Formula 3 - Le Grande Casa. 1973 Italy

Formula 3 - Le Grande Casa. 1973 Numero Uno

LP reissues: 1981 Seven Seas (Japan); 1990 Numero Uno; 1994 Si-Wan (Korea)

CD reissues: 1990 Seven Seas (Japan); 1990 Numero Uno; 1994 Si-Wan (Korea); 1995 Nexus (Japan); 2003 BMG (Japan mini-LP); 2003 Numero Uno/BMG; 2014 Sony

Now here's an album that I had no use for when I first bought it. Like many Italian originals, I found it locally here in Dallas in the 1980s. Brand new copy. I had already owned Sognando... so I was thrilled to get this one too. Got it home, slapped it on the turntable and... What the heck is this? Sold it immediately, proud that I was a true progressive rock fan. Cough. Years later I secured another copy, and this time I put on my big boy pants. The album sounds exactly like the cover looks. It's pastoral, a bit poppy, and often times very beautiful. No manner of rationalization will likely raise this to masterpiece status, but that doesn't mean it's not a pleasant album. It's very much in league with what was going on in Italy at the time, and you can hear elements of this same sound on the debut by Il Volo, which Formula 3 rolled up into. I would only recommend this album to hardcore fans of the genre, and not as a starting point or early recommendation. Go in calm, and you will leave calm. And with a smile on your face.

Reissues are easily available, and even originals are relatively inexpensive - especially for an early 70s album from Italy. For giggles, I picked up the Sony reissue super cheap just to compare to the "always bad sounding Japanese mini's" (LOL). Whatever. This new reissue isn't even close. It's quieter - so I guess that makes it better now? Hides the flaws better? I dunno. You can have it. The BMG CD sounds great to my ears. And so does the original vinyl.

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