Quarteto 1111 - Onde, Quando, Como, Porquê Cantamos Pessoas Vivas. 1975 Portugal

This opus from the Portuguese group Quarteto 1111 would have fit perfectly in the middle of the 1973 Italian progressive rock movement. Mellotron galore with dramatic vocals that would make a band like Celeste, Premiata Forneria Marconi, or Quella Vecchia Locanda proud. In fact, this album has more mellotron than any other album I can think of (really)! And the melodies are sublime, a rare certain sound that is hard to write about, but no one creates music like this anymore, that's for sure. Wonderful synthesizer and electric guitar soloing as well. Unfortunately a very short album that doesn't quite hit the 30 minute mark. I love stuff like this.

Personal collection
CD: 2008 iPlay
LP: 2009 Guerssen (Spain)

I first heard of this rarity via Japan's Marquee magazine in the late 1980s. This LP really is obscure, and I never had a chance to even hear it until 2006 (despite an intense search for over 15 years) when a friend sent me a CD-R.  As for reissues, the iPlay digi-pak is very nice and has unique liner notes (but in Portuguese). I also went forward with the Guerssen LP, knowing I'll probably never possess an original. This reissue is excellent, and replicates the flap back cover perfectly. It also comes with a full set of liners, this time in English.

5 comments:

  1. This album is beyond brilliant. Where else do you hear a mellotron duelling it out with an electric guitar? I thought heaven was supposed to be eternal, but in this case it only lasts half an hour :-) A real shame so few people seem to have heard this.

    I've got the excellent iPlay CD and the only problem I have with it is that the music fades out between the two parts. Makes sense for the LP, but not for the CD. The album was clearly conceived as one long piece and the CD would've been the perfect medium to present it as it was meant to be. A missed opportunity I should think.

    And then there's the Portuguese liner notes, as you mentioned. Unfortunately, my Portuguese is... well, there's no such thing as 'my Portuguese' :-) Any chance you could do me a scan of the LP liners?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Bas - I have to agree that they should have connected both sides as one. LOL on "my Portuguese". Yea, me neither! Send me an e-mail on the liners, and I'll see what I can do.

      30 minutes of heaven! Thanks for the comment, as always.

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    2. Hi Bas, hi Tom,

      I listened to the CD again yesterday and I think they tried to connect both sides and managed somehow to do it. It does not fade out completely and then fades in. It starts to fade out at around 16 minutes and then the second part is cut in at the right position. Thus it is fused, though one realizes the cut, of course. But there is no pause.

      Greetings!

      Achim

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  2. Hi Tom,

    maybe Jose Cids (who is the keyboarder in Quarteto 1111) "10.000 Anos Depois Entre Vénus e Marte" has as much mellotron. I also have the iPlay-CD. Do you know or did you hear the other albums by Quarteto 1111 (I think there are two earlier ones)?

    Many greetings!

    Achim

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    Replies
    1. Hi Achim,

      Yes, the Jose Cid album is excellent as well. I should feature that one soon too. I have the wonderful Syn-Phonic CD with the LP cover.

      I never did hear the other Quarteto 1111 albums. My understanding is they are more in line with beat music, and light psychedelia, than the type of music I typically enjoy. It would make sense. Hard to imagine a band from 1970 Portugal being on the cutting edge. Even the 1973 Petrus Castrus sounds like it's from 1967.

      Thanks for the comment, Achim!

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