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Le Orme - Collage CD (album) cover

COLLAGE

Le Orme

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.87 | 321 ratings

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jamesbaldwin
Prog Reviewer
5 stars "Le Orme" first album, "Ad Gloriam" (1969), was full of beat music, in fact beat ruled italian charts until the end of Sixties. But after a trip of keabordist Tony Pagliuca in England to get to know the international pop scene (and buy a synthesizer), "Le Orme" became the first successful italian group of progressive rock. In fact, "Collage" is the first famous album of progressive in Italy (before Collage, Balletto di Bronzo's "Sirio 2222", and The Trip's title album were the first unripe attempts to compose progressive rock).

Pagliuca came back to Italy full of ideas and enthusiasm, dragging the complex into a project with international thickness. The main prog influences on Pagliuca were Emerson Lake & Palmer and Quatermass, two bands lead by the piano man and without guitarist, like "Le Orme", that are formed by Aldo Tagliapetra on bass and vocals (occasionally guitar), Michi De Rossi on drums, Tony Pagliuca on organ and electric piano - no synths, no mellotron: they will come later.

And here's to you Collage, cornerstone of Italian progressive rock.

An important element is missing. This album marks the beginning of the collaboration between "Le Orme" and Gian Piero Reverberi, who before being a great producer was a great classical composer and conductor, author of some of the most beautiful classical melodies of Italian light music among the years Seventy and Two thousands. An institution, in short, in Italy. Reverberi also founded and wrote the music, and directed Rond˛ Veneziano chamber ensemble, which played his compositions written in the eighteenth- century Venetian baroque style. We are therefore faced with a cultured composer, whose talent, lent to pop-rock music, has given sublime results, of which "Le Orme" have benefited, especially on a compositional level (Reverberi and Tagliapetra have written the music of all the songs), and in musical writing for piano and organ.

And... In fact, the opener "Collage" is a prog symphonic ballad, baroque style, with, in the meddle, a piece by Domenico Scarlatti's Sonata in E major, K 380. It is a powerful song, a hymn, with the effect of trumpets, and a triumphal final progression worthy of a classical symphony. Masterpiece. Vote 8,5.

"Era inverno" (It Was Winter), was a scandal for the lyrics theme (written by Pagliuca): the love between a man and a prostitute ("Ten thiusand, Twenty thousands, In the hands of the client, Who own you false joy). After an acoustic beginning, there is a wonderful instrumental progression, virtuosity on organ, Then come back the singing by Tagliapetra: "Ten thousand, Twenty Thousands, always smiling, an actress who doesn't change the scene". Very good. Vote 8.

"Cemento Armato" (Reinforced Concrete), almost seven and a half minutes, begins with the shout of Tagliapetra: "Cemento armato, La Grande cittÓ, senti la vita che se ne va": "Reinforced concrete, The big city, You feel the life that goes away". Again instrumental pieces with a great work of all three musicians, with an excellent organ sound, a mighty bass, a refined drums work. In the middle almost a jam section arrives. It is incredible how Le Orme are already with total naturalness the owners of their music, as their prog sounds completely natural, inspired, not at all artificial or forced. The singing returns, and we move towards the great instrumental finale. Possibly the masterpiece of the album. Vote 9. - It ends up a first spectacular side, to be envious. And we are only at the debut in the progressive.

Side B opens with the hit of the Lp, "Sguardo verso il cielo" (A Look Towards the Sky): almost heavy prog, is a wonderful track, with a beautiful sound on the organ, a powerful basss, a great instrumental ride in the middle of the song and in the grand finale, which unfortunately fades too quickly. It is the most powerful song on the album, although not the best of all. The text made the pro movement of the period turn up their nose, because they were very politicized, and Le Orme sang a prayer: "A look towards the sky, Where the sun is marvel, Where nothingness becomes the world, Where Your light brights". Vote 8. How long will this shining inspiration continue, this magic of sound?

"Evasione Totale" (Total Evasion) is a brave piece, seven minutes. Instrumental track, with some jazzy sound, something psychedelic, lead by bass and organ. Atmspheric ballad in the beginning, similar to a soundtrack of Seventies. Great work on the bass, and in the meddle we are in a totally psychedelic sounds, thanks to the art of Tony Pagliuca. Again, excellent inspiration. At five and a half minutes the music stop and come a church organ to bring the piece to the inizial jazzy sound. Vote 8+.

"Immagini" (Imagines), marks the end of the magic. Only three minutes, it is the weakest song of the album. It developes alternating verses with organ phrases, without any refrain. The song isn't bad, but it seems unfinished, it's not very effective. Vote 6,5. "Morte di un fiore" (Death of a Flower) starts with acoustic guitar and vocals, then comes drums and organ to take the piece to a sustained rhythm, while Tagliapetra sings about a girl found dead on a meadow, with the wind only companion. Good progression and grand final in crescendo. But it fades away too quickly. Vote 7,5.

The final of the album reserves two short songs, three minutes, which are stylistically a bit 'in contrast with other compositions, more extensive and able to develop more fully. Overall, there is actually a slight drop in quality in the last two songs. And so, this is not a great masterpiece but.., a small masterpiece. Yes, five stars.

Medium quality of the songs: 7,96. Vote 9. Five Stars.

jamesbaldwin | 5/5 |

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