Il Paese dei Balocchi - s/t. 1972 Italy
LP reissues: 1982 Seven Seas (Japan); 2007 Vinyl Magic
CD reissues: 1988 Crime (Japan); 1993 Mellow; 1993 CGD (Japan); 2004 Strange Days (Japan mini-LP); 2007 Vinyl Magic (mini-LP); 2009 Strange Days (Japan)
I think this is the kind of Italian progressive album that is taken for granted. Usually filed under terms like "second tier", and though not an unfair statement when compared to the likes of PFM, Banco, Osanna, Semiramis, Il Balletto di Bronzo, ad infinitum, one should still call this "first tier". A beautiful piece of rock music. I think the orchestrations / singer songwriter romantic stuff is what doesn't sit well for first time visitors / scan-through listeners. After a bombastic opening, the album gives the listener a bit of a head fake. That said, all of the mellow parts are so well done and there are no whiny bits to endure, which usually detracts from other albums in the genre. Overall, it's looser and more sparse than most coming from Italy during this time. One of the few albums with a killer pipe organ solo. I do believe this is a classic! Yes, I do.
Originals come in a wonderful gatefold sleeve. One of the few 70s Italian progressive rock albums where originals are still relatively affordable, and well worth the money IMO. Easy to find on CD as well.