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Photos of Ghosts

23 customer reviews

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Vinyl, December 10, 2010
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$39.27
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$39.27 & FREE Shipping. Details Temporarily out of stock. Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we ship the item. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com in easy-to-open packaging. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

Photos of Ghosts + Per Un Amico + L'isola Di Niente
Price for all three: $53.25

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Editorial Reviews

Vinyl LP repressing of this album from the Italian Prog Rock band. Premiata Forneria Marconi, better known in English speaking countries as PFM, were arguably the finest Italian Progressive rock band of the 1970's and certainly one of the most well known. with English lyrics, some penned by ELP and King Crimson lyricist Pete Sinfield (who also produced the album), this was PFM's debut album for ELP's Manticore label.

1. River of Life
2. Celebration
3. Photos of Ghosts
4. Old Rain
5. Il Banchetto
6. Mr. 9Til 5
7. Promenade the Puzzle

Product Details

  • Vinyl (December 10, 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Cherry Red Phonograp
  • ASIN: B0048NUBZY
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #862,503 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 23, 2000
Format: Audio CD
This recording, released in 1973, was originally a collection of remakes of pieces written for their first two Italian language releases, Per Un Amico and Storia Di Minuto. The difference primarily being that on Photos Of Ghosts the songs were re-done with English lyrics and vocals(with the exception of Il Banchetto). Where this isn't an original recording, but re-makes of earlier releases, it still works brilliantly. This, more so than on later recordings, is a brilliant mix of progressive-rock with that of traditional Italian classical and chamber music. As musicians, PFM were as well trained and proficient as any in the genre. There is not a weak performance or composition in the collection. Highly recommended...Simon
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey J.Park VINE VOICE on March 14, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Photos of Ghosts (1973) is the English language version of the album Per un Amico, with both "Celebration", (which was originally included on Storia di un Minuto (1972) as "E Festa"), and the new acoustic instrumental "Old Rain" added on. This is probably one of my favorite albums by the band and demonstrates why PFM was one of the finest bands to emerge from the Italian prog scene. Shades of 1969-1970 period King Crimson all shine through here and there, which is also an endearing quality in my book. Of course, the King Crimson link is further driven home by the association with lyricist Pete Sinfield and the album was originally released on ELP's Manticore label.

The lineup on Photos of Ghosts is considered to be the classic PFM lineup and included Flavio Premoli (synthesizers, piano, Hammond organ, mellotron, and vocals); Franx Di Cioccio (drums and vocals); Giorgio Piazza (bass guitar); the incredible Franco Mussida (electric and acoustic guitars, vocals); and Mauro Pagani (violin and flute). All of the band members are simply sensational musicians and the individual playing and intricate ensemble work is breathtaking. With the exception of Il Banchetto (which is unchanged from the version on Per un Amico), the vocals are in English with a heavy accent - I do not find it the least bit distracting.

The seven tracks on Photos of Ghosts range in length from 3'20" to 8'32". In general, the music is very soft and contemplative, yet also includes the unbelievable instrumental virtuosity and intricate ensemble work that characterizes PFM. Their genius lies in an ability to fuse virtuosity with atmospherics to create truly moving pieces of music. "River of Life" is a good example of this. Analog synthesizers abound in this recording and are showcased on "Il Banchetto".
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Artsgx@AOL.com on September 1, 1998
Format: Audio CD
PFM is one of the most overlooked progressive rock bands of the 70's. Photos of Ghosts encommpasses everything from classical improvisation to progressive rock stylings, much of the time evident in each track. In listening to the album, influences of such bands as YES, ELP, Genesis and Pink Floyd are evident, all the while keeping with the band's own unique style. I have been searching for a copy on CD of this gem for many years, and I am very pleased to have finally found one. The album is a must have in all progressive rock collections.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Rock Expert on December 4, 1999
Format: Audio CD
I only discovered PFM this year. Somehow I missed them in the 70's. This is a terrific cd. If your into ELP, Yes, Gentle Giant you will love this music. After "Photos" "Chocolate Kings and World became the World are excellent. This rates with the best of ELP, Yes, GG, Genesis etc. Enjoy.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By BENJAMIN MILER on June 27, 2009
Format: Audio CD
For ages, I've been a bit hard on Photos of Ghosts, since hearing the original Italian lyrics to Per Un Amico, it shows that the band functioned best singing in their native language. But they still did a good job at breaking the international market singing in English, although their stab at English was no more worse than many of the German bands (like Eloy, Amon Duul II, or Grobschnitt). But for many not living in Italy back in 1973, Photos of Ghosts was most everyone's first exposure to PFM, and it even gave them some recognition here in America. I was born in 1972, so I obviously wasn't there the first time around, but rather my discovery of progressive rock beginning in the late '80s and early '90s while still in my teens (I first heard of PFM in 1992). Per un Amico is simply one of the greatest of Italian prog rock albums ever, it's on a regular top ten Italian prog poll, and is often included in the top ten of prog in general, and for good reason.

Well, the band realized they'd alienate an international audience (and especially the British and American audience) if they didn't record in English. So they got Pete Sinfield to write the lyrics, and had Sinfield's friend (dating back to his King Crimson days) Greg Lake to have it released on Manticore. Well, I have to say the English lyrics seem a bit clumsy for the band, but musically, it's still quite good. I am rather bewildered why they removed the Mellotron and harp intro on "River of Life"? What made the original, "Appena un Po'" so great was that intro which was removed in this new version. Of course the rest keeps all the same great themes and passages. They redo "E Festa" (from Storia di un Minuto, their fantastic debut from earlier in 1972) as "Celebration", it's shorter this time.
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