Locanda Della Fate, La - Forse Le Luccioli Non Si Amano Piu

Year of Release: 1994
Label: Polydor
Catalog Number: 523688-2
Format: CD
Total Time: 54:04:00

Let's get one thing straight, right off the bat. I'm not typing that title again. There's this great bit from Monty Python where John Cleese interviews a very aged German composer with the longest name ever said on camera. The old guy dies before Cleese can get his name out the second time. That's not going to happen here.

This is a conspicuous release, the classic case study of how the business of progressive rock works out for a band from Italy, it could be anywhere really. One album is made, a few notable live performances, a few songs that didn't make it on the album, and maybe a live recording of poor quality that captured those numbers, and bingo! If the band in the example is very, very good, twenty five years later they're a legend. That's the same story a number of bands could claim as their own.

The debut from Locanda Della Fate (Polygram Italia, 1977 (523688-2)) was a beautifully produced recording, the songs were outstanding, the musicians were all talented and their vocalist, Leonardo Sasso, possessed a striking voice, somewhat akin to Banco's Franceso Di Giacomo, only a bit rougher, more husky. They were a band that had all the requisite characteristics to be quite popular in Italy, at least. Their problem was one of timing, as was the case for bands releasing their first progressive rock albums in the late 1970s. They were a seven piece, with two keyboard players, and two guitarists, as well. The guitarists make good use of harmony lines in the first cut on this CD re-issue, "A Volte Un Istante Di Quiete." This is an instrumental that features a lovely bit of work on guitar, with a two part harmony, both using volume pedals, ala Steve Howe, sounding a bit like a couple of pedal steel players. The song features a good bit of very melodic piano work, with many a line accompanied by Hammond organ. This one sounds a bit like Banco's "Metamorphosi," and has some similarity to some of Tony Banks' work with Genesis.

Vocals from Sasso dominate five other tracks, but the lead vocals on a couple of others are handled by the guitarists Alberto Gaviglio, and Ezio Vevey, who both have very good voices, but neither have the richness or the strength of Sasso.

I noticed that this is a much more even sounding band than many Italian progressive groups. I mean, dynamic moments of contrast aside, Loccanda Della Fate don't have the huge disparity in volume level that Banco, and especially P.F.M. had on their early works. They have only a few musical peaks or valleys, everything usually rolling out smoothly, so to speak. They are playing amplified rock music here, though. They just avoid the almost inaudible moments of P.F.M., and the huge crescendos of early Banco.

In a few instances though, the band breaks into an interlude straight out of the Gentle Giant repertoire, with skittering clavinet, and urgent changes in time signature. Occasionally, a guitar solo gets a bit exuberant, or the band drops out leaving a solo piano to back up Sasso, but this is, overall, a sensitive, very unhurried release. It moves at a slower Mediterranean pace. The first four tracks are outstanding. The opening instrumental gives way to some of the most lovely and satisfying prog. to ever come out of Italy.

Track four, "Cercando Un Nuovo Confine" is particularly impressive. It is the highlight of this release, to my ears. It has Sasso's best work, just the right amount of grit in his delivery, too many good themes to describe, and gorgeous piano and acoustic guitar. This and a few of the other songs benefit from the inclusion of flute, played by the guitarist Ezio Vevey.

This band really does have a moment or two that will convince you that you are listening to Jethro Tull instead of one of the best Italian progressive rock albums ever. These moments are fleeting however, and Loccanda Della Fate have the typical lyricism and stately bearing of the best of their counterparts.

I've read arguments for and against calling this CD a classic of the Italian symphonic genre, and I think it does belong in that category. I think that, perhaps, the reason that it is not universally acclaimed is its smooth continuity. It does not knock you over immediately, rather it gradually draws you in, and wraps you in its beauty and its calming presence.

This release is well worth picking up, and adding to your collection of Italian Prog. I just learned that the band put out another CD in 1999 without Sasso, and I see no reason not to grab that one as well, seeing what a marvelous job they did straight out of the gate 26 years ago.

A Volte Un Istante Di Quiete (6:31) / Forse Le Lucciole Non Si Amano Pui (9:48) / Profuma Di Colla Bianca (8:25) / Cercando Un Nuovo Confine (6:41) / Sogno Di Estunno (4:41) / Non Chiudere A Chiave Le Stelle (3:34) / Vendesi Saggezza (9:37) / New York (4:35)*

*bonus on CD version

Giorgio Gardino - drums, vibraphone
Lucciano Boero - bass, Hammond organ
Ezio Vevey - electric guitar, 12- string acoustic, vocals, flute
Alberto Gaviglio - electric guitar, acoustic guitar, electric 12-string guitar, vocals
Michele Conta - piano, electric piano, Polymoog, clavinet, synthesizer
Oscar Mazzoglio - Hammond organ, Fender Rhodes, Moog, Polymoog Synthesizers Leonardo Sasso - Vocals

Forse Le Lucciole Non Si Amano Piu Live (1993) Homo Homini Lupus (1999)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin IT

Added: March 22nd 2004
Reviewer: Tom Karr
Hits: 1125
Language: english


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