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Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM) - Suonare Suonare CD (album) cover


Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM)

Rock Progressivo Italiano

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Tony R
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars What is it with the classic early 70's Prog bands? For Yes' 90125,Genesis' Duke and ELP's Love Beach read PFM's Suonare Suonare.Out go the majestic symphonic sweeps,sumptuous synth and concert violin and in come bouncy,poppy beats,frantic fiddle and jangly guitar.

The album opener is the title track "Suonare Suonare" which sets the scene for this major disappointment.As the track starts there is a moment of panic as what seems to be Elton John's "Song For Guy" minces out of the speakers;Styx meet John is a sign of how much better this track gets. "Volo a Vela" is no better."Si Puo Fare" has a catchy beat and at least some interaction between synth,violin and guitar,a decent track but no more."Topolino" comes and goes with only a hint of some flash guitar playing to impress the memory."Maestro Della Voce" at least builds towards some sort of instrumental climax but only vaguely hints at former glories."Sogno Americano" features some soft-rock guitar histrionics and the last two tracks; "Bianco e Nero" and "Tanti Auguri" are so insipid and bland that I mention them only to "name-and-shame" them.

So who might enjoy this album? Well,Elton John fans maybe,Supertramp fans or even anyone who can stomach the 1980's kansas albums.It really is that poor.

Report this review (#41579)
Posted Thursday, August 4, 2005 | Review Permalink
2 stars The ninth work released in 1980 "Suonare Suonare". Acoustic sounds are not as noticeable as on former works. All tunes are sung in Italian, and the pop sound where the relaxed atmosphere drifts. It is a performance which is given room to breathe. Traces of the past have vanished completely. However, it is a first-class work when listening as OLD WAVE pop rock; this album is not solely progressive rock.
Report this review (#63938)
Posted Tuesday, January 10, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars I think that this is a good album, although it's not exactly a prog one. In 1980 progressive rock was out of fashion and PFM was looking for new ideas to survive in the music business like other bands in that period.

«We all started writing new songs, trying to go towards the Italian rock way, which was identifiable by lyrics. Our new project was not easy to realize, because we had to become authors. Anyway we succeeded thanks to our experience with Fabrizio De Andrč and the advices of our new producer, Mr. Colombini. "Suonare Suonare", that is to say "Eight stories made of music and words to express ourselves, communicate, suffer, enjoy and play music" (as is it written on the LP's back cover) is a new, fresh and vital LP which contains poetic autobiographical stories from the band's members» (from the official website of the band).

In my opinion this album is better than the previous studio effort "Passpartů" and, though the song-writing of PFM is far away from De Andrč's standards, here you can find at least three good songs that are still regularly performed live on stage: "Suonare suonare", a piano ballad with some "shy hints" of progressive and lyrics about "playing music as an antidote against boredom"; "Maestro della voce", song dedicated to Demetrio Stratos and built up around a catchy bass line; "Si puň fare", with an interesting drums work. Remarkable also "Volo a vela", with a joyful rhythm that reminds slightly of "E' festa". In the other songs you can appreciate at least the great musicianship of the members of the band.

Though very far from essential in a prog collection this album is still an interesting one because it marks the definitive turning point in PFM's career and, in the whole, it's a good pop-rock work full of energy.

Report this review (#71218)
Posted Monday, March 6, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars A lot of great music was produced at the time this album came out, but as the first review here states, the giants of initial progressive rock movement all shifted away from their roots. As a purely Italian album, Suonare Suonare for me stands as PFM's greatest pure Italian album bringing Franz DiCioccio to the forefront as a vocalist in the style of the great Phil Collins without all the fanfare that Phil had as a soloist post-Genesis. I certainly won't try to compare the two, but I felt then and still today that he did a great job in that role and this album for me is quite special if it can't be considered a purely progressive album as their earlier work was and now their latest work is. and Live in Japan 2002 shows how how the best songs from that album are still relevant. Don't let the low rating of this album keep you from listening to this, but if you do, don't do so thinking you are going to hear Per Un Amico.
Report this review (#108269)
Posted Sunday, January 21, 2007 | Review Permalink
2 stars Let's put things into perspective here. The year of this release, "Banco" released "Urgentissimo", a very poor electro-pop album (and they will go on with very poor production throughout the whole of the eighties, unfortunately).

"PFM" will also take an almost similar approach for "Suonare Suonare" : to release a pop-oriented album as well.

Their collaboration with Fabrizio de Andrč in 1979 which led to a tour and two live albums left their marks on the band. The folkish "Volo A Vela" is very much in the vein of the work of this Italian folk singer but I could never be seduced by these live albums.

The title track is probably the most bearable one. Nice violin (but this will be featured several times on this album, which is one of the only good news). It is a good rock ballad. But nothing from the other world.

"Si Puň Fare" is not too bad either. A pure rock'n'roll song. It is of course very far from their traditional offering, but this is another "PFM". The closing section has a definite "ELO" flavour. Great rock'n'roll with furious violin. Do you hear what I mean ?

But these two songs are an exception on this album. Most of time, "PFM" music featured here is easy listening and pop stuff like "Topolino" or "Maestro Della Voce" (which unlike its title might indicate features poor vocals).

"Sogno Americano" is pretty bad. Electro pop beat and awful vocals. The only way to escape from this nightmare is the very welcome "next". Even the violin won't be able to save this one.

"Bianco E Nero" is somewhat Supertrampish. But not the best of their repertoire, I'm afraid. None the less, a great duet violin / guitar closes this song and partially saves it. The closing and folkish "Tanti Auguri" won't do any good to raise the quality level of this album, I'm afraid.

Two stars. Just a poor curiosity for die-hard fans.

Report this review (#153683)
Posted Sunday, December 2, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars Purists may certainly snob this album, but even though it has a more commercial style I think it's a great work and an essential step to understand the band's evolution. Tracks are definitely easier than before but they mainteined a good execution and excellent lyrics. Tracklist alternate between easy and more researched lyrics. All tracks deserve attention but highlights are: Suonare Suonare, Volo a Vela, Bianco E Nero (a touching one) and Maestro della Voce which presents great bass parts and has recently won the Lunezia prize for its musical and literary value. Perhaps in comparison with previous albums 5 stars would be too much, but I think that 4 stars is the right rating.
Report this review (#180909)
Posted Wednesday, August 27, 2008 | Review Permalink
Tarcisio Moura
2 stars By the time Suonare Suonare was released it became clear that the band was trying to find some way to survive in the music market and that was not an easy task for a band labeled as ´prog´ (remember this was 1980 and being prog was not cool anymore). Their earlier effort, Passpartú, was already shifting towards a more pop/folk direction. Unfortunately Suonare Suonare was even popier as a whole, although not without some merits (the title track and Maestro De La Voce are very good tunes). With Bernardo Lanzetti gone, drummer Franz DiCioccio assumes the lead vocals, but that´s not the problem. In fact, he performs this job very well.

The main issue with this album is that the band can´t seem to make up their minds if they´re going folk or jump into the pop wagon headfirst. The result is an hybrid, some tracks being more folkish, some very commercial. Needless to say, there is very little prog in here. Not a bad record, but clearly very very away from the great symphonic band that once released such masterpieces like Photos Of Ghosts and The World Became The World. Some instrumental breaks sometimes show how skillful musicians they really are. Unfortunately the songwriting here is not up to their fantastic musicianship, to say the least.

If you like traditional italian music and pop stuff of the early 80´s, you´ll probably enjoy this album. Other than those I can only recommend this album for fans and collectors. 2 stars..

Report this review (#244316)
Posted Monday, October 12, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars The fiddle is back!

Yes I think that is extremely important for my review of this record. The violin was missing on Passpartů, a record I felt was quite weak and not especially exciting. The virtuos violin is something of the most specific with Premiata Forneria Marconi's music. Along of course with the excelent participation of the other instruments, but the violin marks out the band among others.

"Suonare suonare" is PFM's seventh studio album and their first record in the eighties. In many ways I think the cover fools the listener. It shows four elderly gentlemen playing folk music and in the bottom we see the flashy PFM sign. Probably those guys sitting along the table is Premiata Forneria Marconi. Well, the cover says this is not a prog album and the music isn't directly progressive. But it's still very clear it's PFM that plays and they still sound great. On Suonare Suonare we have Lucio Fabbri on violin, viola and cello, Flavio Premoli on keyboards and lead vocals(2,7), Franco Mussida on guitars and lead vocals(4), Patric Djivas on bass and Franz di Cioccio on drums, percussion and lead vocals(1,5,8).

I think this was a great release of Premiata Forneria Marconi. The wild, both folky and progressive violin does a great job to polish the record's sound. Especially "Volo a vela", which is partially instrumental has wonderful fiddle(8/10) and I hear some passages I recognized from other songs. The violin is also very good on "Topolini" which also contains significant guitar play(7/10) and on "Tanti Auguri", a very ordinary song(6/10). Another favourite is "Bianco e nero"(7/10) which has wide sweeping patterns which is think is special for PFM. "Si puň fare" (7/10) is a fast and pleasant rock song just as "Maestro della voce"(7/10). The least interesting piece here is "Sogno Americano" which I don't find especially good. The very best song is a very popular sounding one, the first "Suonare suonare" which is sung by Franz di Cioccio. It is a lovely song which is some ways is traditional but has a great power(9/10). I am surprised that the guys sung so great on this album. I like listening to this record, perhaps my rating is too high but this actually gives me so nice feelings! Four stars.

Report this review (#1123177)
Posted Tuesday, January 28, 2014 | Review Permalink

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