Goblin Reviews

Also see:  Daemonia

Bookmarks: Cherry Five ~ Nonhosonno

From: Greg Young <>
Goblin formed in the mid-70s and achieved their greatest acclaim for their horror movie soundtracks, although they also did produce some non-soundtrack releases. Their music tends to be atmospheric and eerily evocative, yet still retains traits from symphonic prog. My personal recommendation as a starting point would be Roller (non-soundtrack) or Suspiria (soundtrack), depending upon which type might be of interest to you. Roller (which is entirely instrumental) still manages to incorporate much of the mood of their soundtrack work, but with a bit more compositional development. It has some nice bass work, along with interesting analog synth lines and voicings. Suspiria makes good use of synth effects in setting its mood, and is definitely more 'musical' than what you might expect from a soundtrack, but the essential element here is focused upon developing sound texture and atmosphere. Even so, most of the tracks are still memorable as 'songs'.

From: Mark Fonda <>
Adding to what Greg already said... and our resident Goblin expert, E-Man, who commented a while back...
There are several compilation CD's for Goblin out now. Normally, a compilation doesn't do justice to a group and if you really like them you quickly outgrow it... perhaps that compilation served its purpose then, right? Anyway, in Goblin's case, since they are mostly soundtracks and by definition the track's do NOT blend together and develop upon one another, a compilation is perhaps a great place to start (and perhaps end) since it   cuts out the mediocre tracks.
There are three compilation CD's now available:
The Goblin Collection (1975-1989)
Goblin Volume II (1975-1980)
Goblin Volume III (1978-1984)
The first one was released in 1995 and the second two in June 1998. All are produced by Claudio Fuiano. I have Vol. II and also Roller and Zombi. Volume II has tracks from Profondo Rosso, Suspiria, Roller, Squadra Antigangsters and Contamination PLUS three tracks from Cherry Five (see below). Roller is very good and it is six long tracks with plenty of musical development... all-instrumental with excellent minimoog, organ, piano, clavinet, etc. along with searing e-guitar, and crisp drums and bass. I haven't listened to Zombi enough to comment yet, but its supposed to be the best soundtrack.
If you like Goblin you should also like Cherry Five (self-titled, 1974).  This is keyboardist Claudio Simonetti's pre-Goblin band and was very similar to The Nice (with vocals in English) with lots of hammond organ, mellotron and grand piano. Its a little less full-bodied than later Goblin work, but it has a nice suptle charm to it.
Goblin is heavily influenced by Yes and Simonetti actually moved to England in 1973 to work with Eddie Offord. They got an English lead singer and were to put out an album under the name Oliver. Offord was off touring with Yes in the States and couldn't manage things properly and their touring and studio work fell apart, after which they returned to Italy, changed out their lead singer and assumed the name Cherry Five. Then when they were working on their second CF album they were approached to produce some music for the Profondo Rosso film project... and the rest is history. They changed their name to Goblin and the soundtrack sold 1 million copies in Italy. They are heavier and darker than Yes... there are parts reminiscent of ELP, King Crimson and Gentle Giant... but also with some eerie sound effects made for the film plots.

From: "E-Man" <>
I envy that *somebody* who has yet to experience Goblin, because you're in for a treat. Goblin are the only other band I've listened to about as long as Tangerine Dream, and also Rush.
Main Point #1: Goblin, similarly to Tangerine Dream (though they had a number of studio albums first), were "able to sustain [their] popularity almost entirely by creating scores for movies. Goblin stuck almost exclusively to the horror genre (exceptions being "La Villa Della Droga," "Squadra Antigangsters," etc.)."
Main Point #2: there's Goblin the prog-rock band; and there's Goblin the *electronic* band (post-Claudio Simonetti recordings), a.k.a. two key phases, the latter taking shape with the exit of certain key members.
Goblin's earliest material includes (both in 1975) their classic soundtrack to their first Dario Argento film, "Profondo Rosso" (for 12 consecutive weeks, this was at the "top of the hit parade in Italy"), and the very "Yessy" eponymous recording by the band called Cherry Five, a quintet composed of Goblin mainstays Claudio Simonetti (keys), Massimo Morante (gtr) and Fabio Pignatelli (bass), with Tony Tartarini (vocals) and Carlo Bordini (drums, to be replaced after this album by Agostino Marangolo).
"Cherry Five" has great, long instrumental passages in-between Tartarini's Anderson-esque vocal sections, particularly in the 9:30 tune, "Oliver" (the original band name). "Profondo Rosso" has a spectacular main title, and the Cinevox reissue has
many remixes/outtakes and sound FX tracks, in addition to the original album, plus better sound. I wouldn't point either of these two releases, nor 1977's "Suspiria" (great title track, but a lot of dark, neo-gothic wierdness going on, on the rest of the CD)
the Goblin newbie, however, beckoning instead to the following year's studio album...
....."Roller." This, along with "Il Fantastico Viaggio del Bagarozzo Mark" (1978, including a Goblin staple called "E Suono Rock") are what Goblin are all about. Lots of chops and creative compositions make this instrumental opus hold up listening after listening after listening. Simonetti/Pignatelli/Morante/Marangolo carve out their own sound, of which many of their soundtracks will be reminiscent, notable "Zombi" (1977), "La Villa Della Droga" (1977) and "Contamination" (1980). Keyboard (analog synth/piano/organ) action, galore, by the way, courtesy of the not-yet-thirtysomething Simonetti. Very UN-Emerson/Wakeman-like playing, too. Maybe closer to Moraz, in its jazzy underpinnings.
More highlights from the ranks of Goblin-offerings:
"Zombi" a.k.a "Dawn of the Dead" (1978) (also reissued on Cinevox with bonus remixes and an unreleased track! Order it from Cranium Music!): If you read the fine print, this is actually a collaboration with Dario Argento, though I'm positive the final results are much, much more Goblin's than Dario's. Many signature pieces, regardless of it being an OST: the title track (two different ones, if you count a track for both Italian/English translations!!), "Zaratozom," the stunningly beautiful "Oblivion" (which is not in the film), and a mesmerising, 0:59 piano instrumental by Claudio called "Awakening," which is one of my favorite tracks by him! A second keyboard spot is filled by Maurizio Guarini.
"Tenebre" a.k.a. "Unsane" (1982). The electronics being to rise up in the mix (first becoming prevalent in 1979's "Buio Omega") Goblin's now just a trio of Simonetti/Morante/Pignatelli. The drum-machine driven title track and the guitar on tracks like "Lesbo" add to the thick atmosphere of tension on this one.
"Phenomena" a.k.a "Creepers" (1984). This is more along the lines of early-80s Tangerine Dream or Tony Banks' solo instrumental OST stuff. However, this is great music, esp. the title cut (a solo track by Simonetti) "Sleepwalking", "Jennifer," & "The Wind." The Cinevox reissue has bonus remixes, but I must point out the original release was rather eclectic, featuring vocal songs by assorted bands, plus instrumental material by soundtrack composers Simon Boswell and (this is a great track!) "Valley" by the duo of Bill Wyman and Terry Taylor. Boswell contributed a fantastic score to Argento's film, "Demons 2," and Wyman/Taylor contributed to the first "Demons" film. There's a VA release called "Films of Dario Argento," which is an incredible collection of music by Goblin, Pino Donaggio, Simon Boswell ("Videomix"--great track!), Wyman/Taylor ("Demon), and Keith Emerson, with his main piano theme from Argento's '78 film, "Inferno" (now available as a separate soundtrack on CD!) and an alternate version of "The Church," the longer version with extended solo being on Emerson's solo release, "Changing States." Goblin's "Church" theme is in actuality composed entirely by Fabio Pignatelli!!
Goblin have re-formed, though, with the classic line-up of Simonetti, Morante, Pignatelli and Marangolo. The Goblin web site is currently in stasis, but Ian Zapcynski, its creator, should have it back up, soon. It's a fantastic site, with loads of info on Goblin, and links aplenty.
Solo releases by Goblin alumni are many, but one worth seeking out is Simonetti's "Horror Project" (1991). Like Mark, the newbie only has to look toward the new DRG three-volume Goblin collection, "Hits, Rare Tracks, and Outtakes"...Volume One (1975-1989), Volume Two (1975-1980) and Volume Three (1978-1984). 59 tracks in all, and they're available separately.

From: "E-Man" <>
Wayside Music's latest bi-weekly update announces two new soundtrack CD titles by Italian proggers, Goblin:
-NOTTURNO (7 tracks never before released)
-LA VIA DELLA DROGA (1977 Italian TV series, several tracks have appeared on the DRG compilation series GREATEST HITS, RARITIES & OUTTAKES, and on the Italian compilation BERETTA '70). Both are only $15 -- new releases by Cinevox. I'm not sure how many of you know that a soundtrack CD was released last year by Claudio Simonetti (Goblin keyboardist), called THE VERSACE MURDER (Logo CDs, Italy). I haven't seen it advertised, anywhere, but apparently it's a must-have.

From: soniq95@aol.com Subject: best of 2000
Goblin - The Fantastic Journey of Goblin vol 1. 2 CD best of that includes a really nice live (previously unreleased) soundboardshow from 1979. Another keys nut favorite

From: "upnsm0ke" <> Subject: Re: My Top 10 of 2001
1. GOBLIN - Nonhosonno
Sh*t, what a comeback for these guys, after [the four of them] not doing anything together for the majority of two decades! Manna from Heaven.