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Thread: Italian Prog Big Three (Banco, PFM and Le Orme) whats the good stuff?

  1. #1
    Member Kanukisbrave's Avatar
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    Italian Prog Big Three (Banco, PFM and Le Orme) whats the good stuff?

    Been in a real Italian prog playing mood recently and have been going through the catalogues of the big three bands deciding what is really good to one of the prog musical taste.

    This is what I, (IMHO), have come up with as a guide to buying and listening to these great bands.
    I'm not including collections or live recordings or re-recordings but look at the original studio recordings.

    Banco
    everything up till Canto Di Primavera ('79) and then a return to the genre with the new Transiberiana('19) there are some re-recordings and live stuff that is good but the studio stuff is pop between 1980 and this year.

    PFM
    Storia Di Un Minuto('72) through to Jet Lag('77) is great, with the next two Passpart('78) and Suonare Suonare('80) being kind of weak but with some decent tracks. Then they go pop up until Ulisse('97) which is pretty good. Serendipity ('00) Dracula ('05) Stati Di Immaginazione ('06) A.D. 2010 - La buona novella ('10) all are pretty good with Da Mozart A Celebration ('13) being the weakest of the lot. If you like Emotional Tattoos ('17), then you should be happy with any of these 21st century recordings.

    Le Orme
    Ad Gloriam('69) is psych/pop so you may want to skip, depending on your taste, start otherwise with Collage('71) and enjoy everything right up to and including Piccola Rapsodia Dell'Ape('80)

    two forgettable recordings Venerdi('82) and Orme('90) should be avoided but the band find their way again with Il Fiume('96) Elementi('01), L'Infinito('04) and La Via Della Seta('11). Sadly, the remainder of their studio recordings (and there are a few) are recordings of older material including their latest Sulle ali di un sogno('19)
    The band seems to have lost confidence to record new material.


    Hope this helps anyone new to the Italian scene,

    cheers
    Kanukisbrave
    Last edited by Kanukisbrave; 2 Weeks Ago at 07:36 PM.

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    Member Kanukisbrave's Avatar
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    While they are certainly not Italian, France's Ange is similar in that its great stuff except for the 6 lps they recorded between 1981-1988.

    "The baggage that I carry would sink a thousand ships
    My motives are uncertain, intentions not altogether pure
    So now don't you want me beside you just like it was before? "

  3. #3
    Member bill g's Avatar
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    Yeah pretty much spot on. I personally really like Arti & Mestieri's first 2 albums as much as any except 'Per Un Amico' which is my favorite Italian album to this day. The last A&M 'Parallel Universe' album was quite good as well.

  4. #4
    Member Kanukisbrave's Avatar
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    Yeah, A&M are excellent.

  5. #5
    Love PFM and think your list is pretty good. I do find something worthwhile on their releases no matter whether it's trad prog or more fusion or poppy. They are just good songwriters and musicians.
    No matter what anyone says, you are the decider of how you will listen to music.

  6. #6
    With Italian 70s progressive rock, you can start just about anywhere. It's almost easier to point out the snippet of places you'd not (usually) want to start.
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
    "[...] things that we never dreamed of doing in Crimson or in any band that I've been in," - Tony Levin speaking of SGM

  7. #7
    Member Kanukisbrave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scrotum Scissor View Post
    With Italian 70s progressive rock, you can start just about anywhere. It's almost easier to point out the snippet of places you'd not (usually) want to start.
    totally agree, but I didn't want to create a list of bad releases per se; as it is just my opinion, so I tried to keep it positive where possible.

    "The baggage that I carry would sink a thousand ships
    My motives are uncertain, intentions not altogether pure
    So now don't you want me beside you just like it was before? "

  8. #8
    I remember recently regretting that PFM weren’t more prolific. I think they spent too much time and energy chasing fame in English territories; time I think could have been better spent on making two or three more excellent Italian albums.
    Confirmed Bachelors: the dramedy hit of 1883...

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    Member Zeuhlmate's Avatar
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    Area !

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    Worthy of Laudation thedunno's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeuhlmate View Post
    Area !
    Yeah [emoji106] and Stormy Six !

  11. #11
    There's no Big Three without Area...

    The other day I listened to some Le Orme, which I hadn't done in ages. I liked it very-very much. Great band! In fact I almost cried with some parts of Uomo di Pezza. That one is my favourite.

  12. #12
    Member Kcrimso's Avatar
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    I prefer Area and Picchio dal Pozzo to the "big three".
    "A waste of talent and electricity." John Peel on ELP

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Zappathustra View Post
    The other day I listened to some Le Orme, which I hadn't done in ages. I liked it very-very much. Great band! In fact I almost cried with some parts of Uomo di Pezza. That one is my favourite.
    Uomo di Pezza is my favorite Le Orme as well. Some parts are just exceptionally beautiful.

  14. #14
    Man of repute progmatist's Avatar
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    My favorite Le Orme was after Michele Bon joined, but before Aldo left.
    "Well my son, life is like a beanstalk, isn't it?"--Dalai Lama

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    The so-called Big Three of Italian Prog made (in my opinion) exactly 10 perfect LP's:

    1. PFM Storia di un Minuto
    2. PFM Per un Amico
    3. PFM L'isola di Niente
    4. Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso s/t
    5. Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso Darwin!
    6. Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso Io Sono Nato Libero
    7. Le Orme Collage
    8. Le Orme Uomo di Pezza
    9. Le Orme Felona E Sorona
    10. Le Orme Contrappunti

    Anyone interested in Italian Prog could do a lot worse than to start with these ten masterpieces.
    Prog's Not Dead

  16. #16
    Member Kanukisbrave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by miamiscot View Post
    The so-called Big Three of Italian Prog made (in my opinion) exactly 10 perfect LP's:

    1. PFM Storia di un Minuto
    2. PFM Per un Amico
    3. PFM L'isola di Niente
    4. Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso s/t
    5. Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso Darwin!
    6. Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso Io Sono Nato Libero
    7. Le Orme Collage
    8. Le Orme Uomo di Pezza
    9. Le Orme Felona E Sorona
    10. Le Orme Contrappunti

    Anyone interested in Italian Prog could do a lot worse than to start with these ten masterpieces.
    all Gold!

    "The baggage that I carry would sink a thousand ships
    My motives are uncertain, intentions not altogether pure
    So now don't you want me beside you just like it was before? "

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by progmatist View Post
    My favorite Le Orme was after Michele Bon joined, but before Aldo left.
    I thought I was the only one that felt like that!

  18. #18
    Member chalkpie's Avatar
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    Storia di un Minuto and Per Un Amico might be my two fav Italian albums, although there are many many more I love. Another fairly obscure-ish great album is Allusa Fallax "Intorno..." a truly beautiful album with a HUGE Romantic Italian flavor. My fav Italian prog tune is definitely Banco "Canto Nomade Per Un Prigioniero Politico" from Io Sono Nato Libero - holy shit is that a monster tune. Fucking unbelievable composition. Area is also amazeballs. Locanda Della Fate "Forse..." is also very special.
    If it isn't Krautrock, it's krap.

  19. #19
    Per un Amico is hands down my favorite Italian album. But that Locanda Delle Fate disc is just beyond lovely. I got it on vinyl when it was reissued some years ago.

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