YEAR: 1980
STYLE: Symphonic Progressive Rock/ RPI
FORMAT: APE (Image + Log + Cue + Scans + 5% Recovery)
SIZE: 201 Mb
THE BAND: Stefano Barzaghi / guitar; Valerio Cherubini / guitar, flute, vocals; Roberto Calleoni / bass; Walter Locatelli / drums; Gian Antonio Merisio / keyboards, vocals
This Italian symphonic prog band had the misfortune of starting out at a time when prog bands were being ousted by punk with a vengeance. In 1978, former DALTON drummer Walter Locatelli had got together with guitarist Stefano Barzaghi, bassist Roberto Calleoni, keyboardist/vocalist Gian Antonio Merisio and guitarist/flutist/vocalist Valerio Cherubini to form MO.DO. In 1980, they released an album whose limited distribution, coupled with the lack of interest from the media, precipitated the band's demise.
"La Scimmia Sulla Schiena Del Re", which has since been reissued on CD by Mellow Records, is a very decent symphonic prog album featuring mostly guitars and keyboards with an emphasis on the flute; the few sparse vocals are sung in Italian. Stylistically, it seems to display two personalities: when the flute, acoustic and soft electric guitar prevail, you'll be thinking of your typical smooth, classic Italian prog band; when clanging guitars, aggressive organ and odd-time signatures take over, you'll more likely be reminded of GENTLE GIANT.
Not absolutely essential but could be of interest to fans of PFM, BANCO, LOCANDA DELLE FATE, GENFUOKO.
I bought this CD many years ago around the same time that I was discovering classic Italian prog bands like BANCO, LOCANDA DELLE FATE, and PFM. At the time, I thought that MO.DO. were okay, but placed the CD aside in favor of the major Italian classics. Well, the years went by, and I recently gave MO.DO. a few spins thinking that my opinion of them would probably remain unchanged. My opinion changed. "La scimmia sulla schiena del Re" was recorded around 1980. I'm not sure if it was released as an LP around that time, or if it was rescued by Mellow Records 15 years later. The band's music is influenced by the classic Italian prog era, and sounds rather modern even today. By "modern" I mean that the instruments, and recording equipment, sound post-1970s without sounding dated today. What struck me about the music is that melodies have everything in common with groups like PFM, BANCO, QVL. The band seemed to want to continue the legacy of Italian progressive rock without repeating it (although a section here and there might remind you of some of the classic bands). Each track features rather long instrumental sections driven by electric guitar, and keyboards(which include piano, Moog Opus 3, and Moog synth). Their drummer also plays in the typical energetic Italian prog-drummer style. Overall, MO.DO. sadly remains an underrated band. I guess compared to bands from the classic Italian era they are okay. But, compared to prog that was released between 1979-1992, MO.DO. are certainly one of the best.
Track Listing:
The Band:
- Stefano Barzaghi / guitar
- Valerio Cherubini / guitar, flute, vocals
- Roberto Calleoni / bass
- Walter Locatelli / drums
- Gian Antonio Merisio / keyboards, vocals