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Jumbo Vietato Ai Minori Di 18 Anni ? album cover
4.21 | 185 ratings | 19 reviews | 39% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1973

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Specchio (7:23)
2. Come Vorrei Essere Uguale A Te (5:43)
3. Il Ritorno Del Signor K (2:03)
4. Via Larga (6:59)
5. Gil (7:12)
6. Vangelo? (5:41)
7. 40 Gradi (6:41)
8. No! (2:21)

Total Time: 44:02

Line-up / Musicians

- Alvaro "Jumbo" Fella / vocals, electric piano (3,7), organ (3), sax (7)
- Daniele "Pupo" Bianchini / acoustic (4) & electric guitars
- Sergio "Samuel" Conte / keyboards
- Dario Guidotti / flute, mouth harp, acoustic guitar, sixtro (7), vocals (2)
- Aldo Gargano / bass, Mellotron (5), bells & sixtro (6)
- Tullio Granatello / drums, timpani (6,8)

- Lino "Fats" Gallo / slide guitar (5)
- Franco Battiato / VCS3 synthesizer (5)
- Angelo Vaggi / Minimoog synthesizer (5)
- Lino "Capra" Vaccina / tabla & percussion (5)

Releases information

Artwork: Mario Convertino and Mirko Giardini

LP Philips - 6323 025 A (1973, Italy)
LP Vinyl Magic - VM LP 084 (2007, Italy)

CD Philips - 846 462-2 (1990, Italy)
CD VM 2000 - VM CD 084 (2004, Italy)
CD Mercury - UICY-94530 (2010, Japan) Remastered by Marco D'Agostino

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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JUMBO Vietato Ai Minori Di 18 Anni ? ratings distribution

(185 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(39%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(43%)
Good, but non-essential (15%)
Collectors/fans only (2%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

JUMBO Vietato Ai Minori Di 18 Anni ? reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by loserboy
5 stars For those who like a their prog a little on the Bluesy side then JUMBO will be just the treat you have been needing. JUMBO delivers complex classic Bluesy prog in a very non-traditional Italian style. This release is in my opinion the best jumbo output although I love their earlier albums too... "Vietato..." offers great guitar work, lots of keyboards (including a mellotron), nice and complex drumming with loads of acoustic guitar. Vocals are raw and a little harsh until you get used to them... Alvaro Fella (JUMBO) has a very rough voice not unlike Joe Cocker in many ways (I only mention this as it may turn some of you softies out there off!). "Vietato..." moves in and out of many great mood swings and has a more progressive rock fit than their earlier work. This is one of those albums that after repeated listens get you quite warmed-up-to as you begin appreciating its brilliance. This album also carfully injects Acid sax solo which seems to work to perfection with the guitar ripping solos.
Review by Proghead
5 stars JUMBO was one of the great, but little known Italian prog rock bands, in which they released three albums, and a couple of singles in 1970 before they ever had any albums out. JUMBO was actually the name given to singer Alvaro Fella, but was then given as the entire band's name after their first album. "Vietato ai Minori..." is their third album and is usually regarded as their best. It's quite a varied album, so accusing this album of being homogenized is something no one would be doing. Lots of instruments are used as well (guitar, drums, bass, flute, synthesizers, Mellotron, Hammond organ, reed organ).

The album starts with "Specchio". Right away you hear Alvaro Fella's voice, which is quite a bit shocking because he has one of the most harsh voices in Italian prog I've heard. Just needs getting a little used to. This piece goes through several changes and meter changes, with an intense guitar piece that's as intense as IL BALLETTO DI BRONZO's "YS", before it mellows out with violin, then the beggining part starts again. "Come Vorrei Essere Uguale A Te" starts off rather silly, in an Italian manner, then mellow guitar and harmonica comes in sounding like it came off CROSBY, STILLS, NASH & YOUNG's "Déjà Vu", before Fella's voice kicks in. Then there's the intense horn-driven part of the song. After that, it mellows out, with some quasi-honky tonk piano and acoustic guitar. I like how this pieces speeds up (because of slowing down the tape while recording). "Il Ritorno del Signor K", apparently a sequel to a piece found on their previous album, DNA (which I hadn't heard yet), has more of that GENTLE GIANT-like quirkiness. "Gil" is one of the more experimental pieces on this album. It's a rather unstructured piece, with Franco Battiato (who had quite a distinguished solo career in both Italian pop and experimental electronic) guesting on VCS-3 synthesizer.

The music circles around synthesizer, acoustic guitar, Fella's voice, percussion, and Mellotron. "Vangelo?" is a bit more like JETHRO TULL in places, but like a lot of the rest of the album, the music doesn't stick to one thing for long. "40 Gradi" starts off a bit folk-y, but the second half ends up sounding like PINK FLOYD, with the Hammond organ and GILMOUR-like guitar. Plenty of Mellotron is used on this part as well, I just love that atmosphere. The last piece, "No!" is a rather short flute-driven piece, with Mellotron, and there's some laughing. The lyrics, since they're in Italian are supposed to cover things like politics (in a left-wing manner), alcoholism, sex, and taboo subjects, but since I can't understand Italian, I can't be sure what the lyrics speak of.

The original LP was released on the Philips label (same label, who in Italy, gave us Le ORME). Since I own the original LP, it comes with a gatefold, a textured cover, and lyrics on the inner sleeve. Original LPs don't exactly grow on trees (and their previous two albums seem even harder to find on LP). It's been reissued on CD a few times, on Philips in Italy (which went out of print just as fast), Si-Wan in Korea, and a Japanese print with digipak (that is, CD-sized LP-style packaging).

Anyway, if you can get used to Alvaro Fella's voice, you're in for some great Italian prog, which I consider essential.

Review by lor68
3 stars Such a good album like this one, whose righter rate probably is "3 stars and an half", has been always represented within the recent re-mastered works of the early 70's Italian "Pop-prog" collection: that's a transition period to their definitive maturity, whose apex in that period corresponded with the issue of "Vietato ai minori di anni 18?" (bad title but never mind) all over Europe, until they reached their top shape during some live gigs abroad. An interesting album which is not so far from some proto-progressive works of late sixties, talking about their lyrics above all, despite of carrying on a lot of good music ideas, acquired gradually afterwards. In fact the remarkable use of the guitar and the flute in the same time was a pleasant interplay and a solid background for the next Italian progressive works to come,but also an intelligent manner to re-discover a fertile and unforgettable period for the majority of the Italian bands in the seventies (for instance the harsh style of the vocalist has been often taken as a reference for groups like that one of "Biglietto per L'Inferno")...apart from the ingenuosness of some breaks-through, which make it deserve an inferior score, the development of the songs inside the album is excellent and the arrangement supported by a clever text as well!

Check it out!

Review by soundsweird
4 stars I remember thinking this album was "pretty good" when I first bought the LP in the mid- 70's. I liked "Gil" the most, probably because it seemed edgy. I rarely listened to it. Then, in the early 90's, a guy at a record convention offered to trade a CD of the album for my LP (in fact, we did this with several Italian Prog albums; I had no idea at that time that this stuff was available on CD, so I was excited, and he wanted the LP's because he loves vinyl, and knew they were worth a lot of money). I listened to the CD "with new ears". Every once in awhile I'll find that an album I've had for many years is much better than I'd realized. Almost everything works here, and works well. It doesn't sound derivative, like so much Italian Prog. Someday I"ll have to check out their earlier albums.
Review by Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This is Jumbo's third and last recording in the 70s; "Vietato ai Minori di 18" is also their most accomplished effort, an outstanding specimen of the harder side of Italian symphonic prog. As in their preceding release "DNA", this album is pretty much based upon a mixture of folkish sensitiveness and blues-rock fiery approach, with an amalgam of extended jamming and multicolored compositions providing the progressive essence to the band's musical style. The overall sound is not as rough as in "DNA", but nevertheless, the band sounds stronger, somewhat heavier. What happens here is that the augmented energy has been cleverly recycled through an air of sophistication brought by a more diverse instrumentation: mellotron and synths (Franco Battiato guests on VCS 3 in some numbers) are added in the mix, together with the sixtro - a Renaissance string instrument -, and some extra percussion. The compositions are more complex, too, so the level of symphonic bombast feels quite impressive, particularly in tracks 1, 2, 4 & 6. All four of them are full of mood shifts, links between diverse motifs, and that peculiar emotional drive common to many Italian bands - such as Delirium, RRR, Osanna, De De Lind -. Fella's lead voice remains as harsh as always, but thanks to the amplified sophistication in the arrangements and instrumentation, it doesn't feel as overwhelming as before. On the other hand, how can the listener forget his sudden irruption at the very start of the stunning opener 'Specchio'? - undoubtedly, he is one of the most charismatic Italian prog vocalists from the 70s. His fellow members work as a well oiled unit: Conte's well-defined keyboard parts, Guidotti's multi- functionality (flute, acoustic guitar, harmonica), and Gargano's solid bass work lay on a strong scheme for Jumbo's music, providing room for Guidotti's electric guitar leads and Granatello's jazz driven drumming. The foundation of a stylistic unity throughout the repertoire proves both effective and appropriate, since this is actually a concept album revolving around some of the most urgent taboos (sexuality, madness, free thinking, sin) which struggle to linger on despite being constantly alienated by society's basic norms: that explains the somber nature of almost all tracks. However, the closure 'No!' exudes an unmistakable air of ironic joy, something like a celebration of the marginal's freedom, as if that freedom were a reward in itself, as if the marginal was having the last laugh at the system that always tries to oppress and/or ignore them - perhaps an open window of optimism amongst all this fear created by the watchdogs of morals? Another number that I find particularly impressive is 'Gil', an ethereal piece wrapped in a psychedelic ambience built on mellotron layers, synth effects, and ethnic percussion, which sounds to me like a walk around the foggy parks of limbo. Overall impression: a great addition to any good prog collection.
Review by NJprogfan
5 stars Out of the gate, I put this album in the top ten best Italian prog albums of all time. If you listened to and thought that PFM, Banco, Le Orme, Area and the monster one shots, (Museo, Il Baletto, Locanda, etc.) were all that should be heard in the Italian scene, well...I've got news for you. You haven't heard anything, yet. Jumbo is here! Bluesy, symphonic, advant garde, you name it, this album has it. And it's all tied together by the fantastic voice of Alvaro 'Jumbo' Fella, (the Italian Bon Scott of AC/DC). The album starts out with Alvaro's voice exploding out of the speakers. A blues/psych killer of a song, "Specchio" has a sound akin to "Gentle Giant's" first album, believe it or not. Fantastic wailing guitar! Half way through track 2, "Come Vorrei Essere Uguale..." is some frantic drumming, just amazing fast pace playing with a super sax blasting over the mix. An incredible song! The next track slows things down, just to catch your breath. Next, "Via Larga" is where we get into advant garde territory. All kinds of instruments are used, gypsy-like singing, then goes quiet with some soft wind instruments, nice acoustic guitar, then a thumpy bass going loud then ending softly. a wonderful track. "Gil Vangelo?" sounds like the bastard son of King Crimson's "Moonchild" odd voices, bongo beats and that hollow sound with weird sound effects and mellotron reverbing all over the place. Heaven!! "40 Gradi" has nice flute work with an ominous Black Sabbath-like bell ringing throughout with the bluesy guitar returning. Spooky! Finally, my favorite track, "No!". A classic Italian symphonic song that ranks with the best. Awesome keyboards, excellent guitar, great drumming, and Alvaro singing his guts out. Kicks a**! What else can I say. If you collect Italian prog and had your fill of the classics listed in the beginning of this review, give this album a try. I'm sure after a few spins it too will belong in your top ten as it is in mine, so far. A minor masterpiece for sure!
Review by Andrea Cortese
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars ".I was then ten years old when I dirtied the school's desk. Nun whipped me four long I cried."

I'm very happy that, finally, I've found this great and underrated 1973 album in the new 2004 Japanese elegant papersleeve remaster reissue!

Vietato ai Minori di 18 Anni? (Forbidden to Minors of 18 Years?) is the last of the three Jumbo's albums of the seventies. It closes the short but intense career of this band who released three albums in only 24 months. Very good album, with lots of ideas and made with the help of Franco Battiato.

The reason of such an album's title like that depends on the fact of the cruelty of the lyrics' themes speaking about drugs, alienation, alcohol's abuses, repressed sexual behaviours (mainly masturbation), prostitution.all mixed with the strong and rough vocals provided by the leader Alvaro Fella: anger at the purest state! Sadly all those "extreme" themes the band used to build up their albums, were an obstacle for their radio airplay and DJs' support.

The opener Specchio (Mirror) is a stunning and immediate "wake up"! Some flute's interludes, acoustic guitars, piano and violin never manage to sweeten that ferocious atmosphere!

Come Vorrei Essere Uguale a Te (How I Wish to Be the Same As You) is the most important and excellent tracks of the album, the second, in particular, starting with a very long and calm intro that suddenly breaks into a real burst of anger with all those heavy brass additions still in the heavy prog-rock field!

The other tracks are all very good but not at the level of these first two which are really amazing! Undoubtedly "Vietato ai Minori di 18 Anni?" is one of the records that had the biggest problems with the mass-media's chensorship, alongside with other famous tracks such as "La Fabbricante di Angeli" or "Era Inverno" by Le Orme (songs about abortion).

Highly recommended!

Review by Sean Trane
5 stars Very few Italian prog records come to the waist of this baby, and generally this writer is not that much a fan of Italian prog, but if more albums of this caliber existed, it would go otherwise. While the group is a late discovery in this writer's culture, I must say that it definitely ranks in my top 5 Italian albums and it is little surprise once you'll get an ear on this beauty. The least I can say is that this album cannot be played anytime as it will never fit background music: one must be ready and in the mood for this, or else one can easily dismiss as a weird drugged out album, which in some ways.. it is!! Coming with an intriguing artwork, the groups "suffered" a minor line-up change with Granatello replacing Balzano on the drum stool, and this is much to the group's benefit.

If anything, Jumbo's "Forbidden to minors of 18 years" (or rated R in the film industry) title can already give you a hint of how singular the mood and music is, you're only halfway there. After the much-improved DNA (over the eponymous debut album), there is at least the same margin between DNA and Vietato. While we still have some traces of the bluesy rock of the debut album, the group is now a full-freaked out prog band that creates its own uncanny world, where Crimson and Zappa clash it out with Floyd and VdGG for our greatest intellectual pleasure and our ears' orgasmic pelvis thrusts into the speakers to reach out into the disturbed realm of the group.

Right from the opening lines of Specchio until the (not-that) soft flute outro of No! A scream of refusal coming much too late, the damage being done as you are irremediably over the edge, addicted to the worst kind of drugs: prog paradise. In the meantime, you'll have gone by the fantastic (and too short) Come Vorrei, the reprise of Signor K (a wink to their excellent predecessor DNA), the "UZ meets GG" realm of Via Larga (the almost burlesque spirit is made solemn is driving chill-spikes down your spine) or Battiato's great VCS3 oscillators and Vaccina's bells and chimes' sinister tolling.

But the real centerpiece is Gil, which after an purposely fast and happy start, stops and reflects than starts over in the most somber and darkest manner of all (underlined by a mellotron and Fender Rhodes), while Fella's voice is planting fears seeds in your neurons (this track sounds like Comus's Wootton playing on Crimson's ITCOFTCK) and digging out tons of sane braincells. The Gil track, ending with a percussion duo, segues into the no-less frightening Vangelo with the goose-bump-giving bell tolling into whatever's left of your sanity. And if that was not enough, some wind chimes will drive you over the edge some 40 Degrees too far into madness, sounding like a frightening Floyd through Interstellar Eugene's Heart Of The Sun meeting Crimson's Poseidon's Glass Tears. Simply awesome, and terrifyingly beautiful

Obviously such a disturbing masterpiece was not going to get much airplay, which is partly why Jumbo remains one of Italy's better-kept secrets. In some ways, lyrically, we are not far from Comus or Jan Dukes De Grey's disturbing texts, especially that the music seems to reflect the somber moods of Jumbo's angers and anxieties. Recommended? Do bears defecate in the woods?

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Another Italian classic from that greatest of years, 1973.

If you want to find the most intriguing Italian stuff, you have to dig beyond the surface of the PFM/Banco/Orme albums and find the hidden gems. Nothing against the big groups but as with anything, there are lots of great lesser known albums that feature treasures of their own, and they sometimes take more chances. Here's one of those delicious lesser known treats.

This is one those bands that gets maligned for having "harsh Italian vocals" which makes me laugh because this usually means the vocals are passionate, energetic and gregarious. In other words, the guy has a pulse. I've heard Alvaro Fella described as sounding like Roger Chapman, and Jumbo described as being somewhat difficult to get into. They have a harder edge that compares to bands like Jet and De De Lind but they also have a more avant side than those two groups. Will you like them? Here's another way I can describe them:

Jumbo sounds like the Italian version of Ange! If you like Christian Decamps boisterous spirit and the bands rowdy theatrical sound you will love Jumbo. They are over-the-top sometimes but this music is lively, fun, and interesting despite the somewhat dark lyrical content. A special mention goes to drummer Tullio Gianatello who is nothing short of fantastic.

"Specchio" explodes immediately with Fella's big welcoming hug voice and right off the bat we have squealy electric acid guitars, acoustic, organ, flute, good audible bass and drums. At 5 minutes a nice break of piano and violin. "Come Verai" starts with some playful piano and chants before a nice guitar solo. The song gets more rocking as it goes with some horns towards the end. "Il Ritorno" is a strange short interlude that sounds like a Pierrot Lunaire "Gudrun" cut. "Via Larga" continues the strangeness with flute and horns and quirky guitars. At 1:20 there's a wonderful moment where the boys sing like a drunken gang in a pub, fa la la la..then there's a quiet flute interlude. A vocal section follows with more impressive instrumental work. "Gil" is another trippy avant piece with Fella singing over all manner of unstructured weirdness and hand drums. "Vangelo" has a distinct Tullish feel to it, a bit folky with some acid guitar and flute in the latter half. "40 Gradi" is a good heavy psych rock tune that feature prominent keyboards and acoustic guitar in the background, with a Robby Krieger-like sound on the lead guitar. We close with a brief piece called "No!" in which everyone gets in one last exuberant jam. If you need one more reason to try Jumbo consider this: Our own Sean Trane gave it 5 stars and you know he doesn't pass those out too freely. The excellent Italian gatefold mini-LP sleeve cd reissue is of the highest quality and the booklet contains a band history, lyrics, and band photo. Essential to an Italian collection, but I'd say 3.5 stars for the broader site.

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars With all the complaints i've read about the singers vocals i'm surprised there wasn't a warning label about it on the cd cover. As Finnforest mentions in his review, at least "the guy has a pulse". I found this to be a bit of a grower,and it's still growing. Haha.This has truly become one of my favourite Italian records. Excellent flute, organ and guitar throughout. Yes, the vocals can be harsh but they are also reserved a lot of the time. Oh, I almost forgot about the mellotron on three of the tracks. Nice. I love the picture of the band in the liner notes. The seventies were a special time.

"Specchio" features a good contrast between the aggressive and mellow sections. The vocals hit you right away like a bucket of cold water in the face, with the usual response being "What the ..." Hammond organ followed by some fine guitar play 2 minutes in. Flute and more organ follow. The guitar is back 4 minutes in just ripping it up. Violin after 5 minutes with piano.The rough vocals return before the song ends with organ. "Come Vorrei Essere Uguale A Te" opens with a distant sounding piano which gives way to acoustic guitar then electric guitar and reserved vocals. It kicks into gear 3 minutes in with fast paced drumming and sax blasts as the organ rides shotgun. "Il Ritorno Del Signor K" is a 2 minute track that features piano, acoustic guitar and vocals.

"Via Larga" opens with a collage of different intricate sounds all blending together perfectly like an early PRESENT album. Vocal melodies arrive before the song stops and returns with a pastoral section with flute leading the way. Retstrained vocals with some violin and acoustic guitar a minute later. "Gil" is an experimental song with some mellotron after 2 minutes. The vocals are experimental too. I like this one. The percussion 5 1/2 minutes in to the end is cool. "Vangelio ?" has some atmosphere to it. Church bells and haunting vocals will do that. We get a melody 3 1/2 minutes in with vocals. Some nice piano as drums come pounding in. Guitar tears it up for a while. Flute and piano to end the crazy ride. I love the sound in "40 Gradi" once it gets going about 1 1/2 minutes in. It reminds me of ANEKDOTEN. This is my favourite track. It gets fairly atmospheric after 4 minutes. Mellotron waves crash the soundscape with sax in tow after 5 minutes. "No !" features theatrical vocals, mellotron, heavy drums, organ and flute.

I'm a bigger fan of the second half of this album than the first half, but to me this is easily a 4 star record, perhaps closer to 4.5 stars.

Review by ProgShine
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars 01. Specchio The voice is the differential (90% of the Italian vocal are good), with Alvaro Fella is no different. The band has brought a calm environment / medium strong and full voice yelled in lungs is a hit. Full of breaks and rhythms for guitar and tape (laughs). Several interpretations of variants with flute and guitar and bass. Forward means of a mess of guitars in a fast pace of the band, almost a progressive speed (more laughter). Pianos links melodies for violins and dreams. And much violin and piano. But it is the voice that surprised even to the end.

02. Come Vorrei Essere Uguale A Te A start light and folk. Delay until you get used to hearing with the small volume of sound. When the man takes the same bassist Aldo Gargano is a show that the destructive line. The pianos of Samuel Conte always present. And in the band a series of blows, which I am not sure whether or synthesizers are blows, I think the mayor is right the second.

03. Il Ritorno Del Signor K More calm, a folk guitar and the piano. This time the vocals are more relaxed for the instrumental track. At the end of the song surprise, 78!

04. Via Larga Seems like a Cartoon, maybe to illustrate the cover of the disc! Guitars well and good interpretations drawn from the battery Vito Balzan. The whole band singing a piece of cartoon together. Several Jasons keyboards as Celeste, typical design.

05. Gil Ballad of guitar and vocal and interpretive. Full details of the guitar, and a good keyboard solo in almost over. This is where the band enters a crazy time doing super-broken and full of details, Pupo Bianchini of the guitars are always well boladas and rings. After a very crazy last part quiet and pensive.

06. Vangelo? Full of percussions, everywhere sounds of some kind of percussion, keys and many lost some blows. Many parts in a different time broken, and many quebradeira everywhere. Until a few bells lost the road. A good jazz guitar takes care of the environment while the guitar is based. But what is crazy is the head of the quasi-jazz crazy full of details.

07. 40 Gradi The various' barulinhos' start so bland. Line bottom excellent! Many guitars. Of course, many of the great voice of Alvaro. Another highlight is the guitar than the drums, very well placed in all the details of music, including percussion. A beautiful melody in the middle front. A climate and space, with a sax lost here and there.

08. No! In the continuation of 40 Grade dedilado opens up a guitar and the song, right there in the background keyboards, flutes and intersections are low is a clear line of jazz / cool. When you enter the voice is almost a tirade, a speech. Soy soy against government, or something. To eliminate many flutes and guitars fade in out.

You know what? What good disc! Full of details and a sensational voice.


Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars This band is a case apart in the Italian prog music. They embrace several genres which are highlighted in their third album, more than ever before.

They play a complex heavy prog combined with a most delicate symphonic influence: the flute play is an exquisite way to achieve this great mix ("Specchio"). Still, I have never been quite a fan of their lead singer, whose voice is quite disturbing to my taste.

As lots of Italian band from the golden era, there are some jazz elements which pepper some tracks from this album. It is not dominant though, and can be easily digested ("Come Vorrei?"). Song writing is complex and there are lots of different sections in this relatively short track. Drumming is wild and excellent during the second half of this very good song.

The short "Il Retorno?" offers some tranquillity and allows to breathe somewhat. My perception of the band is that they were improving after each album and that this one is their best achievement. It is a bit sad that no follow up work was released after this one.

I guess that the type of music played was rather difficult to access: a song as "Via Larga" groups again some nice Italian symphonic elements mixed with beautiful and Trespass- esque portions but the experimental start is quite challenging. The challenge is even more difficult to overcome during "Gil" which mixes scary passages, Oriental influences, loose and almost experimental middle section as well as tribal sounds (percussions). Quite a ride indeed!

The music performed is rather on the weird side for most of the time. Close to the eclectic genre by its complexity and diversity. Not easy to apprehend. "Vangelo" features all these characteristics: soft and melodic, wild and powerful. All this in less than six minutes.

There is some fine music played on "Vietato?" of which the psychedelic "40 Gradi" is my fave. The roughness of Alvaro Fella's voice is less on the front line and offers some delicate work. I have to admit that I far much prefer this style, but it won't be too much present in the course of this album. The chaotic end confirms my perception.

The whole sounds too much adventurous, avant-garde at times. Three stars (seven out of ten).

Review by Warthur
5 stars Showing a significant improvement over the preceding DNA, on this album Jumbo bring the differing strands of their sound together and come up with a new and original approach which sets them apart from the RPI crowd. Long spacey and psychedelic passages demonstrate a wider range of influences than typical bands of the era, and the occasional part which approaches fusion demonstrates the band's technical virtuosity. The overall sound I'd describe as a heavy, spacey sort of symphonic prog, a mixture which proves to be really quite compelling. This is an album which has grown on me a lot as I've listened to it, and fully deserves to be Jumbo's highest-rated album.
Review by friso
3 stars Jumbo - Vietato ai minori di 18 anni (1973)

Besides the big RPI groups (Banco, PFM, Orme) the Italian prog scene hosts a long list of smaller groups that produced a lot of often semi-professional symphonic/eclectic progressive rock records with an extrovert style. Jumbo made two acclaimed records, this is the second of them. The low & raw vocals of Alvara Fello are often seen as a letdown - but at least the man is motivated and honest.

Jumbo has an eclectic mix of styles, with most noteworthy heavy psych, folk, symphonic, space and world-music. The music sometimes evokes the fanatic feel for which a band like VdGG is remembered, whilst the music is way more fragmentary and unfocused. Jumbo has lots of great ideas and most work quite good, but lacks the extended song-writing skills to create a very meaningful experience (though knowing the Italian language might have helped here). Having that said there's quite a lot to enjoy here! Almost every moment of the album has some prove of an inventive mindset and the band thrives in its quieter experiments. During bombastic movements the recording isn't up to the challenge, an element of RPI music the real lovers must learn to live with. I sometimes find myself trying to listen to 'what could have been'.

Conclusion. Another strong, but semi-professional, eclectic Italian prog record that will be liked by most of its fans - though one shouldn't expect subtle vocals. Three and halve stars.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Jumbo were on fire in early-70's, belonging among the most popular live rock bands, and in 1973 a third album by the band followed.Entitled ''Vietato ai minori di 18 anni?'' and released again on Phillips, it shows the presence of new drummer Tullio Granatello in the place of Vito Balzano.

Stylistically Jumbo remained along the lines of ''DNA'', playing complex Heavy Progressive Rock with major Folk passages and occasional symphonic vibes.In fact the opening ''Specchio'' is among the most complete tracks of the italian scene, featuring the raw voice of Fella, excellent flute work, complicated guitar parts and a fair amount of Hammong organ waves.The rest of the album doesn't exactly reaches this high level of inspiration, but it is decent to say the least.It follows a weird mix of Classic Italian Prog mixed with extended acoustic parts and even Avant-Garde passages, like on the haunting and slow piece ''Gil'', containing percussion, obscure keyboard parts, acoustic mannerisms and Fella's frightening voice.While these moves are not along the lines of the average prog listener, there is still strong proggy doses to be left with nice guitar work, organs and flutes as the main components.

The last single of the band came in 1975 and the next appearance of Jumbo came in 1983 with the unsuccesful LP ''Violini d'autunno''.Daniele Bianchini was the main man behind Jumbo's couple of brief reunions and two more works saw the light in more recent years, the 1992 ''Live'' and the 2001 CD ''1991-2001 Passing By'', far from the band's early style.

''Vietato ai minori di 18 anni?'' was actually the last contribution of Jumbo in the Italian Prog scene.While not being that consistent as the ''DNA'' album, it contains some great pieces of prog music next to more experimental tracks of less interest.Overall, strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

Review by zeuhl1
5 stars Jumbo are an unrecognized gem in the RPI scene overlooked by most except those who have dug deeper into Italian 70's prog.. Led by the polarizing vocalist Alvara Fella, Jumbo created a minor masterpiece with their third album, Vietato Ai Minori Di 18 Anni?

From the first burst of vocals at the beginning of side one (Specchio), you know this album is a little different than your typical Italian prog album of the 70's. Snarling with equal measures of anger, disdain and a world weariness so common in Italian prog vocalists, Fella rails against injustices of oppression of various undertrodden factions, and his gruff anger is palpable. The music is widely varied, but in a much more successful fashion than say Alusa Fallax. Acoustic guitars alternate with wailing electric guitars, while flute and organ propel and withdraw tastefully. New drummer Tullio Granatello enables the band to explore even further than their nearly as good second album, DNA. The cartoonish soundtrack introduction of Via Larga gives way to an uncharacteristically gentle ballad which builds to a final slowly building jam that finishes with a vocal explosion similar to how the side started. Side one is fairly amazing in its scope and execution, with a breathtaking exhibition of musicianship worthy of accolades in 1970's NME polls. (of course that never happened)

Side two brings a different side to the band, something not shown on earlier works. Some point to Gil as the centerpiece of the album, almost Amon Duul-ish with exotic percussion, tabla, and some VCS3 courtesy of Franco Battiato-mellotron underlies the introduction before the anguished vocals of Fella call us to attention. This piece is free flowing, ambient and closer to Battiato's work than Jumbo for fans of space rock influenced RPI. But this is the only stop in free form land, The delicate Vangelo? (Gospel?) brings us back to flute directed passages that sound like Selling England By the Pound beefed up with an aggressiveness that is this band's strength. Album closer 40 Giadi begins with Nursery Cryme era Genesis acoustic gentleness before giving way to a Canterbury style organ jam- but as is their wont, Fella lets loose, temporarily terrorizing the Caravan/Soft Machine proceedings before settling back to gentleness. Uh oh, he's snarling again. The album ends in carnival madness, like someone dosed PFM and dropped them off at the circus to accompany the proceedings.

Honestly, The lead singer of Jumbo is a character unlike many in Italian prog-people either love him or hate him, little middle ground. Although there are some who sound similar to him, he is one of a kind in his ability to use his gruff voice as not only an instrument, but something that can change a song instantly. (Demetrio Stratos is another person who had this ability, although he stands alone for vocal ingenuity in not only Italian rock, but the history of modern music.)

Widely varying in scope, this is one of the little known masterpieces in RPI.

Reference points: 1970-1972 Genesis (albeit with a surly Italian madman confronting you personally instead of Gabriel). Some King Crimson. Some Amon Duul 2, some PFM. Mostly though, they sound like Jumbo. When it gets difficult to codify a band in terms of other bands, you know they are on to something.

Definitely one of my top ten RPI albums.

Five stars without hesitation

Review by siLLy puPPy
5 stars Perhaps no other band in the entire history of prog underwent an evolution as lightning fast through the course of three albums in rapid succession as Italy's JUMBO did in only two years. JUMBO recorded and released these three distinct albums in the early 70s which began with the rather uninspiring display of blues rock, followed by a much more dedicated prog album before taking a massive leap in creative ingenuity with its third and final offering VIETATO AI MINORI DI 18 ANNI? which has become known as one of the all-time masterpieces of the 70s prog scene.

This is made all the more amazing since JUMBO formed in Milan as far back as 1969 and only released its rather average proto-prog blues rock in the year 1972 when the genre had more than come of its own having delivered some of the most accomplished albums of the entire prog 70s. While the band's second effort "DNA" was a competent display off tertiary Italian prog, it still lacked the overall sophistication of a true classic however it would only take one new drummer and a year for the band's musical DNA to activate and take their musical performances into the stratosphere.

The sudden burst in musical mojo was the result of original drummer Vito Balzano relieving himself of his drumming duties and simply quit the music business altogether. By chance the band had witnessed a phenomenal drummer named Tullio Granatello playing at a local concert. His skills and unparalleled style simply blew band leader Alvaro Fella away with his virtuosic displays of jazz-infused drumming techniques. After a request for him to fill the slot of the band's freshly vacated percussionist's post, Granatello gracefully accepted and single-handedly inspired the band to up their game in every possible way.

After a month of intense rehearsals with the newly established drummer, JUMBO emerged a completely new band that went for the prog jugular with a unique stylistic approach that remained distinct from the burgeoning symphonic prog sounds of PFM and Banco and equally distinct from the more folk-based Le Orme. VIETATO AI MINORI DI 18 ANNI? ( translates as "Forbidden to Minors Under the Age of 18") was then recorded with the help of cutting edge gear such as the amazing VCS3 oscillators lent to the band by Franco Battiato as well as Aktuala percussionist Lino Capra Vaccina's wide assortment of bells, chimes and unique percussive contributions.

To make things even more bizarre the band recorded in a makeshift studio setting that served as Mussolini's press meeting lecture hall during the years of the brutal dictatorship, an unusual circumstance shared only by Latte i Mieli in those days. The lightning speed progression of the band's style gave them the confidence to experiment with not only the wildly avant-garde but also to explore taboo subject matters such drug addiction, prostitution, social injustices, religion, alcoholism and other non-puritan topics that got the band censored by national radio and television broadcasts. The title of the album refers to the unsavory subject matter that wouldn't be considered appropriate for children. Unfortunately the album came out boeuf the free radio broadcast movement caught traction. Minors who do not speak Italian are presumed to be safe however.

VIETATO AI MINORI DI 18 ANNI? was a leap in ingenuity on every conceivable level with stronger melodies, utterly unpredictable transitions between folky lush acoustic guitar led passages, psychedelic excursions, energetic hard rock outbursts and unorthodox compositional creations. Add to that all the wild experimental production techniques offered by the slickest and newest technological breakthrough courtesy of Franco Battiato's appreciated participation. The album wastes no time getting to business by starting things off in full vocal-led song form before transmogrifying through varying styles all delivered by unusual instrumental interplay, over the top catchy melodies and call and response intensity from the instruments.

The opening "Specchio" alone features a bizarre shapeshifting formula that allows hitherto unthinkable juxtaposition of stylistic differences to coincide, yet organized into such a manner that the phrasing finds a logical reprise for each musical motif only decorated in completely new colors. There album continues with one completely original track after another with each offering a distinct personality of its own. The following "Come Vorrei Essere Ugulae A Te," the ONLY track that found any trace of airplay starts off as a feisty piano roll before morphing into a trippy psychedelic folk number only to be overturned by a raucous heavy rock performance. The ending features an interesting tape speed increase which showcased the band's ingenuity in the recording process as well as the superior songwriting skills. Even the short 2-minute instrumental "Il RItorno Del Signor K" showcases an impressive display of flute and guitar tradeoffs before morphing into a bizarre and even hilarious Mediterranean cafe music silliness.

The majority of the album never loses the element of surprise nor the instant hooks of a memorable excellently ever-changing melodic procession. "Via Larga" continues the process however it's the 7-minute plus "Gil" that really stands out as the oddball of the album. Initiated by lead singer Alvaro Fella after the recording process left about 8 minutes of time to fill. The result was a psychedelic jam that featured an acoustic guitar and dreamy mini-moog with the help of Battiato's VCS3 space machine.

The addition of the chimes and bells made it sounds like a comic trip in the spirit of raga rock only drenched is freaky lysergic psychedelia making it one of the most unexpected curveballs that entire album had to offer. While originally a 20-minute cosmic free floater, the band was forced to edit it down to just over 7 but unfortunately didn't think of keeping the entire piece for future posterity. The track is accompanied by Fella's contemplative lyrical prose only this time semi-narrated. The freeform folk style evokes the freewheeling 60s communes much more than what JUMBO dished out on the previous tracks!

The final three tracks: Vangelo?," "40 Gradi" and "Noi" jump back into full on progressive mode with endless variations in drumming techniques, stylistic approaches, instrumental interplay and of course controversial lyrical delivers which of course were only sung in the Italian language. Church organs melded with psychedelia, jazzy interludes ceded to hard rock heft and stop / start ostinato elegance traded off with light breezy flute solos. The band had mastered the art of dynamics shifting and thus featured many alternating motifs within a fairly uniform rhythmic and melodic framework. No other band can i think of mastered the art of soft lush folk one minute and then raucous filthy guitar hard rock the next only followed by classical piano virtuosity and then who knows what next! Remember! This was WAAAAY before Mr Bungle :)

It goes without saying that JUMBO not only crafted its best album but also delivered one of the absolute pinnacles of progressive rock period. The album is flawless in execution, groundbreaking in its approach and startling in its unique delivery system all without sacrificing those attributes that cemented it firmly in the world of Italian progressive rock. Despite existing for another couple of years before the band ceased to exist, JUMBO never recorded again leaving this one prog rock legacy from 1973 behind as its' crowning achievement and one of the most memorable moments of classic Italian progressive rock. This is easily one of the top 10 Italian prog albums of all time and a personal all time favorite of any musical genre. Perhaps i'd even dare to say one of the best albums ever recorded in the entire history of recording music at all. Yep, it's that good and it only gets better every time you give a listen. While it's an instant four star love affair, time will only reveal the subtle genius on multiple levels.

Latest members reviews

5 stars Excellent album. First song is a real winner for those who dig jazz/art rock with a minor primitive taste of funk in spots. The blues reflection on this album tends to be more jazzy blues than anything. Good album Sound quality is SUPERB. 1972, everything is analog and this album sounds much mo ... (read more)

Report this review (#25140) | Posted by Solo | Monday, January 17, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars First of all, I love these vocals, second, there's a long time I don't listen something so crazy at the same time scare full as this madness, since I had 18 listened pink Floyd and smoked a fag, I really got surprise as I didn't get for so long. This record was banned from the Italian radios ... (read more)

Report this review (#25139) | Posted by | Monday, January 10, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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