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Le Orme

Rock Progressivo Italiano

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Le Orme Collage album cover
3.87 | 367 ratings | 35 reviews | 25% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1971

Songs / Tracks Listing

Side 1
1. Collage (4:42)
2. Era Inverno (5:00)
3. Cemento Armato (8:08)
Side 2
4. Sguardo Verso Il Cielo (4:12)
5. Evasione Totale (6:56)
6. Immagini (2:58)
7. Morte Di Un Fiore (3:00)

Total Time: 34:56

Line-up / Musicians

- Aldo Tagliapietra / vocals, bass, acoustic guitar
- Antonio Pagliuca / Hammond, electric piano, audio generator
- Michi Dei Rossi / drums, percussions

Releases information

Artwork: Mario Convertino

LP Philips ‎- 6323 007 (1971, Italy)
LP Universal ‎- 2786148 (2011, Europe) Remastered by Maurizio Biancani
LP Vinyl Magic ‎- VMLP173 (2015, Italy) gatefold LP replica, transparent vinyl, limited edition

CD Philips - 842 505-2 (1990, Italy)
CD Akarma - AK 067 (2000 ?)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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LE ORME Collage ratings distribution

(367 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(25%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(49%)
Good, but non-essential (23%)
Collectors/fans only (3%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

LE ORME Collage reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Proghead
4 stars LE ORME is a prime example of a band drastically changing their sound, in this case for the better. Back in 1969 they released their first album, "Ad Gloriam", which finds the band exploring pop/psychedelia. Realizing that style of music was quickly going out of fashion, thanks to the rise of prog rock, they decided to go prog, and the results is "Collage", which is the first in a series of albums that would serve them well for their next three releases. They moved to Philips from a label called Car Juke Box, and reduced their lineup to a three piece with Claudio Galieti and Nino Smeraldi now out of the picture, leaving the band with bassist/guitarist/vocalist Aldo Tagliapietra, keyboardist Toni Pagliuca, and drummer Michi dei Rossi.

In my opinion, I felt "Collage" is a rather underrated album. The music is less polished (has that live "in the studio" feel) than their following albums and there are some extended organ solos and odd experiments that might have turned off those who enjoyed "Uomo di Pezza" and "Felona e Sorona". Pagliuca's keyboard setup here is just Hammond organ and clavinet, although I suspect he used a synthesizer here (album makes no mention of a synth). The title track is an instrumental cut that reminds me of The NICE, with some classical themes played on a clavinet. "Cemento Armato" consists of a lenghty organ solo. The organ here is heavily fuzzed and oddly for a LE ORME album, I can't help but be reminded of Jon Lord or Vincent Crane here. I never imagined LE ORME sounding like this! Even amongst the romantic balladry of "Uomo di Pezza", the band's more aggressive side shows up occasionally, but nothing like this album! I was put in even further shock with this experiment called "Evasione Totale". I am almost reminded of many of the Krautrock groups of the time. It's full of spacy organ here, experiments with echo effects, some jazzy passages, and I love how Aldo Tagliapietra gives us some nice bass work to go with it! Hard to believe what they were doing just two years ago ("Ad Gloriam"). There's a psychedelic experiment called "Immagini", dominated by organ, and complete with Tagliapietra's voice electronically modified, as common with late '60s psychedelia. But one thing for sure is this is something you won't mistake for "Ad Gloriam". "Collage" was the album that helped launch the Italian prog scene, and for me, a truly unjustly underrated album.

My rating: 4 stars and half

Review by erik neuteboom
4 stars I noticed that this is my #200 review for Prog Archives. I started my work for this site early 2004 and my first aim was to write about lesser know gems like Bacamarte, Outer Limits and Versailles, to make reviews about Los Jaivas, Triana and Solaris and to mention the lavish keyboard progrock from the Early British Progressive Movement, the Japanese prog and the Italian progrock bands from the Seventies. As a dedication to the Italian prog this review is about Le Orme. After two psychedelic/Sixties inspired albums this third record was a true progrock gem. The 7 compositions features great Hammond organ play (Keith Emerson, early Jane and Ramses), very distinctive and warm vocals (with a melancholical undertone), some acoustic guitar and a dynamic rhythm-section. A very good element in the music from Le Orme is the tension between the mellow and bombastic climates. And Le Orme delivers a lot of musical surprises like a kind of Blackmore/Gillan-Page/Plant duel from the bass and Hammond organ in "Cemiento armato", wonderful Hammond organ work (from psychedelic to church organ) in "Evasione totale" and exciting interplay between organ and drums in "Era inverno". This album is not as refined like "Felona e sorona", "Uomo di pezza" or "Contapuntti" but it is very worth listening. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!
Review by Jimbo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars "Collage" was apparently Le Orme's first truly progressive album, and to be honest, it does show. While "Collage" does have a few impressive moments, as a whole, I find it slightly bland and tame - a problem that I've encountered with many Italian symphonic prog bands. It sounds like they were still exploring their new, keyboard-driven sound, which would definitely explain the slight rawness and lack of subtleness in their sound. Le Orme has often been compared to ELP, and it should be fairly easy to see why. However, they do possess a more melodic side to their music as well - a trademark many Italian prog bands are so well known for. One of the main problems I have with this album, is that while the music is "nice" enough, it makes me feel like I'm in a similar state to coma. It simply does not evoke any feelings in me; joy, anger, happiness, simply nothing. Only "Cemento Armato" is powerful enough to wake me up. I love the jazzy ending. There's nothing wrong with the album per se, it just lacks enthusiasm (especially the singer sounds a tad bored, if you don't mind me saying so). "Collage" is surely a nice album if you're into the Italian symph prog scene, but nothing extraordinary, and I would encourage you check out Celeste, Locanda Delle Fate or Quella Vecchia Locanda instead of this. I noticed I seem to be the only one feeling this way, so I guess the problem must be in me. Go figure.
Review by Andrea Cortese
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars ".like clear water from the spring flowing to the sea, so run away in that pale morning your hour last and brief."

This album is imprinted in my DNA, been born and grow up always listening to Le Orme (and Pink Floyd).the ancestral prog/sounds of my infancy! Not only by radio but also by my father's keyboards and guitars. When I think to prog it's absolutely natural having in my mind the image of Collage's cover, Miki de Rossi in front, Pagliuca and Tagliapietra ("Cutstone" in English) respectively on his right and his left. They're painted with white colour like classical statues standing under a marble old capital. Classicism influences so much any Italian education as we can see in all Orme's works! The band was formed in 1967 in an industrial town near Venice, few kms from my home.

Collage is an instrumental piece with great Hammond organ, part with an electric piano sounding like harpsichord. Classical orchestral structure, delightful! People always like it! It's a Le Orme's classic!

Faithfully to their classical forma mentis, the lyrics are poetic and delicate, painting fresh images of nature and love.

Era Inverno (Was Winter) is about the narrator's falling in love with a woman who works each night for money.

Cemento Armato (Ferroconcrete cement) is a longer composition with, as always great work on drums by Miki, and is about the sad living in modern big cities where the sirens' noises covers all the birds' chirping.

Sguardo Verso Il Cielo (A Look To The Sky) is another classic one here! It's now part of the traditional and most influencing works in all the Italian progressive scene! The song is about the joy of singing and playing, expression of the sad need to reach what it's impossible to reach!

Evasione Totale (Total Evasion) is the other 7 mns long composition in Collage, great bass guitar's work. The lyrics are more seems about the narrator's sad journey to nowhere: ".reality will escape, I know I will always see the darkness.".

Immagini (Images) is the nature's sad contemplation of whom is no more love- corresponded by his woman even if they continue their life together.

Morte Di Un Fiore (Death Of A Flower) is the delicate description of the discovery of the body of a young woman died in the grass, near the clear waters of a brook: ".only the wind kissed you and stood by.".

This is truly a masterpiece in my life. It is beauty and soft painted poetry. Highly recommended!!!!

Review by andrea
5 stars Le Orme began life in Venice in 1966 as a "beat" band. After two albums in a beat and psychedelic style and some line up changes, in 1971 they released what many people think is the first Italian progressive rock album, "Collage". The line up here featured Aldo Tagliapietra (vocals, bass, acoustic guitar), Antonio Pagliuca (Hammond organ, electric piano) and Michi Dei Rossi (drums, percussion). In studio they got the help of an expert producer as Gian Piero Reverberi who contributed to shape their innovative sound blending British prog influences (Emerson Lake & Palmer and, most of all, Quatermass) with Italian melody and classical music. The result was an extremely successful album that is now considered as a cornerstone of Italian progressive rock.

The opener title track is almost a "prog baroque" anthem inspired by Domenico Scarlatti's Sonata in E major, K 380. It starts with a powerful organ attack soon backed by a lively marching beat while the middle section is softer and has a strong classical flavour. Organ and rhythm section then come back for the "grand finale". It's a magnificent track and it has become a kind of trademark of the band.

Acoustic guitar introduces next track, "Era inverno" (It was winter), which is about a troubled love between a young man and a prostitute... "Every night you get ready / Always beautiful and smiling / An actress who doesn't change scene / The sadness of the moon / In the hands of the people / Who own you fake joy... I would like to tell you / I don't care what people think / I still remember that evening / It was winter time and you were shaking / You were shining on the snow / I said: It's the first time...".

The claustrophobic "Cemento Armato" (Reinforced concrete) is about the need to run away from the smog and pollution you find in modern metropolitan areas. It begins almost like as desperate burst of pain, just vocals and piano... "Reinforced concrete, the big city / You can feel that life is going away / Near home you can't breath / It's always dark, we're grieving / There are more hooters in the air than nightingale songs / It's better run away and never come back...". The long instrumental section is complex and frenzy, you can almost feel the oppressive atmosphere of a busy and foggy city. Eventually tension fades out... "Sweet wake up, the sun is with me / In the air you can hear the sound of a guitar / Home is far away / Everything melted / I can't even remember yesterday friends / Reinforced concrete, the big city / You can feel that life is going away...".

"Sguardo verso il cielo" (Glance towards the sky) is still one of the best pieces of the band's repertoire. It's a song of hope full of positive energy, almost a laic prayer... "The joy to sing, the wish to play / The feel of reaching what you haven't got / Here comes another day like yesterday / You have to wait for the morning to start again... The strength to smile, the strength to fight / The fault of being alive and not being able to change / Like a dead branch, neglected / Which tries in vain to blossom... The mask of a clown in the middle of a desert / A fire that goes out, a glance towards the sky / A glance towards the sky where the sun is marvel / Where nothingness becomes the world / Where Your light shines...".

"Evasione Totale" (Total breakthrough) is a long instrumental where the members of the band can showcase their musicianship. It begins softly and the atmosphere is dark and spacey. After a chaotic and improvised middle section a church-like organ pattern and pulsing bass lines bring back a sense of order for the finale.

"Immagini" (Imagines) is a short organ driven piece. Lyrics suggest evocative images with a psychedelic touch... Well try to imagine a stream on the moon, a garden in the middle of the sun, a cypress in the desert, violet lawns, a moving statue and people talking around... But there's something missing! "A wonderful sun, a wonderful day / Many stars in the night / Some smiles on the lips, some lips on the lips / But she isn't there, she isn't there...".

"Morte di un fiore" (Death of a flower) begins with acoustic guitar and vocals, then organ and piano bring a melancholic and elegiac feeling. Lyrics describe the death of a young prostitute in a poetical way... "They wrote that for you the music was over between four and five in the morning / As the water of the stream running toward the sea / In a pale morning your last short time ran away / And the wind that had kissed you was your only companion...".

Well, a great album featuring many evergreen of the band that still performs "Collage" and "Sguardo verso il cielo" in medley as "gran-finale" on stage.

Review by Atkingani
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Now LE ORME went Prog! Well, not totally but with a progressive content high enough to please the vast majority of prog-fans. Surprisingly, LE ORME changed their sound in a very dramatic way from the pop-rock tunes of late 60s to an almost clean prog- rock atmosphere - new decade, new trends, indeed.

Here, in "Collage", we have a clear example of proto-RPI - a tip of better things to come, not only from LE ORME but also from a series of splendid Italian acts. Also noticeable is that band members showed a more mature approach, a natural deed since they were getting older and experienced and an improved general production, meaning a better care from the label they worked for.

'Collage', the instrumental title-track, acts like an introduction card for the album as a whole, the song itself isn't strong but the prospects drawn are good. Interesting and varied keyboards action, including a harpsichord charming segment; powerful bass lines and righteous drums accompaniment.

'Era inverno' brings back the evident band vocals, very suitable for a romantic song. Sound effects and catchy instrumentation make it a pleasant track - nice interludes complemented with sometimes fierce organ action and fair drumming.

Again in 'Cemento armato' keyboards and poignant vocals dominate the scene. Now the symphonic atmosphere is replaced by a kind of fusion ambience with noted drums making the background for a persistent organ solo, broken by a nice bass playing. Not an easy song but hearable after a bunch of listenings.

'Uno sguardo verso il cielo' bears touches of late 60s band's tunes but this time with a blatant progressive orchestration. The instrumental 3-piece work greatly to provide the correct backing for the solo crooning part.

'Evasione totale' starts with weird and monotonous sound effects that leave room for another series of fusin tunes, more noticeable due to the ever-present jazz beat. Pretentious experimental parts add little to the song - the general result is overall boring.

'Immagini' rearranges the band sound in their rails and this time showing an appreciable progressive effort while the final track, 'Morte di un fiore', ends the album nicely with LE ORME displaying along only 3 minutes, a torrent of different and diverse sounds able to enchant the listener to the extreme.

As also spotted by other reviewers, "Collage", the album, is an important piece to solve the amazing and admirable puzzle that shapes the Italian progressive genre - it's historical, timeless, bold and precious; hence, an obligatory addition to every prog music collection. Rating: 4.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Originaly formed as a four-member band in Maghera,Venice,LE ORME belong among the biggest names related with the 70's Italian prog rock wave.They released their first work in 1968 (''Ad Gloriam''),which was actually a beat/psychedelic album with a sound very far from what is going to come.By 1970 the band had shortened to a trio,while their style changed dramatically.This fact is fully impressed on their sophomore work ''Collage'',released in 1971.We are talking here about a classic of 70's Italian prog with keyboards to the fore and strong vocal lines.Very much in the vein E.L.P.,''Collage'' is an album characterized by influences from classical music with hints from the italian culture.Based mainly on the keyboards/drums/bass combination and with limited guitars' presence,LE ORME presented a grandiose yet ethereal work for the time and certainly ''Collage'' belongs among the very best pieces of music recorded back in early 70's.Highly recommended!
Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars This second album of Le Orme holds some more interesting parts than their debut one. But frankly, don't expect any grandeur, such as this great genre has produced and which features so many gems of progressive music.

Collage sounds definitely more progressive than their debut album. But this is far from being a masterpiece. Musicianship is of course not questionable. A track as Era Invernia is a wonderful example of such a characteristic. Drumming is particularly great.

But maestria is not equal to great album. I can't really be blown away with this release, even if there are some good songs featured. The complex and rocking Cemento Armato is probably the best that you will get out of this album. A great song, mostly instrumental, a bit pompous maybe but which holds such a great beat, so many different themes and such a wild determination . A highlight and my fave of this offering.

The song writing has indeed evolved towards a more progressive tone when compared to their first album. Sguardo Verso il Cielo is probably a good example of this evolution.

Of course, in these remote days, there were no other prog bands in Italy. Le Orme was a kind of precursory and therefore merits all the respects. Remember that PFM released their debut a year later.

The second highlight is the jazzy Evasione Totale. It shows the band at its height in terms of jamming capabilities and even if jazz is not my cup of tea, I have to admit that combined with some weird psychedelia, it has some great flavour.

My rating might be on the lower end, but still three stars is what I believe represents best this work. A good album. Some tracks announces better things to come (Immagini). It is not really essential in your prog collection but is worth a listen to apprehend the later work of Le Orme.

Review by Tarcisio Moura
4 stars The first īrealīLe Orme album. Well, at least the first with the classic line up and the musical direction that would change the course of their career forever. And this is no small feat, since the group went not only progressive, but also progressive with a personality. From the first notes of the song title you know youīre facing a great record done by a great band. And they already had their own sound! Some influences, such as early ELP are obvious. Yet, it is shown through their very classic italian roots, something still quite unique by the time Collage was released.

The music is beautiful, melodic, well crafted and done by skillful musicians. Sometimes is hard to believe there are only 3 guys palying all the time. Certainly the band also had a fantastic singer in the form of bassist Aldo Tagliapietra, while Toni Pagliuca was one of the best and most inventive keyboardist of the italian scene. Excellent drummer Mikki Dei Rossi completed this winning team. Although some arrangemetns and songwriting are typical of that era, the album aged well and still sound fresh and exciting today. Production could be better, but it is adequated. Highlights for me are the title track and Cemento Armato, but the remaining tracks are not too far behind.

Maybe not really a masterpiece, but very close to that in my humble opinion. A great record done by one fo Italyīs best bands in the 70īs. Highly recommended for any symphonic prog fan.r.

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Collage is Italian Symphonic prog rock band Le Ormeīs second album. I enjoyed their debut album partially but I wasnīt too impressed. Itīs a pleasant album but not very challenging. Things have changed since the very sixties dominated debut album and Le Orme has definitely stepped into the seventies.

The music is very influenced by Emerson Lake & Palmer with lots of classical keyboard runs but Le Orme has not entirely left the soft sixties rock behind. Le Orme consist of three musicians and like Emerson Lake & Palmer drums, bass, keyboards and singing is what weīre treated to here on Collage. Itīs very beautiful at times and sometimes like with ELP Iīm not too impressed, but generally the songs are good. The Italian vocals will probably scare some away, but the vocals are exactly what makes this album distinct and original IMO.

The musicians play very well and keyboardist Toni Pagliuca needs to be mentioned for his skillful playing.

The sound quality is clean and nice. Itīs a very good production from an early seventies band.

Collage is a 3 star album in my book. Itīs a bit too influenced by ELP, but with the Italian vocals Le Orme is an original band after all. Collage is a good album but this is not my favorite symphonic prog rock style. Iīm not a very big fan of ELP and as a consequence of that Le Orme is not my favorite band either. At least that is true on Collage. I might get hooked later.

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars There's no way I could give this album less then 4 stars. And thankyou Andrea for your review and talking about growing up listening to this incrediblel album, i'm so jealous ! And for explaining that these guys are painted white to look like those classic white sculptures which, like the building behind them all bring to mind that which is of the highest standard and quality. I wonder if these guys back then would have considered that their music one day would be thought of as being classic too.

"Collage" while being a really good song is actually one of my least favourites. I like the way it starts with the organ leading the way. Drums and bass come in as we get a nice full sound before a minute. Piano joins in too. A calm arrives 2 minutes in as we get some harpsichord. The full sound is back after 3 minutes. Horns before 4 minutes. "Era Inverno" opens with acoustic guitar as Aldo's vocals come in. The organ and drums are outstanding in this one ! Especially 3 minutes in. Vocals are back before 4 1/2 minutes. Great track. "Cemento Armato" opens with vocals as piano comes in. Organ, bass and drums eventually take over. They just seem to jam until the vocals return 5 1/2 minutes in. Nice. Check out the piano after 6 minutes. Organ runs follow. Another fantastic tune.

"Sguardo Verso Il Cielo" opens with drums and organ. Vocals come in quickly. The tempo picks up after 2 minutes as drums and organ lead the way. Vocals are back before 3 minutes. Acoustic guitar and reserved vocals follow. Nice. It then kicks back in. "Evasione Totale" is experimental for the first 1 1/2 minutes with no real melody. Then a laid back drum / organ melody arrives. It feels jazzy to me. The tempo picks up 3 minutes in until it becomes experimental again 4 minutes in. Powerful organ 5 1/2 minutes in as we get a melody again 6 minutes in. "Immagini" opens with organ. Vocals follow and take over before a minute. The organ is back as it takes turns with the vocals. It's ok. "Morte Di Un Flore" features those wonderful vocals and acoustic guitar to open. Organ before a minute then piano. Drums and a fuller sound 1 1/2 minutes in. Love the ending.

This is why I love Italian music. It seems like it's been a long time since i've heard classic seventies Italian. This one is highly recommended.

Review by LinusW
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I'm not going to go with the flow with this album.

Uomo Di Pezza and Felona E Sorona might be the albums that get most praise and attention from people familiar with or people discovering Le Orme, but for me Collage stands out as the best of what I've heard from the band to this date. Perhaps lacking the refinement, keyboard bombast and full-fledged fusion of styles that many crave for labelling something as genuinely proggy as the "masterpieces" of the band, Collage's strength lies in its happy and fearless nosedive into unknown territory (moving from a decidedly lighter style in a very short time, joining (perhaps starting?) the rising RPI style and movement in a most excellent way).

Sometimes the classical arrangements are spread out too thin, sometimes too thick in this first attempt at the genre, creating a rougher and bumpier outline to it all. No wonder then that many would find that a point worthy of criticism, but on the other hand it gives the album a variation of weight, style and emotion that is harder to find on the more uniform big albums. Both Uomo Di Pezza and Felona E Sorona suffers from a pounding keyboard heaviness from time to time - merciless organ and veiling effects have a way of hindering the other ingredients of the music reaching full bloom (sometimes the case with ELP as well).

Another interesting ingredient on Collage is the fact that the past is still very much present next to the classical excesses - downright catchy sixties-rock parts that surprisingly don't create much friction considering what they're crammed in between. Tony Pagliuca is an excellent keyboardist, often adding just the amount of keyboard beauty (especially when behind the piano; for me unmatched in beauty when discussing keys - the Mellotron is a strong rival though) that is needed to lubricate the differences in style of the album. Morte De Un Fiore is just one excellent example of blending these different ways of being melodic into a successful brand of music.

Even if it's hard to say just why, I definitely consider Collage a very interesting album, not only because that its weaknesses with time proves to be its greatest strengths, but also due to the fact that it is a truly balanced effort after all. Instrumentally balanced. It is prog which can be described as genuine prog-ROCK. If that is good or bad is up to the listener. Personally I think it provides the album with a freshness, drive and stable foundation that I've missed in the other album of the band, even though they are good in their own way. Aldo Tagliapietra's voice is as sweet and beautiful as ever, he's bass playing is solid and propulsive and the music isn't kept on a leash - it sure wanders off now and then for the sake of discovery, but always returns to the able hands of its masters and creators. Just as it should be.

4 stars.


Review by poslednijat_colobar
3 stars An interesting album. Most of the album contains slow works with definite psychedelic taste everywhere and some exaggerate repeats. Really good album, but the style is a little bit unformed for Le Orme. There is pop influence as well. There is negative mood all around the album, too. It is really an album that little could be said.I'm not sure, whether this is good or bad for the album... Principal, I think this is strange mixture between italian pop, psychedelia, classical music and progressive rock. Not a very successful one, I believe. Interesting album for the fans of the italian progressive rock scene!
Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars A cake only half baked

"Collage" was Orme's contribution to the beginning of the serious RPI wave to come over the next several years. Their first album was more psych-pop flavored and less sophisticated. Here they raised the stakes significantly after being exposed to progressive rock and realizing the direction things were heading. Some feel "Collage" is the first RPI album although there were certainly many other quality recordings from this period that share the distinction. By '71 there were fine albums out there by Mucchio, Giganti, Jacula, Buon Vecchio Charlie, Panna Fredda, and New Trolls to name a few. Orme's was perhaps the most polished in some ways but I'm not sure it's necessarily better than the others. They do get the distinction of being the first of the "Big 3" to get a decent album out which is probably why many consider this the first. Comparing their development to their English counterparts "Collage" is somewhere in the realm of "Time and a Word/Yes Album" and "Trespass" but not nearly as good as "Fragile" or "Nursery Cryme."

The middle of "Collage" is the most memorable to me beginning with the gorgeous "Sguardo verso il cielo." Such a majestic keyboard opening leading to those legendary vocals of Aldo. He is one of the warmest, smoothest, and most romantic of the Italian vocalists which is saying a lot. He blends a somewhat melancholic feeling with a sweetness that is very comforting. His tone simply relaxes the listener, perhaps too much for those RPI fans who feel Orme is a bit "safe" for their taste. Towards the end the acoustic guitars come in with heavenly melody, but the problem here is that the track peeters out too soon, before it can reach fruition. In that sense Yes were further ahead with things like "Starship Trooper" certainly feeling complete to me. So Orme's songwriting was one step behind but the performance certainly was not. The album sounds fantastic and the great keys and wondrous vocals are supported by a tight, crisp rhythm section. That track is surrounded by the two longer jams which feature good organ and bass exploration and which rock convincingly, "Evasione" even featuring a very spacey "Doors" vibe. "Collage" shows tons of promise and will please fans of the early RPI movement, but never for a second does it feel like anything beyond 3.0 stars to this RPI nut.

Review by Marty McFly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars (I've lost my review in browser error accident, so I'll be brief and bitter. Yes, losing reviews is as fun as banging my head against the wall - also happened right now, few times, I wonder whether or not these two deeds are connected). More shifted towards the RPI sound than then their debut. But writing again is more fun that when your girl/wife is doing drums solo on your back while you both listen to Evasione Totale. Better than their debut, worse than what will come next I suppose. First track reminding me something classical, like Classical Music. And also Slovakian group Collegium Musicum. Oh, dangerous album, I've just (almost) lost my review for third time, which would be great. And you know what, something's still not right and makes me delusional quite a bit.

4(-), howg, enjoy, good bye. (grumping, grumping)

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Collage is a pleasant early RPI album that is still heavily rooted in 60's psychedelicca. The compositional mastery of the two following albums is not reached yet, but the typical romantic melancholy of Le Orme's vocals are in place. The music has a loose and spacey feel, featuring lots of piano, Hammond organ and some synths. The songwriting is ok and varied but it is more flowery and poppy then the two following albums. Also the instrumental sections are enjoyable but never outstanding.

I instantly appreciated this album but after repeated listens I remained somewhat dissatisfied. The songs are fairly predictable and I miss depth, both in the music and in the performance. Except for the vocals and my favourite track Cemento Armato, Le Orme still sounds like a band searching for its identity.

Collage is a fine album, but it misses the musical stamina and excellence to measure up to what was coming.

Review by Warthur
4 stars A bold entry into the prog scene for Le Orme sees the band in a dramatic mood, with Tony Pagliuca's Emerson-influenced keyboards on the opening track delivering a powerful statement of intent. Tagliapietra's vocals are hauntingly beautiful and seem at several points to threaten to burst forth into full-on opera, and the psych-influenced songwriting adds a bit of emotional warmth to the album just where it's needed. Though it's hardly the best album Le Orme would produce, it's an extremely strong beginning to the prog rock phase of their career and a great early work from the Italian scene, the band forging ahead into the new RPI territory and opening the door for a number of other acts.

In particular, the group's romantic and dramatic approach - influenced no doubt by the likes of Genesis and Van der Graaf Generator, both of whom got a huge welcome in Italy at the time - would influence the direction of many groups to come, such as Banco and PFM. Not just a great album, but a key one for understanding the development of the Italian scene - that sounds like a four star job to me.

Review by J-Man
3 stars The change in style from Ad Gloriam to Collage was no doubt a big step forward for Le Orme, as well as for the Italian progressive rock movement in general. This 1971 sophomore effort shows Le Orme distancing themselves substantially from the flowery psychedelic pop of their debut, and moving much closer towards Italian symphonic prog as we know it today. Collage still has a firm foot in sixties' psychedelic rock, but this time around, influences from the likes of King Crimson, Genesis, and especially Emerson, Lake, and Palmer found their way into Le Orme's music. Collage is a substantial leap in the right direction after Le Orme's unsatisfying debut, but it still is far from flawless in my opinion. Nevertheless, this is an essential album if you're interested in the development of Italian progressive rock.

By the time Uomo Di Pezza was released in 1972, Le Orme had largely left behind all of their roots in sixties' psychedelia, but on Collage there are still enough light jamming portions and upbeat choruses to have a bit of a late sixties' sound. Of course, the trio's main influence this time around is British symphonic rock, but there is a touch of psychedelic rock that sets it apart from their later efforts. When I listen to Collage, ELP is usually the first band that comes to mind - the keyboard focused style of the compositions and strong classical influence bears some resemblance to ELP's debut album, but I wouldn't say that this is a cloning exercise by any stretch. Le Orme's sound is quite pastoral at times, and the romantic Italian vocals set the trio apart from any of their British contemporaries. This is without a doubt one of the most groundbreaking progressive rock albums from Italy.

Though Collage is quite original in many regards, it is (unfortunately) not without its faults. Very much like Emerson, Lake, and Palmer's debut, I feel like the compositions here are a bit unfocused and disorganized, even though Le Orme does succeed at creating memorable hooks more than ELP did on their debut. The production, especially in the drum department, is also a bit less than stellar - granted, this album was released in 1971, but it's still far from the best sound quality available at the time. While neither of these flaws are 'crippling', they do stifle a bit of my enjoyment for Collage. With that said, there are still plenty of beautiful sections throughout this LP, and once you consider how original this album was back in 1971, it's easy to recommend this to Italian prog connoisseurs. This isn't the best place to try out Le Orme's discography, but it is definitely an interesting transitional album from their earlier psych-pop days and their upcoming symphonic rock bombast.

Review by jamesbaldwin
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 Rondō 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 cittā, 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.

Review by siLLy puPPy
4 stars LE ORME was fairly unique for being one of Italy's few psychedelic rock bands still rooted in the beat music of the early 60s that looked towards the English scene for inspiration. The band was formed in 1966 and was successful in the fact that the band won music competitions and crafted some of the earliest proto-prog sounds to emerge from the Italian music scene. Although the 1969 debut album "Ad Glorium" focused on catchy psychedelic pop tunes that captured the melodic sensibilities of The Beatles infused with elements from the early 60s beat music, the album nevertheless began to show slight signs of prog gestating between the cracks. The inclusion of flute, cello and harpsichord sounds may have been merely supplemental to the psychedelic drenched pop hooks but in fact would point the way to the next phase of the band's career when LE ORME would become one of Italy's first and most famous progressive rock bands.

After the release of "Ad Glorium," the music scene changed overnight. When English bands like King Crimson and East of Eden released their landmark prog albums in 1969, it was an invitation for musicians far and wide to craft more intricate and complex albums that focused on an album experience rather than short punchy singles. LE ORME heralded the call and took on the challenge. After the debut bassist Claudio Galieti left the band to serve in the military and was soon followed by guitarist Nino Smeraldi departing as well. Instead of replacing the two fallen soldiers, the core trio of Aldo Tagliapietra (vocals, bass, acoustic guitar), Antonio Pagliuca (Hammond, electric piano, audio generator) and Michi Dei Rossi (drums, percussions) who together would experience the band's international success throughout the 70s. It took two full years to craft the band's first true progressive rock album COLLAGE which was released in May of 1971, just in time for the prog party!

In many ways LE ORME continued the spirit of "Ad Glorium" only by dropping the beat aspects and adopting more classically infused keyboard parts. The trio set itself up to be the Italian version of The Nice with stealthy keyboard workouts backed up only by bass and drums with only sparse uses of acoustic guitar. The opening title track is an instrumental that is right out of The Nice's playbook. Bombastic keyboard heft with a focus on symphonic Baroque workouts in full pomp and awe and with Tagliapietra having switched from guitar to bass, the emphasis is squarely placed on the Hammond organs, electric piano and audio generator sounds. Tracks like "Era Inverno" and "Cemento Armato" display some of the most adventurous workouts and while comparison to The Nice and ELP are justified, LE ORME crafted a unique sound of their own mostly due to the fact that lyrics were sung in Italian. Quatermass and early Deep Purple are also legit references to the band's early prog sounds, however LE ORME delivered a distinct Mediterranean flavor to its style.

COLLAGE was the band's first success at least in Italy by way of the promotion of the album through RAI (Radiotelevisione Italiana) on the radio program "Per Voi Giovani" which sent the album skyrocketing into the top 10 on the Italian album charts. While many prog bands were going for the avant-garde jugular, LE ORME set the tone for many Italian bands to come by keeping the music accessible through classical melodies and in tandem with narrative lyrics. Most tracks kept the playing time to under five minutes for accessibility with only the eight minute "Cemento Armato" exceeding eight minutes and drifting into prog wankery. The album while not the peak of LE ORME's creativity and far from the ambitious efforts of other Italian greats like PFM or Banco, nevertheless was one of the earliest Italian prog albums to capture a significant audience which opened the floodgates in many ways. All the great masterpiece of Italian prog would emerge the following year in 1972.

While tracks like "Sguardo Verso II Cielo" find the perfect ground between the classical symphonic and heavier rock aspects, the album is fairly light and given the lack of guitar heft always sounds more subdued than many prog contemporaries even compared to other guitarless bands like ELP since none of the members mastered the virtuosic roar of the its English counterpoints but since the band masters the subtle effects, the slower passages work quite well. Of all the tracks, "Evasione Totale" is the most experimental and my vote for best track on the album. It generates many dark moods that delve into psychedelia and interesting instrumental passages that display the create use of keyboard interplay and point the way to the band's more experimental albums that follow. Unfortunately the last two tracks seems to fizzle out into generic pop territory which makes the album a bit uneven but was quite the bold statement for the time and place COLLAGE emerged. Not my vote for best Italian prog album by any means but a thoroughly enjoyable one even if its limitations sound quite dated.

Review by Hector Enrique
4 stars Moving away from the beat and psychedelic sixties sounds of their discreet debut album "Ad Gloriam", the five-piece turned trio Le Orme tucked themselves into the shelter of the huge shockwave that the effervescent progressive rock movement coming from the British Isles brought with it and released "Collage", their second album and one of the seminal works of the Italian side of the genre. Dazzled by E,L&P's performance at the legendary Isle of Wight festival in 1970, Le Orme, like many Mediterranean bands of that time, took the band led by Keith Emerson as one of their references for the development of their proposal and tinged it with melodic elements of their own.

That sense of epic grandiloquence indebted to Emersonian influences is what starts the album with the instrumental baroque piece of the same name, a demonstration of Antonio Pagliuca's skill on keyboards, with Michi Dei Rossi on percussion as an ideal ally, to which are added the daring reflections in the lyrical voice of Aldo Tagliapietra both in the sombre and changing "Era Inverno" and in the melancholic initial verses in the environmentalist critique of "Cemento Armato", a piece that in between finds the trio building an intense and solid wall of sound, one of the best on the album.

And if the lysergic experimentation of the instrumental "Evasione Totale" plagued by synthesised keyboards brings Le Orme closer to the most psychedelic Pink Floyd, their most personal and peaceful side is exposed in the beautiful fragility of "Immagini" with Tagliapietra's megaphonic voice backed by Pagliuca's celestial keyboard, and in the infinite sadness of "Morte di un Fiore", which concludes the album by fading into the horizon.

"Collage" is an excellent album that, despite not having a profuse diffusion and recognition, helped superlatively to underpin the way for the take-off of Italian progressive rock in the early 70s.

4 stars

Latest members reviews

4 stars The Hammond starts. Full reverb. Thick bass, kind vocals and some of the best drumming I have heard in ANY band. So starts Collage! I have found a killer album. While mostly instrumental (meaning not alot of singing), I enjoy the "dated" swampy production along with the search in style. It alway ... (read more)

Report this review (#621739) | Posted by Monsterbass74 | Friday, January 27, 2012 | Review Permanlink

4 stars The production that preceded this album had the flavor of the 60s in Italy. Musical ideas that came from England, mixed with wisdom. Psychedelic. Wisdom. Then comes Collage. And this changes everything. The unmistakable voice of Tagliapietra becomes more rare. Here comes the music. Disturbing ... (read more)

Report this review (#556373) | Posted by anywhere | Monday, October 24, 2011 | Review Permanlink

3 stars After hearing so many good things about this band, I finally decided to check them out. Not being familiar with the rest of their output, I found this record to be really good and heavy keyboard-dominated progressive rock, sometimes reminiscent of ELP, but a bit more 'honest'. That being said, ... (read more)

Report this review (#504620) | Posted by Ludjak | Wednesday, August 17, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars If you had to choose one album that started Rock Progressivo Italiano, it would be Collage by Le Orme. True, bands such as Osanna, New Trolls, and Panna Fredda all released "prog" albums in 1971...but none of them had the lasting impact and formidable impression Collage did. This was a statement - ... (read more)

Report this review (#491528) | Posted by coasterzombie | Thursday, July 28, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars "Collage" in my point of view is the first album of LE ORME, where the band begins to define his sonority as Progressive Rock, although in this disk they can still be heard the "echoes" of the psych-rock much most characteristic of the 60', the sound appears well worked ( in the instrumental a ... (read more)

Report this review (#487522) | Posted by maryes | Wednesday, July 20, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars It is very good to talk about what is my cup of tea. Rock Progressivo Italiano, extremely melodic and with strong instrumental passages, really deserves all respect Progressive Musical Community pay for it. I donīt know Le Orme first effort so I will consider this Collage their first music ... (read more)

Report this review (#436151) | Posted by Antonio Giacomin | Wednesday, April 20, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars We all were small children in those days. We played football. In A.Ş. Villasor. After years (three) in college interned by Salesians (large religious group for young people). I was playing defense, I was the stopper. Meshes of the team were beautiful yellow and black colors. Ie: the sun a ... (read more)

Report this review (#292586) | Posted by CorSard58 | Thursday, July 29, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars 1971, are the year in where very many groups formed, the great majority very good, another ones not as much, but what there is no doubt, is that all almost had a quality that to the day of today would be simply enviable, the quality, execution, sense of the harmony and notion of which it was bei ... (read more)

Report this review (#162812) | Posted by Alberto Muņoz | Wednesday, February 27, 2008 | Review Permanlink

3 stars "Collage" is the first album totally Prog from Le Orme. But, you may ask: "Why only 3 stars?" Because alongside masterpieces such as "Collage" or "Cemento Armato" psychedelic component is still not appeared in any way to component Baroque / Venetian. So I remain bitter taste in the mouth. Too bad. ... (read more)

Report this review (#129386) | Posted by Ely78 | Friday, July 20, 2007 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Honestly, Collage is somewhat of a letdown after first hearing Uomo di Pezza, Felona e Sorona, and Contrappuni. The album sounds very unpolished, almost like a live performance (except for a few songs). I don't think that the "live in the studio" feel of the album works as well as the polish ... (read more)

Report this review (#109852) | Posted by jfleischh | Tuesday, January 30, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars How I wish I could go back in time when everything in prog was about to be discovered and played. When magnificent records like this one were been recorded. This one has everything on it: a bit of classical, the keyboards of Emerson, the drums of Triumvirat and the voice and feel of the nuova ca ... (read more)

Report this review (#86020) | Posted by steelyhead | Sunday, August 6, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars The third work released in 1971 "Collage". The content is classical organ rock. Tone quality is a good, and good board where power is transmitted. It is an attractive work. A pop sense excellent though it is not technical that has the arrangement and the sense tells perform the goodness of the ... (read more)

Report this review (#68512) | Posted by braindamage | Monday, February 6, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Here you have another fantastic trio album. Different pieces, some more hearable, some more hermetic, all mystic, all musically and technically superb. Less melancholy compared with other Orme CDs, Tagliapietra personality emerges in all its brilliance. Some organ passages (church, psyco,...) ... (read more)

Report this review (#37984) | Posted by NIC* | Wednesday, June 29, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Super essential album from progressive italian, diferents tastes and colours are in this masterpiece, micki is super drummer and the atmospheres from the moog,piano,mellotron and organ are to melancholich but at the same time with an air of hope it gave you an especial trip across the time and space ... (read more)

Report this review (#17855) | Posted by | Monday, June 7, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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