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AREA

Rock Progressivo Italiano • Italy


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Area picture
Area biography
Formed in 1972 in Italy - Disbanded in 1983 - Reformed from 1993 to 2000 - Active again since 2009

Undoubtedly one of the more adventurous, AREA were also a very important band on the seventies Italian prog scene, their first three albums in particular come highly recommended and essential listening to anyone discovering the RPI genre.

The band formed in 1972 stabilizing with a line-up of superb musicians for their debut album featuring ex I RIBELLI vocalist DEMETRIO STRATOS, ex I CALIFFI guitarist Paulo Tofani, bassist Patrick Djivas (later to join PFM), drummer Giulio Capiozzo, keyboardist Patrizio Fariselli and on sax, flute and clarinet Victor Busnello. "Arbeit Macht Frei" (work will make your free) was released on Cramps records in 1973 and is a very accomplished debut by anyone's standards featuring an exciting blend jazz, rock and prog with Arabian and Greek (Stratos was Greek) influences along with a touch of the Avant. The bands lyrics show a politically left wing stance and Stratos was already displaying his inventive vocal style, using it as an instrument much of the time rather than in the traditional sense, something he would develop to further extremes on future albums (including solo work).

By 1974, when their second album "Caution Radiation Area" was released, Djivas had jumped ship for PFM being replaced by Ares Tavolazzi and Busnello also left but was not replaced. It's a harder listen than the debut leaning more towards the avant with a heavier emphasis on free jazz, once again the musicianship is exemplary and features some incredibly powerful moments. In comparison "Crac!" released in 1975 whilst still displaying the same inventive mix of styles was more accessible and is an ideal early port of call to the uninitiated. That year also saw the release of their first live album "Are(A)zione".

Two further studio albums followed where the band continued to expand their musical palette, "Maledetti" released in 1976 where the band used a host of other musicians to help out and "1978 Gli Dei Se Ne Vanno, Gli Arrabbiati Restano". By this point Tofani had left the band. It would also prove to be the last album to feature Stratos who sadly died of cancer in 1979 at the age of only 35.

The three remaining musicians attempted to continue bringing in some outside help in the brass department for the all instrumental album "Tic & Tac". Clearly Stratos was a talent t...
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Buy AREA Music


Arbeit Macht FreiArbeit Macht Frei
Sony 2014
$8.01
$4.08 (used)
CracCrac
Cramps 2015
$8.28
$8.25 (used)
MaledettiMaledetti
Cramps 2015
$19.11
$27.56 (used)
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AREA discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

AREA top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.27 | 629 ratings
Arbeit Macht Frei
1973
3.92 | 211 ratings
Caution Radiation Area
1974
4.26 | 356 ratings
Crac !
1975
4.04 | 188 ratings
Maledetti
1976
3.89 | 153 ratings
1978 - Gli Dei Se Ne Vanno, Gli Arrabbiati Restano!
1978
2.68 | 52 ratings
Tic & Tac
1980
2.54 | 29 ratings
Chernobyl 7991
1996

AREA Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.03 | 71 ratings
Are(A)zione
1975
2.58 | 23 ratings
Event '76
1979
3.15 | 7 ratings
Area 1979 - Il Concerto
1980
3.55 | 18 ratings
Concerto Teatro Uomo
1996
3.04 | 13 ratings
Parigi-Lisbona
1996
3.81 | 7 ratings
Live In Torino 1977
2005
4.14 | 7 ratings
Live 2012
2012

AREA Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

AREA Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.04 | 9 ratings
Anto/Logicamente
1977
4.50 | 2 ratings
Area '70
1980
4.25 | 4 ratings
Gioia e rivoluzione
1996
2.91 | 3 ratings
Revolution
2003
3.00 | 2 ratings
International POPular Group
2004
4.96 | 4 ratings
Area Gold Edition
2007
4.79 | 5 ratings
The Essential Box Set Collection
2010

AREA Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.00 | 1 ratings
L'Abbattimento Dello Zeppelin
1973
3.00 | 2 ratings
L'Internazionale
1974

AREA Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Parigi-Lisbona by AREA album cover Live, 1996
3.04 | 13 ratings

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Parigi-Lisbona
Area Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by sgtpepper

3 stars This album proves the instrumental and vocal band qualities, while lacking in the sound quality. Chaps offer more than enough energy and raw power to showcase the nucleus of their music. Pieces are not extended into jams and still rather follow the moves of the studio version with rawer energy. We can hear that probably the singer or another musician speaks in French to the audience in Paris and the band is well accepted. Most pieces can be considered band's best of or most famous tracks such as the first concert track which was also the first one on the legendary Crac!. This is a good testimony of band's abilities to play live but as it is not the only one and arguably not the best one, look for another live capturing.
 1978 - Gli Dei Se Ne Vanno, Gli Arrabbiati Restano! by AREA album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.89 | 153 ratings

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1978 - Gli Dei Se Ne Vanno, Gli Arrabbiati Restano!
Area Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by sgtpepper

4 stars Area does not disappoint on their last album of the 70's and the last one with their original singer. The band is loyal to their fusion sound but experimenting with other instruments such as trombones and variety of keyboards. The first track sounds simpler in the beginning but evolves into a complex fusion track with classy oriental motives. The second track has two highlights - an Arabic motive and great jam between piano chords and mighty bass guitar. "Retun from Workuta" is a showcase for Stratos vocals that sound unlike from this world.

Next two following tracks are simpler and catchier in their structure but by no means commercial. "Acrostico In Memoria Di Laio" is one of the highlights as it unites modern fusion and funky directions. "FFF" is almost a hard-bop classical workout had it not been for rockier sounding drums. "Vodka cola" is a promising track but the execution leaves mixed feeling as it is not coherent reaching from pop to fusion.

 Maledetti by AREA album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.04 | 188 ratings

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Maledetti
Area Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by sgtpepper

4 stars Still going strong on this album whereas most other bands were on a decline already. After a hardly impressive first short track, a slight change in the sound can be heard: funky rhythms and more danceable beats have come! The bass is strong, drums have been adjusted, too. Clavinet is present and the groovy mood replaced the former fusion heavy spirit.

Temporarily. "Gerontocrazia" has inredible fusion moments in its second half with fast keyboard solo. "Scum" contains elements of free jazz, especially on the piano, and brings the band to a new dimension. The fifth classically influenced track from Brandenburgo Concerto does not bring anything interesting and therefore is a letdown.

"Giro Giro Tondo" is the closest track reminiscent of their past with jazz bass, electric piano and busy fusion drums. At the end of the spectrum, "Caors" is, judged by the name a throwaway disorganized track not suitable for repeated listenings.

 Crac ! by AREA album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.26 | 356 ratings

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Crac !
Area Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by sgtpepper

5 stars The most famous Area album and very highly regarded here on Progarchives, although I think it is on par with not only the debut but also the second album.

The landmark composition is the first song - again featuring oriental influences and state of the art rhythm section (listen to the bass+drums) during the main motiv, this is balsam for the ears. "La mela di Odessa" has a furious organ runs supported by electric piano, bass clarinet and bass. Incredible and tight musicianship.

"Megalopoli" has a memorable organ "riff" that could well be suitable for the guitar. In other parts there are plenty of solos by each instrument except drums. Even drums show a very good variety of fill-ins. The singer shows his peak skills and high improvisional tones. "Nervi scoperti" really touches with its edgy nervous improvisation and finally, we have a furious rock guitar solo. The most catchy track with plenty of joyful atmosphere is named "Gioia E Rivoluzione". "Implosion" returns to the dense fusion theme and the bass is quite high in the mix. Compositionally not the best track but still very quality instrumentation. The unique last track is of historical importance and showcases mainly disharmonic vocal and piano abilities. Some bass and guitar also emerge in the mix.

Together with the first and second album, these are the must-have for fusion and progressive rock fans.

 Arbeit Macht Frei by AREA album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.27 | 629 ratings

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Arbeit Macht Frei
Area Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by sgtpepper

5 stars This debut with a very controversial name is also ear and thought-provoking as the band were left-wing oriented and very liberal in music. It was unusual for a band in Southern Europe to start an album with Arabic narrative. The typical playful uncomplicated but slightly unconventional melody with Eastern world influences, dense instrumentation and jazzy/fusion elements combined into one represent an impeccable music mosaic. On top of it, passionate sometime disharmonic-AOR vocal.

All players are masters of their instruments but the drummer, keyboard and saxophone/clarinet player stand out.

"Arbeit macht frei" is a partly jam-oriented fusion-driven track with flute,keyboard and percussions going seemingly disparate. The interplay reminds of Canterbury on one hand and Mile Davis on another. Vocal is disturbing in the concentration but is short, thakfully, before organ/synth led section follows. Certainly one of the top tracks of the album.

"Consapevelozza" is closer to RPI than most other tracks, showing also domestic influence on the band.

"Le labra del tempo" is a fantastic 3/4 or 6/8 intensive workout but also reflects in a calmer mood in the second half. Things get even faster on "240 chilometri da Smirne", this is fusion of high calibre and not many other bands from Italy could compete in that space (Dedalus or Arti e Mestieri comee to mind). No vocals here.

The last track has a great early 70's drum pattern, however the second half turns into an experimental music of not everybody's taste.

In terms of intensity, this may be the best Area album but compositionally and instrumentally, it is slightly better than other next 4 albums and on par with "Crac!".

 Tic & Tac by AREA album cover Studio Album, 1980
2.68 | 52 ratings

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Tic & Tac
Area Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Asiostygius

4 stars Frankly I do not understand the low ratings of this more than decent album by Area. After the unfortunate death of the great Demetrio Stratos in 1979, the band correctly decided to avoid vocals (except by some backing vocals) in this album, since no one could replace the "maestro della voce". Even though this instrumental album is not so adventurous as the previous ones, it is more than decent fusion with virtuosity from all players, especially the spectacular bass played by Ares Tavolazzi. I miss the guitar of Giampaolo Tofani, but as a whole, the album is a joy for my ears: 3.5 stars without any doubt.
 1978 - Gli Dei Se Ne Vanno, Gli Arrabbiati Restano! by AREA album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.89 | 153 ratings

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1978 - Gli Dei Se Ne Vanno, Gli Arrabbiati Restano!
Area Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Review Nš 213

'1978 Gli Dei Se Ne Vanno, Gli Arrabbiati Restano!' is the fifth studio album of Area and was released in 1978. This is certainly the most discussed, poorly digested and criticized album of the band. It marked definetely a change in the band. The first turning point is, undoubtedly, the abandonment of Paolo Tofani. With his departure, Area doesn't lose only a guitarist but all that experimental research of sounds that had distinguished the band in their previous albums. The second turning point was, unfortunately, the untimely death of Demetrio Stratos. The group, under the same name, will produce two more studio albums, one a year later and another in 1996. But, both albums are strongly distanced from all the production in the years of activity with Stratos on vocals. It was really fatal for Area his tragic departure.

'1978 Gli Dei Se Ne Vanno, Gli Arrabbiati Restano!' has nine tracks. All tracks were written by Demetrio Stratos, except 'Interno Con Figure E Luci' written by Patrizio Fariselli and Demetrio Stratos, 'Acrostico In Memoria Di Laio' written by Patrizio Fariselli, 'FFF (Festa, Farina E Forca)' written by Giulio Capiozzo, Patrizio Fariselli and Ares Tavolazzi and 'Vodka Cola' written by Patrizio Fariselli, Demetrio Stratos, Giulio Capiozzo and Ares Tavolazzi.

The first track 'Il Bandito Del Deserto' opens with the usual Mediterranean atmosphere very common in the band. The structure of the piece isn't the most complex. But nevertheless, at the level of the structure, it's a concentrate of ideas and precious virtuosities that only great musicians could produce. The text is loosely based on the writing by Shanfara, an Arab pre-Islamic poet. The second track 'Interno Con Figure E Luci' is structured between instrumental parts and moments in which Stratos remains the only creating every kind of sounds from his throat. It's an instrumental track that can show the contrast between the sung parts, which are more obscure and repetitive, and the instrumental parts, which are more radiants. The third track 'Return From Workuta' opens with a very strange and amazing vocal work of Stratos. The piece is timeless and we only perceive a synth carpet with a heavy and suffered contrabass accompanying the melancholic vocalization of Stratos. The song is about the return from the famous Soviet Gulag, the Vorkutlag. The fourth track 'Guardati Dal Mese Vicino All'Aprile' is, undoubtedly, the freest song on the album. It hasn't any kind of structure or discipline. It would be impossible, or rather infinitely long, to describe what happens all over the track. This is another instrumental piece. It's about the regret of have passed ten years after the revolution of 1968 and the things just have only changed a bit. The fifth track 'Hommage A Violette Nozieres' is a ballad with a typical Mediterranean atmosphere, apparently almost pop. But, if we analyze it, we can find harmonious choices and rhythmic solutions of great refinement and complexity. Even the vocals are in a stratospheric level. It's one of the tracks in which Stratos reaches the apex of the vibrato. That is particularly evident on the ending of the piece. It contains a vocalization to the limits of the unimaginable. The sixth track 'Ici On Dance!' is a piece where the most amazing thing is the crazy work from the rhythm section. Here, the Mediterranean influence is aslo predominant in the theme and in the created musical atmospheres. The text is very minimalist and hermetic. The only real fact is that the title of the piece resumes a writing attached to a post, during the Bastille's taking in Paris. The seventh track 'Acrostico In Memoria Di Laio' is a funky Mediterranean jazz piece that runs almost entirely around the text, which is interpreted by Stratos with a kind of spoken. Stratos changes the voice and intonation with an embarrassing naturalness, making jumps even more octaves, giving us the impression that there are several people recording the piece. The eighth track 'FFF (Festa, Farina E Forca)' is another instrumental piece, starting from a single drum that later flow into an almost ambient relaxing part to culminate in another jazz style in which Fariselli shows off all his piano skills. The ninth track 'Vodka Cola' is the lengthiest song on the album. Here, the influence of the Weather Report is even more present, especially in the keyboard sounds. 'Vodka Cola' doesn't have a well defined music structure and has a continuous progression of parts full of the all kind.

Conclusion: '1978 Gli Dei Se Ne Vanno, Gli Arrabbiati Restano!', like all the albums of Area, isn't easy to assimilate, although it's certainly more 'easy listening' when compared to their previous albums. If Stratos hadn't passed away, so soon, probably today, we would talk about this album as an adjustment to a new music path for Area. But, unfortunately, we have to label it as the 'swan song' of one of the best vocalists ever of the universe of the progressive rock music. Although we certainly can't define it as their best album, this is undoubtedly another great album produced by this unique band. It's a less avant-garde release, but if you appreciate the genre, this album will undoubtedly please you. Perhaps our friend DamoXT7942 is right when he says that there's no unification in the whole album. However, this album remains a great piece and justifies why I consider Area the most original and creative Italian prog rock band ever.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

 Anto/Logicamente by AREA album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1977
3.04 | 9 ratings

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Anto/Logicamente
Area Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Review Nš 208

'Anto/Logicamente' is the debut compilation of Area and was released in 1977. The selection of tracks is more focused on tracks that were more hidden and less known than by their best and most known tracks. However, the band took care of represent on it, chronologically, at least one track of their entire four studio albums released by them, until that moment. Curiously, the name of the compilation is a play of words based on 'antologia' (compilation), 'anto' (not) and 'logicamente' (with sense). So, by their own words, 'Anto/Logicamente' is a compilation made without a great sense.

As it's a compilation that spans their entire musical period from the beginning to that date, and because the group had some changes into their line up, the line up of it is more extensive as what was usual. So, the line up of this compilation is Demetrio Stratos (vocals, organ, harpsichord, steel drums and percussion), Giampaolo Tofani (guitar, synthesizer and flute), Patrizio Fariselli (piano, electric piano, clarinet and synthesizer), Areas Tavolazzi (bass and trombone), Patrick Djivas (bass and double bass), Eddie Dusnello (saxophone) and Giulio Capiozzo (drums and percussion).

'Anto/Logicamente' has seven tracks. The first track 'L'Abbattimento Dello Zeppelin' was released on 'Arbeit Macht Frei'. It's the most avant-garde track on that album. It's a song with many experimental noises made by different instruments, including the voice of Demetrio Stratos. This is a very bizarre track with many changes all over the song. It's an insane song with vocal echoes, some musical explosions, strange instrumental sounds, which abruptly ends without warning. The second track 'Arbeit Macht Frei' was released on 'Arbeit Macht Frei'. It has strong political lyrics. Its title was taken from the well known Nazi motif on the entrance of the infamous death camp of Auschwitz, in Poland. It's a song close to the avant-garde jazz, very innovative, and that typify the band to a new and unconventional approach. The third track 'Zyg (Crescita Zero)' was released on 'Caution Radiation Area'. It begins with experimental music, which is the main characteristic of the rest of that album. After begins with some distorted industrial noises and some electronic experimentation, it shows a more rocking and psychedelic side of Area. Still, this is basically a free jazz/fusion track with magnificent moments and fantastic individual performances, which gives to that album a wonderful musical moment. The fourth track 'Citazione Da George L. Jackson' was never released on any studio album of Area. It was originally released as the B-side of their single 'L'Internazionale'. It's a short track with some improvisations played over a spoken text cited by Stratos. This is a very strange and weird track. The fifth track 'Nervi Scoperti' was released on 'Crac!'. It's an instrumental track with nice guitar and keyboard solos. It's a vibrant and tense piece where the drumming work is the star here. It begins with Fariselli assuming the leading role with his truly amazing piano work, preparing the ground to Tofani complement perfectly well Capiozzo work. The sixth track 'Area 5' was released on 'Crac!'. It's a very weird experimental track full of improvisations and with some solos and noises. It's the smallest track on that album, a truly contemporary classical piece. This is a very bizarre track that concludes originally that album. The seventh track 'Gerontocrazia' was released on 'Maledetti'. It starts with a cradle song in ancient Greek and during the song we can hear play txalaparta, a Basque musical percussion instrument, that I never heard before on the previous studio albums of Area. It demonstrates, once more, the interest of the group in the ethnic music. During the song, and besides several musical influences, I think we can clearly listen strongly the influence of Gentle Giant's music. I think this is the music of the band, until that moment on their career where that is more evident.

Conclusion: I'm think that 'Anto/Logicamente' was made, intentionally, with a selection of some of their most hidden and less known tracks and not of their most known. Relativelly to 'Arbeit Macht Frei', if in relation to the title track I've nothing to say with its choice because it's one of the best tracks on that album, in relation to 'L'Abbattimento Dello Zeppelin', it isn't, for sure, the best choice because it's the most avant-garde, experimental, weird and bizarre track of that album. All the other tracks of that album would be better, especially 'Luglio, Agosto, Settembre (Nero)', which is one of the best tracks ever made by them. Relatively to 'Caution Radiation Area', the choice of 'Zyg (Crescita Zero)' isn't a bad option but 'Cometa Rossa' would be a much better option because is a typical song of Area. Musically, it's a song very close to 'Luglio, Agosto, Settembre (Nero)' and both songs show perfectly well their unmistakable type of music and the unique vocal style of Demetrio Stratos. Relatively to 'Crac!', if 'Nervi Scoperti' isn't a bad option, 'Area 5' is, for me, the worst choice possible. Sincerely, I never liked very much of 'Area 5' because is a very weird and experimental track. 'L'Elefante Bianco', 'La Mela Di Odessa', 'Megalopoli' and 'Gioia I Rivoluzione' would be better options. Relatively to 'Maledetti' I have nothing to say with the choice of 'Gerontocrazia' because it's with 'Diforisma Urbano' one of the two best tracks on that album. So, this isn't a compilation that best shows the great music of Area.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

 Are(A)zione by AREA album cover Live, 1975
4.03 | 71 ratings

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Are(A)zione
Area Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

4 stars AREA was one of Italy's leading progressive rock bands of the 70s led by the unworldly vocalist Demetrio Stratos who singly handedly pushed this band far beyond the limits of the most adventurous progressive rock bands of the day. With his unique vocal gymnastics that scaled up and down octaves with uncanny precision and approached the human vocal limit of 7000 Hz, Stratos was the icing on an already eclectic cake where each musician excelled at his respective instrument and together this band cranked out some of the weirdest albums of the 70s with their innovative fusion of jazz, rock, Middle Eastern folk and a proclivity for the unexpected. The band was a huge hit with the youth primarily due to their Socialist leaning lyrical content but as the decades since have elapsed, this band has gone down in history as one of the most unique and technically skilled of the entire era.

After three studio albums, AREA followed up 'Crac!' which was released in early 1975 with their first live released titled ARE(A)ZIONE which emerged at the tail end of the year. The term ARE(A)ZIONE translates into English as 'ventiliation' or 'airing' and that seems appropriate since the band were good at 'ventilating' their political inclinations as well as their penchant for the over-the-top eccentricities. This live release was recorded during their 1975 tour and includes performances from the Festa del Proletariato Giovanalle in Milan, the Festa dell'Unit' in Naples, the Festa della Giovent' in Rimini and a press concert at Il Teatro Comunale in Reggio Emilia. The album is divided up into two parts. Side One contained one track from each album that preceded. 'Luglio, agosto, settembre (nero)' from 'Arbeit Macht Frei,' 'La Mela di Odessa' from 'Crac!' and 'Cometa Rossa,' the most 'normal' opening track from 'Caution Radiation Area.' Side Two contained two completely new tracks unreleased on any studio album.

ARE(A)ZIONE displayed a band that had a stable lineup for several years and the payoff is in full presentation on these live performances. Like any great musical act, AREA didn't just perform their studio tracks in a predictable manner but included lengthy improvisations that excelled at allowing the musicians and Stratos to show exactly why they were indeed a much lauded band of the era. While live albums rarely get my attention, when a band exudes a creative brilliance such as AREA does on ARE(A)ZIONE, i find such albums to be equally as important as the studio albums that surround. After the first side presents a basic summary of the band's ventures through their first three albums with a track from each, on the second side the band unleashed a 15 minute avant- garde jam for the title track. While a completely new instrumental that found Stratos wordless vocalizations as merely a supplemental instrument, the track did preview the basic drum patterns of 'Giro, Giro, Tondo' which would appear on the following album 'Maledetti (Maudits).' The final shorter piece 'L'internazionale' was their take on the Socialist anthem and was released as a single.

Live albums definitely show a band's true nature. There have been many bands that sound spectacular in the studio but don't have the chops to pull off their musical adventures in a live setting. The great thing about ARE(A)ZIONE is that it undoubtedly proves how brilliant and versatile AREA were as performers and musicians. This is not a perfect album. While the material presented is as good as you could possibly hope for, the sound production is definitely lacking but in all honesty, live settings rarely are designed to create such albums and a less than perfect series of things isn't my concern. I'm more interested in the feeling of a band in their prime where they deliver their all and the audience interaction. In that department ARE(A)ZIONE delivers all the goods effortlessly. If you are a true AREA fan, you will eventually get to this one since it is as every bit as essential as the five studio albums with Stratos. All that magic that made AREA so great is fully present on this one and despite the lackluster sound quality is well worth the experience. Should've been a double album! I'm left wanting MORE!

 Tic & Tac by AREA album cover Studio Album, 1980
2.68 | 52 ratings

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Tic & Tac
Area Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

1 stars I could never understand the logic for continuing a musical project once one of the band's most prominent features has left or in the case of Italy's larger-than-life avant-garde jazz-fusion maestros AREA, expire. It was a sad day indeed when the charismatic and innovative vocal frontman Demetrio Stratos succumbed to a severe case of aplastic anemia at the tender age of 34. Everyone knows this sad story. The Doors tried to carry on without Jim Morrison but after two albums realized the obvious. AC/DC did the same after Bon Scott and despite having commercial success, they still pale in comparison. The list goes on as bands like Alice In Chains, Lynyrd Skynyrd, INXS, Mayhem and even more recently Queen have carried on without the signature frontman who was the major force in their ascent to the top.

While pop and metal bands can often continue, for a completely unique and talented band like AREA with such an unreplaceable figurehead, the tall task seemed virtually impossible. And impossible it was. When Stratos met his untimely passing on 13 July 1979, the response should've been met with the same clearheaded grace that Led Zeppelin would face the following year in 1980 with John Bonham's passing by retiring the band and let the legacy continue after the chapters have unfairly been written and concluded. However that was NOT the case at all and in the process three of the AREA lineup namely Giulio Capiozzo (drums, vibraphones), Patrizio Fariselli (piano and keys) and Ares Tavalozzi (bass) decided to continue the band without a vocalist! They did however add Larry Nocella as a tenor sax player.

The result of this decision was the release of the lamely titled TIC & TAC which at least is succinctly easier to pronounced than the previous "1978 Gli Dei Se Ne Vanno, Gli Arrabbiati Restano"! While Stratos may have been a major feature in AREA's classic eccentric soundscape, the band was equally as dynamic dishing out ridiculously adventurous and avant-garde musical workouts offering some of the most creative music that the 70s had to offer. It seems that not only Stratos died but in the process so did all the wild and wacky creativity that AREA was so famous for! TIC & TAC has to be one of the absolute lamest attempts to carry on for any band in history. The absolute antithesis of 70s AREA, this one is straight forward jazz fusion that wouldn't sound out of place in some swanky cocktail lounge from some 60s swinging scene.

While i wouldn't call the music presented here as lacking in great jazz musicianship, i would definitely call this one majorly lacking in any kind of musical inspiration. It feels like a hollow template from some jazz academy playbook that demands suspension of a creativity for the sake of conforming to a status quo paradigm. In other words, this music is absolutely awful considering it's AREA, one of Italy's greatest exports in the musical world. I could only stomach this twice for listening, the second time exclusively for this review for i'm so underwhelmed by it all. This is the absolute worst followup album possible after a singer's untimely passing i've ever heard. Thankfully, the members realized the mistake of this train wreck and quickly called it a day. These guys must have been in shock when they did this for i feel the trauma just listening to it. Needless to say, this is as bad as it gets for a once great band in total disarray. Avoid at all costs.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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