Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso - Io Sono Nato Libero

Year of Release: 19xx
Label: BMG/Ricordi
Catalog Number: MPCD 206
Format: CD
Total Time: 40:29:00

According to the average rating of over 40 reviewers on the Gnosis Web site, this the greatest progressive rock album ever recorded. Keep in mind, though, that the reviewers on Gnosis seem to love Italian prog rock, albums of which fill four of the top five slots on the Web site (last time I looked, anyway). Still, whether or not you want to call this the best ever (I don't), you gotta know that it's pretty darn good. One thing that keeps this album from being among the best, in my opinion, is Francesco di Giacomo's vocals. It's not because they're sung in Italian -- that's fine -- and it's not that he's a bad singer -- he's not. It's the tremulous quality to his voice that I at first found mildly annoying and had to get used to -- though the vocals never bothered me enough to turn me off from this great album, a lot of which is instrumental, anyway.

Banco's music on this CD is complex symphonic progressive that sounds not like any particular classic prog band but rather like bits of all (although EL&P comes to mind more often than any other classic group). Composition's like the opening track, "Canto Nomade Per Un Prigioniero Politico," which clocks in at a healthy and proggy 16 minutes, goes through myriad changes from mellow simplicity to wonderful tangles of guitar, keyboards, bass, and drums. Sometimes the sound is EL&P, sometimes it's Pink Floyd, sometimes Yes, sometimes more Old English, such as some of Jethro Tull, but none of these influences stay in place for long. One thing's for sure: Banco always is musically on the move, constantly jumping from one meter and mood to another.

"Non Mi Rompete," which is a mostly acoustic number, is less complex than other songs on the album, whereas tracks, such as "La Citta' Sottile," rely heavily on acoustic piano, rather than electronic keyboards, but still retain the complex nature of the music. In any case, Italian prog is an acquired taste. This is one of those albums that you have to listen to a few times before it really sinks in, mostly due to the complex arrangements. For sure, if you're not familiar with Italian prog, this terrific album would be a place to start.

Canto Nomade Per Un Prigioniero Politico (15:43) / Non Mi Rompete (5:03) / La Citta'sottile (7:10) / Dopo... Niente E'piu'lo Stesso (9:54) / Traccia II (2:39)

Vittorio Nocenzi - keyboards
Gianni Nocenzi - piano
Marcello Todaro - guitar
Renato D'Angelo - bass, acoustic guitar
Pier Luigi Calderoni - drums
Francesco di Giacomo - vocals

Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso (1972)
Darwin (1972)
Io Sono Nato Libero (1973)
Banco (1975)
Garofano Rosso (1976)
Come In Un' Ultima Cena (1976)
...Di Terra (1978)
Canto Di Primavera (1979)
Capolinea (1980)
Urgentissimo (1980)
Buone Notizie (1981)
Banco (1983)
...E Via (1985)
Donna Plautilla (1989)
Il 13 (1994)
Nudo (1997)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin IT

Added: May 15th 2001
Reviewer: Clayton Walnum

Artist website:
Hits: 1141
Language: english


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