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Rock Progressivo Italiano • Italy

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Equipe 84 biography
Equipe 84 is a famous Italian beat band from Modena who made a brief but pleasurable drift into the RPI realm late in their career. They began in the mid 1960s as something of a local version of the Beatles, ultimately releasing three albums in that decade and becoming very popular in Italy along with others like BATTISTI, who briefly collaborated with EQUIPE 84. The core line-up began with Maurizio Vandelli (vocals, guitar), Franco Ceccarelli (guitar, vocals), Victor Sogliani (bass, vocals), and Alfio Cantarella (drums, vocals). There would be a few different keyboardists and drummers over the years, and for a brief stint the drummer's stool was filled by none other than PFM's Franz Di Cioccio and Nuova Idea's Paolo Siani.

The early 70s saw them continuing with melodic pop but like so many bands they began to be influenced by the progressive scene around them. The albums from 1970s Id through 1973's Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde were basically pop/rock albums with only minimal nods to anything progressive. This changed on 1974's Sacrificio when the band finally took the plunge and made a stronger stab at a prog album. While still only partially convincing the album certainly blends enough prog with the melodic Italian songs to be worth investigation. With this album, EQUIPE 84 joins other beat bands like DIK DIK, RAMINGHI, and GIGANTI as having dabbled outside their main career focus into brief RPI experiments. They split around 1977 initially but reformed partially to release one more album in the late 1980s.

It must be stressed from the outset that Equipe 84 is a very borderline addition to ProgArchives. The team members debated their addition for a long time and they barely squeaked in, but at the end of the day, a majority felt that the album Sacrificio really needed to be here for RPI fans to investigate. This is the album for Italian prog fans to start with. If you don't find Sacrificio convincing from a prog standpoint, there is no need to dig any further. If you do like it you may also enjoy Id and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde but be aware they are substantially less proggy than Sacrificio.

-Jim Russell/Finnforest

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Buy EQUIPE 84 Music

Equipe 84Equipe 84
Sony/Bmg Italy 2011
Audio CD$10.36
$10.35 (used)
Rpm Records UK 2013
Audio CD$2.56
$2.55 (used)
Imports 2016
$47.37 (used)
29th of september / auschwitz 45 rpm single29th of september / auschwitz 45 rpm single
Vinyl$60.00 (used)
Equipe 84Equipe 84
Contempo 2015
$20.42 (used)
Io Ho in Mente TeIo Ho in Mente Te
Contempo 2015
$30.53 (used)
Pomeriggio: Ore 6Pomeriggio: Ore 6
Vinyl$7.81 (used)
Un Ora ConUn Ora Con
Sony Import 2012
Audio CD$7.18
$9.26 (used)
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EQUIPE 84 discography

Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help to complete the discography and add albums

EQUIPE 84 top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

1.00 | 2 ratings
Equipe 84
1.00 | 2 ratings
Io Ho In Mente Te
2.79 | 5 ratings
3.00 | 7 ratings
1.50 | 2 ratings
Casa Mia
1.96 | 5 ratings
Dr Jeckill E Mr Hyde
2.97 | 15 ratings

EQUIPE 84 Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.82 | 2 ratings
Equipe 84 in concerto

EQUIPE 84 Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

EQUIPE 84 Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

1.91 | 2 ratings
Cuore Beat

EQUIPE 84 Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

EQUIPE 84 Reviews

Showing last 10 reviews only
 Sacrificio by EQUIPE 84 album cover Studio Album, 1974
2.97 | 15 ratings

Equipe 84 Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

2 stars The city of Modena is known for being the center of luxurious car companies like Ferrari, Lamborghini and Maserati as well as having one of greatest universities of Italy.But it was also the birthcity of the most famous Italian Beat band of the 60's, Equipe 84, centered around guitarist/keyboardist/singer Maurizio Vandelli and bassist Victor Sogliani.The original line-up featured also Franco Ceccarelli on guitar and Alfio Cantarella on drums, but the group suffered several come's and go's during a 10-year span, once a young Franz Di Cioccio played drums for them before joining Premiata Forneria Marconi.Equipe 84 started as a pure Psychedelic Pop combo in mid-60's, before adapting new influences in their music like Baroque and Rock elements through the years, leading to their most experimental record ''Sacrificio'' in 1974, released on Ariston, with Thomas Gagliardone playing the keyboards.

The opening side of the LP is actually showing some unusual music compared to the standards of Equipe 84.The first three tracks are rather melancholic and somewhat challenging Italian Prog/Art Rock with good keyboard parts and evident psychedelic influences, connected with bizarre breaks, but always colored by warm Italian vocals.There are some fiery acoustic parts, light Classical influences in the organ washes and a Gregorian atmosphere on the dark opening piece, trully a step forward than anything the group had released so far.Before the side closed Equipe 84 return with the more conservative style of melodic Soft/Folk Rock with hints of their recent past.

The second side is rather unrelated to the first one with plenty of melodic Pop Rock, more simplistic song structures and dated orchestral moves in a typical Italian style, lacking the surprises of the opening cuts.Of course the group was always capable of producing nice, syrupy melodies and harmonies, but that was not actually where the album was intended to head to, listening to the very good opening textures.Groovy Pop runs, sweet orchestral ballads and secure choruses were a thing of the past, but the group recycles them in this work as well.The atmospheric closer ''Dicono'' is the peak of the second side, no doubt.Definitely not on par with the qualitive tracks of the opening side, but this is really cool Psych/Pop/Prog with a tight combination of female choirs, acoustic themes and spacey keyboards, showing the group was definitely talented.

After seven studio albums and countless singles Equipe 84 split in 1977 with Vandelli trying to revive its fame several times in the future until Victor Sogliani's death in mid-90's.He also has a few personal albums credited to his name, released from 1970 to 1990.

This historical Italian Beat combo shouldn't be necessarily among Prog fans reference points.Their ''Sacrificio'' album contains hints of the Italian Prog movement with both demanding and atmospheric parts and it maybe of some interest for lovers of the Italian sound.Otherwise you should look somewhere else for purely challenging Prog music...2.5 stars.

 Dr Jeckill E Mr Hyde by EQUIPE 84 album cover Studio Album, 1973
1.96 | 5 ratings

Dr Jeckill E Mr Hyde
Equipe 84 Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Andrea Cortese
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

2 stars Well, this album it's pop... and not so good. Certainly not at the level of the the more complex "Sacrificio". It's very simple in songs' structure, naif at times (listen to the opener to believe) as the most part of the discography of this band, usually considered the most important beat band in Italy.

Only interesting exceptions are on the B-side: "Dr. Jekill", above all, an instrumental nice jazzy piece with good keyboards and sax. "Signor J." has a darker and serious feel; it features recitative vocals, atmospheric keyboards, piano and noises... not bad.

In the closer "Senza senso" you can listen to good percussions work by Paolo Siani (NUOVA IDEA and then EQUIPE 84 member from 1976) and a great electric guitar solo by Alberto Camerini (who worked, among others, with CLAUDIO ROCCHI). Very nice number.

Not enough though to grant a full 3 stars treatment.

 Stereoequipe by EQUIPE 84 album cover Studio Album, 1968
2.79 | 5 ratings

Equipe 84 Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by toroddfuglesteg

3 stars This album is usually only being referred to as the Italian version of Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club. In short, it is a reference to the album most magazines regard as the best ever rock/pop album. That is something to live up to by this Italian band and this album !!

Stereoequipe is by no means a masterpiece. Not in year 2011 anyway. But back in year 1968, maybe it was. This album has a semi-classic status in the scene, I have been reliable informed.

The music relies heavily on The Beatles. But Equipe 84 is by no means a The Beatles clone and they have not stolen a single thing from Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club either. They could had done it and done a safe deal with this album. But they choose not to do that. Instead, this album also relies heavily on albums like Revolver too with some sitar playing and Indian references. That with a nod & a wink to George Harrisson.

The Beatles is mentioned here. But the album really comes across as a mix of them and Italian pop. That is the core of this album. The music here is adventerous and is exploring what must have been new avenues and sounds back in 1968. This album too must have been a pioneering album when it was released. Credit where credit is due, in my view.

Yes, some of the melodies here are very light hearted Italian pop and I am sure the lyrics refers to love, love and love. It is the mix of The Beatles and Italian pop what makes this album such a good album. And it does help when the bonus track is a song which surely must have been a huge hit back then. I guess this song was released as a single, went to the top of the charts and then hurridly added to the subsequent pressings of the albums as the thirteenth track. The name of the track is Tutta Mia La Citta and it is a superb song. Re-release it now and you will probably have a top ten hit. I have played it to many people and we all agree it is a sure hit.

In short; this is a good album which I am sure deserve a classic status. It is not a Rock Progressivo Italiano album by any imagination. But it is still an enjoyable listen for the open minded listener who know how to spell the word cheese and does like a bit of cheese too now and then. This album makes me smile.

3 stars

 Equipe 84 in concerto by EQUIPE 84 album cover Live, 1995
2.82 | 2 ratings

Equipe 84 in concerto
Equipe 84 Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by 1967/ 1976

3 stars Important sound document taken from a concert (the last one made​​)in 1977 in Modena and published in 1995 by DV More Record (restoring the original tapes?). What have I been able to understand is that Equipe 84 was a really explosive band, both as to POP, Beat or Progressive. Unfortunately, what we have in our hands is not the whole concert, only an excerpt. Since DV More record is not a Prog label ma but its purpose is the recovery of those artists and bands abandoned by their label at the level of reprints (also with new recordings) Prog music is not present (I think they also played the part of the repertoire). The 9 songs of this CD are all interesting, also for a Progster.

"Nel cuore nell'anima" is an interesting Lucio Batisti's evergreen, in this case played with no great magic but with a great feeling. Now we see that the recording is really good, considering that the tapes remained in mothballs for 20 years. Interesting is calso "Tutta mia la cittÓ", Italian version of Move's "Blackberry Way". Case recording and tapes we note too the keyboards and drums to a great Silvano Bolzoni, in some cases very exuberant. "4 Marzo 1943", a great song of Lucio Dalla is another pearl of this CD, in this case in an uncensored version. And the final Bono and Cher "Bang Bang", sung in Italian is another good song. "Mercante senza fiori" is a noticeable song also for the fact that between autors is present Gianni D'Errico.

So this is an important sound document and a good live CD also for Progsters.

 Sacrificio by EQUIPE 84 album cover Studio Album, 1974
2.97 | 15 ratings

Equipe 84 Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 3.5 stars, really. Progressive music may never sold that many records but brought to rock┬┤n roll something it quite not had before: respect as a serious form of art. Now jazz and classical musicians were among the ones that were rocking. And, of course, several other succesful groups wanted to be taken seriously too. Many pop artists released ┬┤progressive┬┤, ┬┤concept┬┤ albums (even ┬┤rock operas┬┤) in the 70┬┤s. Of course most of the final results were pitious effords, that most people (including the musicians themselves) would rather forget they ever existed. But sometimes a pop group could prove they had both the technical musical skill and the gifted songwrting habilities to step into the progressive genre without making a fool of themselves. Certainly Equipe 84 can be included among them.

This beat group was one of the most popular bands in Italy in the 60┬┤s and early 70┬┤s and in 1974 released a prog record called Sacrificio. With the help of several guests (including a couple of musicians from band Nuova Idea) the Lp was released in 1974 and proved that this outfit had more talented than most people wanted to believe. Of course the music here is not exactly symphonic rock, nor it is in the same league as names like PFM, Banco or Le Orme. Still, Sacrifio was a bold and risky move for such stabilished outfit. And the results proved quite worthy.

The creepy, droning, 3 minute intro made me wonder if they went too far, but from the second track onwards the record is made of high quality prog rock. The group fortunatly kept their knack for great melodies and strong hooks, and yet the songs here are much more complex and elaborated than anything they had released so far. The title track is a good example of a very fine prog rock song, while Un Cavallo... Un Amore and Mercante Senza Fiori show them working beautiful acoustic passages. There is good use of vocal harmonies, orchestrations and even some flute and brass. Production is very good for the time.

Except for the the aforementioned intro, there was no fillers to be found in this CD. The mix of progressive rock, folk and italian popular music made it a truly succesful experiment. It is only a shame that this band did not follow this path afterwards. However, they proved their point and Sacrificio was, at least, an artistic success. It stood well the test of time. And I┬┤m glad I found this little prog gem. If you┬┤re into the italian prog scene of the 70┬┤s you should check this out.

 Cuore Beat by EQUIPE 84 album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2006
1.91 | 2 ratings

Cuore Beat
Equipe 84 Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by 1967/ 1976

2 stars I do not know Prog production by Equipe 84 but Beat production is clear in my mind, tanks to my mother.

Equipe 84 as Dik Dik and Formula 3 is another band that plys song by Lucio Battisti and plays in Lucio Battisti's albums. So Equipe 84 is more famous because these relations with Lucio Battisti that for the music. Music that is aged in good manner, because good. But, in definitive view is simple Beat. Not American or English but an Italian view: A mix of American and English POP, Beat, Rock but in this case without Proto Prog component, because close to POP.

Speaking of the songs in this compilation in this site, site devoted to Prog is not important: would mean that this is the true Equipe 84. I repeat: I do not know the Prog phaseof this band. And the Beat phase of Equipe 84 was too distant to Prog.

 Sacrificio by EQUIPE 84 album cover Studio Album, 1974
2.97 | 15 ratings

Equipe 84 Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Finnforest
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Equipe 84's proggiest affair

Equipe 84 were one of the most famous Italian beat bands of the 1960s. Like Giganti and Dik Dik they made a brief but fruitful foray into the burgeoning RPI scene of the early 1970s. This album would be their most determined (and only real) effort at joining the scene and while they never truly succeeded in being recognized as such, it is a wonderful album nonetheless. It features good songwriting, great melodies and vocals, and lots of typical RPI instrumentation like organ, piano, flute, and strings, all very tastefully arranged. The sound is crisp and lively, the performances emotional and convincing. Perhaps to gain some cred on the scene they enlisted several collaborators like Ricky Belloni and Paolo Siani from Nuova Idea, Alberto Camerini, Hugo Heredia, and Gianni D'Errico. If you don't go into "Sacrificio" expecting "Darwin" or "Ys", you might find it to be the delightful gem that I did.

As if to make clear this album was a departure, it begins with nearly 4 minutes of droning noise, sound effects, and whispers which increase in pitch and oscillation for a disorienting and weird effect. Quite the opening! The title track is next and it's great! Majestic organ and the odd repeating guitar motif, along with the creative drumming lend a stifled feeling that breaks free only occasionally into the lovely chorus. "La Montagna Sacra" continues in strong fashion with a great brisk acoustic guitar and a really jumping rhythm with lively bass and drumming, along with occasional wispy synth playing. Over this the vocals are very good, relaxing, melodic, typically warm and romantic Italian singing. A nice mid section features heavily distorted electric guitars contrasting the vocals and keys. "Un Cavallo Un Amore" is a short but fantastic piece of classically influenced acoustic guitar, a la Steve Howe's "Mood for a Day."

Side two begins with the wonderful "Mercante Senza Fiori" featuring dramatic songwriting and superb guitar strokes, along with some nice use of strings and cool bass lines. Such warm, inviting music! "Se C'e" mixes an upbeat ditty with a slower and gorgeous melodic vocal over a huge keyboard sound. "Dicono" closes the album with more thunder effects and a big, lush keyboard intro. The remaining tracks are less proggy and more typical to Italian melodic pop, but even those are handled with so much class, with marvelous melodies and interesting arrangements.

While "Sacrificio" is not as overtly progressive and challenging as some of its peers of the period, it is an immensely beautiful and likeable album if you give it a chance. If you crave complexity and dissonance, look elsewhere. If you love great melodies and want to enjoy some beautiful RPI of the more traditional school, try "Sacrificio." The CD was recently issued in a limited edition of 700 as a Korean mini-lp sleeve. The colorful color art looks great on the outstretched gatefold, and the inside includes the original band photos and lyrics. They also include a reprint of a color drawing plate that must have accompanied the original vinyl release. I can't give this fine music less than 4 stars personally, but if I was rating solely on how progressive it is I could not give more than 3.

Thanks to Finnforest for the artist addition.

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