Campo di Marte - s/t. 1973 Italy

Campo di Marte (named for a piazza in their native Florence) are representative of the top-tier of one-shot Italian progressive rock wonders of the early 1970s, and weighs in strongly against Museo Rosenbach, De De Lind, Alusa Fallax, Raccomandata Ricevuta Ritorno, and countless others. Among the usual instrumentation of guitar, keyboards (mellotron, organ, piano), bass, and drums, Campo di Marte adds flute and French Horn, the latter being particularly original for the scene. Strong dynamic shifts occur frequently, with pleasant flute and acoustic guitar sections often times contrasting psychedelic guitar runs atop the bombastic organ. Vocals are kept to a minimum, and are usually filtered to add to the overall alienation of the music. The melodies are memorable, and the band has a good sense of the groove during the jam sessions, pointing to a stronger than usual jazz background. This latter quality is not always a given when talking classic Italian progressive rock. Like most bands in the genre, Attention Deficiency Disorder apparently runs rampant throughout the crew – especially when it comes to keeping time. Campo di Marte's one showing to the world is an extraordinary tour-de-force, and represents one of the finest Italy has to offer. And that’s saying something given the competition.

Personal collection
LP: 1973 United Artists
CD: 2006 AMS/BTF

With BTF’s mini-LP reissue, the story becomes clearer: The original United Artists release not only had the wrong titles, but in complete reverse order from what was intended. The label wanted the "heavy stuff up front" to grab the listener. So could it be that record executives had worse ADD than the musicians? At the last minute, bandleader Enrico Rosa was forced to do a quick name change, and simply titled each 'I Tempo' through 'VII Tempo'. So the reissue not only provides the best sounding version to date (though it appears the master tapes are lost - and the CD is clearly from vinyl), but also reorders and retitles the songs appropriately, making for a smoother listen. The album now flows accordingly: 'Prologo' parts 1 to 3, 'Riflessione' parts 4 to 5 and 'Epilogo' parts 1 and 2 ('Tempo' 5 to 7 and 1 to 4 respectively).

Last listen: May 24, 2018

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