English remake of L'Isola di Niente
kireviewer | Sunnyvale, Ca United States | 08/26/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"PFM is an Italian band that had very limited English skills. Their first three albums were in Italian. This is an English remake of PFM's third album, L'Isola di Niente. It has an added track and the cover background color was changed from green to blue. The original LP cover had a cut out in the center and the island mountain was printed on the inner sleeve.Original Italian album had 5 tracks. One track, Is My Face On Straight has always been in English. It was cowritten by Pete Sinfield, best known for writing the lyrics on the early King Crimson albums. It sounds more like a Pete Sinfield song than a PFM song. The additional song is the title track, The World Became the World. It is an English version of Impressioni di Settembre from PFM's first album, Storia un di Minuto. When these songs get reworked, the music remains the same. Pete Sinfield just comes up with new lyrics in English. They are not direct interpretations of the original Italian. Sinfield (like Yes) just writes lyrics that sound good and nothing that has any deep meaning. In addition, PFM does not understand what they are singing, so it becomes mechanical.If you are starting from the beginning, I suggest buying the first three original Italian albums, and skipping the English versions. You end up with all of the tracks. You get Italian that you don't understand instead of English that doesn't make any real sense.PFM is sort of mellow in the studio. In concert, they are a jamming band. Their live albums are fantastic. Seek out Live in the USA (also called Cook), the boxset 10 Anni Live, or the recent Live In Japan.There is a French band, called Mona Lisa, that is very similar to PFM in structure and sound. But like almost all things French, it is inferior to the Italian."
The last of the King Crimson influenced albums
Jeffrey J.Park | Massachusetts, USA | 07/22/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The World became the World (1974) is the English language version of the album L'Isola di niente, with the addition of a re-worked version of Impressione di Settembre (which was originally included on Storia di un Minuto (1972) and an instrumental track (Have Your Cake and Beat It). Is my Face on Straight was also presented in English on the original album. Shades of 1969-1970 period King Crimson are present, which is also a good thing in my book. Just like the remarkable Photos of Ghosts (1973), the King Crimson link is further stressed by the association with lyricist Pete Sinfield. This would be last of the proggy PFM albums that wore the King Crimson influences on their sleeve however. Starting with the excellent, yet transitional Chocolate Kings (1976), PFM would move into the realm of jazz rock (especially on Jet Lag, 1977), then progressive pop with Passpartu (1978).
The lineup on The World became the World showed some slight changes from the classic lineup on Photos of Ghosts and included Flavio Premoli (synthesizers, piano, Hammond organ, mellotron, and vocals); Franz Di Cioccio (drums and vocals); new bassist Ian Patrick Djivas (Gibson "ripper" bass guitar and vocals); the incredible Franco Mussida (electric and acoustic guitars, vocals); and Mauro Pagani (violin, flute, and vocals). All of the band members are sensational musicians and the individual playing and intricate ensemble work is breathtaking. The vocals are in English with a heavy accent - I do not find it the least bit distracting although some folks may have problems with it. The new bassist is phenomenal and his playing on the instrumental track Have your Cake and Beat It is simply jaw-dropping.
The six tracks on The World Became the World range in length from 4'00" to 10'44". In general, the music is soft and contemplative, yet also includes the at times overwhelming ensemble virtuosity and stunning musicianship that characterizes PFM and makes them one of the finest bands to emerge out of the Italian prog scene. The Mountain is a wonderful track that opens with a very interesting-sounding and lengthy choir section. At 10'44 it is the longest piece on the album. The instrumental workout Have your Cake and Beat It juxtaposes mind-numbingly complex ensemble work with a very stately closing section played on churchy sounding Hammond organ. This sharp transitioning between sections that are extremely different in texture and dynamics was characteristic of the 1972-1974 period, and is in place on this album. There are some soft acoustic pieces (Just Look Away) and haunting sections that feature heavy mellotron use scattered throughout the album. Overall, this is some incredible music. I do have a few problems with some of Pete Sinfield's lyrics though, but then again, his over the top lyrics add to the charm of this album.
This is a remarkable PFM album that finds them at a creative peak. As such, it is very highly recommended along with the debut Storia di un Minuto (1972); Photos of Ghosts (1973); and Chocolate Kings (1976). Absolutely wonderful stuff from beginning to end that should be considered an integral part of the progressive rock collection."