Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Equipe 84 - Io ho in mente te (1966) ITALIA

Maurizio Vandelli (vocals, guitar)
Franco Ceccarelli (guitar, vocals)
Victor Sogliani (bass, vocals)
Alfio Cantarella (drums, vocals)
Probably the most famous Italian beat group from the 60's, and with a long career starting with a debut single in 1964, Equipe 84 lasted until mid 70's and also had a (slightly) prog influenced period.This four piece from Modena was for the Italian teenagers the local answer to the Beatles, and they had a long series of hit singles between 1966 and 1969 with such classics as Io ho in mente te, Auschwitz, Bang bang, 29 settembre (that also had an English sung release in USA and UK), Un angelo blu, Tutta mia la cittа.
The band had its first crisis in 1970 with original member Franco Ceccarelli leaving the group and drummer Alfio Cantarella arrested for drug possession, being replaced for a short time and a single by ex-Rokes drummer Mike Shepstone; later, with the help of another guest drummer, Franz Di Cioccio (from I Quelli, then Premiata Forneria Marconi), they released what is usually considered their most progressive album, Id.
This, their fourth album, was less song-based than their previous works, and contained ten tracks with dynamic arrangements and some orchestral passages. Not a real prog album, this has some good tracks like Il re dei re and the long Un brutto sogno, but for many Italian listeners the characteristic voice of Maurizio Vandelli is too tied to their beat period for this to be convincently considered a prog album.
With Casa mia, in 1971, Equipe 84 returned to a typical song album, but their most creative time had clearly passed. Dr.Jekyll & Mr.Hyde, from 1973 marks their passage to Ariston, and is another pop album, with the single exception of the jazzy instrumental Dr.Jekyll. Last album, Sacrificio in 1974 has again some good instrumental passages, even if the basic influence is still melodic pop. They were helped here by drummer Paolo Siani from Nuova Idea.The group kept playing and recording until 1977, a late concert is included in the live CD released in mid 90's.
After the end of Equipe 84 singer and leader Maurizio Vandelli has tried to reform them many times until the sad death in the 90's of bassist Sogliani; he's also released a couple of solo albums in 1970 and 1974 and also worked as producer for the likes of Reale Accademia di Musica and Gianni D'Errico. (http://www.italianprog.com/a_equipe84.htm )

01 - Alti Nel Cielo 02 - Ieri In Lei 03 - Floating 04 - Bang Bang 05 - Wanna Pray (Un Giorno Tu Mi Cercherai) 06 - Resta 07 - Io Ho In Mente Te 08 - Spiegami Come Mai 09 - Da Domani 10 - Tu Pretendi 11 - Auschwitz

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