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Cherry Five - Cherry Five CD (album) cover


Cherry Five


Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.91 | 202 ratings

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4 stars The eponymous debut album by Cherry Five was recorded in 1974 with a line up featuring Tony Tartarini (vocals), Claudio Simonetti (keyboards), Massimo Morante (guitar), Fabio Pignatelli (bass) and Carlo Bordini (drums). It's a good work where the influence of British bands such as Yes or Genesis is apparent but the choice to sing in English was not a great idea, especially on the Italian record market of the seventies... In fact, this was supposed to be the first album by Goblin but it was put apart and released only after the band had reached the success in 1975 with "Profondo Rosso" and a different line up. As a consequence, the album was released in 1976 on the Cinevox label under the name Cherry Five to avoid confusion with the new Goblin's course...

The opener 'Country Grave-Yard' starts by a frenzied, hurried pace. Then the rhythm slackens and darkness comes down... This piece tells the Gothic story of a wayfarer who, passing near a cemetery in the middle of the night, sees a fire above a cross and the ghost of a child creeping out from a grave, seeking for a breath of life. The fear takes hold of the unfortunate traveller as he begins to perceive a loathsome smell...

The following 'The Picture Of Dorian Gray' was inspired by Oscar Wilde's novel of the same name. It starts by organ and an acoustic guitar arpeggio, the mood is dreamy but the dream ends when the music and lyrics conjure up the image of the protagonist stabbing his picture... For him the blade is like a key for safety, a way of seeking shelter, peace and rest into the depths of the earth, the last punishment for a damned man who lies now in a purple sheet of sins and shame...

'The Swan Is A Murderer' is divided into two parts, probably just because of the length of the old vinyls. It closes the first side of the LP and opens the second one by telling the dark fairy tale of a beautiful, wicked swan that, having killed a prince leaving him in a pool of blood, is condemned to live alone and without love, hated by the other birds...

The long, complex 'Oliver' depicts in music and words a strange character, a dandy who, to show his beauty and power, takes for a walk a lion on the leash through the streets of Paris ignoring the people laughing at him. Strange? All in all, French writer and poet Gérard de Nerval walked a lobster on a blue silk ribbon leash through the streets of Paris to make fun of middle-class pretension... 'Why should a lobster be any more ridiculous than a dog? Or a cat, or a gazelle, or a lion, or any other animal that one chooses to take for a walk? I have a liking for lobsters. They are peaceful, serious creatures. They know the secrets of the sea, they don't bark, and they don't gobble up your monadic privacy like dogs do. And Goethe had an aversion to dogs, and he wasn't mad!' (Gérard de Nerval quoted by his friend, Théophile Gautier, in "Portraits et souvenirs littéraires", 1875. In Théophile Gautier, "My Fantoms", translated by Richard Holmes). By the way, Oliver was also the previous name of the band, then changed into Goblin...

The dreamy 'My Little Cloud Land' ends the album by drawing in music and words visionary images that seem coming out from a Roger Dean's picture. In a land that lies on a little cloud you can dream of camels wearing a crown, rabbits falling in love with pink butterflies, dancing sharks, speaking crocodiles, flying cats, boats floating on a lawn of daffodils... It's a holy place, in which you can feel the breath of life and live forever listening to magic tunes (mainly inspired by Yes, I would say).

On the whole, this is a good album even if it doesn't shine for its originality. Anyway, I'm sure that fans of bands such as Yes or Starcastle will appreciate it.

andrea | 4/5 |


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