Stado Libero di Liftiba

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Litfiba has been through so many changes in personnel and reincarnations that one more shouldn't make a difference. This 2010 reunion, however, could be the one that counts, since it signals the return of frontman Piero Pelú, who quit the band in 1999 for a solo career, over irreconcilable differences with co-leader Federico "Ghigo" Renzulli. Litfiba's credibility has taken quite a knock ever since, and the band was smart enough to start slow, with a small local tour, a new single, and no big promotional campaign or interviews. This double album, culled from those first few dates in Tuscany, is a no-frills, good old rock & roll affair, covering more than two dozen of the band's classics between 1985-1997, with 11 of those coming from 1988-1990, with the band performing half of the Litfiba 3 and El Diablo albums, plus two singles from that period. All is as predictable -- this is actually Litfiba's ninth live release -- and it is abundantly competent. Pelú and Renzulli, in their respective roles of rock star and guitar hero, appear at their most histrionic, perhaps to the detriment of the supporting cast of Federico "Sago" Sagona, Daniele Bagni, and Pino Fidanza in the mix: they've been part of Litfiba or Pelú's band in the past, but could hardly be considered historic members on a par with founders Gianni Maroccolo or Antonio Aiazzi, both conspicuously absent here. Stado Libero di Litfiba also proudly introduces two new songs, "Sole Nero" and "Barcollo," which forecast a return to hard rock glory for the band after a decade in pop limbo. Both became successful singles. The future seems to bode well for the re-energized Litfiba, as the band embarked on a major European tour in early 2011.

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