Biglietto per L'Inferno - s/t. 1974 Italy
CD reissues (selected): 1989 Vinyl Magic; 2006 Trident (mini-LP); 2009 AMS (mini-LP); 2009 Belle Antique (Japan mini-LP)
LP reissue: 2010 AMS
Release details: This is a big one for collectors of vintage Italian progressive rock. The original is housed is a simple single sleeve, and isn't very noteworthy otherwise. If in the market for one, you need to tread carefully, as there does exist a very convincing boot from the 1980s. If you follow Augusto's rules, you'll be fine though. As far as I know, the only legitimate LP reissue is the recent one from AMS. As for CD's, they are numerous and constantly put back in print, so I'm only showing a representative handful here. They're all variations of the same source and all owned/licensed by the folks behind BTF. Unfortunately none of them sound very good. I've not been fortunate enough to own an original, but a local friend has one, and I've asked he bring it over next time so we could do a fresh comparison. I bought the first CD as soon as it hit the market (the album's reputation was enormous even back then). Eventually I upgraded to the "Trident" version which features a fine gatefold mini-LP. I can hear an attempt was made to fix the sound, but... yea, it's never going to sound great I'm afraid. In some ways, that's part of its charm and... well, read below.
Notes: So how does one describe the brilliance of Biglietto per L'Inferno? It's not one of those obvious single listen masterpiece albums that's for sure. Let's put it this way: If Banco del Mutuo Succorso is the marquee at the Teatro alla Scala, and Celeste is found playing in a small Umbrian village church, then Biglietto per L'Inferno resides behind the Porta Alchemica. This album is pure arcana. Perhaps the ultimate example is 'Confessione', which turns into complete madness by the end, with more twists and turns in one minute than most albums conjure up for their entire length. Every track has this veil of mystery and exploration that goes beyond normal understanding. Venture deep into the forest and see for yourself...