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TOWER

Neo-Prog • Italy


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Tower biography
Tower are a trio formed by Beppe Crovella, singer Paola Mei and drummer Elio Rivagli. The idea behind this album is to expand song ideas into progressive
compositions, like for example Yes did with Simon and Garfunkel's America, that in fact was a kind of folk song, that they re-arranged to make a complete prog compositions.
Sometimes songs comes out naturally into a prog composition, other times they are or can be the starting point to build a new composition around this
main song, other examples in this sense were 'Take a Pebble' or ' Lucky man'.
So, focusing this relationship between song and prog composition was the main idea with lot of variations, that's the basic starting point for this project.
[Beppe Crovella website]

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2.83 | 9 ratings
Tales From A Book Of Yestermorrow
1994

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TOWER Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Tales From A Book Of Yestermorrow by TOWER album cover Studio Album, 1994
2.83 | 9 ratings

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Tales From A Book Of Yestermorrow
Tower Neo-Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars A one-album Italian project,led by ex-Arti E Mestieri keyboard wizard/producer Beppe Corvella,who had created several one-shot projects around the time.Tower were actually a trio,featuring female vocalist Paola Mei and drummer Elio Rivagli and Crovella's aim this time was to marry song-oriented material with Classic Progressive Rock.Their only album with the bizarre title ''Tales from a Book of Yestermorrow'' was released in 1994 on Vinyl Magic (owner of which is Crovella himself).

The album opens with the long ''There Is Music Left To Be...Write!'',an excellent Symphonic Rock piece with great melodies,nice performance by Mei and heavy doses of organ and mellotron- choir by Crovella,definitely a highlight of the album.''Ann'' is a more straight romantic piece with extremely sensitive vocals but certainly some great and intricate work by Crovella on organ,synths and piano.With ''The box'' the quality drops,Tower sound like a bad DEEP PURPLE clone with no guitars and a female singer and what saves the track is the obscure middle part drenched with the mellotron sound.With '' Sailing Too Long'' my intial suspicions were a fact,the band now sounds a lot like mid-80's ZAUBER,decent Classical-influenced Prog buried under cheap synth parts and typical 80's-sounding production,while the chorus seems like taken from a musical.''For A Moment Of Love'' is a very good follower,actually a grandiose ballad,opening with mellotron and offering a very good performance by Mei.''In My Life'' recalls the worst side of ZAUBER or the sound of the Italian Prog bands during late-70's,an accesible yet melodramatic ballad with bad-sounding keys.The album will close with its only instrumental track ''Rondo'',a personal moment of Corvella filled with piano,organ,synths and mellotron with plenty of Classical,Fusion and Jazz influences.

What was the aim of Corvella under this project is interpretated to what most of the prog bands were trying between mid-80's and early-90's.To combine somewhat complex instrumental prog passages with fairly commercial sounding choruses and structures.The result this time is decent most of the time but not even close to the meaning of real progressive rock.Anyway,this one comes recommended to fans of Neo/Symphonic Rock with strong hints of commercial music.

 Tales From A Book Of Yestermorrow by TOWER album cover Studio Album, 1994
2.83 | 9 ratings

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Tales From A Book Of Yestermorrow
Tower Neo-Prog

Review by toroddfuglesteg

2 stars The tale of split personalities.

Tower is a project (band ?) which involved Beppe Crovella on tangents, Paola Mei on vocals and Elio Rivagli on drums. The music here is...... well..... somewhere near Neo- Prog. The problem is, and I am now going straight to my gripes with this album, is that this album actually feels like a split-album between Beppe Crovella and his tunes and then Paola Mei and her tunes. It is a very disjointed affair.

Let's start with Paola Mei and her songs. They are all musical types of songs, bordering to Eurovision Melody Festival type of ballads. Paola Mei is walking in the same footsteps as Elaine Paige and Liza Minelli. Those are the only female musical vocalists I know the name off, but you get my drift. The songs are backed up with some softly, softly tangents and drums. The quality is somewhere between pretty dire and decent, to be honest. Paola Mei is a great vocalist though and that is the only saving grace here.

Then we have the solo stuff from Beppe Crovella and we are deep into Arti E Mestieri, ELP and in particular; Collegium Musicum territory. It is great stuff, but also a sharp contrast to the songs from Paola Mei.

Just to make this album even more difficult or perhaps; more palatable; the Paola Mei and Beppe Crovella dominated songs are inbetween each other. Although Beppe Crovella is doing the tangents on Paola Mei's songs, there is no coherence between these two participants of Tower. If they had called the band for Twin Towers, I would had understood it. But Tower ? I am mystified. Maybe the tower in Pisa, the one the engineers in Italy messed up and sent sideways. That is actually what this band and album is; the tower in Pisa.

I am in serious doubts what I should give this album. But a strong two stars would suffice. Three stars to Beppe Crovella and since I am not a fan of the Eurovision Music Festival, X Factor or musicals; two and a half stars to Paolo Mei and her songs.

2.75 stars

 Tales From A Book Of Yestermorrow by TOWER album cover Studio Album, 1994
2.83 | 9 ratings

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Tales From A Book Of Yestermorrow
Tower Neo-Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Tower is a band that came from Italy and delivers some good but non essential neo prog. I said came because this is the only album they made and soon after they broke up like many bands from this genre. At first listning the influences were from italian school like Arti & Mesteri ( the keyboard player Beppe Crovella is from that band) and Apoteosi ( specialy on the last track, on instrumental one called Rondo ). The instrumentation is good, well played album but sometimes with lack of vein. The voice of Paola Mei is good specially on the first track There Is Music Left To Be...Write! the best one from here, and Rondo the instrumental piece worth check out. Anyway if you are a prog lover as i am must give a try to this album, will find intristing prog elements but don't expect to something groundbreaking. Fans of Apoteosi, PFM will be pleased to hear this. 3 stars,and the cover art is quite intristing.
 Tales From A Book Of Yestermorrow by TOWER album cover Studio Album, 1994
2.83 | 9 ratings

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Tales From A Book Of Yestermorrow
Tower Neo-Prog

Review by Finnforest
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Attention keyboard fanatics!

Tower is the brainchild of Arti & Mestieri's original keyboardist Beppe Crovella. He composed this collection of songs called "Tales from a Book of Yestermorrow" and it is an unusual progressive album to say the least.

There is no guitarist or bass player to be found. Beppe on keys is joined only by drummer Elio Rivagli and famed Italian vocalist Paola Mei. The threesome manage such a well-rounded sound that even a guitar lover such as myself is able to appreciate the album. For keyboard fanatics this is a dream come true. Here is the list of instruments that Beppe employs here: Hammond, piano, Minimoog, Mellotron, Wurlitzer, Roland JD 800, Prophet T8, Emu III XP, and Vintage keys.

The music is not the jazzy rock that comes to mind when I think of Arti. It seems to attempt a mixture of different neo prog rock elements that are quite dramatic and theatrical and occasionally uses experimental sounds to inject a modern feel. Ms. Mei's amazing vocal skills bring much emotion and loveliness to the songs, bring them to another level. Her vocal style might be a little Diva-ish for some but I took to it rather swiftly with no problem. The standout tracks for me are "Ann" with its lovely melodic piano lines, punchy drumming, and great vocal. "The Box" is really wild with its trippy sound effect samples that rattle your brain and make great test music for your stereo speakers. The closer "Rondo" is also stunning. An instrumental feast that will amaze you at what two people can do. Fast paced and finesse in every direction with monster drum fills and a Gentle Giant feel.

Here is how Beppe describes the project in a short blurb from his website: "The idea behind this album is to expand song ideas into progressive compositions, like for example Yes did with Simon and Garfunkel's America, that in fact was a kind of folk song, that they re-arranged to make a complete prog compositions. Sometimes songs comes out naturally into a prog composition, other times they are or can be the starting point to build a new composition around this main song, other examples in this sense were 'Take a Pebble' or ' Lucky man'. So, focusing this relationship between song and prog composition was the main idea with lot of variations, that's the basic starting point for this project." [Beppe Crovella website].

Recommended to keyboard nuts and majestic dramatic vocal oriented prog with a sound that is all its own. Although I'm not necessarily either of those and I've taken quite a liking to this project. It's another rather obscure title that turned out to be very unique and enjoyable. Don't just buy the oft-written about hot albums of the month, go deep and take some chances!

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition.

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