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Cherry Five - Cherry Five CD (album) cover


Cherry Five


Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.91 | 202 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

siLLy puPPy
3 stars The Italian progressive rock supergroup Goblin found great success as writers of eerie and spooky soundtrack music beginning with their debut album "Profondo Rosso (Deep Red)" and continued with the much bigger hit "Suspira" and beyond but the group that would become Goblin actually began under the moniker Oliver when in the early 70s keyboardist Claudio Simonetti, guitarist Massimo Morante, bassist Fabio Pignatelli and drummer Walter Martino all met and recorded some demo tapes together. After a happenstance encounter with Yes producer Eddie Offord, they managed to score interest and a tour with Yes which in a roundabout way led to a contract back in Italy with Cinevox. For unknown reasons the record label changed the band's name to CHERRY FIVE upon release and the band released this one release under that band name until they were approached by Giorgio Gaslini to provide soundtrack music for his "Profondo Rosso" flick upon which they changed their name to Goblin and the rest is history.

CHERRY FIVE is the perfect place for Goblin addicts to begin their journey of understanding the roots and influences of Italy's premier soundtrack spook masters. This 1975 album perfectly reflects how these guys were followers in the footsteps of the greats like Yes, Genesis, King Crimson, Gentle Giant and Emerson Lake Palmer and how they combined elements of their influences into their own vision. At this stage the then known CHERRY FIVE were not quite successful masters of musical alchemy and unfortunately this release reeks of elements of the aforementioned prog bigwigs without properly simmering them down into a cohesive broth. As all of the major influences were English, CHERRY FIVE went against the grain in the mid-70s Italian scene and chose to sing in the English language possibly hoping for the international success story as fellow countrymates PFM.

This album starts out immediately with prog pomp run amok. It begins with a fast and furious Steve Howe inspired guitar riff with a bass line and Emerson keyboard run to match, however the first lineup change of Carlo Bordini on drums in no Bill Bruford. Also i feel that the lyrics in English sound a little stilted, however when Tony Tartarini shuts his mouth and lets the instrumental prowess of the band shine through all is good although there is never a doubt that this music is 75% Yes influenced in the composition department and the other 25% or so being dedicated to Gentle Giant type complexities, Emerson keyboard worship, Genesis theatrical dynamics with symphonic pomp and to a lesser extent King Crimson-esque excursions into a more heavy jazz-related type of prog.

Personally i find the first track "Country Grave Yard" a bit put offing as it seems like it's trying too hard to make a statement throwing all the influences in your face at light speed but ultimately fails to gel into a cohesive original piece. While the second track "The Picture Of Dorian Gray" slows things down a little, it is so reeking of early Genesis that i expect Peter Gabriel to start wailing in at any moment. The true surprise is on track three "The Swan Is A Murderer Part 1" when a sudden break in prog influence worship cedes into a glimpse of the future a la Goblin when after a highly energetic drum circle effect and ELP keyboard pomp suddenly changes near the end of the track into a soundtrack type of setting that reminds one of not only "Rosemary's Baby" in musical structure but of all the Goblin soundtracks that follow. This soundtrack theme continues into the intro of "The Swan Is A Murderer Part 2" before it fades into another Yes inspired prog rock theme.

While this is an insightful specimen of history intrigue, i can't say i love this album as much as others due to the fact that is so derivative of the previous greats and not distilled into a proper amalgamation thereof. Even Tartarani's vocal style evokes a reference to Jon Anderson without his range of vocal prowess. While this album is by no means bad as it delivers some outstanding musicianship in the process, i can't help but be grateful that the main players in this band found a niche in their horrific interpretations of movie soundtracks as i feel the Goblin years more than blow this early incarnation away manyfold. Anyone interested in the early years of Goblin will totally be into this however. The year 1975 was a wild year for this band as they released an album under the moniker CHERRY FIVE, but also one as Il Reale Impero Britannico (exposing their Anglophilic tendencies) as well as the debut under the more recognized entity Goblin. Musically excellent. Creatively mediocre. I'm still glad i own it.

3.5 rounded down

siLLy puPPy | 3/5 |


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