Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM) - 1974-08-27 - Ultrasonic Studios, Hempstead, NY

Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM)
1974-08-27
Ultrasonic Studios, Hempstead, NY 

FM Broadcast recording, very good quality
Available in both Lossless (FLAC) and Mp3 versions

Progressive rock has often been associated primarily with England and British bands (yes, virtually all of the most famous and successful prog bands are British), but actually there are great progressive rock bands from all over, especially throughout europe. One of the most interesting of the european progressive bands was Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM) (translation:Award-winning Marconi Bakery), the most successful prog band from Italy. PFM was formed in 1970 in Milan, when members of the previous band I Queli joined up with violinist-flutist Mauro Pagani. They were the first Italian band to feature a synthesizer. Their first album (released only in Italy) was Storia di minuto (1972), which was an immediate success, quickly followed by Per un Amico (1972) which expanded their influence outside Italy and across europe. Around this time, while on tour in Italy, Greg Lake (of Emerson, Lake, and Palmer) heard them, and immediately signed them to their new label, Manticore records. Because of this connection, their next album, Photos of Ghosts (1973) was released worldwide (with mostly re-recorded versions of songs from their previous albums), and for the first time featured lyrics in English (in an attempt to reach a wider audience). Interestingly, instead of just translating their Italian lyrics to English, all new English lyrics were written, by King Crimson-ELP cohort Pete Sinfield. The album charted in countries all around the world, including the US. They followed this success with another Italian album (L'isola di niente) followed by an English version, The World Became the World (1974), and then their first U.S. tour. Concerts recorded from this tour became the basis for a Live album, Cook (1975).  The band also reached their largest US audience when they appeared on the TV show The Midnight Special in early 1975. For their next album, Chocolate Kings (1975), they added a new lead vocalist, Bernardo Lanzetti, and a harder rock sound. Jet Lag (1977) was their last album with English lyrics (as well as last album released in the U.S.) and moved more towards a jazz fusion sound. They continued performing and releasing albums in Italy for many more years, but never achieved International success after that. Because of their association with ELP, some (who never really listened to them) dismissed the band as Italian ELP imitators, but that does not do them or their music any justice. They had their own unique sound and were much more diverse in style and instrumentation. They were both uniquely Italian while developing traditional prog influences, producing a lyrical, romantic and delicate music, with a great melodic and instrumental richness, sumptuous compositions and arrangements. They deserve a place among the  very best of the '70's prog bands. Here is a show from their 1974 U.S. tour, as they established themselves as a progressive force to be reckoned with.

Tracklist:
1. Four Holes In The Ground (7:41)
2. Is My Face On Straight? (7:53)
3. Instrumental jam (8:58)
4. Dove...Quando... (4:39)
5. introduction (1:32)
6. Mr. 9 'Till 5 (4:25)
7. Alta Loma 5 'Till 9 (11:06)
8. JC violin jam (2:30) (cut - some issues)
9. classic violin solo (3:25)
10. William Tell Overture (1:51)
11. Celebration (5:34)

Flavio Premoli - keyboards, vocals
Mauro Pagani - flute, violin, vocals
Franco Mussida - guitars, vocals
Patrick Djivas - bass
Franz Di Cioccio - drums, vocals

FLAC - PFM_1974-08-27_Ultrasonic_NY_FLAC.rar

mp3 - PFM_1974-08-27_Ultrasonic_NY_mp3.rar

2 comments:

Bill Martin said...

Awesome show, thanks so much, had this a tone time and lost it. saw this band 45years ago twice. Finally got to see them again twice on the Cruise To The Edge with Yes and many other prog bands. PFM was the highlight of the cruise for me !!

tim said...

Good show from the 'Cook' tour, I would guess.
(Wrong bass player on the cover, though.)