Week of December 31, 2000

Metamorfosi

Davide "Jimmy" Spitaleri: vocals, flute
Enrico Olivieri: keyboards
Roberto Turbitosi: bass
Mario Natali: drums
Luciano Tamburro: guitar

"E Fu Il Sesto Giorno" (1972) Vedette - VPA 8168 (CD: Vinyl Magic VM003, 1989)
"Inferno" (1972) Vedette - VPA 8162 (CD: Vinyl Magic VM002, 1989)

Metamorfosi was one of a few rock groups to come out of Sicily in the early seventies. They started off with some live appearances, such as the avant-garde festival in Rome's Foro Italico (1972), where the singer's fine voice was especially noticed. Still in 1972, the group recorded two LPs for Vedette, a few months apart. The first, "E Fu Il Sesto Giorno", was basically a collection of songs showcasing Spitaleri's fine songwriting and musicianship talents. Very soon the group was reduced to a quartet; Natali and Tamburro replaced with keyboard player Gianluca Herygers from Congo. With this second line-up, Metamorfosi recorded "Inferno", one of the best LPs in the history of Italian rock. The album displays a great use of keyboards (with more than just a nod to ELP) and Spitaleri's vocals, as well as an excellent rhythm section. "Inferno" does not have any weak points on the lyrical side either. The overall theme of the album takes inspiration from Dante's "Divine Comedy". There is also a very personal interpretation, rock style, of both the American and Soviet national anthems. Unfortunately, this LP was hardly noticed; there's, in fact, more interest in this album now than there was 20 years ago! Subsequently, the group broke up. Nobody even knows as to whether or not Spitaleri and his former bandmates are aware that "Inferno" is nowadays considered to be one of the most requested recordings in Italy and Japan, as far as Italian progressive rock of the 1970s is concerned! Maybe a re-issue would sell more copies today than when the original first came out. After their break up, Spitaleri went to Los Angeles to get vocal training; then recorded two LPs, one of which under the pseudonym of Thor, and the second - under his own name.

Taken from "The Return of Italian Pop" by Paolo Barotto (Vinyl Magic VM201, 8016158220124)

Vinyl Magic/BTF web site: www.btf.it


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