Friday, 26 June 2015

CRYSTAL DREAMS

Raccomandata con Ricevuta di Ritorno were a band of the Italian prog scene of the early seventies. The line-up featured Luciano Regoli (vocals, acoustic guitar), Nanni Civitenga (guitar), Stefano Piermarioli (keyboards), Damaso Grassi (flute, sax), Manlio Zacchia (bass) and Francesco Froggio Francica (drums, percussion). They came from Rome and released only one album. Anyway, the musicians were also involved in other projects, for instance singer Luciano Regoli came from a previous experience in a band called Il Ritratto di Dorian Gray (that never released an album) with future Goblin leader Claudio Simonetti and, after RRR disbanded, he and guitarist Nanni Civitenga played in another band called Samadhi...


Per... un mondo di cristallo” (For... A crystal world) is a concept album based on a story by Marina Comin, who wrote the lyrics. The music and words try to describe the feelings of an astronaut who comes back to Earth and finds only desolation and ruins... The planet where he had lived before his space journey does not exist anymore, around him there’s nothing (“Nulla”). The first track is a short introduction dominated by a church-like organ then, on the second track, acoustic guitar and flute greet the astronaut’s awakening. The protagonist climbs onto a rock (“Su una rupe”) and realizes that he’s living a kind of nightmare because everything around him is dead now... The music is complex, with shifting tempos... “Men, if you could climb on this rock and see what you have done... You would have thought more about what you were doing...”. Then anguish and fear, it’s as if the world was falling down and the protagonist remembers the happy days of his past “like a tree that is using its roots...”. Here the music is uneasy and it reminds me of Il Balletto di Bronzo’s “Ys” (“Il mondo cade su di me”), then turns into a “jazz mood” (“Nel mio quartiere”).

inner sleeve

The second part of the album begins with a dramatic atmosphere, a threatening unsmiling shadow is rising on the horizon. When the protagonist realizes that the merciless shadow is “humankind” the rhythm turns into tarantella... The lost world was nothing but a puppet show, a stage where men were acting like marionettes (“Un palco di marionette”). The music here describes the madness of humankind in a perfect mix of a wide range of moods and rhythms. The final track is dreamy, with acoustic guitar and flute in the forefront... Now the protagonist has nothing in his mind but crystal dreams (“Sogni di cristallo”) that melt back into the mist...


On the whole a very good album, with a beautiful art cover. Perhaps it’s not flawless (the lyrics are a little bit naïve and the vocal parts are not “impeccable”) but it’s really worth listening to... If you like bands as BMS, Le Orme or Il Balletto di Bronzo this album will be an excellent addition to your collection!

 
You can listen to the complete album HERE