Sunday, December 14, 2014

Premiata Forneria Marconi - 1972 - Per Un Amico

Premiata Forneria Marconi 
Per Un Amico

01. Appena un Po' (7:43)
02. Generale (4:18)
03. Per un Amico (5:23)
04. Il Banchetto (8:39)
05. Geranio (8:03)

- Franco Mussida / vocals, guitar (12 String), chitarrone, mandocello, guitar
- Franz Di Cioccio / drums, percussion, vocals
- Mauro Pagani / flute (alto), piccolo, vocals, flute, violin
- Giorgio Piazza / bass, vocal
- Flavio Premoli / spinetta, keyboards, organ (Hammond), vocals, Moog synthesizer, Mellotron, tubular bells, clavicembalo, piano

Ever since I got to listen to this album for the first time, and by that I mean entirely, I couldn't believe my ears. Before "Per Un Amico", my Italian symphonic prog rock perspective was based merely in some other well known exponents of this sub-genre such as BMS, LE ORME and MUSEO ROSENBACH, and I don't know why I haven't listened to anything regarding PFM in the first place! and the way I got to know them was quite funny. When purchasing BANCO's album "Di Terra" over this famous music website, I noticed that there was this offer about purchasing two albums and paying just for one, and the other album within the BANCO's CD pack was actually "Per Un Amico". and ever since I got this recording, I cannot picture the Italian symphonic scene without it.

Besides getting to consider this album as one of my favorites throughout the 14 years I've been listening to prog rock, I think that many other subsequent Italian or not Italian bands, whether they play symphonic prog rock, psychedelic prog or art rock, they owe most of their musical accomplishments and success to bands like PFM that due the inevitable pass of time they're still present upon the nowadays prog scene.

Thanks to this album you will get to experience several comfortable and inexplicable situations like the feeling of sorrow, happiness or even madness, and I mean all that in the progressive intended way provided by this unique masterpiece. "Appena Un Po' " explains all this by its own means, this almost 8 minute track contains way too many contrasting profiles of the style that the bands to come through the next ten, maybe fifteen years, adopted and implemented perfectly; this melody has got it all: musical arrangements resembling a renaissance époque all the way through punchy, signifying drum preludes, and most important, marvelous rhythmic guitar playing by signore Franco MUSSIDA. Also, you might as well think of "Per Un Amico" itself as one of the most representative PFM's songs, and you won't be mistaken because far beyond from what the band actually did with its first album, "Storia Di Un Minuto"; they also proved that they could be more than a single, and created some other meaningful prog pieces like "Photos of Ghosts", "Prime Impressioni" and "Passpartú" with their own representative singles as well. Simply magnificent!

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