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Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM) - Storia Di Un Minuto CD (album) cover


Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM)


Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.34 | 1345 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Some rank this 1972 album, the Italian group's debut, as even better than it's highly-praised follow-up, the magnificent 'Per Un Amico'. But they're wrong. Although undoubtedly one of the key Italian albums of that country's golden prog-rock period and filled with strong moments, 'Storia Di Un Minuto', a complex, mellifluous work, can't quite beat the glorious pastoral beauty found at the very heart of 'Per Un Amico'. Of course, there are many fans & critics who will disagree, and even for this writer it's a real close-run thing. Yet there is a darkness in 'Storia Di Un Minuto' that distracts, juxtaposing oddly with the glowing mellotronic warmth found throughout 'Per Un Amico'. One of the more accessible Italian prog-rock albums, 'Per Un Amico' carries an almost universal appeal thanks to it's soft tones and carefully-orchestrated sound, whereas it's predecessor opts for a slightly more oppressive atmosphere(especially towards the album's finale). 'Per Un Amico' simply shines, the opening song 'Appena Un Po' and the glistening title- track showcasing the group at what was arguably their creative zenith, the album's place in the gilded pantheon of all-time progressive rock classics long sealed. It is one of the few European albums(alongside the likes of Harmonium's symphonic-folk masterpiece 'Si On Avait Besoin D'une Cinquieme Saison') to consistently appear in the top ten of various prog album polls, and it is through 'Per Un Amico' that many discover the rest of PFM's material, such is the album's lure. But in the end, all this really proves is just how good 'Storia Di Un Minuto' really is. It may lack the outstanding clarity of it's sister album, yet it features many dazzling moments, especially in the gorgeous melody that underpins ' Impressioni Di Settembre', a song so good that PFM regenerated it for their 1974 album 'L'isola Di Niente' and again on the same year's English-language version('The World Became The World'). Also including the two-part mini-epic 'Dove...Quando', 'Storia Di Un Minuto' almost seems like a dry run for 'Per Un Amico', with a slightly more experimental edge becoming more-and-more noticeable with each subsequent listen. It is certainly superior to the group's later efforts, such as the bombastic 'Chocolate Kings' and the jazz-fusion influenced 'Jet Lag', and upon it's release in 1971 helped to mark the moment that Italian prog-rock really began to bloom. Of course, opinions are divided on PFM's mid-to-late seventies output, and the group certainly didn't enjoy the international success they hoped for after their move to Emerson Lake & Palmer's Manticore Records following the success of 'Per Un Amico'. They would never again make an album as significant as either of their opening pair, and despite almost losing the plot completely with some ill-advised commercial forays during the 1980's(who didn't?), they would retain a large and loyal following through the decades. As of 2010 PFM were still writing, recording and, occasionally, touring, yet the last few years have been quiet. 'Storia Di Un Minuto' is where the story began, and for a brief-but-brilliant few years at the beginning of the 1970's PFM really did produce some truly sumptuous music.
stefro | 4/5 |


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