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Rock Progressivo Italiano • Italy

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Ballettirosadimacchia biography
BALLETTIROSADIMACCHIA is certainly an oddity in the RPI canon of the various progressive rock websites. The band is a mystery. No one knows for certain who the musicians were, where they were from, or even when their lone album was recorded. Stories vary from them being Italians living abroad in Germany to them being Japanese RPI fans making an "homage" album to the genre. The album's recording date is just as mysterious. Some sites denote the album as 1974, while others claim it may have been recorded in the late 1980s. The bottom line is that until the musicians come forward and spill the beans, this title will remain one of the biggest mysteries for RPI hounds.

Whatever the circumstances, RPI bands are placed here if they fit the sound characteristics of the sub genre definition. RPI is not just a geographical designation despite what many folks will tell you, at ProgArchives it is based on the musical content. Despite the vocalist's annoying habit of occasionally sounding like Kermit the Frog, the music here is not too bad and will be of interest to RPI fans who like to look for those underground gems. The music is not super complex but features nice organ, mellotron, and guitar. Vocals are in Italian though somewhat poor Italian, which fuels the speculation about their origins. It is not an easy recording to find. If the musicians ever wish to come forward and tell the real story, they can contact the ProgArchives RPI Team and we will be all ears.

-Jim Russell/Finnforest

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2.64 | 22 ratings

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 Ballettirosadimacchia by BALLETTIROSADIMACCHIA album cover Studio Album, 1974
2.64 | 22 ratings

Ballettirosadimacchia Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

2 stars Every once in a while in musical history, a group of musicians get together under a fictitious setting and create music under rather dubious purposes. While some bands like Spinal Tap or The Residents let you in on the joke, others like Germany's Cosmic Jokers tried to pull a fast one by releasing music without the musicians' permission. There are many examples of dubious authenticity of music released over the decades but one of the strangest comes from this bizarre band that called themselves BALLETTIROSADIMACCHIA which remains as mysterious as the assassination of Salvatore Giuliano or the death of Pier Paolo Pasolini. These are unsolved cases in Italian history and this sole album to have emerged from this so-called Italian band can be added to that list.

While musically coming off as a rather generic example of early 70s Italian symphonic prog, the eponymous album was printed in Canada with a German producer cited. While sung entirely in Italian, the lyrics exude a ridiculous unauthentic accent and it's been speculated that this was actually a Japanese band that recorded these under the fictitious Italian identities of Tonino Leo Ucchi (vocals, bass, acoustic guitar, flute, keyboards), Antonio Sassada (guitar), Gianni Mazzi (keyboards) and Marcello Taddeo Matteotti (drums, percussion, keyboards.) The band name seems to be a composite of "Balleti Rosa Di Macchia) and the liner notes, track titles and lyrics have a multitude of grammatical errors and spelling mistakes. It is not even really known for sure when this one came out. The album itself claims it was released in 1974 but there is no record of its existence until the late 80s or early 90s. Hmmm.

Musically speaking this is a rather meh version of Italian prog from the era with absolutely nothing really standing out. It is of the usual romantic pastoral symphonic prog template that most Italian bands at least partially implemented in their complex journeys into the prog world but BALLETTIROSADIMACCHIA deliver all these aspects in a rather undynamic fashion. Sounding most similar to the mellower moods of Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso, the band exhibit heavy mellotron fueled prog that utilizes lots of organ, acoustic guitars and tag along percussive drive. The vocalist is clearly not up to the task of belting out a well delivered operative vocal performance that retains a sense of self-control and passionate romanticism that was so prevalent in the early Italian scene but does get the job done. The music is pretty much on simmer throughout its run with only a scant few outbreaks into a more rock oriented oomf.

This one has commanded a hefty price in its day by posing as a super rare artifact from the past and i have to admit that the production and overall feel do nail the 1974 timeline down perfectly despite its rather blah roster of compositions. The music isn't bad per se but compared to the legions of talented bands that pumped out some of the best progressive music of the 70s, this is rather embarrassing and just when i thought that it wasn't possible for this style of music to be performed in a substandard manner, i'm reminded that no matter where or when this emerged, it is still an example of imitators not even coming close to the fine tuned perfection of the masters of the genre. This one remains an interesting outlier in the prog world simply because of the mystery that surrounds it, but as an example of great Italian symphonic prog it is really of no interest whatsoever as even the worst of the greats like PFM, Banco and Le Orme blows this away.

 Ballettirosadimacchia by BALLETTIROSADIMACCHIA album cover Studio Album, 1974
2.64 | 22 ratings

Ballettirosadimacchia Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Utnapishtim

2 stars Strange, really strange at first listening. I found it on the web ten years ago, and stand still in my "not heard yet" folder for a couple of year. Trying to accumulate more RPI material as I can, I was intrigued by their name, that reminded me more Known Balletto Di Bronzo. All othe stuff!

I had the first alarm when I read the titles. For example the third title song "Altre Guei Calli" (in other sites "Altr Guei Colli") should mean "beyond those hills" and in Italian must be written "Oltre Quei Colli". Other doubts arise listening it. Is possible to perceive, listening it, a consonant exchange typical of oriental languages. For example Chinese and Japanese languages use to exchange letter "L" with letter "R" (in song "Ascolta" singer say ASCORTA, CONSIDELA BENE PLIMA DI AGILE, instead of "considera bene prima di agire"). All of this can be evaluated for all the tracks. In fact no one knows the story of this mysterious band. They come from China or Japan? They are Italians living in German? The album was really recorded in 1974? Nobody can say it!

The sound is not bad. Typical RPI intro which remember me sometimes the intro in first Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso album (same title). Many good symphonic passages in RPI style, a large use of organ Mellotron and several good acoustic parts and flutes. All in all I don't dislike the music, which mask fine as an old / obscure RPI gems, can't say the same for the voice, a really bluff! "E' Tutto Un Sogno" (It's All A Dream) is my favorite song of this album, but in general is hard to forget this melodies, that evidently my mind associates to RPI.

A curious case of Rock Progressivo Italiano out of his natural land. This sub-genre probably is hard to play in the same Italian way, maybe for the membership closely linked to Italy, but thanks to the charm that the RPI exerts on the East we have Ballettirosadimacchia!

2,5 Stars almost 3... Curious but not essential.

 Ballettirosadimacchia by BALLETTIROSADIMACCHIA album cover Studio Album, 1974
2.64 | 22 ratings

Ballettirosadimacchia Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars One of the trully mysterious cases of a band presenting itself as an Italian one, but the endless mistakes in the cover notes and lyrics indicate that this was not actually an Italian album.Ballettirosadimacchia's (a compressed form of ''Balletti rosa di macchia''-pink-colored ballets) sole self-titled album remains a mystery until today.The quartet of the so-called Tonino Leo Ucchi, Antonio Sassada, Gianni Mazzi and Marcello Taddeo Matteotti had to be either Japanese musicians under fake names or even Germans of Italian parentage, none though of these cases has been confirmed.Moreover some sources insist on the recordings being placed sometimes in the 80's.The only truth is that the album was released in Canada by Rockit Enterprises under a German producer.

Japaneses, Germans or half-Italians, these guys came up with a decent attempt to immitiate the Classic Italian Prog sound of the 70's and if it weren't for the mistakes on the lyrics this could have been easily circulating as an Italian release until today.The sound of Ballettirosadimacchia was Mellotron/organ-drenched semi-Symphonic Rock with a nice dose of flutes and acoustic parts, pretty good in terms of compositions and having overall a nice romantic Italian-related atmosphere.Vocals are decent, sometimes reminding of early-70's Italian groups, especially on the multi-vocal parts, and good reference points would be definitely acts like I GIGANTI, BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO or ALUSA FALLAX.Musically the album contains plenty of slightly-psychedelic sweet guitar parts, huge organ-based symphonic themes and fantastic Mellotron-led orchestral themes to go along with driving flutes and synth-based breaks, while the arrangements are often interesting, alternating between smooth acoustic and electric passages.Even after several listenings the final feeling is that these musicians had something to do with Italy, if not their adaption on this sound was certainly succesful.

This is an album in need for a legit CD reissue, as the only one I am aware of is a Tachika mini-LP sleeved boot version.Italian or not, ''Ballettirosadimacchia'' has plenty of great moments to offer to any fan of Classic Italian Prog, though far from being a masterpiece, and comes warmly recommended.

Thanks to Finnforest for the artist addition.

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