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LA BOTTEGA DELL'ARTE

Rock Progressivo Italiano • Italy


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La Bottega dell'Arte biography
In the mid-70's, two brothers and three long-time buddies got together and released some fine symphonic prog albums in the purest Italian melodic tradition. The band consisted of brothers Piero Calabrese on keyboards and vocals and Massimo Calabrese on bass, acoustic guitar and vocals; they were joined by friends Fernando Ciucci on lead vocals and guitars, Romano Musumarra on guitars, flute, keyboards and vocals, and Alberto Bartoli on drums and vocals. Their albums are characterized by luscious memorable melodies, impressive vocal harmonies and plenty of swirling keyboards that give their material a rich, full-bodied symphonic sound.

Their first two albums, "La Bottega Dell'arte" (1975) and especially the 1977 "Dentro" (considered the most progressive of the lot), were quite well received both at home and in many parts of the world, from Scandinavian countries to South America, Korea and Japan. Their third release, "L'Avventura" (1979), however, signaled a bit of a let-down and by their fourth, "Forza 4" (1984), their hearts simply weren't in it as they had lost the services of their all-time lead singer Fernando Ciucci and were all slowly going their separate ways. Perhaps for old times' sake, they did finish the album but it not as homogeneous and somehow lacks the warmth and cohesiveness of the other three.

If you're into simple but highly melodic Italian prog and are particularly fond of LOCANDA DELLE FATE, you will certainly want to check out their first two albums.

: : : Lise (HIBOU), CANADA : : :

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LA BOTTEGA DELL'ARTE discography


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LA BOTTEGA DELL'ARTE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.48 | 20 ratings
La Bottega Dell'Arte
1975
3.00 | 14 ratings
Dentro
1977
3.00 | 5 ratings
L'Avventura
1979
1.00 | 1 ratings
Forza 4
1984

LA BOTTEGA DELL'ARTE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

LA BOTTEGA DELL'ARTE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

LA BOTTEGA DELL'ARTE Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

1.00 | 2 ratings
Made In Italy
2004

LA BOTTEGA DELL'ARTE Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.00 | 3 ratings
Addio / Notturno per noi
1974

LA BOTTEGA DELL'ARTE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Dentro by BOTTEGA DELL'ARTE, LA album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.00 | 14 ratings

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Dentro
La Bottega dell'Arte Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars In 1976 La Bottega Dell'Arte presented their new single ''Amore nei ricordi'' and the following year ''Che dolce lei'' was just a small taste of their upcoming second studio album.This was to be entitled ''Dentro'', recorded in January/February 1977 at the Quattro 1 Studio in Roma and marked the second full-length product of the band for EMI.

No surprise, the band moves even further from their early progressive roots, as there was hardly any room for serious Prog releases around the time, and basically it could be described as a Symphonic Pop album, combining the early Classical-drenched color of La Bottega Dell'Arte's style with the accesible vein of Italian Pop music.The songwriting however remains top notch with some incredible Italian-flavored melodies, amazing vocals by Fernando Ciucci and deep orchestrations with atmospheric keyboards.Guitars and bass are still among the basic instruments, but the band has chosen to use them as supporting instruments, gving full space to the soft piano lines and the orchestral keyboards of Romano Musumarra and Piero Calabrese.The rare organ echoes still burst something from the romantic Italian Prog of the first half of the 70's, but be warned that the majority of the contained pieces follow a very ballad-like style with low tempos, melodious textures and sweet polyphonic choruses.The Classical-influenced Moog synth performance in the short ''Incontro'' and the symphonic-oriented and definitely rockier tracks of ''Musicante'' and ''L'ultima storia'' still hold similarities with the music of BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO and are nice examples of soft Italian Prog.

''Dentro'' was possibly the best commercial success of La Bottega Dell'Arte.The contract of the band with EMI expired with the 79' album ''L'avventura'', which showed the quintet entering the lines of melodic Italian Pop for good.Singer Fernando Ciucci left the band in 1981 and the rest of the line-up released another Pop-oriented album, ''Forza 4'' in 1984 on Nuovo Sound Records, before disbanding the next year.Musumarra and Massimo Calabrese worked later as producers, while Piero Calabrese opened his own recording studio.

The last effort by La Bottega Dell'Arte with minor progressive interest.The second side contains some beautiful tracks of soft Italian Sympho Rock, the first is full of delicate, poppy material, which is nevertheless well-crafted.Recommended in general, unless you totally dislike any accesible content in your listening experiences.

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 La Bottega Dell'Arte by BOTTEGA DELL'ARTE, LA album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.48 | 20 ratings

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La Bottega Dell'Arte
La Bottega dell'Arte Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Finnforest
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Beautiful Ital-pop, light prog album

I'm so happy that the infamous Proglucky added this band to the archives long ago, a group that might otherwise not been approved. And I'm grateful to Psarros for writing a review of their previous prog single that caught my eye and made me finally stop and check out this band. While some trash this album because it isn't "progressive enough" I think they are missing the point. These guys weren't out to make Palepoli or Darwin, they are an Ital-pop group with a light symphonic prog touch. If you adjust your expectations and if you enjoy the warmth and melody of the 70s Italian pop, you will not want to miss this album, it's a beauty.

In the mid 70s the Calabrese brothers teamed up with three long time buddies to record several album Lise describes very well in our bio as "characterized by luscious memorable melodies, impressive vocal harmonies and plenty of swirling keyboards that give their material a rich, full-bodied symphonic sound." What makes the band special is their enthusiasm and their penchant for that "rich" sound. They have all the usual elements of quality Italian pop/light prog, the sentimental romantic melodies, the great vocals, a variety of keyboards and piano, but the elements are displayed with pomp by a rock band with enthusiasm. Listen to the baroque feel of "Camelot", it's an incredible track and most fully "prog". Great arrangements of keys and flute with regal sounding runs. " Un' Esistenza" is another beautiful song, it just shimmers with glossy symph overtones, some cool synth effects, understated guitar, and heart! "A Cynthia" is another good track that rocks with quirky abandon, almost psych-pop in spots with a whimsical feel as the band falls away to a music box like section. Great drumming and vocals here with a biting guitar solo. "Mare Nostrum" closes with a wistful, dreamy and refined instrumental track that feels like staring at the sea.

This is such a quality effort and so enjoyable for me that I can't give it less than four stars. If you love the beautiful and melodic side of RPI, and can embrace a more songs-based pop-prog mix, be sure to sample "Camelot" and a few others on YT. If you can't find a copy of the album, you can download it from Itunes. Later albums reportedly get very clearly 80s pop but I consider this one a must for my RPI collection.

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 Addio / Notturno per noi by BOTTEGA DELL'ARTE, LA album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1974
3.00 | 3 ratings

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Addio / Notturno per noi
La Bottega dell'Arte Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars Refered often as a Melodic Pop/Rock band of minor prog interest, La Bottega dell'Arte came from Roma and were formed in early-70's, led by brothers Piero Calabrese (keyboards) and Masimo Calabrese (bass).The line-up of the band consisted also of guitarist Fernando Ciucci, keyboardist/flutist Romano Musumarra and drummer Alberto Bartoli, while four out of five members contributed on vocals.The first work of the band was a single for the small Roman label Tomato in 1974.

Anyone believing that all tracks recorded by this group were fairly commercial should simply reconsider.Yes, the opening ''Addio'' is a short, accesible track yet of a good quality regarding its style.It ia a nice melodic cut with a poppy edge, based on the smooth guitar playing and the warm multi-vocal harmonies of the band.On the other hand ''Notturno per noi'' might be one of the lost classics of Italian Prog, which can stand easily next to the monster pieces of the Italian legends.The superb opening with a fast piano pace and the crunchy guitars gives its place to a Classical-inspired guitar melody in the vein of FOCUS, followed by a soft organ-piano part.The piano rises along with the guitar to the track's splendid symphonic middle section, followed by a Psych-influenced organ section and the great closing synth run.

If you are looking for the most progressive track in La Bottega dell'Arte's career you should definitely listen to this single.A great and unknown classic piece of 70's Italian Prog, strongly recommended to say the least...3.5 stars.

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 La Bottega Dell'Arte by BOTTEGA DELL'ARTE, LA album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.48 | 20 ratings

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La Bottega Dell'Arte
La Bottega dell'Arte Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by maryes

2 stars It is something very difficult to write a review on "La Bottega delle Arte" in his self titled disk, release in 1975. Because in spite of some passages in that the band takes a risk some brief adventures for themes that can be considered progressive, just as in the final section of the track 1 " Il Fiume, Il Villaggio, La Miniera " in that it presents a typical melody of "cabaret", and of the use of some intruments that are easily associated to the rock (especially the progressive) I didn't get to identify his music as progressive music. Except for the track 4 "Camelot" and of the track 6 "Un' Esistenza" (with a beautiful guitar solo, and the vocals in the close section ) that really present characteristics of progressive, the disk is composed of ballads in a pastoral climate or maybe romantic that it didn't really please me. For this reason, my quotation is of only 2 stars..

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 La Bottega Dell'Arte by BOTTEGA DELL'ARTE, LA album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.48 | 20 ratings

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La Bottega Dell'Arte
La Bottega dell'Arte Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by progbaby

1 stars I honestly don't understand why this band is listed in PA.

They're not a horrible band and they're musically talented. I would just like to offer a warning to others out there exploring the italian prog scene who stumble upon comments comparing this band to the likes of other italian prog acts.

These guys are *not* in the same class of music as Le Orme or Locanda Della Fate, etc... Not even close or in the same galaxy.

This is not progressive music. It's basically italian beat/pop with a boy meets girl, girl leaves boy, boy misses girl, girl wants nothing to do with boy, boy sobs and cries and begs for the girl to take him back, etc..-type themes ad nauseum.

Don't get me wrong as I enjoy italian beat pop to the likes of Capricorn College and I, Pooh (Parsifal is a beautiful album), etc.. but this album is miles below that as it reminds me more of the DeFranco Family - It's a Heartbeat, It's a lovebeat sort of stuff if you get my drift. The singer has high pitched vocals which are particularly annoying. He sounds like he's love sick for the girl who dumped him and I hope that he was able to deal with his emotional problems and issues because he sure saturated this album with them.

Unlike Capricorn College (which I find to be pretty decent and worth listening to), this album is loaded with super-corny melodies and vocals that belong on some old Brady Bunch episode. For those who remember the Bradies singing When it's time to change (with Peter's voice changing as a result of his 13th birthday), I can tell you that the Brady's song is more progressive than the music that you will hear on this album.

I can't stress enough that I *do* like italian melodic pop to the likes of Capricorn College, Angelo Branduardi (Alla Fiera Dell'Este is good), Lucio Battisti, and I Pooh's Parsifal as those albums are not corny and love-sick-sounding. This Bottega Del Arte band sounds like a bunch of 14 year old teenagers singing in the ad nauseum Brady Bunch / Partridge Family style.

Buy with caution. I'll almost pay someone to take this cd off my hands as I really can't see myself listening to this again. The singer is just really dripping with syrup and whining and crying. This stuff is so corny that it makes The Monkees sound as serious/intense as the Miles Davis' Bitches Brew jazz compositions.

Somebody please tell me how this album/band could be spoken in the same breath as the likes of Le Orme, Osanna, Locanda Della Fate?? In-fact, someone please tell me how these guys could be spoken in the same breath as even Capricorn College or La Famiglia Di Ortega as those 2 bands were magnitudes better in the genre.

I maybe think Barry Manilow would like this album? It's similar in style. Add a lot of cheese and whine to the music too.

Boy meets girl, girl breaks boy's heart, boy cries for lost love under the tree, etc... Bah!!!!

Where's my Osanna Palepoli album?

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 La Bottega Dell'Arte by BOTTEGA DELL'ARTE, LA album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.48 | 20 ratings

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La Bottega Dell'Arte
La Bottega dell'Arte Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars The first song features gentle vocals, piano and acoustic guitar and then the drums and organ come in. The song ends with an uptempo country melody. Not a good start. "Come Due Bambina" has a good chorus with orchestral strings. "Ripensare a Lei" is a mellow song with acoustic guitar and fragile vocals. "Camelot" opens with marching drums and light classical keys. There are some good flute, keyboard interplay. "Noi Nel Bene, Noi Nel Male" has a great full sound and good harmonies in the chorus.

"Un Esistenza" opens with the sound building and then the drums come pounding in. It turns pastoral and the contrast of the pastoral and full sound continues. "Amore Non Amore" opens with strings, drums and keys that sound great. "A Cynthia" has a great chorus and again the pastoral and the full sound is contrasted. The final song is easily my favourite as the guitar finally stands out, I love the melody.

I do feel let down by this release, I was expecting more but it's still worth checking out.

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 Made In Italy by BOTTEGA DELL'ARTE, LA album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2004
1.00 | 2 ratings

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Made In Italy
La Bottega dell'Arte Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by andrea
Prog Reviewer

1 stars La Bottega dell'Arte is not at all a prog band and I'm a little bit surprised to find it on progarchives. It's just easy melodic pop, nothing that can be compared to Italian-prog bands like PFM, BMS, Le Orme, Area, Osanna, Locanda delle Fate, Perigeo, etc. This is a collection of songs from 75' to 79', but I think that "prog fans" should avoid it. Anyway, if you like this kind of music I can suggest to listen to another Italian melodic- pop band called Pooh: the style is more or less the same, but the career of Pooh has been more prolific and successful.

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 La Bottega Dell'Arte by BOTTEGA DELL'ARTE, LA album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.48 | 20 ratings

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La Bottega Dell'Arte
La Bottega dell'Arte Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by ariasrx

5 stars When I started listeninig to progressive rock, These album was probably the second or third I heard, which definitely makes it one of my all life favorites. But leaving apart my feelings, it's a very fine, melodic and romantic release. For those who need to hear something light. If you can find it.

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 Dentro by BOTTEGA DELL'ARTE, LA album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.00 | 14 ratings

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Dentro
La Bottega dell'Arte Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by hdfisch
Prog Reviewer

1 stars When I listen to this record somehow I get the impression I would listen to Albano e Romina Power or similar stuff. I listened already to many bands in Italian Prog including more mellow ones like Locanda Delle Fate but those ones did not sound that much pop-ish, cheesy and sob stuff like as this record here. For me it rather sounds like any standard Italian pop album, maybe very nice if one likes stuff like that but for sure this has neither to do anything with Prog nor with Rock in general. So I'd like to warn everyone who is in favour of bands like PFM, Le Orme, Quella Vecchia Locanda, Locanda Delle Fate, Banco and so on to stay away of this record, maybe the other outputs of the band are different, I never listened to any other.

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 La Bottega Dell'Arte by BOTTEGA DELL'ARTE, LA album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.48 | 20 ratings

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La Bottega Dell'Arte
La Bottega dell'Arte Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by loserboy
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Well here is their first release and for me is yet another incredible Italian progressive rock recording. This is very professional sounding symphonic prog of the highest quality. Swirling dual keyboards with incredible vocal harmonies put to the most beautiful songs you have ever heard. Fans of symphonic Italian prog will surely drool over this recording. I would put this recording on the essential list for you next prog shopping experience... essential music.

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