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Premiata Forneria Marconi

Premiata Forneria Marconi

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Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM) (translation: Award-winning Marconi Bakery) is an Italian progressive rock
Italian progressive rock
The Italian progressive rock scene was born in the early 70s, mostly inspired by the progressive movement in Britain, but with certain features of its own that makes some sources mention it as a separate musical genre....

 band. They were the first Italian
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 group to have success abroad, entering both the British
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 and American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 charts. Between 1973 and 1977 they released five albums with English lyrics. They also had several successful Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

an and American
Americas
The Americas, or America , are lands in the Western hemisphere, also known as the New World. In English, the plural form the Americas is often used to refer to the landmasses of North America and South America with their associated islands and regions, while the singular form America is primarily...

 tours, playing at the popular Reading Festival in England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 and on a very popular national television program in the U.S.A.

PFM introduced new sounds, such as the synthesizer
Synthesizer
A synthesizer is an electronic instrument capable of producing sounds by generating electrical signals of different frequencies. These electrical signals are played through a loudspeaker or set of headphones...

, to the Italian musical world. They were also among the first to combine symphonic classical
Classical music
Classical music is the art music produced in, or rooted in, the traditions of Western liturgical and secular music, encompassing a broad period from roughly the 11th century to present times...

 and traditional Italian musical
Music of Italy
The music of Italy ranges across a broad spectrum of opera and instrumental classical music and a body of popular music drawn from both native and imported sources. Music has traditionally been one of the cultural markers of Italian national and ethnic identity and holds an important position in...

 influences in a rock music
Rock music
Rock music is a genre of popular music that developed during and after the 1960s, particularly in the United Kingdom and the United States. It has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll, itself heavily influenced by rhythm and blues and country music...

 context. Such innovations and their longevity have made them among the most important bands in the international Progressive rock
Progressive rock
Progressive rock is a subgenre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s as part of a "mostly British attempt to elevate rock music to new levels of artistic credibility." John Covach, in Contemporary Music Review, says that many thought it would not just "succeed the pop of...

 genre.

1966-1970



The original core members of PFM (Mussida, Di Cioccio, Premoli, and Piazza) came together in the mid 1960's while playing together as backup musicians for many different Italian pop, rock and folk singers such as Lucio Battisti
Lucio Battisti
Lucio Battisti was an Italian singer-songwriter . He is considered to be one of the best-known and most influential musicians and authors in Italian pop/rock music history....

, Mina
Mina (singer)
Anna Maria Quaini, Grand Officer , known as Mina, is an Italian pop singer. She was a staple of Italian television variety shows and a dominant figure in Italian pop music from the mid-1960s to mid-1970s known for her three-octave vocal range, the agility of her soprano voice, and her image as an...

, Adriano Celentano
Adriano Celentano
Adriano Celentano is an Italian singer, songwriter, comedian, actor, film director and TV host.-Biography:Celentano was born in Milan at 14 Via Gluck, about which he later wrote the famous song "Il ragazzo della via Gluck"...

 and Fabrizio De André
Fabrizio De André
Fabrizio De André was an Italian singer-songwriter.Known for his sympathies towards anarchism, libertarianism, and pacifism, he also was a convicted atheist , and his songs often featured marginalized and rebellious people, prostitutes and knaves, and attacked the Catholic Church...

. They appeared on many recordings for other artists during this period and quickly established themselves as top players on the Italian rock and pop scene. Mussida, Premoli, Piazza and Di Cioccio then formed the group "I quelli" (English translation "Them", or "Those Guys") in 1968. I quelli released one album and some successful Italian singles.

Premiata Forneria Marconi was officially formed in Milan
Milan
Milan is the second-largest city in Italy and the capital city of the region of Lombardy and of the province of Milan. The city proper has a population of about 1.3 million, while its urban area, roughly coinciding with its administrative province and the bordering Province of Monza and Brianza ,...

 in 1970 when the members of I quelli met Mauro Pagani
Mauro Pagani
Mauro Pagani is an Italian musician and singer.Pagani was born in Chiari, Lombardy. A multi-instrumentalist, he made his debut in the music world in 1970 as violinist and founding member of the progressive rock band Premiata Forneria Marconi. In 1977 he left the band to follow a solo career, but...

 from the group Dalton. Pagani helped the group expand their sound to include violin and flute. By this time they were already highly experienced musicians and easily able to play the kind of complex progressive heavy rock played by the leading English and American groups. Their early live performances included covers by groups such as King Crimson
King Crimson
King Crimson are a rock band founded in London, England in 1969. Often categorised as a foundational progressive rock group, the band have incorporated diverse influences and instrumentation during their history...

 and Jethro Tull
Jethro Tull (band)
Jethro Tull are a British rock group formed in 1967. Their music is characterised by the vocals, acoustic guitar, and flute playing of Ian Anderson, who has led the band since its founding, and the guitar work of Martin Barre, who has been with the band since 1969.Initially playing blues rock with...

. Other early influences included Chicago
Chicago (band)
Chicago is an American rock band formed in 1967 in Chicago, Illinois. The self-described "rock and roll band with horns" began as a politically charged, sometimes experimental, rock band and later moved to a predominantly softer sound, becoming famous for producing a number of hit ballads. They had...

, Ekseption
Ekseption
Ekseption was a Dutch progressive rock ensemble with changing membership, active from 1967 to 1989, growing out of the bands The Jokers and Incrowd. The group started out playing jazz, pop and R&B covers...

, and The Flock
The Flock (band)
The Flock was a Chicago-based jazz-rock band that released two records on Columbia records in 1969 and 1970 . The Flock did not achieve the commercial success of other Columbia jazz-rock groups of the era such as Chicago and Blood Sweat & Tears, but were most notable for their inclusion of a...

.

They had a long name, as Italian progressive bands tended to have back then, and so were usually referred to as "La Premiata", and later "PFM". After rejecting Isotta-Fraschini
Isotta-Fraschini
Isotta Fraschini represents two Italian manufacturing companies which produce, respectively, marine engines and luxury goods. In the early 20th century it was famous worldwide as a luxury car manufacturer.-History:...

 (an Italian car maker) the group finally settled on Pagani's suggestion, "Forneria Marconi" (meaning "Marconi Bakery"), borrowed from the sign of a shop in the small town of Chiari, near Brescia
Brescia
Brescia is a city and comune in the region of Lombardy in northern Italy. It is situated at the foot of the Alps, between the Mella and the Naviglio, with a population of around 197,000. It is the second largest city in Lombardy, after the capital, Milan...

. However, record producer and friend Alessandro Colombini suggested the name was not strong enough, so the title "Premiata" (award-winning) was added. Some objected that "Premiata Forneria Marconi" was too long a name, but the group's philosophy stated that the more difficult to remember a band's name, the more difficult to forget it.

Italian and international success (1971-1975)



In June 1971, PFM were invited at the first "Festival d'Avanguardia e Nuove Tendenze" in Viareggio
Viareggio
Viareggio is a city and comune located in northern Tuscany, Italy, on the coast of the Tyrrhenian Sea. With a population of over 64,000 it is the main centre of the northern Tuscan Riviera known as Versilia, and the second largest city within the Province of Lucca.It is known as a seaside resort...

, which they won, along with Osanna
Osanna
Osanna are an Italian psychedelic rock/progressive rock band.The group originated in the Vomero neighborhood of Naples with the union of Lino Vairetti , Danilo Rustici , Massimo Guarino , Lello Brandi , from the first line-up of the band Città Frontale, and Elio D'Anna , former member of the Showmen...

 and Mia Martini
Mia Martini
Mia Martini was an Italian singer.-Early life:Born Domenica Bertè in 1947 in Bagnara Calabra , she moved to Rome with her sister and her friend Renato Zero.-Career:She recorded her first records as Mimì Berté, but she soon decided to change her name to Mia...

. Later in 1971 the group signed with the Numero Uno division of RCA Records
RCA Records
RCA Records is one of the flagship labels of Sony Music Entertainment. The RCA initials stand for Radio Corporation of America , which was the parent corporation from 1929 to 1985 and a partner from 1985 to 1986.RCA's Canadian unit is Sony's oldest label...

 in Italy, and released their first single, "Impressioni di settembre"/"La carrozza di Hans". It was a success and received wide recognition as the first Italian hit record to feature the sound of an electronic music synthesizer
Synthesizer
A synthesizer is an electronic instrument capable of producing sounds by generating electrical signals of different frequencies. These electrical signals are played through a loudspeaker or set of headphones...

. Both songs are still regularly performed by the group. Flavio Premoli also did a special demonstration of the capabilities of the Minimoog
Minimoog
The Minimoog is a monophonic analog synthesizer, invented by Bill Hemsath and Robert Moog. It was released in 1970 by R.A. Moog Inc. , and production was stopped in 1981. It was re-designed by Robert Moog in 2002 and released as Minimoog Voyager.The Minimoog was designed in response to the use of...

 during a PFM television performance broadcast by RAI
RAI
RAI — Radiotelevisione italiana S.p.A. known until 1954 as Radio Audizioni Italiane, is the Italian state owned public service broadcaster controlled by the Ministry of Economic Development. Rai is the biggest television company in Italy...

.

In early 1972, PFM released their first album, Storia di un minuto
Storia di un minuto
Storia Di Un Minuto is the first album of the italian progressive rock band Premiata Forneria Marconi. It was released by the Numero Uno division of RCA Records in Italy...

. The album topped the Italian charts in its first week and was the first by an Italian rock group to achieve this kind of success. It contained re-recorded versions of songs from the first single, as well as "È Festa" and "Dove... Quando..." which continue to be essential parts of their live concerts.

Later in 1972 saw the release of their second LP, Per un amico
Per un amico
Per Un Amico is the second album from the Italian band Premiata Forneria Marconi.Released in 1972 by all the initial members of the group, it is considered their breakthrough album that put them on the map...

. This album opened the way to broader audience recognition all across Europe. It featured a more sophisticated 16-track
Multitrack recording
Multitrack recording is a method of sound recording that allows for the separate recording of multiple sound sources to create a cohesive whole...

 production and allowed the group to refine their Italian progressive rock sound.

PFM came to the attention of Greg Lake
Greg Lake
Gregory Stuart "Greg" Lake is an English musician, songwriter and producer, best known as a vocalist and bassist of King Crimson, and the bassist, guitarist, vocalist, and lyricist of Emerson, Lake & Palmer.-1960s: King Crimson:...

 of Emerson, Lake & Palmer
Emerson, Lake & Palmer
Emerson, Lake & Palmer, also known as ELP, are an English progressive rock supergroup. They found success in the 1970s and sold over forty million albums and headlined large stadium concerts. The band consists of Keith Emerson , Greg Lake and Carl Palmer...

 while ELP was on an Italian tour and PFM were signed to Manticore Records
Manticore Records
Manticore Records was the record label launched by Emerson, Lake & Palmer's production company Manticore in 1973. The manticore is featured in the artwork for the album Tarkus by Emerson, Lake & Palmer, . Initially the label was jointly owned with Island Records, but that partnership was dissolved...

. The first album on Manticore, Photos of Ghosts
Photos of Ghosts
Photos of Ghosts is the first English language album by the Italian progressive rock band Premiata Forneria Marconi, also known as "PFM". Released in the U.S. in October 1973, it was the first album by an Italian rock group to appear on the American charts...

was released all across Europe, Japan, and North America and was first time an Italian rock band found success in foreign markets. It was also one of the first recordings by a European rock group to have chart success in the USA, peaking at #180 on the Billboard 200
Billboard 200
The Billboard 200 is a ranking of the 200 highest-selling music albums and EPs in the United States, published weekly by Billboard magazine. It is frequently used to convey the popularity of an artist or groups of artists...

 albums chart in November 1973. The album contained mostly re-recordings of songs from Per un amico in English. New lyrics (not translations) were written by former King Crimson
King Crimson
King Crimson are a rock band founded in London, England in 1969. Often categorised as a foundational progressive rock group, the band have incorporated diverse influences and instrumentation during their history...

 member Peter Sinfield
Peter Sinfield
Peter John Sinfield is an English poet, lyricist and artist, most famously known as the lyricist and co-founding member of early incarnations of King Crimson, whose debut album In the Court of the Crimson King has been regarded as one of the most influential progressive rock albums ever...

, who helped produce the new recording and mixing at Advision Studios
Advision Studios
- Origins :Founded in the 1960s by Guy Whetstone and Stephen Appleby, Advision originally provided voiceovers and jingles for television advertisements. The studio was initially located at 83 New Bond Street, but moved to 23 Gosfield Street in 1969. The studio complex was built to be able to house...

 in London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

. Sinfield also suggested that the band's name be abbreviated to PFM starting with this album. Songs included "Celebration", (a remake of "È Festa") which received considerable airplay on album-oriented rock
Album-oriented rock
Album-oriented rock is an American FM radio format focusing on album tracks by rock artists.-Music played:Most radio formats are based on a select, tight rotation of hit singles...

 stations in the U.S.A and Canada.
Following the release of Photos of Ghosts bass player Giorgio Piazza left the group, being replaced by Patrick Djivas, who has remained with the group ever since. The next PFM album release in Italy was L'isola di niente
L'isola di niente
L'isola di niente is the third album by Italian progressive rock band Premiata Forneria Marconi, released in 1974. Like the groups previous albums, it is sung Italian and performed well in Italy. The English remake, The World Became the World featured many of the tracks on L'isola di niente as well...

in 1974. Highlights of the album include "Dolcissima Maria" (English title: "Just Look Away") and the instrumental "Via Lumiere" (English title: "Have Your Cake and Beat It".) Again a similar English language version of the album was released by Manticore as The World Became the World. The English album included another re-recording of "Impressioni di settembre" as the title track. This was their last collaboration with Peter Sinfield, as the group were not entirely pleased with the content of his English lyrics. The second English language album also reached the U.S. charts, but was not as successful as its predecessor.

Following the release of The World Became the World the group recorded concerts in Cleveland, Ohio
Cleveland, Ohio
Cleveland is a city in the U.S. state of Ohio and is the county seat of Cuyahoga County, the most populous county in the state. The city is located in northeastern Ohio on the southern shore of Lake Erie, approximately west of the Pennsylvania border...

 and Toronto, Canada (Convocation Hall
Convocation Hall (University of Toronto)
Convocation Hall is a domed rotunda on the grounds of the University of Toronto in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Designed by Pearson and Darling and completed in 1907, it was inspired by the grand theatre of the Sorbonne and the Sheldonian Theatre at Oxford...

) on their 1974 North American tour. These recordings were used for their next European album titled Live in USA. The same recordings were also released in the U.S. and Canada with new cover art as their final U.S. album for Manticore re-titled, Cook. PFM reached their biggest American audience when they appeared on NBC
NBC
The National Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network and former radio network headquartered in the GE Building in New York City's Rockefeller Center with additional major offices near Los Angeles and in Chicago...

's Midnight Special
The Midnight Special (TV series)
The Midnight Special is an American musical variety series that aired on NBC during the 1970s and early 1980s, created and produced by Burt Sugarman. It premiered as a special on August 19, 1972, then began its run as a regular series on February 2, 1973; its last episode was on May 1, 1981...

 program on February 21, 1975. Their nationally televised performance included "Celebration" and the instrumental "Alta Loma Five Till Nine".

1975-1978


The lack of a strong lead vocalist had always been considered PFM's biggest liability so, for this reason, they enrolled Bernardo Lanzetti, who was previously with the group Acqua Fragile
Acqua Fragile
Acqua Fragile was an italian progressive rock band, active from 1971 to 1975. The band was established in the city of Parma. Bernardo Lanzetti, leader and vocalist of the band, is best known for his work with Premiata Forneria Marconi and has played in many other progressive rock acts, including...

. While a college student Lanzetti had lived in Austin, Texas
Austin, Texas
Austin is the capital city of the U.S. state of :Texas and the seat of Travis County. Located in Central Texas on the eastern edge of the American Southwest, it is the fourth-largest city in Texas and the 14th most populous city in the United States. It was the third-fastest-growing large city in...

 for a few years. But most importantly he had a powerful and distinctive voice and could speak fluent English.

The first release by the six-piece band was Chocolate Kings
Chocolate Kings
Chocolate Kings is the fourth album by Italian progressive rock band Premiata Forneria Marconi, published in 1975 by the Numero Uno division of RCA Records in Italy. It also was released by Manticore Records in the UK and Asylum Records the USA...

in 1975. Featuring a harder rock sound, it had modest success at home but was their least popular album in Italy so far. The same album was released with different cover art by Manticore in the U.K. and by Asylum Records
Asylum Records
Asylum Records is an American record label founded in 1971 by David Geffen, and partner Elliot Roberts, who had previously worked as agents at the William Morris Agency. Founded specifically to provide a record contract for Jackson Browne, the label signed Tom Waits, Linda Ronstadt, Joni Mitchell...

 in the U.S. The controversial U.S./U.K. cover showed a chocolate bar in a partially peeled Stars and Stripes
Flag of the United States
The national flag of the United States of America consists of thirteen equal horizontal stripes of red alternating with white, with a blue rectangle in the canton bearing fifty small, white, five-pointed stars arranged in nine offset horizontal rows of six stars alternating with rows...

 wrapper on the front, along with the crumpled and discarded wrapper on the back. PFM appeared on the BBC
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

 television show The Old Grey Whistle Test in 1976 performing the title track to the album. The album reached the U.K. Top 20 but was less successful internationally. Mauro Pagani left the group following Chocolate Kings to pursue a solo career.

Lanzetti also appeared on Jet Lag
Jet lag (album)
- Personnel :* Franz Di Cioccio – Drums, Moog, Vocal* Franco Mussida – Electric & Acoustic guitar, 12 String guitar, Mandocello, Voice* Gregory Bloch – Electric Violin, Acustic Violin* Patrick Djivas – Bass, Fretless Bass, Vocal...

(1977), an album highly influenced by the Jazz-fusion movement which was recorded in Los Angeles. This was their last album with English lyrics and their last attempt to reach the international progressive rock audience. It was also their last album released in the U.S., also on Asylum. Violinist Gregory Bloch, previously with the group It's a Beautiful Day
It's a Beautiful Day
It's a Beautiful Day is a band formed in San Francisco, California in 1967, the brainchild of violinist David LaFlamme.LaFlamme, a former soloist with the Utah Symphony Orchestra, had previously been in the band Orkustra, and unusually, played a five-string violin...

, replaced Mauro Pagani but lasted for only one album.

Passpartù (1978) added 2 new percussion players and changed direction again, including shorter songs in Italian and being characterized by an international pop music style. The new sound on this album contains mostly acoustic instead of electric guitar and seemed to draw from Italian folk and Latin music as well as Jazz influenced groups like Steely Dan
Steely Dan
Steely Dan is an American rock band; its core members are Donald Fagen and Walter Becker. The band's popularity peaked in the late 1970s, with the release of seven albums blending elements of jazz, rock, funk, R&B, and pop...

. This was the last album to feature Lanzetti, who then left to pursue a solo career.

1979-1987


In 1979, PFM once again played as the backup group for Fabrizio De André
Fabrizio De André
Fabrizio De André was an Italian singer-songwriter.Known for his sympathies towards anarchism, libertarianism, and pacifism, he also was a convicted atheist , and his songs often featured marginalized and rebellious people, prostitutes and knaves, and attacked the Catholic Church...

. The group contributed new arrangements for De André's songs and the ensemble toured Italy to packed concert halls. De André and PFM released two highly successful albums during this period, entitled In Concerto - Arrangiamenti PFM (1979), and In Concerto - Arrangiamenti PFM, Volume 2 (1980.)

During the 1980s PFM enjoyed continued success at home while concentrating on commercial rock music for the mainstream Italian audience. In 1980 Flavio Premoli left the group and built a successful career writing and performing music for Italian films and television. Multi-instrumentalist Lucio Fabbri joined adding skills on violin, keyboards, and rhythm guitar. Albums during this period were Suonare Suonare (1980), Performance
Performance
A performance, in performing arts, generally comprises an event in which a performer or group of performers behave in a particular way for another group of people, the audience. Choral music and ballet are examples. Usually the performers participate in rehearsals beforehand. Afterwards audience...

(1980), Come ti va in riva alla città (1981), and PFM? PFM! (1984). The title track of their 1987 album Miss Baker was written in honor of the American dancer Josephine Baker
Josephine Baker
Josephine Baker was an American dancer, singer, and actress who found fame in her adopted homeland of France. She was given such nicknames as the "Bronze Venus", the "Black Pearl", and the "Créole Goddess"....

. Though PFM stopped performing in 1987 they never officially broke up.

Reformation (1997-present)


Recent recordings by the group have successfully integrated their mainstream Italian and Progressive rock styles. In 1997 Flavio Premoli reunited with three other core members (DiCioccio, Djivas, Mussida) and released the comeback album Ulisse. Though not as progressive as some of their 1970s work it has been widely regarded by fans. The success of Ulisse helped to bring PFM back to the attention of the international Progressive rock audience. Ulisse (Italian for Odysseus
Odysseus
Odysseus or Ulysses was a legendary Greek king of Ithaca and the hero of Homer's epic poem the Odyssey. Odysseus also plays a key role in Homer's Iliad and other works in the Epic Cycle....

) is a Song cycle
Song cycle
A song cycle is a group of songs designed to be performed in a sequence as a single entity. As a rule, all of the songs are by the same composer and often use words from the same poet or lyricist. Unification can be achieved by a narrative or a persona common to the songs, or even, as in Schumann's...

 based on the Odyssey
Odyssey
The Odyssey is one of two major ancient Greek epic poems attributed to Homer. It is, in part, a sequel to the Iliad, the other work ascribed to Homer. The poem is fundamental to the modern Western canon, and is the second—the Iliad being the first—extant work of Western literature...

legend by Homer
Homer
In the Western classical tradition Homer , is the author of the Iliad and the Odyssey, and is revered as the greatest ancient Greek epic poet. These epics lie at the beginning of the Western canon of literature, and have had an enormous influence on the history of literature.When he lived is...

, with the contributions of noted Italian lyricist Vincenzo Incenzo. A 2 disc live album www.pfmpfm.it was recorded with two additional musicians on their sellout Italian tour the next year.

Serendipity (2001) is strong studio collection of new songs in Italian, though this time there was no concept linking the songs. Live In Japan 2002 was released in both a 2 CD and DVD edition. The 2 CD edition contains 2 new studio tracks including a collaboration with Peter Hammill
Peter Hammill
Peter Joseph Andrew Hammill is an English singer-songwriter, and a founding member of the progressive rock band Van der Graaf Generator. Most noted for his vocal abilities, his main instruments are guitar and piano...

 of Van der Graaf Generator
Van der Graaf Generator
Van der Graaf Generator are an English progressive rock band, formed in 1967 in Manchester. They were the first act signed to Charisma Records. The band achieved considerable success in Italy during the 1970s...

. Hammill wrote lyrics and sings on the group's first recording in English since 1977, titled Sea of Memory.

Piazza del Campo (2005) was released in both a single CD and CD+DVD edition. It captures PFM's performance with the one time only return of Mauro Pagani, filmed outdoors in the title's main square of Siena
Siena
Siena is a city in Tuscany, Italy. It is the capital of the province of Siena.The historic centre of Siena has been declared by UNESCO a World Heritage Site. It is one of the nation's most visited tourist attractions, with over 163,000 international arrivals in 2008...

. Italian rock star Piero Pelù
Piero Pelù
Piero Pelù is an Italian rock singer and songwriter, best known for his work with the famous Italian rock band Litfiba...

 also appears on the live DVD.

Due to health concerns keyboard player Flavio Premoli left the group for a second time in early 2005. PFM then returned to the USA for the first time since 1977 to play the Progressive Arts Showcase at Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
Bethlehem is a city in Lehigh and Northampton Counties in the Lehigh Valley region of eastern Pennsylvania, in the United States. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 74,982, making it the seventh largest city in Pennsylvania, after Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Allentown, Erie,...

 on July 8, 2005. This concert was held in conjunction with the 7th annual NEARfest
NEARfest
The North East Art Rock Festival, or NEARfest for short, is a multi-day event celebrating the resurgence of progressive and eclectic music in the United States and around the world. The event is held annually in early summer in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, approximately one hour north of Philadelphia...

 Progressive Rock event. Other shows on this tour included dates in Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

, Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

, Panama
Panama
Panama , officially the Republic of Panama , is the southernmost country of Central America. Situated on the isthmus connecting North and South America, it is bordered by Costa Rica to the northwest, Colombia to the southeast, the Caribbean Sea to the north and the Pacific Ocean to the south. The...

, and Venezuela
Venezuela
Venezuela , officially called the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela , is a tropical country on the northern coast of South America. It borders Colombia to the west, Guyana to the east, and Brazil to the south...

. Premoli's last work with the group, Dracula, was released late in the year. It is an original Rock opera
Rock opera
A rock opera is a work of rock music that presents a storyline told over multiple parts, songs or sections in the manner of opera. A rock opera differs from a conventional rock album, which usually includes songs that are not unified by a common theme or narrative. More recent developments include...

 based on the Dracula
Dracula
Dracula is an 1897 novel by Irish author Bram Stoker.Famous for introducing the character of the vampire Count Dracula, the novel tells the story of Dracula's attempt to relocate from Transylvania to England, and the battle between Dracula and a small group of men and women led by Professor...

 legend.

Stati di Immaginazione
Stati di immaginazione (album)
Stati d'immaginazione is a 2006 album by the Italian band Premiata Forneria Marconi .-Track listing:-DVD:The DVD's track list is similar to the CD...

(2006) is an entirely instrumental effort and has an accompanying DVD of video images made for each song. As is typical for PFM, the music alternates serene and calming sections of acoustic guitar with blistering balls to the wall rock. The video content ranges from fantasy style vignettes made with computer graphics to archival black and white historic films. PFM was the first confirmed act for the NEARfest
NEARfest
The North East Art Rock Festival, or NEARfest for short, is a multi-day event celebrating the resurgence of progressive and eclectic music in the United States and around the world. The event is held annually in early summer in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, approximately one hour north of Philadelphia...

 2009 festival which was held June 20–21.

In 2010 PFM released their new album A.D. 2010 La Buona Novella, a reworking of the Fabrizio de Andre
Fabrizio De André
Fabrizio De André was an Italian singer-songwriter.Known for his sympathies towards anarchism, libertarianism, and pacifism, he also was a convicted atheist , and his songs often featured marginalized and rebellious people, prostitutes and knaves, and attacked the Catholic Church...

 album La Buona Novella
La buona novella
La buona novella is the name of a concept album released by Italian singer/songwriter Fabrizio De André. It was first issued in 1970 on Produttori Associati and then re-released several times by Ricordi and BMG...

. The group included sections of their own music within the original De Andre songs, often adding significant instrumental passages. The album differs in style to the original, sounding more like a progressive rock
Progressive rock
Progressive rock is a subgenre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s as part of a "mostly British attempt to elevate rock music to new levels of artistic credibility." John Covach, in Contemporary Music Review, says that many thought it would not just "succeed the pop of...

 record. Unlike their previous album, Stati di Immaginazione
Stati di immaginazione (album)
Stati d'immaginazione is a 2006 album by the Italian band Premiata Forneria Marconi .-Track listing:-DVD:The DVD's track list is similar to the CD...

, this album was not an instrumental album and featured vocals, the first PFM studio recording to do so since 2005's Dracula.

In 2011 PFM were scheduled to play live in London, giving their first concert in Britain in a number of years, but the concert was cancelled. The group, however, are continuing to perform across Italy where their live performances remain popular. In the same year PFM also performed at the San Remo Festival, duetting with Roberto Vecchioni
Roberto Vecchioni
Roberto Vecchioni is an Italian singer-songwriter and writer.-Biography:Vecchioni was born in Carate Brianza, province of Milan, to a family of Neapolitan origin. In 1968 he graduated in Classical Literature at the Università Cattolica of Milan, where he remained for two years as assistant...

. The duet hinted at further collaboration in the future, a rumour that the group did nothing to discourage, however no material has been released thus far. This was the second appearance by the band at the festival, having previously performed in 2009. 2011 also saw the group release Amico Faber, a box set containing the live album PFM canta De Andre and A.D. 2010 - La buona novella, as well as a 16 page booklet, dedicated to Fabrizio de Andre
Fabrizio De André
Fabrizio De André was an Italian singer-songwriter.Known for his sympathies towards anarchism, libertarianism, and pacifism, he also was a convicted atheist , and his songs often featured marginalized and rebellious people, prostitutes and knaves, and attacked the Catholic Church...

. As with most PFM releases, the album is not widely available outside Italy. The album I Quelli, the first release of the band of the same name that contained many of the members of the original PFM lineup, was also re-released in Italy in 2011.

Current

  • Franco Mussida: acoustic guitar, electric guitar
    Electric guitar
    An electric guitar is a guitar that uses the principle of direct electromagnetic induction to convert vibrations of its metal strings into electric audio signals. The signal generated by an electric guitar is too weak to drive a loudspeaker, so it is amplified before sending it to a loudspeaker...

    , 12 string guitar, mandolin
    Mandolin
    A mandolin is a musical instrument in the lute family . It descends from the mandore, a soprano member of the lute family. The mandolin soundboard comes in many shapes—but generally round or teardrop-shaped, sometimes with scrolls or other projections. A mandolin may have f-holes, or a single...

    , vocals (1970–present)
  • Franz Di Cioccio: drums
    Drum kit
    A drum kit is a collection of drums, cymbals and often other percussion instruments, such as cowbells, wood blocks, triangles, chimes, or tambourines, arranged for convenient playing by a single person ....

    , percussion
    Percussion instrument
    A percussion instrument is any object which produces a sound when hit with an implement or when it is shaken, rubbed, scraped, or otherwise acted upon in a way that sets the object into vibration...

    , lead and backing vocals (1970–present)
  • Patrick Djivas: bass
    Bass (instrument)
    Bass describes musical instruments that produce tones in the low-pitched range. They belong to different families of instruments and can cover a wide range of musical roles...

    , programming (1974–present)
  • Lucio Fabbri: violin
    Violin
    The violin is a string instrument, usually with four strings tuned in perfect fifths. It is the smallest, highest-pitched member of the violin family of string instruments, which includes the viola and cello....

    , keyboards
    Keyboard instrument
    A keyboard instrument is a musical instrument which is played using a musical keyboard. The most common of these is the piano. Other widely used keyboard instruments include organs of various types as well as other mechanical, electromechanical and electronic instruments...

     (1979–1987, 2000–present )
  • Gianluca Tagliavini: piano
    Piano
    The piano is a musical instrument played by means of a keyboard. It is one of the most popular instruments in the world. Widely used in classical and jazz music for solo performances, ensemble use, chamber music and accompaniment, the piano is also very popular as an aid to composing and rehearsal...

    , Hammond
    Hammond organ
    The Hammond organ is an electric organ invented by Laurens Hammond in 1934 and manufactured by the Hammond Organ Company. While the Hammond organ was originally sold to churches as a lower-cost alternative to the wind-driven pipe organ, in the 1960s and 1970s it became a standard keyboard...

    , Minimoog
    Minimoog
    The Minimoog is a monophonic analog synthesizer, invented by Bill Hemsath and Robert Moog. It was released in 1970 by R.A. Moog Inc. , and production was stopped in 1981. It was re-designed by Robert Moog in 2002 and released as Minimoog Voyager.The Minimoog was designed in response to the use of...

    , other keyboards (2005–present)
  • Piero Monterisi: additional drums
    Drum
    The drum is a member of the percussion group of musical instruments, which is technically classified as the membranophones. Drums consist of at least one membrane, called a drumhead or drum skin, that is stretched over a shell and struck, either directly with the player's hands, or with a...

     (2006–present)

Former

  • Flavio Premoli
    Flavio Premoli
    Flavio Premoli is an Italian musician and composer, one of the four members of the Italian progressive rock band Premiata Forneria Marconi ....

    : piano
    Piano
    The piano is a musical instrument played by means of a keyboard. It is one of the most popular instruments in the world. Widely used in classical and jazz music for solo performances, ensemble use, chamber music and accompaniment, the piano is also very popular as an aid to composing and rehearsal...

    , keyboards
    Keyboard instrument
    A keyboard instrument is a musical instrument which is played using a musical keyboard. The most common of these is the piano. Other widely used keyboard instruments include organs of various types as well as other mechanical, electromechanical and electronic instruments...

    , Mellotron
    Mellotron
    The Mellotron is an electro-mechanical, polyphonic tape replay keyboard originally developed and built in Birmingham, England in the early 1960s. It superseded the Chamberlin Music Master, which was the world's first sample-playback keyboard intended for music...

    , Moog synthesizer
    Moog synthesizer
    Moog synthesizer may refer to any number of analog synthesizers designed by Dr. Robert Moog or manufactured by Moog Music, and is commonly used as a generic term for older-generation analog music synthesizers. The Moog company pioneered the commercial manufacture of modular voltage-controlled...

    , lead vocals (1970–1980, 1997–2005)
  • Giorgio Piazza: bass (1970–1974)
  • Mauro Pagani
    Mauro Pagani
    Mauro Pagani is an Italian musician and singer.Pagani was born in Chiari, Lombardy. A multi-instrumentalist, he made his debut in the music world in 1970 as violinist and founding member of the progressive rock band Premiata Forneria Marconi. In 1977 he left the band to follow a solo career, but...

    : flute
    Flute
    The flute is a musical instrument of the woodwind family. Unlike woodwind instruments with reeds, a flute is an aerophone or reedless wind instrument that produces its sound from the flow of air across an opening...

    , piccolo
    Piccolo
    The piccolo is a half-size flute, and a member of the woodwind family of musical instruments. The piccolo has the same fingerings as its larger sibling, the standard transverse flute, but the sound it produces is an octave higher than written...

    , violin
    Violin
    The violin is a string instrument, usually with four strings tuned in perfect fifths. It is the smallest, highest-pitched member of the violin family of string instruments, which includes the viola and cello....

    , vocals (1970–1976)
  • Bernardo Lanzetti: lead vocals, rhythm guitar
    Guitar
    The guitar is a plucked string instrument, usually played with fingers or a pick. The guitar consists of a body with a rigid neck to which the strings, generally six in number, are attached. Guitars are traditionally constructed of various woods and strung with animal gut or, more recently, with...

     (1975–1977)
  • Gregory Bloch: violin
    Violin
    The violin is a string instrument, usually with four strings tuned in perfect fifths. It is the smallest, highest-pitched member of the violin family of string instruments, which includes the viola and cello....

     (1976–1977)
  • Walter Calloni: additional drums
    Drum kit
    A drum kit is a collection of drums, cymbals and often other percussion instruments, such as cowbells, wood blocks, triangles, chimes, or tambourines, arranged for convenient playing by a single person ....

     (1982–1987)
  • Roberto Gualdi: additional drums
    Drum
    The drum is a member of the percussion group of musical instruments, which is technically classified as the membranophones. Drums consist of at least one membrane, called a drumhead or drum skin, that is stretched over a shell and struck, either directly with the player's hands, or with a...

     (1997–2005)

Studio albums

  • Storia di un minuto
    Storia di un minuto
    Storia Di Un Minuto is the first album of the italian progressive rock band Premiata Forneria Marconi. It was released by the Numero Uno division of RCA Records in Italy...

    (1972)
  • Per un amico
    Per un amico
    Per Un Amico is the second album from the Italian band Premiata Forneria Marconi.Released in 1972 by all the initial members of the group, it is considered their breakthrough album that put them on the map...

    (1972)
  • L'isola di niente
    L'isola di niente
    L'isola di niente is the third album by Italian progressive rock band Premiata Forneria Marconi, released in 1974. Like the groups previous albums, it is sung Italian and performed well in Italy. The English remake, The World Became the World featured many of the tracks on L'isola di niente as well...

    (1974)
  • Chocolate Kings
    Chocolate Kings
    Chocolate Kings is the fourth album by Italian progressive rock band Premiata Forneria Marconi, published in 1975 by the Numero Uno division of RCA Records in Italy. It also was released by Manticore Records in the UK and Asylum Records the USA...

    (1975)
  • Jet lag
    Jet lag (album)
    - Personnel :* Franz Di Cioccio – Drums, Moog, Vocal* Franco Mussida – Electric & Acoustic guitar, 12 String guitar, Mandocello, Voice* Gregory Bloch – Electric Violin, Acustic Violin* Patrick Djivas – Bass, Fretless Bass, Vocal...

    (1977)
  • Passpartù (1978)
  • Suonare Suonare (1980)
  • Come Ti Va In Riva Alla Città (1981)
  • P.F.M.? P.F.M.! (1984)
  • Miss Baker (1987)
  • Ulisse (1997)
  • Serendipity (2000)
  • Dracula (2005)
  • Stati di immaginazione
    Stati di immaginazione (album)
    Stati d'immaginazione is a 2006 album by the Italian band Premiata Forneria Marconi .-Track listing:-DVD:The DVD's track list is similar to the CD...

    (2006)
  • A.D. 2010 - La buona novella (2010)

English versions

  • Photos of Ghosts
    Photos of Ghosts
    Photos of Ghosts is the first English language album by the Italian progressive rock band Premiata Forneria Marconi, also known as "PFM". Released in the U.S. in October 1973, it was the first album by an Italian rock group to appear on the American charts...

    (1973 - version of Per un amico
    Per un amico
    Per Un Amico is the second album from the Italian band Premiata Forneria Marconi.Released in 1972 by all the initial members of the group, it is considered their breakthrough album that put them on the map...

    )
  • The World Became the World (1974 - version of L'isola di niente
    L'isola di niente
    L'isola di niente is the third album by Italian progressive rock band Premiata Forneria Marconi, released in 1974. Like the groups previous albums, it is sung Italian and performed well in Italy. The English remake, The World Became the World featured many of the tracks on L'isola di niente as well...

    )

Live albums

  • Live in USA (1974, also known as Cook)
  • In Concerto - Arrangiamenti PFM (1979) (with Fabrizio De André
    Fabrizio De André
    Fabrizio De André was an Italian singer-songwriter.Known for his sympathies towards anarchism, libertarianism, and pacifism, he also was a convicted atheist , and his songs often featured marginalized and rebellious people, prostitutes and knaves, and attacked the Catholic Church...

    )
  • In Concerto - Arrangiamenti PFM, Vol 2 (1980) (with Fabrizio De André
    Fabrizio De André
    Fabrizio De André was an Italian singer-songwriter.Known for his sympathies towards anarchism, libertarianism, and pacifism, he also was a convicted atheist , and his songs often featured marginalized and rebellious people, prostitutes and knaves, and attacked the Catholic Church...

    )
  • Performance (1981)
  • www.pfmpfm.it (1998)
  • Live in Japan 2002 (2002)
  • Piazza del Campo (2005)

Compilations

  • PFM The Award-Winning Marconi Bakery (1976, Peters International, USA) – the LP cover features a plate of spaghetti because the group is Italian
  • Prime impressioni (1976) – selections from Storia di un minuto and Per un amico
  • 35... e un minuto (2007)