This is the first installment in what promises to be a series of albums chronicling the history of Italian progressive rock. The twist is: it is not a compilation, but a set of brand new recordings by Tempore, a band of youngsters (they all look to be in their early 20s). They use vintage keyboards and amps and respect the original arrangements to the letter. The inevitable question is: why bother? Why go through all this trouble and faithfully re-record songs they consider important to the Italian prog rock canon, when a comp would have better fulfilled their pedagogical goal? Then you listen, and can only nod in agreement. They have it. They have the chops, the sound, and the guts to turn the music into something highly credible and enjoyable. Lead singer Mario Allais Viet has that genuine Italian charm (although we'll have to wait for the next volume to see if he can handle the parts of Banco del Mutuo Soccorso's Francesco DiGiacomo). Italian Progressive Rock Encyclopedia, Vol. 1: 1968/70 Chapter 1 focuses at the beginning: from the psychedelic songs of The New Trolls ("Sigore, Io Sono Irish") and Fholks ("Cerchi"), to the first Italian attempts to integrate classical themes with rock (Green Sound's rendition of an "Arioso" by Bach, La Verde Stagione's setting of Grieg's "Morning") and the first recordings of groups that would become highly popular, such as Premiata Forneria Marconi ("Fin Che le Braccia Diventino Ali," recorded as Krel) and Banco del Mutuo Soccorso's ("E Luce Fu," from a studio session that preceded their first LP). The PFM and New Trolls songs stand the test of time and they are marvelously interpreted, so is Il Baletto di Bronzo's Deep Purple-esque "Neve Calda." In fact, there isn't a single weak cut on this album. And to make it completely "vintage," it clocks in at only 39 minutes.
Share this page