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Franco Battiato - Juke Box CD (album) cover


Franco Battiato


Rock Progressivo Italiano

2.96 | 16 ratings

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3 stars From the wild wild world of Franco Battiato comes another 70's exercise in minimalist avant prog. Juke Box released in 1978 after the hit and miss 'Battiato' and before the .....dryness of 'L'Egitto Rrima Delle Sabbie' is actually the perfect place for anyone who wants to dip their little toe into the shark infested waters of the rather imposing sounding area of minimalist avant prog. Unlike the 'Battiato' and 'L'Egitto Rrima Delle Sabbie' this album is not composed of just 2 side-longs. While some people can handle 20 minutes of hearing the same chord repeated over and over.. that can be a bit much for even the typically thick skinned prog fan. Juke Box is not only composed of mulitple compostions, ensuring some variety, but it is also a short album. That is good on several respects for the Battiato noob, less album means less chance of hearing something that will have you funnning screaming into the night, and second of all the album is cheap. I got mine for 3 Euros so IF you don't like it, you can hold your head up high, brag to your friends just how open-minded you are... and not have to beat up poor Johnny to take his lunch money so you can eat the rest of the week.

The album itself brings back pianist Ballista and sopranist Salvelta along with violinist Guisto Pio and a string section drected by Roberto Cacciapaglio. The album is a soundtrack for an Italian TV-movie so the tracks are short of melody and high on atmosphere. Just a couple words on some of the tracks.. beware of Pio's violin 'showcase' Telegrafi.... the 20 minute single piano chord pieces sound like masterworks compared to this. I know Pio is a better player than a 8 year old student of the violin... it helps sometimes to sound like you are. Hey this is avant prog though.. all is forgiven. I do really like the second track Su Scale. Battiato steps out from the creative director chair and lends his distinctive voice to the song. The rest of the songs... not bad.. not great. For one like me who is more a fan of the man rather than the music.. that isn't far from being a complement. Sometimes prog fans just need to sit back and enjoy an artist at work.. even if what he is doing really isn't speaking to us on a personal level. I'd have loved to see Franco grab the old trusty VC3 and go to town.. but hey.. this is prog. He'd been there and done that already.

A note to those who are familar with my reviews.. I do give two ratings. One for my personal enjoyment and one for where I think the album sits in the prog pantheon so to speak. I note that again because I liked 'Battiato' more than this album, but will rate this album higher for the site. The reasons .. I mentioned above. This is an album that is a good entry point into Battiato's avant works. Once in.. if you likey... check out one that I really do like. For me.. 1.5 stars.. For the site.. 3 stars... A good but non essential album and a good intoduction into Battiato's sonic exporations of the late 70's.

Michael (aka micky)

micky | 3/5 |


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