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RUMPLE STILTZKEN COMUNE

Symphonic Prog • Switzerland


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Rumple Stiltzken Comune biography
The following is taken from the CD booklet:

RUMPLE STILTZKEN COMUNE was founded by guitarist Luciano Storari, keyboardist Claudio Zaniolo and singer Claudio Adorni in October 1973, in the Italian speaking border town of Chiasso, Switzerland.

Our progressive rock was accompanied by light shows, mime, ballerinas, costumes and surprises. Adorni eventually left the band to pursue artistic photography, and this brought about significant changes to the band. New members were brought on board: bass player Umbro Barbarossa, Ezio Costantini on drums, singer Mauro Marangoni, and soundman and effects Mauro Zanoli.

On the album cover, there are the various practice sites. The colored photo was the last practice site situated in the middle of the forest on top of a hill! This is what inspired us to name the band "Rumple Stiltzken"--we were in the forest as the dwarfed old man was, and when we played music, the event felt as though it were magical!

The reason for including "Comune" was that there was quite a following of groupies that were always among us wherever we went, be it to practice sessions, concerts, restaurants, etc. How could we not include them in the band? They were like family!

In 1977 we released "Wrong from the Beginning," which was recorded in Lugano, Switzerland and mixed in Milan, Italy. In the year 2000, the album was remixed and remastered in Orlando Florida by Digital Domain. Our music talked about fairness, kindness, goodness and things like these.

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So this is a band from Switzerland, speaking Italian, singing in English, and receiving most of their influence from English bands. Worth the effort to find.

[Todd Dudley]

Rumple Stiltzken Comune official website

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Wrong from the BeginningWrong from the Beginning
Import
Black Rills Records
Audio CD$24.99
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3.02 | 9 ratings
Wrong from the Beginning
1977

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RUMPLE STILTZKEN COMUNE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Wrong from the Beginning by RUMPLE STILTZKEN COMUNE album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.02 | 9 ratings

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Wrong from the Beginning
Rumple Stiltzken Comune Symphonic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars Coming from the Italian-speaking parts of Switzerland and the city of Chiasso, Rumple Stiltzken Comune were formed in October 1973 by guitarist Luciano Storari, keyboardist Claudio Zaniolo and singer Claudio Adorni.Inspired by British Prog Rock they offered shows with light effects, costumes and dancers, much in the vein of Genesis.When Adorni left the band line-up changes occured and the new formation comprised of Storari and Zaniolo along with bassist Umbro Barbarossa, drummer Ezio Costantini and singer Mauro Marangoni, while Mauro Zanoli was added as a sixth official member on effects.The debut and only work of the band ''Wrong from the beginning'' was recorded in Lugano, mixed in Italy and released privately in 1977.Ex-member Claudio Adorni designed the artwork of the album.

The Swiss musicians were heavily influenced by GENESIS and VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR and offered four long tracks with lots of instrumental moves, which still lacked the personality or imagination of the most genuine Classic Prog Rock acts.Even so their arrangements were fairly interesting and quite rich, containing evident influences from Classical Music and Symphonic Rock, albeit in a rather darker style, which was pretty typical for the majority of Swiss Prog groups.The music is based on tricky keyboards, symphonic overtones, both romantic and haunting vocals and some nice interplays, while the bass work is particularly great.While they not distinguish themsleves from the bulk of other 70's Symphonic Rock acts, they did a pretty cool job with multi-colored themes and complex ideas, led by an omnipresent Claudio Zaniolo and his work on Hammond organ, Moog synthesizer and acoustic/electric piano.The guitar moves are rather soft and relaxed, helping to achive an elaborate and lush sound, and the vocals are decent but far from excellent.All tracks are characterized by tons of changing climates and musical variations, making the sound quite complicated and intricate, what these guys were not very good at was the display of some refined, melodious textures next to the more challenging material.

Black Rills were in time to reissue this Swiss oddity from late-70's.British-styled Prog Rock with symphonic nuances and nice keyboard work.Warmly recommended.

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 Wrong from the Beginning by RUMPLE STILTZKEN COMUNE album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.02 | 9 ratings

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Wrong from the Beginning
Rumple Stiltzken Comune Symphonic Prog

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

3 stars 3.5 stars really!!!

First, I'd like to say that Jim is the one that actually did most of the work to get this band on the archives, which can sometimes seem like the quest for the Holy Grail ? never-ending. The Swiss sextet (including the soundman) form the Italian-speaking county of Ticchino, but bearing a rather Alemanic-sounding name, released their sole album in the late 70's, quite a bit of time after their original musical-theatre show was formed and mutated into a fairly typical Italian-sounding symphonic prog (with a slight twist of space) album, even if the group chose to sing in English.

Only four tracks (ranging from 7 to just-under 10 minutes) on this rather charming album, thus your initial proghead reaction of "yummmmmy!!!" is the correct one, because RSC's album is indeed anything but Wrong From the Beginning, but a small unearthed gem just waiting to find its ray of sunlight to shine like gold. Despite some evident influences, WFTB is even managing to find somewhat its own sound, which is somewhat a feat in those years, where new bands were indeed not hiding their influences much. Some of you may not find it all that RPI, but the songwriting had to take into account the English language chosen for the lyrics and vocals. So, sounding somewhat like a GenYEsLP with some more Latin touches, RSC's four tracks are definitely keyboards dominated, loaded with breaks and counter-breaks, constructed on tricky time sigs and complete with plenty of interplay between the musicians.

The opening flipping has a fairly festive atmosphere (sometimes bordering the circus ambiances), its early vocals sounding like Cryme-era Gabriel, followed by a few ELP-like breaks, etc.. The title track has a familiar Floyd ring (Eugene's Axe) to it at first, but flips into a Yes-ian (TYA-era) in its second part. On the flipside, the Floydian (Saucerful-era) To Be Or Not soon morphs into a frantic Emersonian passagewith some almost dissonant moment only to return to its starting Floyd blocks, then venture out into Banksian territory, and finally onto a Descamps (Ange) promenade. The exiting (sorry, no "c") Closed Boy has a psychey The Nice feel

I'm not sure I would call this album anything close to essential (it's definitely too derivative), but it's definitely a pleaser and deserves its "minor gem" status, but it might sound a bit dated to some - as if it was recorded some 6 or 7 years sooner than its actual release.

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 Wrong from the Beginning by RUMPLE STILTZKEN COMUNE album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.02 | 9 ratings

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Wrong from the Beginning
Rumple Stiltzken Comune Symphonic Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars RUMPLE STILTZKEN COMUNE are from the Italian speaking town of Chiasso in Switzerland right on the Italian border. Just look at the names of the band members and you'll see that these guys are Italian.Vocals are in English though and there's really nothing here to make one think of seventies RPI. This their only album was released in 1977.

"Flipping" opens with piano then it changes before a minute as drums, vocals, bass and other sounds take over. An instrumental section follows with lots of synths.Vocals are back after 5 1/2 minutes. Piano ends it. "Wrong From The Beginning" has a relaxing beat and sound with vocals.This is my favourite track and this section sounds so good. Organ too in this one. It picks up after 3 minutes with some prominant bass.Vocals are back after 4 1/2 minutes. Organ to the fore 7 minutes in.

"To Be Or Not To Be" opens with piano then it turns atmospheric. Spoken words before 2 minutes then it kicks in. Not for long though as it settles back with vocals. It sounds great after 5 minutes with the synths then it turns intense before ending with piano. "The Closed Boy" opens with a circus-like melody. Vocals after a minute and the tempo picks up. It settles with acoustic guitar and reserved vocals after 5 minutes.This is almost GENESIS-like. It kicks back in again after 8 minutes. Piano only to end it.

A good album but nothing more.

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 Wrong from the Beginning by RUMPLE STILTZKEN COMUNE album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.02 | 9 ratings

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Wrong from the Beginning
Rumple Stiltzken Comune Symphonic Prog

Review by Finnforest
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Another gem unearthed

Our own Hugues discovered that this long lost progressive gem was absent from the database. A great find indeed. Rumple is a band who worked in an area of Switzerland right on the Italian border. The album is a late-70s symphonic obscurity with the most primary influences in my opinion being Gentle Giant, Yes, even Kansas. While the band possesses Italian members they are mostly emulating English prog here, not RPI, and vocals are delivered in somewhat accented English. Despite musicianship, production, and vocal quality that are a few notches below your first tier prog giants, there are some fantastic prog rock ideas and thrilling passages on this one-off project. I also love the album's layout of four tracks in the 7-10 minute range, long enough to have a ride, but not overstaying their welcome. This is one of those successful late 70s little-known gems similar in that respect to Zomby Woof and Surprise, two other very good projects which few people are aware of.

The four pieces are filled with traditional piano segments, lots of period keyboard, electric and acoustic guitar passages. The songs are quite vibrant in ideas, these guys are really trying to keep it moving and engaging. Opener "Flipping" begins with a wonderfully melodic piano intro which then slides into a heavy groove with an oscillating synthesizer and bass. It gets pretty intense before closing with the soothing solo piano again. "To be or not to be" gets a bit spacey with an e-piano solo and chanting introduction before launching into the rock section, a feverish mid-paced gallop. "The Closed Boy" is also a favorite with lovely acoustic guitar over mellotron, with dreamy washes of some synth sound coming and going. Eventually the more rocking sections engage and the album balances out nicely between light and heavy. The track stops early so that the final minute can be given over to a lovely piano solo, a very neat little ending. I think the biggest problem will be the production and vocals, some may find the composition a bit na´ve as well, but I really enjoyed the album. If you enjoy taking a chance on a band making a sincere effort at blowing your mind, despite delivering product that is far less refined than say, "Wind and Wuthering", this may be one to try.

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 Wrong from the Beginning by RUMPLE STILTZKEN COMUNE album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.02 | 9 ratings

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Wrong from the Beginning
Rumple Stiltzken Comune Symphonic Prog

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

3 stars "Wrong From The Beginning" is the one and only album for this obscure but very competent Symphonic prog group known as Rumple Stiltzken Comune. It is a strange beast to be sure with only 4 tracks; Flipping (7:19), Wrong from the Beginning (8:17), To Be Or Not To Be (8:21), The Closed Boy (9:57). All of the tracks sound similar to what you might hear from the late 70s prog movement, as this is a release from 1977. It was year of turmoil for many prog bands, so it is a shame that the band were producing their first album when many others were releasing their last. The music is a full symphonic sound as you might hear from Pink Floyd or early Genesis. There are swirling synths and shimmering organ motifs from Claudio Zaniolo. These provide a solid soundscape for soaring guitar breaks from Luciano Storari and innovative drumming of Luciano Storari. The bass is provided by Umbro Barbarossa as well as some melodic acoustic guitar, and this unit has a frontline vocalist who also plays synthesizer and twelve string guitar, the accomplished Mauro Marangoni.

Hailing from Switzerland, but adjacent to Italy, the band play tracks that are distinct with the flavour of Rock Progressive Italiano, while symphonic in structure. There are even space rock ambient passages occasionally featuring the beauty of Moog. Psychedelic nuances are echoed with soaring guitars and strange vocalisations. 'Closed Boy' for example, begins with a sparkling synth and builds to a time sig change reminiscent of King Crimson or Yes. The vocals did not impress me but the music is dreamy and melodic, a lot of creativity is on offer and there is even dissonance with some of the instruments competing against the time sig, wonderfully so, in fact.

The album has been reissued on CD in 2001 and remixed to present a full stereophonic sound. The 4 tracks have an improvised feel but are certainly structured specifically to present a cadence that surpasses any concept or specific lyric. The music is the main force at work and it is excellent for the most part with some lulls in quality. I found that particularly the vocals were not too easy to comprehend, perhaps understandably, and in my opinion a lot of the RPI works best when sung in the language of the artist's home country. The vocals often sound heavily accented. However, the music overcomes these blemishes. It is wonderful that the album is available online as it is incredibly hard to find. Listening to this was a nice way to begin the year for me, on a personal note.

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