I last wrote about P.F.M. (Premiata Forneria Marconi) in 2003 – before I got the chance to completely re-buy my P.F.M. CD collection in Japan once again!
Another fine Italian progressive rock band from the 1970’s! There are many more than I will list here, but try and hear these ones first:
Storia Di Un Minuto (Numero Uno Italy, 1972) ’03 issue
Per Un Amico (Numero Uno Italy, 1973) ’03 issue
Photos Of Ghosts (Manticore US/UK, 1973) ’99 issue
L’Isola Di Niente / The World Became The World (Manticore US/UK, 1974) ’06 issue
Chocolate Kings (Manticore US/UK, 1976) ’99 issue
Jet Lag (Manticore US/UK, 1977) ’05 issue
Pretty much the first thing I ever got to hear by P.F.M. was their debut Manticore label LP “Photos Of Ghosts”, around 1974 or so. After hearing that, I easily found their first two LP’s in Los Angeles, and determined that some of “Photos Of Ghosts” has been taken from those LP’s! OK, some of it is re-recorded, but…there is also a good live album during this time frame (“Cook”, 1974), but what I’ve listed above are their first six studio albums.
P.F.M. were also one of the few Italian bands to be signed to a record company outside of their native Italy, Manticore Records. Their Manticore debut, “Photos of Ghosts” even has some English lyrics by King Crimson lyricist Pete Sinfield!
P.F.M. were one of the few Italian bands that I ever got to see play live. Around the time of “Jet Lag” (1977) they toured the US, and I got to see them at the Golden Bear in Huntington Beach, CA – up close. Franco Mussida is a really amazing guitarist, and I am not usually impressed by guitarists. I also rather enjoyed meeting them, and getting vocalist Bernardo Lanzetti to sign an LP by his other band, Acqua Fragile!
Of course, P.F.M. continued after 1977, but while I continued to buy their new albums for the next few years, it was always these first six albums that captured my imagination. Of these six albums, I probably like “Photos of Ghosts” the best, but it was what I first heard by them – and I am probably weakest on “Chocolate Kings” – as I never heard it at the time. Also rather partial to “Jet Lag” – but that’s when I got to meet them, and see them play live.
More recently, I have been impressed with “The World Became The World” – how good it sounds, how well it’s recorded etc. At the time, I remember being disappointed with it! But listening to it in 2011, dang – those guys could really play in ‘74!
I think I could actually be tempted by even better masterings of these albums: SHM-CD or 24bit DSD mastering. I’ve already got them as Japanese paper sleeve CD’s!