Planetarium - Infinity. 1971 Italy
CD reissue: 1990 Vinyl Magic
Release details: An extremely rare album, though not as expensive as some of the more known Italian progressive rock classics, only because demand isn't as high. Still, an original will run into the multi-hundreds for a nice copy. The album is housed in a textured single sleeve cover. Not that I've ever seen one mind you. This is an album I'd never even heard of when the CD hit the market 24 years ago. But I was encouraged to buy one immediately, and glad I did - though like all the old Vinyl Magic CDs, all you get is a straight reissue (but legal). Even though it's never been repressed, I believe you can still find new copies out there for the original retail price. I wouldn't wait forever though. This is one I would expect an LP reissue from BTF, as well as a Japanese mini-LP to emerge. But surprisingly, the old Vinyl Magic CD is all there is.
Notes: Not the first album mentioned when talking classic Italian progressive rock, and yet it was one of the very first chronologically. Mostly an atmospheric, instrumental (with wordless voice), and "quite lovely" album as the Brits would say. It is indeed cinematic in its approach, and very lush. And yes, speaking of lush, Mellotron is all over this for fans of the tape sampler keyboard instrument. Clearly a concept album of enormous proportion going from the beginning (of everything?) to Infinity... all in about 35 minutes (hey! - not bad considering what it could have been... Yes would have done the same in 9 hours over a 12 album deluxe set...). The music has this certain "looking out over the sea" quality that Italian bands seem to inherently possess. I'm reminded of Era di Acquario in their instrumental moments, and on the rare occasion when Planetarium do rock out (in Hammond organ fueled jazzy jam mode), you'll think of Latte e Miele's "Passio Secundum Mattheum" when in a similar mindset in relation to their own insanely ambitious concept album.