Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Strong, but not much different than PFM's last live album
woburnmusicfan | Woburn, MA United States | 02/04/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This 2-CD set captures the entire May 12, 2002 concert in Tokyo by the Italian progressive-rock band PFM, in honor of the 30th anniversary of PFM's first album, "Storia di un Minuto". Naturally, the decision was made to have the concert include all of their SECOND album, "Photos of Ghosts" (except for "Old Rain"), although you do get four cuts from "Storia". Drummer/front man Franz DiCioccio, guitarist Franco Mussida, keyboardist Flavio Premoli, and bassist Patrick Djivas are on hand, with the first three splitting lead vocal duties. Former member Lucio Fabbri returns to play violin and backup keyboards and guitar, and Piero Monterisi plays drums when DiCioccio is singing.The playing is very good, though overall I think the performance and sound mix on 1998's "www-pfmpfm-it" are a bit better. And that's significant, because 75% of this album is the same set as "www-pfmpfm-it"; only 5 songs here didn't appear on the earlier album. Three are cuts from "Photos of Ghosts": "River of Life", "Promenade the Puzzle", and the title track. The first two come off very well, the third is too slow and stodgy. "Peninsula", from the "Jet Lag" album, is used as the acoustic guitar solo before "Out of the Roundabout". As on "www-pfmpfm-it", "Il Banchetto" and "Dolcissima Maria" are medleyed together, and "Si Puo Fare" has a long band introduction in the middle. Sadly, the only track from PFM's great 2000 album "Serendipity" included here is "La Rivoluzione". For some reason, PFM thinks no set is complete without "La Carrozza di Hans", "Dove...Quando", "Suonare Suonare", and "Dolcissima Maria", none of which I consider essential. I would much rather have had some more "Serendipity" cuts included. There is a 15-minute "Altaloma" jam after "Mr. 9 Till 5"; it's listed as 5 separate tracks, but it's really all part of one extended jam. Old songs "Impressioni di Settembre", "E Festa", and "La Luna Nuova" are also included; you may know them better as "The World Became the World", "Celebration", and "Four Holes in the Ground".The album also includes two studio tracks: "Sea of Memory", co-written and sung by Peter Hammill, and "Bandiera Bianca", a cover of an Italian hit. If you want live versions of all the "Photos of Ghosts" songs and a long jam, you might want to buy this album over "www-pfmpfm-it". As I write this, "www-pfmpfm-it" is available at 55% of the price of "Live in Japan"; it's a better value, and in my opinion a better album. Of course, if you're like me, you'll end up getting both.Oh, the pain: This concert was also filmed in high definition and is available on DVD, but only in the PAL format, which can't be played on the DVD players sold in North America.(1=poor 2=mediocre 3=pretty good 4=very good 5=phenomenal)"
Great live album
Georges Poulin | Canada | 05/10/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A great live album from La Premiata, arguably their best live effort since "Live in The USA" (a.k.a."Cook" - 1974). For one, the track selection is better than that of "www.pfmpfm.it(IlBest)", a result of more cuts from "Photos of Ghosts" (actually all of Photos of Ghosts except "Old Rain"). Also, PFM just seems to happen to play with even more feel and virtuosity. Mussida (guitar and vocals), Premoli (keyboards), Djivas (bass), Di Cioccio (drums and vocals), and Fabbri (violin) are in great shape and all play with energy, brio and a great deal of fun as can be heard... and seen, if you're lucky enough to put your hands on the DVD rendition of the show (see PFM's website to find it). (I do have this DVD at home and, even though it's encoded region "0" instead of "1", and in PAL in lieu of NTSC (and therefore can't be played on our North American DVD players and TVs), I can play and fully enjoy it on my son's XBOX, plugged on the TV and sound system. So good to see these guys play live again, after more than 25 years !)"
Heart and Soul
Damiano Calloni | Milano, Italy | 04/10/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A great album, played by great musicians; I suggest anyone who in some way loves MUSIC because in these tracks one can listen, dream and, most important, LEARN.
Here we are not joycking, we are involved in what (togheter with many others great album from Yes, Genesis, king Crimson...)will be remembered forever as classical music of 20th and 21th century...beleive me. If you don't know anything of PFM begin here, if you already know PFM you will be suprised once again. In Italy we say that th good wine becames better and better growing old..like this great Rock Group.
p.s many song are sung in english....and in Italy also DVD is sold"
Excellent live album; much better that thier last
kireviewer | Sunnyvale, Ca United States | 09/12/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is from a concert in 2002, except for the first two tracks. The first two tracks are new songs recorded in the studio. The first song features Peter Hammil (Van der Graaf Generator) on vocals. He also wrote the English lyrics. Be sure to get the European version. The Japanese version doesn't have the two studio tracks.This is an excellent album throughout. I don't think there is a weak track on it. Even the new songs are great. On this album, PFM has returned back to its roots. In the studio, they were an innovative progressive rock band, playing lush, complex songs. Live, they were a jamming band. By the late seventies, PFM migrated into a pop band. In the late nineties, PFM started migrating back to their classic sound.In 1998, PFM released a live album called www.pfmpfm.it (Il Best). It was a fairly good album and about half of it captured the old sound. However, it suffered the same fate as many recent live albums from dinosaur rock bands. It was basically a run through of the hits. There was no innovation and nothing new.On this album, Live In Japan, PFM is as live and vibrant as they were in the seventies. Every track is played differently than the way they played in the past. There is the old jamming and solos that mad the band so much fun to see live. Some songs here are played better than ever before, such as 4 Holes in the Ground, which could get tedious at times during the seventies. PFM's greatest jam, Alta Loma, is given some new twists with a space introduction and jazz vocals.The group consists of originals Premoli, Mussida and DiCoccio. Djivas who has been in and out of the band over the years is also back. They also a guest violinist and an extra drummer. The only one missing is the great Pagani. However, he has been doing guest appearances with PFM in Italy this year.Some of the songs are sung in both Italian and English. PFM has limited English skills, but it has been improving over the years. Most of their albums are in Italian. Their second and third albums were redone in English (with a couple of songs from the first album thrown in) and given different titles. Japan always got the Americanized versions of the PFM albums. On this tour of Japan, PFM sang the songs from the first and second albums switching back and forth between the English and Italian lyrics.I think that this album is as good as any live album they released. A great album from the seventies is called Live in USA (it was released as Cook in the US). They also have a fantastic 4 CD boxset called 10 Anni Live, but it is very hard to find. You can occasionally find CD's sold separately. Easier to find is a 2 disc version called Celebration, but it leaves out many of the best jams."