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Franco Battiato

Rock Progressivo Italiano

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Franco Battiato Foetus album cover
3.29 | 26 ratings | 1 reviews | 15% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1971

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Energy (3:06)
2. Foetus (2:38)
3. A Cell (2:57)
4. Karyokinesis (2:01)
5. Phenomenology (5:00)
6. Mechanics (6:11)
7. Anaphase (5:34)
8. Mutation (2:51)

Total Time: 29:38

Line-up / Musicians

- Francesco Battiato / synthesizers, VCS3, drum machine, lead vocals

- Sergio Almangano
- Gianfranco D'Adda / drums
- Alberto Mompelio
- Gianni Mocchetti
- Elisabetta Pezzera
- Riccardo Pirolli
- Rossella Conz /voice

Note: The actual full instrumentation could not be confirmed at this moment

Releases information

Subtitled "Return to the New World", this is the English lyrics version of the "Fetus" album

Artwork: Eldorado Sivelli with Fabio Simion (photo)

LP Bla Bla ‎- BBXL 10001 (1971, Italy)
LP Bla Bla ‎- VM LP 065 (2012, Italy) New cover art

CD VM 2000 ‎- VM CD 065 (1999, Italy) New cover art

Thanks to ANDREW for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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FRANCO BATTIATO Foetus ratings distribution

(26 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(15%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(31%)
Good, but non-essential (42%)
Collectors/fans only (12%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

FRANCO BATTIATO Foetus reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by octopus-4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
3 stars First of all I have to advise that the one on PA is the English release of "Fetus" as the original release has Italian title tracks. The complete title was "Fetus: Ritorno Al Mondo Nuovo" (Return to the New World). It's totally inspired to genetics as the tracks titles show.

Then I want to advise that the following formula is part of the lyrics...we'll see later where and why:

x1 = A*sen (ωt), x2 = A*sen (ωt + γ)

Don't worry! it's not so challenging as it could seem. First of all the music is quite easy, the melodies have already that touch of pop who made him famous with the mainstream public during the 80s, what is amazing and very prog are the arrangements and the sounds used: Emerson style keyboards, sometimes Floydian guitar (almost acoustic, btw) and things like the final choir on the title track that seem taken from Vangelis' Heaven And Hell. So even though the melodies are similar to those of a mainstream artist of that time like Lucio Battisti was, they are arranged in a very proggy way. "Phenomenology" (Fenomenologia) is the clearer example. This is also the song whose lyrics end with that formula. It's a double sinusoid spaced by "γ". It's a sort of representation of the double DNA helix.

Meccanica (Mechanics) has a guitar/keyboard attack very similar in sound to Bo Hansson's "Lord of the Rings", followed by an interesting and very RPI part of acoustic guitar and bass. It has also some Krautrock influences. "Cariocinesi" (Karyokinesis) is a one minute swing song lead by a violin that I think played by Battiato himself (he's a poli-instrumentist even if he's mainly a guitarist). On many tracks, there are gimmicks in Floydian style: children speech on "Energy" or astronauts on "Mechanics" over a slowed down version of Bach's "G string", theme reprised immediately after by "Anafase", that's in the end the song closer to the kind of music that Battiato will release in the 80s, until it turns into a spacey track in the vein of Tangerine Dream's Zeit (Who knows me can understand how much I like it) before turning back to acoustic guitar. By the way, Anafase is the second part of "meiosis", the process of cellular division.

"Mutation" (Mutazione) starts acoustic and he sings "Millenniums of dreams have crawled me but now I'm waking up...". It's the birth of a new being. Musically it's a short closer, probably too short as it had all the requirements to be more exploited and developed.

I can't define it a masterpiece, but it's one of the last prog albums of Battitao before he turned first into commercial, then into a sort of eclectic artsy music that's almost undefineable. It deserves more than just three stars, but four are too much. Rounded down to three.

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