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Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM) - Storia Di Un Minuto CD (album) cover


Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM)


Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.36 | 1219 ratings

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5 stars When PFM released their first album, all the members of the band were already experienced musicians and their live performances were excellent. So, according to the band, they chose to record "Storia di un minuto" playing "live in studio" to keep the freshness of their concerts and the result was a "fresh" and very personal blending of progressive rock, classical influences and Italian folklore, powerful and delicate in the meantime.

The first track "Introduzione" is just a short introduction with reminiscences of King Crimson that leads to "Impressioni di settmbre" (September's Impressions), probably the best known PFM's song. Still echoes "from the Court of the Crimson King", while the suggestive lyrics written by Mogol "paint" the feelings of a man "looking for himself" in the countryside on a foggy September's morning. "How many dew-drops around me / I'm looking for the Sun but I can't find it / The country is still asleep, maybe not / It's awake, it's staring at me, I don't know / Already the smell of the soil, smell of grain / Comes up slowly towards me / And life beats softly in my chest / It breaths the fog, I think to you / How much green all around here and even further / The grass seem almost a sea / And my thoughts fly lightly and go away / I'm almost afraid they get lost... But in the meantime the Sun is leaking through the fog / As always the day will be!". The instrumental refrain is really catchy, with the powerful sound of the moog in the forefront, " la Emerson Lake & Palmer" (according to the band, "Lucky Man" was really a source of inspiration for this track). The album version is slightly different and more dilated if compared to the single version that you can usually find in the anthologies (for instance in "Prime Impressioni" or "Gli anni settanta"). In 1973 "Impressioni di settembre" was released in English as "The World Become The World", with lyrics by Peter Sinfield. But I prefer by far the original version!

"E' festa" is another outstanding track. It's a kind of joyful and frenzy "Rock- Tarantella" almost completely instrumental with a short vocal part. "As always that's the feast of a light bird that keeps on flying." Here elements of Italian folklore are blended with classical influences. The English version of this song was released on "Photos Of Ghosts" as "Celebration", though in my opinion the Italian version is better.

The first part of "Dove. Quando." (Where. When.) is a dreamy and delicate ballad about a man longing for his sweetheart. The inspiration for the music comes from XV century and the shy vocals get along very well with melody and lyrics. "Where do you live? Where are you? / Just inside of me / What are you doing? How do you look? / Just as me / Inventing you here and there is an old game by now / It's already knocking the hurry of you. What would I do my love, what smile will you have? / From your ayes and noes what will I learn? / Serene princess from Heaven who will be mine / It's already knocking the hurry of you.". In the second part, completely instrumental, the band develop the theme of the first part trying to blend their classical influences with jazz and rock and the result is definitely good.

"La carrozza di Hans" (The carriage of Hans) is my favourite PFM's song. The piece is built up around the amazing guitar work of Franco Mussida. I dreamt many times to play it properly with my acoustic guitar and when I was a teenager Franco Mussida seemed to me like a merchant of musical dreams, but my guitar never turned from a "pumpkin" into a magnificent carriage like in Cinderella's fairy-tale. "Look! Search! Run far away, fly! / Hans the merchant is waiting for you, fly..." By the way, in this track there's not only amazing guitar technique to be found, but a perfect interaction between the guitar and the other instruments. The album version is slightly different from the single version, but I love them both.

The last track "Grazie davvero" (Thanks a lot) is another good track with a melancholic mood and lyrics about the rain that brings life to the world, the "ageless water" playing with the colours and sounding falling on a pond. "It's already raining / It rains softly, it rains on me. Thanks so much for living / Thanks for the day that's here / Thanks for the time that will come. It's already raining / It rains softly, it rains on me." A great finale for one of the most important albums of the Italian prog scene of the early seventies.

In the whole an album without weak moments and that helped to draw an Italian way to progressive rock. Essential in every prog collection!

andrea | 5/5 |


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