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mirco View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Topic: PFM with Fabrizio de André
    Posted: January 11 2005 at 10:16

I noted that in the archive's discography of PFM are not listed two records  where they were the supporting band for "cantautore" Fabrizio de André. The probable reason is because the records are entitled to FdA, but the arrangements of all songs were made by PFM. Anyway, those are terrific live albums, with fantastic interpretations of Mussida on the guitars.  I highly recommend them.

BTW, those albums where recorded in 1979, between Passpartú and Suonare, suonare (last audible record for PFM, imho).



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Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 11 2005 at 11:32

The de Andre albums are a little too poppy for my taste - though they do contain some nice moments.  And I agree, PFM, by this point, were already on the road to pop oblivion, after losing Pagani and Lanzetti (who, in my opinion, completed PFM's finest line-up for Chocolate Kings & Jet Lag).  Passpartu was listenable, if not what I'd come to expect from PFM, but sorry Mirco, Suonare Suonare for me was just the pits.  Compared to their immediate follow-up works such as Come Ti Va In Ziva Allla Citta, it was a masterpiece, but SS epitomised the fall for me.  It wasn't so much the rot setting in, as the entire infrastructure disintegrating, sending the band and its new synths and moustaches careering headlong through 14 dank floors of mediocrity to their musical deaths.    

To their credit, they actually managed to survive and go back on the road again, though sensibly, the current set lists rarely include material from later than 1978 (although they still insist on playing insipid mince like Maesto Della Voce (?????) and of course, Suonare Sounare).

Have you heard Pagani's solo stuff?  Mussida et al guest on some sections of it, and its wonderful music.  The man is a genius. PFM never recovered from his departure. 

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 11 2005 at 11:43
Maybe the fact that I like (and understand, because mi italian rootes) the lirics of FdA, makes me appreciate those albums. I think that the arrangements  formed a good marriage with the words of Fabrizio. About Suonare Suonare, well, it is not a marvelous album, but as I said, is the last thing that I could listen of Premiata (the rest is veerry bad).
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 11 2005 at 12:13

I got a pleasant surprise listening to JET LAG and Passpartu - havent' heard the other one you mention - but I though them two were v. good LPs' - not "classic" PFM, more jazz-influenced - and you can hear the pop elements beginning to come in - but only in the very far distance

Hey micro - if your Italian - you could perhaps explain somehting remarkably that has always interested me - why do Italian records have that little ink-stamped symbol stamped ontot he label - d'ya know what I mean, Wrath of ninian - nearly all my Italian prog LP's have them - the originals anyway -

 



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Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 11 2005 at 13:14
Originally posted by mandrake

Hey micro - if your Italian - you could perhaps explain somehting remarkably that has always interested me - why do Italian records have that little ink-stamped symbol stamped ontot he label - d'ya know what I mean, Wrath of ninian - nearly all my Italian prog LP's have them - the originals anyway -

 

Mandrake: i'm not italian, but  being a son of an italian couple that emigrates in the late 50's to Veezuela, my first language is Italian. Well, I review my italian records and find that stamp. You can read "societá italiana degli autori ed editori - Roma", which stands for "Italian Authors and editors society - Rome". I think it's a sort of anti-piracy thing, but not so sure...
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 11 2005 at 14:02

Yes, I have noticed those - never understood it either, but always thought it was kind of cool - like it had been individually marked by hand, rather than flung out of a machine! 

I think you're right Mirco, that understanding Italian will probably add a meaning to the music - I speak limited Italian (I learned a little because I've been working in Sicily recently), but find it difficult to comprehend Italian song diction sometimes - one word can be a short sentence in Italian as you know and its easy to misinterpret vowels.  Usually with PFM, the music tells the story itself and the lyrics are not as important.  I think the de Andre albums are (not surprisingly!) all about de Andre - the music is much less complicated, and leaves plenty of room for the singer to work his magic. 

The collaboration was fondly remembered in Italy, especially in the wake of de Andre's death in 1999, and many PFM fans I met over there often quote them as some of their favourite PFM albums. 

I find PFM's evolution in the late seventies totally baffling - in 1976, they released what was for me THE finest album ever made in Chocolate Kings.  With Jet Lag, I was a little disappointed at first that they had gone for shorter 'songs', and put it down to the departure of Pagani, but I soon grew to love the mellow grooves and sun-drenched melodies.  Passpartu continued in the same vein, although they started using additional musicians and I felt it mired the creativity a little.  Then from absolutely nowhere, the horror show began - certainly parts of Suonare Suonare do hark back to the previous two albums, but I thought the decision to let di Cioccio sing (probably a decision made by himself) was a huge mistake.  Soon after this album, Premoli left and all of a sudden the creative heart of the band had been ripped out.  Mussida immediately sounded stranded  - his intricate guitar work of old, was replaced with fuller sounding chords to fill out the sound, and new singer di Ciocco's astonishing drumming was replaced by Calloni's uninspired beat-keeping.  In the space of 2 years, the band had gone from jeans, t-shirts, long hair, and side-burns, to moustaches, shades, yellow suit jackets with the sleeves rolled up and slip-on shoes.  The music had gone from intricate, beautifully arranged classical suites laced with hard-edged rock-outs, to synth-driven mindless pop with all the musical integrity of a Cliff Richard Christmas howler.  

Nowhere is this drastic, heartbreaking changeover more visible than on the bootleg TV DVD of performances ranging from 1972 (when they were just mind-bogglingly incredible) through the BBC's Whistle Test in 1974 (when simply no-one could touch them), to 1980 and the horrifc nightmare of the Musicalamente show. 

How did it happen? And why?  What was going on in Italy / US that caused this? 

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 11 2005 at 14:13
Originally posted by Wrath_of_Ninian

How did it happen? And why?  What was going on in Italy / US that caused this? 

Same thing happened to the other monster of italian prog, Banco. After Canto di primavera, of 1979, they came out with Urgente, urgentissimo. Why? Maybe colective lack of inspiration, maybe the need of survival in a world that was saturated of good music and began more and more vain, Who knows...
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 11 2005 at 14:41

to be honest - i think it was the same thing that happened all over the world in 1977 - the market changed momentarily (for at least 6 years till the neo-progger's resurgence) -

and suddenly prog wasnt' as bankable as it was before - certainly wasn't confined to Italy - in fact I think Europe got away with it a bit longer actually - nowhere was prog supported more  - and bands were still coming up with the goods into 1980-81 - Spain's Bloque's Music Para La Libertad for e.g - and lots of great eastern european prog - were punk's tendril's arrived a bit late - however I think the big chill that was punk would eventually stretch everywhere - giving prog acts two choices really - go a bitty poppy or just GO!

Thank God Sense prevailed and it didnt' go away for ever though! - real quality always outlast fads and fashions and now prog is back and this time unlike the majority of 80s neo-prog) with real integrity with The Mars Volta, Tool, M83, etc.. Morte Macabre, Anekdoten etc..

Have either of you heard the stuff by fellow Italians Celeste? - its up there with Photos of ghosts and Cook!

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 11 2005 at 16:58

I like Celeste, yes, but I didn't really know much about late Banco stuff - sounds like a fairly continental problem - I thought it may have been a response to social events in Italy alone - cultural shifts, changes in demographics - the influence of Americanism that PFM so abhorred on Chocolate Kings and before going on to fully adopt it themselves!!

I have all Banco's stuff up to ..di Terra, but have yet to venture further as most LPs have that awful trademark "198?" on them which usually means 'horror show'.

I have NO Spanish music in my collection at all Mandrake - who are Bloque's Music Para La Libertad?  And are there others you could recommend that typify the scene there.  I'm very interested as I here the bands there tend to incorporate individual regional traditions.  Sounds amazing.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 11 2005 at 18:45
sorry to interupt, thought I had something to say...

Spanish Prog mid 70s to late

Los Canarios - Ciclos(english vocals, great to fair)
Mezquita - Recuerdos de mi Tierra(spanish)
Gotic - Escenes(instrumental)
Atila - Reviure(instrumental?)

are some excellent choices in my opionion, Ciclos is
a concept album from 1975, comparable with
Genesis - Lamb and The Who - Quadrophenia.
Gotic compares with Camel - Snow Goose.
Nothing copycat here just Spanish scene influenced.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 11 2005 at 18:56

I've not got much spanish stuff my self but just to add to what dallas has noted

Bloque - Music Para La Libertad (1981) - probably the biggest name in Spanish prog - they've done about 4 LP's - this is the 3rd or 4th. Lot of guitar work on this - quite Camel like - Spanish vocals though.

Neuronium - an interesting spanish take on the late seventies Tangerine Dream sound - with some traditionally spanish touches like acoustic guitars - lots of synths pulsing away with solos over them - they've done loads of LP's

and as dallas notes Gotic - not got anything by these but I've heard good stuff.

the very best resource for all European Prog, ninian is SCENTED GARDENS OF THE MIND - by Dag Erik Asbjornsen - its is well worth the 20 price tag - its an encylopedia of Euro Prog from 1968-80 covering every country (it leaves Germany out because I think he did a German Prog only book) I can't reccomend it enough.

dave (Mandrake)



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Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 12 2005 at 17:31

Thanks for all that , I shall check them out.

I know about the Scented Gardens book and considered buying it, but I was SO disappointed with Jerry Lucky's Progressive Rock Files, that I decided not to bother.  I should've realised by the size of Lucky's book, that it wouldn't contain the kind of depth I was looking for.  Its little more than a summation of what bands were releasing in what year.  I really wanted stories and a bit of gossip!  And his section on criticism was woeful - how NOT to construct an argument.  If that book took him 10 years to write (as I think he says in the intro), he really shouldn't be writing books.  I've read deeper, wittier, and more coherently constructed efforts by 1st year undergrads!

If Scented Gardens is the same as PRF, I'll avoid it, but if it contains some genuinely interesting anecdotes, then I would definitely try and acquire a copy.  Advice gratefully received.  A nice big section on PFM would be an excellent starter for 10.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 12 2005 at 17:39

 

And by the way, I noticed a small error I made earlier when I said that Pagani and Lanzetti made up PFM's finest line-up for Chocolate Kings and Jet Lag. 

Of course, Pagani wasn't on Jet Lag, as he quit in 1976 to go solo.  He was replaced by Greg Bloch.

Pedantic (and sad) I know, but its not often PFM get brought up on this site, and I want to at least try and convey an impression of total and utter obsession (!), on a par with that of the hard-core ELP and Genesis devotees who post here    

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 28 2005 at 17:26
Originally posted by mirco

Originally posted by mandrake

Hey micro - if your Italian - you could perhaps explain somehting remarkably that has always interested me - why do Italian records have that little ink-stamped symbol stamped ontot he label - d'ya know what I mean, Wrath of ninian - nearly all my Italian prog LP's have them - the originals anyway -

 

Mandrake: i'm not italian, but  being a son of an italian couple that emigrates in the late 50's to Veezuela, my first language is Italian. Well, I review my italian records and find that stamp. You can read "societá italiana degli autori ed editori - Roma", which stands for "Italian Authors and editors society - Rome". I think it's a sort of anti-piracy thing, but not so sure...

Yes, it's just this... An Italian Legalized Fraud...

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 28 2005 at 17:50

Originally posted by Wrath_of_Ninian

---Have you heard Pagani's solo stuff?  Mussida et al guest on some sections of it, and its wonderful music.  The man is a genius. PFM never recovered from his departure. 

 

I am curious. Also, didn't Pagani do some kind of album with Demetrios Stratos (Area) and someone else? I swore I saw it somewhere.

People are puzzled why I don't dig the Stones, well, I listened to the Stones, I tried, and I tried, and I tried, and--I Can't Get No Satisfaction!

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 01 2005 at 04:19

Stratos sings a track on Pagani's first solo album, but although I'm only just beginning to track down Pagani's late-70s appearances on other albums, I have yet to come across a definitive collaboration. Pagani certainly appeared on and produced numerous other albums in Italy in the late 70s and early 80s, and was a good friend of Stratos at the time of his death, so its not inconceivable that they made a record together. 

I shall look into this and report back!

Pagani recently appeared with PFM again at a huge concert in Siena, which is now out on DVD and CD release, though I think you have to source it from Italy. 

"Now all the seasons run together, and the middle days are gone..."
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 16 2005 at 18:15
yu-uuuh! Here's Domitilla from sunny Italy..You can't imagine how's fantastic hearing you talkin' about pfm and Fabrizio De Andrč...I'm really mad about them, especially 'bout Premiata...I saw and heard them few days ago here in Tuscany....Yeah! Great..great.   And what about the Slow Feet Band? Do you know them?( Franz di Cioccio, De Scalzi ,Kohln andothers..)?
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 16 2005 at 18:21
Originally posted by Wrath_of_Ninian

Stratos sings a track on Pagani's first solo album, but although I'm only just beginning to track down Pagani's late-70s appearances on other albums, I have yet to come across a definitive collaboration. Pagani certainly appeared on and produced numerous other albums in Italy in the late 70s and early 80s, and was a good friend of Stratos at the time of his death, so its not inconceivable that they made a record together. 

I shall look into this and report back!



May I humbly draw yours and others' attention to my thread entitled Carnascialia? You might find some useful info there.
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