Premiata Forneria Marconi
Per un amico


4.5
superb

Review

by JP Patino Izquierdo USER (4 Reviews)
July 11th, 2013 | 62 replies | 2,444 views


Release Date: 1972 | Tracklist

Review Summary: When progressive rock meets pizzas and spaghettis.

5 of 5 thought this review was well written

A few years ago, my father told me that if a band wanted to succeed in the 70's they needed lyrics in english, and, in some way, it's true, who knows how many bands remain unknown to society just because they sang in their own language. However there's a bunch of bands that managed to gain international recognition without lyrics in english, one of them is the italian Premiata Forneria Marconi (Award-winning Marconi Bakery) or PFM, and thank god they managed to succeeded because it would've been a shame if they remained unknown in the world of prog-rock because they were awesome.

The PFM was formed in Milan in 1970 by the members of a band of backup musicians named I quelli and launched in 1972 their first album Storia di un minuto (Story of a minute) , the album impressed with a mediterran fusion of progressive and symphonic rock and expressed a very warmth atmosphere to the listener. The members of the band, who knew that their debut, unlike most of the debut albums by other prog-rock bands, was an excellent album, didn't lost time and launched in the same year Per un Amico (For a friend).

In 1972 the Premiata Forneria Marconi was:

Franco Mussida: Vocals, 12 String guitar, Theorbo, Mandocello, Guitar
Franz Di Cioccio: Drums, Percussion, Vocals
Mauro Pagani: Flute, Piccolo, Violin, Vocals
Giorgio Piazza: Bass, Vocals
Flavio Premoli: Spinet, Keyboards, Organ, Mellotron, Piano, Vocals

Per un Amico, just like Storia di un Minuto is a prog-rock record that uses the beautiful sound of the typical italian music with a lot of acoustic guitars, violins, pianos and of course, harpsichords, achieving a unique sound that differentiates it from most of the prog albums of the time.

This album hasn't relaxed nor heavy songs, because each song has relaxed and acoustic moments and also some parts that are pure hard-rock, and that's the best characteristic of the album, in most cases fusing so many styles would sound very chaotic but these guys managed to suddenly change the style in every song without losing the cohesion of the music.

It's hard to talk about the songs separately because as any progressive album, Per un Amico was made as a "whole" not as a lot of different songs that have nothing to do with each other and are there just to fill space, however, if we talk about the highlights of the album, we can name Appena un Pò (easily the best track on the album) and how awesome's the sound of those violins playing together with an amazing keyboard work or how excellent (and heavy) is the cooperation between the guitar and the violin in Generale! or maybe the beautiful sound of the piano in the second half of Il Banchetto which is very jazzy influenced.

Even when prog-fans that are used to Comfortably Numb-esque solos or that kind of instrumental work, won't find Per un Amico very attractive because it's more focused on acoustic and/or symphonic sounds it will sound very interesting to fans of bands like Jethro Tull or Genesis for its awesome work with flutes and keyboards, however it's important to remember that PFM is similar just in SOME WAYS to these bands but their style in general is very different and can only be found in other bands from the north of the mediterrean, and that are sadly, unknown for most of the prog-society.

In conclusion, Per un Amico has a very different sound to most of the important records, it manages to create, with a beautiful acoustic, typically italian sound, its own, "warm" atmosphere that will definetely be loved by the listener, something that other bands that at some moments sounded very "distant" never did, like for example, Pink Floyd. Per un Amico is an essential album and every prog-rock fan should give it a try, it is very different to what most of the people are used to, so maybe you will need a time to get into it, but even if at the end you didn't liked its sound you will appreciate to have listened to something different, fresh, that differs from most of the typical sound in the genre.

Pros.

-The atmosphere, warm and relaxing (even in the heavy moments) that will give a different perspective of how prog-rock is.
-Very innovative for the genre, adding new instruments and applying the typical ones in a very different way.
-The fusion of very different styles, symphonic, hard-rock, jazz, etc...
-Appena un Pò, it's an awesome song.

Cons.

-A bit short for a prog album.
-Even when it's very innovative for prog, it isn't that much for the band, because it sounds very similar to Storia di un Minuto.
-Its style won't like to everyone.


user ratings (52)
Chart.
4.4
superb

Comments:Add a Comment 
menawati
Contributing Reviewer
July 11th 2013



15800 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

haha i was going to review this next, it needed a review badly, nice job

Digging: Synaesthesia (UK) - Synaesthesia

MrSirLordGentleman
July 11th 2013



4100 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Well, this album is one of the most important in the history of progressive rock, I dunno why it didn't had a review already... I've experimented a lot with these review though... it's very different to my Rainbow Rising review

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
July 11th 2013



15800 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

indeed, i did the Storia di un Minuto one but didnt get round to doing this before i quit sputnik

MrSirLordGentleman
July 11th 2013



4100 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

yeah' I don't know why, I knew you were going to review this at some moment so I got scared, knowing that someone may do it first hahaha

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
July 11th 2013



15800 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

review was maybe a bit long but posed anyway enjoyed reading

Cygnatti
July 11th 2013



21349 Comments


waht is htis beautiful house?
waht is tish car?
my god
whta have I done?!!

Digging: The Avalanches - Since I Left You

MrSirLordGentleman
July 11th 2013



4100 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

haha, and I thought it was kinda short at the beginning, thanks for the pos man

Cygnatti
July 11th 2013



21349 Comments


-A bit short for a prog album.
this should be a pro.


Chortles
July 11th 2013



17909 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

beautiful album

Digging: Yo La Tengo - Electr-O-Pura

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
July 11th 2013



15800 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thing is, if it's too long people wont read it, especially if its relatively obscure for sputnik. Now if you were to do the 45th review of something by Brand New it'd get 200 views and 50 comments in 5 minutes even if it spanned 3 pages.

MrSirLordGentleman
July 11th 2013



4100 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

@menawati that's true, but as I said, I experimented a lot with this one, actually I want to do a "short" review but I never did something like that before and I didn't want to screw it up in the review of such an awesome album, specially when it doesn't have other reviews

Cygnatti
July 11th 2013



21349 Comments


Now if you were to do the 45th review of something by Brand New it'd get 200 views and 50 comments in 5 minutes even if it spanned 3 pages.
and 10 to 40 of those comments will be me, I'm sure.

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
July 11th 2013



15800 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

i do prefer storia to this tho

Chortles
July 11th 2013



17909 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i guess it works out for me then since i'm way too much of a hack to write anything more than short reviews

Jethro42
July 11th 2013



12377 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Photos of Ghosts is practically the English version of this album. Good review.

MrSirLordGentleman
July 11th 2013



4100 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I don't like photos of ghost... it feels kinda "fake" for me, this has more soul on it

Jethro42
July 11th 2013



12377 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

it's only due to the fact that English is (as for me) their second language

MrSirLordGentleman
July 11th 2013



4100 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

@Jethro42 hahaha, same :c

Jethro42
July 11th 2013



12377 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Ah really? Well your English is superior than mine by a mile.

MrSirLordGentleman
July 11th 2013



4100 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

man, did you read my review? hahaha I used the same words many times because I didn't knew others



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2013 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy