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Acqua Fragile Import, Original recording remastered

3.7 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, Original recording remastered, July 5, 2011
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Editorial Reviews

Digitally remastered edition of this 1973 album from the Italian Prog Rock band. Inspired by British groups such as Genesis and Family and by the success of fellow countrymen PFM, Acqua Fragile wrote original material and sung lyrics in English. No mere clones of their British counterparts, the music was inspired enough for vocalist Bernardo Lanzetti to be sought out as a future member of PFM. The booklet also features a new essay with an interview with Lanzetti. Esoteric.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Morning Comes
  2. Comic Strips
  3. Science Fiction Suite
  4. Song from a Picture
  5. Education Story
  6. Going Out
  7. Three Hands Man


Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 5, 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Esoteric
  • ASIN: B004YDVPAI
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #706,566 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Acqua Fragile had only released two albums in its life time, this one, their self-entitled 1973 debut and Mass-Media Stars from 1974, which are both worthy of your attention (I used to think Mass-Media Stars was awful, but I revisited that album and my opinion changed, it's great, although the vocals are even harsher and more heavily accented than their debut, that's why it was difficult for me to appreciate their second album long ago). If you enjoy the best parts of Genesis and Family, you're sure to enjoy this album. Vocalist Bernardo Lanzetti sounds like a cross between Roger Chapman and Peter Gabriel. Lanzetti sings in English, but it's real obvious that he had real problems with the language as so much he sings is quite unintelligible (although I realize that Lanzetti had spent his youth in Texas, so he should know the English language better, and in fact his English was quite good when being interviewed on an L.A.-based public access program specializing in prog, called the Boffomundo Show, which existed in 1979-80), but there's no deny he's got quite a powerful voice. PFM had produced the album but it doesn't sound all that much like PFM, at least the albums I've heard (If any PFM comparisons surface, it would more likely be Chocolate Kings-era). I noticed none of the band were trying to impress each other, so you don't get elaborate guitar and keyboard solos (keyboardist Maurizio Mori used some rather low-key Hammond organ, Eminent and piano). I believed the band was more interested in ensemble playing than trying to "outsolo" each other. "Science Fiction Suite" is an acoustic piece with great vocal harmonies, almost CSNY-like. "Three Hands Man" seems to be a song about a freakshow, complete with the occasional circus music.Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD
One of the most interesting things about "Acqua Fragile", the debut Italian-only release (Hey Amazon: Don't forget about "Mass Media Stars"), is the way that the enormous technical talent of these great Italian musicians (in a style that is a cross between PFM, Genesis, Yes, and Gentle Giant) contrasts with Bernardo Lanzetti's very broken English (yet rich) vocal qualities. At first it's kind of amusing when you hear it - then you are hooked. By the way, both releases are sung entirely in English, it's just that the English is sung so thickly accented it sounds Italian.
I think the band's best song is on this album - a mandolin-drenched tune called "Going Out," which alone is worth the price of admission (I am amazed someone finally decided to issue this on CD for the first time). A very moody tune which showcases Lanzetti's superb vocal talents. Another great tune, "Morning Comes," comes with Hackett-style guitar and Banks-keyboard, and both these songs use richly textured Yes-style vocal arrangements.
If you like Lanzetti-era PFM, or like Foxtrot/Nursery Cryme-era Genesis, you will probably like both "Acqua Fragile" and their second and last album "Mass Media Stars" (So far, only on vinyl). Lanzetti's vocal qualities are as great on these as on his PFM works, and he has Gabriel-like similarities.
These two are among my most prized prog records, and I actually like them better than most of the PFM releases, because these songs are usually more simply structured and more vocal based, and the compositions, particularly the melodies, are far superior to a lot of the PFM material.
It's hard to say which album I like better. The second is more consistent than the first, but I think both disks have very innovative and creative material and I suggest you locate and obtain both.
PFM fans will probably want this disc because of Lanzetti alone.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
"Morning Comes" usually gets kudos as the best track - - even (or especially) by those who complain that it sounds like early Genesis and Gentle Giant (true enough)- - but I think "Science Fiction Suite" beats it to heck: lovely West Coast harmonies and a lilting melody to die for above an energetic and beautifully strummed twelve-stringed acoustic bed. Yes, Bernardo Lanzetti at times recalls both Peter Gabriel and, especially on "Comic Strips" and "Education Story", Roger Chapman. But why complain about that? If you don't like those guys, it naturally follows you won't like this. If you do, quit yer cryin'. Another common comparison is contemporary PFM, but no. It's true that they were on the same label for a while (so were Mrs. Elva Miller and the Beatles, not to make any direct comparisons) and that Lanzetti would join PFM a couple of years later. But play this along with (say) PER UN AMICO and you'll hear the differences. A better comparison would be that middle-period PFM (er, Lanzetti was the vocalist on CHOCOLATE KINGS and JET LAG after all) sounded not a little like Acqua Fragile. Anyway, it's too bad that Acqua Fragile have always been a second-tier consideration at best . . . they deserved better.
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Format: Audio CD
Well apart from their attempt to make the italian people remind of the Gentle Giant style (they have "stolen" the refrain-chorus from G.G. in the track "Comix strips"),they have made an important imprinting of their own, without forgetting anyway the "Yes-oriented" ballads(listen to "Science Fiction suite",which was inspired by "I've seen all good people" from "YESALBUM" and also "Wonderous stories" from "GOING FOR THE ONE");but here Bernardo Lanzetti takes a lot from his personal experience too ...that is the style that He brought to PFM in the remarkable album "Chocolate Kings", as for his clear romantic taste, typical of that period (1976),helped by a delicious sound and enriched with a "waterfall" of mellotron as well. The "ACQUA FRAGILE TRADEMARK" is more visible in the excellent "Song from a picture", even if the sound is quite Yes-like and under the influence of PFM too (in the track "Going out" they are influenced by Yes once again, but without stolen any kind of stuff!!)... The final track "Three hands man" is their best and more personal too, in my opinion, (after 5 minutes and an half you find the splendid atmosphere similar to that one coming from the markets of Naple-Italy, which grows in dynamics more and more,by culminating into the organ solo- a certain mood as "tarantella" and the piano crescendo as well(such crescendo reminds us of Tony Banks by Genesis), as long as Lanzetti leads the remarkable ensemble to the end. Their chorus, Yes-like, is the right style for this song and it works well, making this album well worth checking out!!
Recommended to all the people with taste!!
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