelings and with a rather soft still decent result.The opening ''Rapsodia di Radius'' is propably the best cut of the album, atmospheric and light Symphonic/Space Rock with the distinctive guitar style of Radius in evidence and some great choirs.''La ciliegia non e di plastica'' is a dull Pop track, based around Radius acoustic crescendos and Lorenzi's piano with a bad result.''Liberta per quest'uomo'' shows a return to the melodic Symphonic/Art Rock of the opening track, excellent performance by Lorenzi on organ and piano, nice choirs and good work by Radius both on electric and acoustic guitars.The eponymous track is a fine piece of lyrical Art Rock with solid musicianship, while ''Cara Giovanna'' is a ballad with sensitive vocals, relaxed synthesizers and piano and a nice acoustic solo by Radius.The closing ''Bambina sbagliata'' is another poppy track that haves a strong musical content with keyboards and acoustic guitars in evidence but the hillarious choirs and its syrupy atmosphere make it quite an amateur composition.

Formula Tre disbanded in late 73' with Radius joining Il Volo as well as having a decent solo career and Cicco forming a self-titled short-lived project in 1974.They returned some 15 years later with the original line-up and the band is still active in the new millenium, producing albums with reworkings of old songs, before Lorenzi quit in 2002 to be replaced by several keyboardists ever after.

In fact ''La grande casa'' was the last contribution by Formula Tre in Italian Prog, a sufficient yet very short album with an artistic nature and some nice atmospheres throughout.Recommended, especially if you love some Italian romanticism in your music.

 Sognando e Risognando by FORMULA 3 album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.64 | 93 ratings

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Sognando e Risognando
Formula 3 Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by dreadpirateroberts

2 stars Sognando e Risognando by Formula 3 is an album with some great moments, but an almost piece-at-a-time approach to the flow of music.

There is a really nice, dark guitar sound, one of the most distinctive I've heard for the period, and the usual expressive (if sparse) Italian vocals. The keyboard and guitar interplay is often exciting, but the album doesn't really kick off until we start the Lucio Battisti cover that the title of the album is drawn from, which is renamed here to the first line: 'La Stalla Con I Buoi' (a heavy interpretation of the song). It's fantastic and when it gets going and I always find myself sad when it ends, I'm left craving a little more.

Perhaps the chief issue with the album, is that many songs feel like interludes - only they are often followed by what could be considered as another interlude. This disrupts the flow and can be distracting as a listener. As the album was produced by Battisti, it should offer a partial explanation for the clear influence seen in one of the stand out songs 'Storia Di Un UomoE Di Una Donna' where the 'interluding' comes to a momentary halt. This track is instantly memorable because it is a little more traditional in structure, and does have a clear Battisti influence (the song is bit of a rock ballad) and I wonder if he doesn't contribute backing vocals to the track, especially the falsetto-ish parts.

'Tema' thumps along before easing off into a softer passage and the album winds down with another interlude before the longer 'Interludio' which, combined with 'Finale' serve as a dramatic closer.

Not a bad album by any stretch, but I feel that with just two great compositions, combined with some interesting interplay between keys and guitar elsewhere, that this one is a 2.5 rather than a 3.

 Dies Irae (Formula 3) by FORMULA 3 album cover Studio Album, 1970
2.96 | 48 ratings

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Dies Irae (Formula 3)
Formula 3 Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by toroddfuglesteg

2 stars Being a motorsport fan, this band caught my attention some years ago. It has taken me until this week to get to know this album, though.

This is the debut album from this band who has gone on to release some albums. This is also a pretty spicy album somewhere between Psychedelic/Space Rock, Heavy Prog and RPI. Mostly Psychedelic/Space Rock, it has to be said. The organs is rampant spaced out and the vocals too lives somewhere in space. There is even a drum solo here and other more Heavy Prog stuff. The vocals, despite being spaced out, reminds me about RPI.

The quality is not that good though. There is no tracks here that makes enough impressions on me to give me a reason to name one of them as the best track here. The songs only rampage throughout to the end and that's it. In short, this album is passing me by like a train. But the sound is interesting though so this band is not a lost cause. But this album is not for me.

2.25 stars

 La Grande Casa by FORMULA 3 album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.13 | 61 ratings

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La Grande Casa
Formula 3 Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Joo Paulo

4 stars An album made in Italian Progressive rock vein but a litle bit comercial songs. Some Psichedelic progressive parts or some sinphonic parts, but the most important parts have Lirics in Italian and give the comercial concept of this work. The begining of album it's a beautifull sinphonic music but quality is down, when he begin to sing. It's nice to hear some music of this album, because have a calm ritm and some balanced parts. Compared to other albums of Italian Progressive rock scene, this is a more comercial work but with a nice parts, and a good sound conception. I think that it's a important work in Italian context, and we should not separate the geografic and social context and music, because the local people can heard some good music and the same music it's not so good for ohter people. As it has some beautiful pieces which are pleasant to hear I give 4 star's.
 Sognando e Risognando by FORMULA 3 album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.64 | 93 ratings

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Sognando e Risognando
Formula 3 Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars While I do think this is slightly better than their debut there are whole sections (especially the vocal ones) that are disappointing. Not a fan of the album cover either (haha).

"Fermo Al Semaforo" builds with sounds including synths. The guitar before 1 1/2 minutes reminds me of Conny Veit. "Sognando" sounds really good with the keyboards and guitar making that happen. Vocal melodies join in. "La Stalla Con I Buoi" features reserved vocals and acoustic guitar. It kicks in around a minute before settling again before 2 1/2 minutes. Kicks back in a minute later with some nice guitar. "Risognando" is a short piece with little happening. "L'albero" opens with sporadic drumming. It kicks in with some distorted organ before 1 1/2 minutes, guitar follows. Synths come in then the tempo picks up. Organ 4 minutes in before it turns pastoral a minute later to end it.

"Non Mi Ritrovo" opens with drums as organ then guitar join in. It settles into a good groove. "Finale" opens with piano before it settles. "Storia Di Un Uomo E Di Una Donna Aeternun" opens with acoustic guitar and piano as reserved vocals come in. Drums and bass follow. Not a fan of this one. "Tema" has an aggressive intro before it settles a minute in with vocals. Not a fan of this one either. "Caccia" opens with synths as drums eventually join in. It's building and blends into "Interludio". Piano takes over. Guitar before 3 1/2 minutes. Synths are back. "Finale" features lots of atmosphere as synths build.

Lots to like here, but not enough to make it 4 stars i'm afraid.

 Dies Irae (Formula 3) by FORMULA 3 album cover Studio Album, 1970
2.96 | 48 ratings

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Dies Irae (Formula 3)
Formula 3 Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Considering this was released in 1970 this is an impressive album. It's too bad the mood and style of the opening track wasn't sustained throughout though. FORMULA 3 were a trio out of Italy. The guitarist went on to form IL VOLO.

"Dies Irae" is dark as the drums beat slowly. The guitar then organ join in. An amazing sound here. This is quite intense. Vocals 3 minutes in. They will come and go. Big finish. "Non E Francesca" kicks in quickly with a catchy beat. Vocals before a minute as raw guitar plays over top. Organ comes in later. Vocals come in after a minute on "Perche...Perche Ti Amo". The organ, drums and guitar are prominant. They contrast the quiet and loud passages throughout.

"Questo Folle Sentimento (Intro)" kicks in right away. I like when it settles. It blends into "Questo Folle Sentimento" where it builds with vocals and organ followed by guitar. "Walk Away Renee" is a song I remember as a kid. FORMULA 3 cover it pretty well with English vocals. I like the chorus because it brings back memories. "Se Non E Amore Cos'e" kicks in with organ, drums and guitar. It settles. Fragile vocals after 1 1/2 minutes with floating organ. "Sole Gialio,Sole Nero" is fairly uptempo with organ. It settles when the vocals arrive. It picks back up.This is a fun track. Lots of organ before 5 minutes. Drums take over a minute later.

I can't give it 4 stars but I feel it deserves respect considering the year and how well done it is. 3.5 stars.

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

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