Also see: Progfest '99 ~ Vigevano Prog Fest '99 ~ Progfest 2000 ~ Rio ArtRock Festival 2000 ~ NEARfest 2001
From: Luna Negra S.C.
> Can anyone recommend which of these (currently available) Banco CD's is the best?
> Nudo: This is their newest, double. I haven't heard it.
> Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso: Thier first, very good, indeed. But I preffer "Io Sono Nato Libero" (Banco's 2nd.) Garfano Rosso Soundtrack, an instrumental album of beautiful music. I Think "Garofano Rosso" means "Red Carnation".
> Capolinea: Recorded live. With some of thier best tunes.
> Canto Di Primevera: I like this one, particularly, "E mi viene da pensare" (piano solo & voce)
> Come In Un'Ultima Cena: A very good album (one of their best)
> La Storia: No, I don't know about this. Probably a compilation.
> Di Terra: I once hear this one. As far as I remember, an instrumental album.
> Darwin: Conceptual. Very, very good.
If you are not familiar with Banco, I recommend you "Darwin", "Io sono...", "Canto..." and "Ultima Cena".
There are some other like "Taxi" and "Urgentissimo"... DON'T BUY THEM!!!!!!
Darwin is usually hailed as their best album ( it's their second, I believe ) and Di Terra is a middle-period album that is one long instrumental. These two are my favorites of the ones I have heard, but it has been a while since I last listened to them.
From: Jim Watts
I've got Canto Di Primevera and Di Terra - I think Di Terra is awesome. Canto is decent - some of the vocals (Italian) sound a bit schmaltzy to me but the music is very strong. I'd really like to hear folks impressions of the other CD's. Is _Di Terra_ and _Canto Di Primevera_ representative of all their other works?
From: Craig Shipley
> BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO: (Bank Of Mutual Security, if I remember correctly...)
> Nudo: Haven't heard this one. Fairly recent release, I think...
> Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso: First release? I think I have this one (has the terra cotta bank on the cover?), but don't remember being real impressed with it...
> Garfano Rosso: Soundtrack; kinda jazzy but very nice. (Bought this in Roma... :-) ).
> Capolinea: Live, versions are very energetic, but the editing SUCKS!! Each track is presented as an individual cut, so the flow is disrupted. Sad, coulda been great!
> Canto Di Primevera & Come In Un'Ultima Cena
These two are my favorites. Has (IMHO) several of the classic Banco tunes on 'em. Git 'em!! (I wish that I had a tape of these while I was in Italy; songs from these two just kept running thru my head while I was in Firenze!)
> La Storia: A "best of" I would guess by the title.
> Di Terra: OK, but need to listen to it more to be able to give an honest opinion. Instrumental...
> Darwin: 2nd release, kinda view it in the same light as the first release.
Hope this helps!! There is a ton of great Italian prog out there, both current and vintage. When I have the time, I'll try and write up some of the better ones, like Alphataurus, Metamorphosi, CAP, A Piedi Nudi, Nuevo Era and Arti + Mesterei. Oh yeah, don't forget Area, Secret Cinema or Il Volo.
From: Richard Stockwell
Darwin by Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso is a masterpiece. I've only heard it for the first time myself in the last week (Released 1973). This album is as good as any of the early Genesis, Yes, ELP classics. Vocals are in Italian but what a range. Very classical. I can hear where Anglagard took some of their style from and I can even hear where Tony Levin got some of his chapman stick lines from. Check it out.
From: Jeff Marx <>
> So Banco has put out a double CD comprised of two live 'acoustic' sets,' I wonder if they can handle electric sets anymore? Anyone have this album?
BANCO: NUDO Latest album by Banco is a tremendous double CD release. Disc one is a selection of Banco's best songs played unplugged, in really effective acoustic renditions. Disc two includes live recordings from Banco's 1997 acoustic showcase concerts in Japan. This excellent release is a double CD priced as a single! Tracks listing: Disc One - 1-3. Nudo (parts I, II and III); 4. E mi viene da pensare; 5. Prologo #1; 6. R.I.P.; 7. Il ragno; 8. Emiliano; 9. L'evoluzione; 10. 750'000 anni fa... l'amore?
Tracks listing: Disc Two - 1. Sul palco; 2. La conquista della posizione eretta; 3. Metamorfosi; 4. Guardami le spalle; 5. Roma / Tokyo; 6. La band; 7. Bisbigli; 8. Passaggio; 9. Coi capelli sciolti al vento; 10. Traccia; 11. Prologo #2; 12. Non mi rompete
From: August Smarra <>
I've been listening to Banco since the seventies and in my opinion, Nudo is great. I love the title track. It shows what the band can do with a more up to date sound. I love the way they handle the old tunes with acoustic instruments. I don't think they'd have any problems handling electric sets.
From: gianluca renoffio [Gianluca.Renoffio@italtel.it]
Banco's CD NUDO is very great. It's a double CD (at the price of one) in which one CD is dedicated to a live performance (in Japan) with a lot of the historica;l tracks from Darwin, BMS, Come a un'ultima cena and so on. The first CD has a new track (Nudo) in three movements: very good. If it's the new vein of Banco I expected very good new album from the guys. The rest of the CD is studio and represent the acoustical versions of songs like RIP, E mi viene da pensare, 750.000 anni fa l'amore, Traccia 1 .... all the wanderful material in the BANCO background replayed in an acoustical interpretation. Very, very interesting and good. Yesterday evening I saw a Banco performance in Vigevano (for the second Vigevano prog festival). It was a wanderful concert in witch BANCO played live songs like Traccia e. Metamorfosis ... And now a news: the 21 of september BANCO will play in PERUGIA (in a theatre) the whole set of DARWIN after 15 years (with Mauro Pagani as guest star). A real event. I'll go without doubt.
From: Gianluca Renoffio <>
my name is Gianlyuca Renoffio and I'm the new webmaster of the official web site of the historic italian band Banco del Mutuo Soccorso. Please visit it at: www.bancodelmutuosoccorso.it
Banco is my favorite Italian band. Their first 4 Italian albums are all excellent, but the best are the 2nd and 3rd, "Darwin!" (Make sure you get the original version, they re-recorded the album in the 90s, and it's not as good), and the opus, "Io Sono Nato Libero". Start with either of those. If you enjoy them then the self-titled debut is also a must. After that the field is a little open, the 4th album "Come In Un' Ultimo Cena" is great but a slight departure, definitely worth getting if you enjoy the first three. "Canto Di Primavera" borders on pop/folk and I've heard mixed things about it, while "Di Terra" is a good all-instrumental album. After "Canto.." there is really nothing worth getting until the 90's, where they've been returning to the old style somewhat, but don't make any of this stuff a priority if you don't own anything yet. I would hold off on Nudo, which is a recent release, until you've covered their classic 70s albums, particularly the first three. Start with Darwin! or Io Sono Nato Libero, these are their classic and most well regarded works.
From: "Andrew J. Rozsa" <>
Subject: Re: Banco Del Mutuo
> A friend played me a great track by the prog band Banco yesterday that just >kicked my butt. >I am now anxious to find some of their cd's. >Can anyone give me a hint which one to start with and so on from there?! >Also, are their cd's hard to find?
Some of us, I think, started with "Darwin."
Banco di Mutuo Socorso, like most of the Italian greats, can be bought from Marco's IBF (formerly Vinyl Magic): http://www.btf.it/prog/banco/banco.htm#cd
You will also see the group Indaco here. The group includes several of Banco's members.
Other Progressive groups found at BTF are:
ARTI & MESTIERI; BALLETTO DI BRONZO; LOCANDA DELLE FATE; NEW TROLLS; ORME; OSANNA; PFM; QUELLA VECCHIA LOCANDA; STORMY SIX; THE TRIP; CALLIOPE; CASTELLO DI ATLANTE; DEUS EX MACHINA; DEVIL DOLL; FINISTERRE; H2O
The Milanese BTF is a purveyor of much Italian music, not only progressivo. They are worht while checking out: http://www.btf.it/
As a rule, prices are excellent by American standards and out-of-this-world by British and German ones. :-)
Personally, I tend to check out the folks with whom we chat here, first. Richard's Cranium (New Zealand): http://www.cranium-music.com/ Greg's Syn-Phonic (USA): http://synphonic.8m.com/index-w.htm
From: Jeff Marx <>
upnsm0ke wrote: > > I haven't cracked the plastic on it, yet, as I'm listening to Maskit Chamber > (wotta cool name) right now, but I got Banco's new double-disc in the mail > today: > "En Concierto: May, 1999 Mexico City." (I got mine from Wayside for $22, > Syn-Phonic and Cranium are great vendors, too....hi, Greg!) > Awesome Eli...looking forward to hearing your thoughts on this, and how it compared to the Progfest show.
Chiming in on "Darwin!," I've got both the original and the re-recorded Virgin pressing from '90 or '91, I'm too lazy to check which...to me they're both great...the original is obviously wonderful, but the newer recording has a clean crisp feel with gobs of excellent instrumentation and emotional feel to it. I think this is a case where owning both is essential for any Banco fan.
From: "Andrew J. Rozsa" <>
Date: Fri Oct 26, 2001 2:08 pm
Subject: Re: [e-Prog] Banco - some personal musings
To be perfectly honest, I bought ?Darvin? a couple of years ago on the strength of the raving reviews of people on this discussion list. Having listened to it, then, I said to myself ?Hmmmm?it?s ohkay?but nothing to write home about.? And left it at that. Happens? some people love stuff I find mediocre, and, I am sure, vice-versa. On a lark, primarily having caught some very positive comments about Banco?s performances at Progfest 2000 and at NEARfest 2001, I took advantage of the terrific prices at BTF http://www.btf.it/prog/banco/banco.htm and did the best thing to do in cases like this, got 3 double albums: ?Gli Anni 70,? a 1998 BMG Ricordi issue of the best-known Banco 70s classics, ?Nudo,? the double CD album issued by EMI Music in 1997, and the double-CD of the live Mexico City concert in 1999 (?En Concierto, Ciudad de Mexico, Mayo 28, 1999?). Suffices to say, those 6 discs have been in the CD-changer in my car for 2 months.
There are dozens of reviews in many languages, so I won?t rehash the technical aspects or re-review a chronological discography? simply, I just want to ?talk? about these guys. One of the reviewers states, ?The band conjures many sounds, from ELP, Floyd, Crimson and Genesis.? I have no idea what that means?I don't listen to music that way. It must that ?child of the 60s? thing where the only thing that matters is the ?here-and-now.?
Instead of going over every song in all 3 albums, let me just chit-chat (as usually, emotionally) about ?Nudo.? What applies to it, works for all of them, with or without the enhancement of newer technologies. Although, I hasten to add, I do think that Banco?s resurgence in the late 90s is truly a Phoenix-like ?rise-from-the-(pop)-ashes of the 80s and early 90s. That is, the ?new? sound is, to me, much more satisfying and pleasing.
Hop-scotching through ?Nudo??. In ?Emiliano? we are privileged to hear a piano tour de force, as modern a sound as any; the voice in the background conveying the excitement of the music? sounds like Francesco or somebody just couldn't stand still while listening to Nocenzi?s hands churning out a sound that takes second seat to none, as far as technique or musicianship is concerned. IMHO, there is no better left-hand in the prog business. When one realizes that almost ALL the music is composed by Nocenzi (he is collaborating with Rodolfo Maltese on ?Prologo?), all I can say?. I am in awe.
Crisp, crisp, crisp? each note discernable, impeccable technique, the instruments meshing like a finely tuned machine, yet the unmistakable soul evident in songs that make you listen in tears.
No light-weight lyrics, here. Francesco is a thoughtful man, who bares his soul with almost every song he writes, and he not only looks like an opera singer, but tears into your heart like one, too. He is my vocal hero because, until I heard him, I preferred my prog without singing. With notable exceptions, of course.
Somebody wondered whether these guys can still play plugged? dig out ?La Conquista Della Pozitione Eretta? or ?Metamorfosi? from your collection and have a listen. The latter, a satisfying 12:30? piece is HUGE, and as good a representative of Italian Prog as any, anywhere, any time. Dynamically, it moves from the subtle, to almost poppishly lyrical, to just plain overwhelming, complex near-symphonic prog. I have heard it at least 10 times and never get bored. There are VERY few albums that I have ever listened to 10 times (the exceptions being Pink Floyd?s ?Delicate Sound of Thunder? concert; Townscream?s ?Nagyvarosi Ikonok;? After Crying?s ?De Profundis;? Solaris? ?Marsbeli Kronikak;? Canario?s ?Ciclos?). The last 3 minutes of ?Roma/Tokyo? absolutely blow my mind. What skill? how tightly those musicians hang together! And if ?Passaggio? doesn?t move you, you have a heart of stone. In the Mexico City concert ?Bisbigli & Passaggio? will set some people?s teeth on edge, I am sure, but it just made me grin.
These are brilliant musicians who, like good wine, get better with age. It gladdens my heart to hear some 50+ types emit, so joyously, sounds that are, to my ears and mind, ageless. It has always been my contention that the true ?revenge? of good music (over pop schlock) is that it lives for ever. After 30 years, Banco?s longevity is unquestionable. I think that those folks, who stopped listening to Banco?s music in the mid 80s, are missing out on some genuinely classical prog.
Oh, BTW, these guys, like many others I like, seem to thrive on playing in front of live audiences. The Mexico City concert is utterly wonderful. I bet the folks who heard them in one of their recent concerts feel the same way I do. I don?t remember whistling prog rock in my life? but ?R.I.P.? is in my mind and heart forever?.I also don't remember singing along with a prog singer, as I do with Francesco in ?Nudo Parte III.?
?If God would believe in me, just for an instant I would be most sainted, if only God believed in me. I would be the strongest, if only God belied in me.?
But, don't take my word for it? in GEPR David Bagsby (whoever he is) gets about 15 long paragraphs (had to scroll for ever to get to Banco, in the Bs), while Banco only about 5 or 6?.so, hey, what do I know? ;-) I re-listened to ?Darwin? and I absolutely love it. Go figure? >8-/
Actually, you really don't have to take my word it? go to Studio Live and listen to the entire Banco concert at NEARfest 2001? with the proviso that, even at 256K, RealAudio is NOT real. But it will do, until you won't be able to resist anymore and WILL buy several Banco albums, blowing your monthly budget, leaving your poor kids starving, and your wife forlorn and without shoes. http://www.studiomlive.com/nearfest2001/banco.html
Banco line-up at NEARfest 2001: Vittorio Nocenzi : keyboards; Tiziano Ricci : bass; Filippo Marchegguani : guitar; Maurizio Masi : drums and percussion; Francesco DiGiacomo : vocals; Rodolfo Maltese : guitars; Alessandro Papotto : wind instruments.