Le Orme

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Often forgotten when classic progressive rock is remembered, Le Orme was one of the biggest European groups to be making this kind of music. Hailing from Italy, this four piece wrote extended tracks that were more energetic and peppy than most of their British contemporaries. Tracks like "In Ottobre" were fast-paced and interesting, mostly because they never seemed to needlessly noodle around. That song is featured here, along with seven others. This album represents a creative highpoint for the band, for they would soon fall out of favor as they began to run out of ideas and the genre was practically wiped out by the emerging punk, disco, and heavy metal scenes. But here, Le Orme still had some gas, and they flaunt their skill all over the album. The title track may be the standout; it is a beautiful ballad that features a haunting vocal from Aldo Tagliapietra and some gorgeous production. "Vedi Amsterdam..." is a Deep Purple-style rave up that benefits from the bizarre timing of the playing and a memorable vocal line. "Regina al Troubadour" is psychedelic rocker that predates the sound of '80s groups like the Church and Dream Academy. And "Radiofelicità" is a wide-eyed rocker that keeps threatening to kick in, but never truly does until the end. This is the sort of tension that the band thrives on, planting the seeds for groups like the Flaming Lips to pull the same sort of tricks 20 years later. With an incredible middle section sandwiched between some decent prog rock tracks, this is truly a lost gem of an album. Fans of progressive and psychedelic rock should take note: This is a solid collection of songs that has gone unheralded for too long.

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