This week: PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI - PHOTOS OF GHOSTS (1973)
Premiata Forneria Marconi (or PFM) were (and still are) an Italian prog rock group that came pretty damn close to mainstream international success in the 70's. Although mainly remembered today by internet prog dorks like me and Amabassador MAGMA, PFM actually charted in both the UK and the US with their radio-friendly 1973 hit "Celebration", which you will find on this album. Photos of Ghosts was their first BIG record, released after PFM was brought to the attention of Manticore Records by Greg Lake of ELP. It is also their first record to feature lyrics in English, which were actually written by Peter Sinfield of King Crimson.
The music here is pretty damn mellow, showing PFM's mastery of acoustic arrangements and an affection for both chamber music and classical compositions. Sometimes reminiscent of Britain's Gentle Giant, PFM's medieval jams are sometimes heavy, sometimes strange, but always interesting.
Oh, and "Premiata Forneria Marconi", translated from Italian, means "Award-Winning Marconi Bakery". For some reason.