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I Raminghi - Il Lungo Cammino Dei Raminghi CD (album) cover

IL LUNGO CAMMINO DEI RAMINGHI

I Raminghi

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

2.45 | 22 ratings

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Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator
Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
3 stars Beginning in Bergamo, Italy in the late Sixties, I Raminghi were an interesting group that mostly played in a psychedelic rock-inspired beat style, with slight embryonic early progressive elements also gentle emerging. Between 1970-75, they released three singles and this one full-length album `Il Lungo Cammino Dei Raminghi' in 1971 on the Bentler label, and while their career was not overly influential or particularly important, there's little traces of more ambitious progressive qualities on their debut that many Italian bands would go on to hone and perfect further as the decade moved forwards. Led by bass player and vocalist Franco Mussita, they were influenced by various Sixties pop groups, acid rock bands and acts like Vanilla Fudge and Uriah Heep, so that meant a heavy guitar sound with lots of organ, but often also containing strong pop sensibilities.

Certainly their most impressive studio composition is the intricate nine minute opening track `Donna Hai Ragione Tu', a deliciously plodding down-tempo psych brooder full of mystery, atmosphere and build, with only brief up-tempo bursts here and there. Franco delivers a powerful sorrowful croon, Romeo Cattaneo's drumming is steady yet lively when needed, Angelo Serighelli's guitar drones with drifting mystery (yet erupts with splintering little cuts in fleeting passages), and Angelo Santori's restrained Hammond organ is subdued and sombre. The raucous finale is a taste of things to come, so `La Nostra Verita' has a constant pounding drum beat and pumping bass line with maniacal spoken-word wailing behind fuzzy psychedelic outbursts, gutsy pop-rocker `Cose Supperate' is soaked in scorching Hammond organ and dirty electric guitar grinding, and `Partire' jumps back and forth between energetic up-tempo acid-rock fire and a joyous beat-pop chorus that's hard not to love.

Side B's opener `Every Day Jesus' is a groovy if fairly tedious pop rocker with just a call-and- response chorus and fiery acid guitar fills (it's unclear if they want to fill their life with Jesus everyday, or they are bombarded with talk of him everyday, as the title of the song is the only lyric in the entire piece!), and `Non Moriremo Mai' is a dreamy pop piece with shimmering Hammond organ and sighing group harmonies. `Buio Mondo Nero E Giallo' is the second longest piece on the album at just under five minutes, a frequently jamming smoulder with a Doors-like seductive vocal, relentless grooving strangled electric guitar, rattling drumming and whirring organ assaults. Album closer `Guarda tuo Padre' is simply a pleasing pop piece, lovingly performed with warm vocals and tiny hints of ravishing instrumentation buried behind the importance of the actual tune.

If you decide to look into the album, go for the 2005 Vinyl Magic Mini LP CD reissue that includes a second bonus disc of an entire live concert from 1975 that is far more interesting and challenging than the studio album here. It features a reworked line-up around Franco Mussita, and while the sound quality is not perfect, the music itself can be heard to be more improvised, wild and daring. There's even an early interpretation of a piece entitled `Mi Svegliai al Mattino' that would end up on dark Italian group Antonius Rex's quirky `Zora' album in 1977, unsurprising as Mussita would collaborate with Rex dark lord Antonio Bartoccetti on that same album.

It's best to look on `Il Lungo Cammino Dei Raminghi' as a curious stepping stone in the development of some directions that the Italian progressive music scene would head in, before truly symphonic qualities and artistic, sophisticated arrangements really took off. Perhaps it now sounds quite dated, but it still remains an enjoyable and rather cool album, and the Raminghi band and their debut disc sit nicely alongside the earlier works of many established RPI groups that first delivered very Sixties-flavoured rock/pop albums before moving more adventurous directions, so it's well worth a rediscovery.

Three stars.

Aussie-Byrd-Brother | 3/5 |

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