Widely regarded among the most influential and important of all early-'70s Italian progressive rock bands, Biglietto per l'Inferno formed in 1972 in the northern town of Lecco. Unfortunately for modern listeners, the band's original reputation was rooted primarily in their live performance, an act whose intensity has been compared to the likes of Jethro Tull and Van Der Graaf Generator, with the twin keyboard attack installing a dimension that mere vinyl -- for that is all that remains of the band today -- can never recapture. Nevertheless, the group's one album, 1974's Biglietto per l'Inferno, is rightly regarded a masterpiece, while a single coupling "Una Strana Regina" with an otherwise unavailable instrumental version of the album's "Confessione" is highly prized among aficionados. A second Biglietto per l'Inferno single, "Vivi Lotta Pensa"/"L'Arte Sublime di un Giusto," was released late in 1974 as a taster for the band's second album. However, a dispute between the band and record label Trident saw promise swiftly turn to rancor and, by year's end, Biglietto per l'Inferno had split up. The proposed second album, Il Tempo Della Semina, was left on the shelf -- tapes circulated on the bootleg market for some years, before Mellow gave it an official release in 1992. Organist Baffo Banfi went on to enjoy a solo career during the late '70s, releasing three albums. Drummer Mauro Gnecchi moved into session work and appears on PFM guitarist Franco Mussida's first solo album.
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