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Banco del Mutuo Soccorso were one of the most prominent bands in the golden age of Italian progressive rock. Their recordings of the 1970s, particularly Banco del Mutuo Soccorso (1972), Darwin! (1972), and Io sono nato libero (1973) are highly regarded among fans of the genre. In later years, the band pursued a more pop-oriented style, often shortening the name to Banco, and sometimes singing in English rather than Italian.

The band was formed in 1969 by brothers Gianni Nocenzi and Vittorio Nocenzi, both of whom play keyboards. After a variety of other players, the band settled down to including Renato D'Angelo (bass), Pierluigi Calderoni (drums), Francesco Di Giacomo (vocals), and Marcello Todaro (guitar). Todaro left in 1973 to be replaced by Rodolfo Maltese. Over the years, lineups have changed further and included members of Premiata forneria marconi and periferia del mondo. Since 1997, the band has reformed for concerts featuring their older material.
The Banco del Mutuo Soccorso , or simply Banco , is a group rock of Rome was founded in 1969 and still in operation. Together with the PFM , the Area and Le Orme is the most attractive and well-known, even abroad, the Italian progressive rock .

HISTORY

The beginnings

The history of "Banco" began in late 1968 , when the seventeen year old keyboardist Vittorio Nocenzi managed to get a hearing at the major label RCA , strong signal Gabriella Ferri , for which he had already set to music some songs. The record companies, in those years, they were reluctant to promote solo instrumentalists, and legend has it that he had boasted Nocenzi the existence of an unspecified group he headed. He found himself, therefore, in the position of having to set up in haste to audition for a musical. To this end, he recruited friends and family can "hold an instrument" and invented the name of Banco del Mutuo Soccorso, perhaps inspired by any credit institution or insurance of the area .

The group came together in their own rehearsal room, at Marino , in the Castelli Romani , which later became famous under the name of "stable", this being in reality, a real barn renovated and perfectly equipped (says the same in Vittorio Nocenzi an interview) "with the feeders full of amplifiers, distortion and musical instruments instead of hay for the cows."

The first line was composed, in addition to Nocenzi Vittorio and his brother John on piano, by Gianfranco Coletta (component Chetro & Co. and, later, the Alumni of the Sun ) on guitar, Fabrizio Falco on bass and Mario Achilli on drums, these components Crash a group psychedelic rock founded by brothers Falco, with whom he collaborated as Vittorio few months. The hearing was awarded the placet of the examiners and the newborn "Banco del Mutuo Soccorso" released three songs that were included in a compilation of new formations called "'70 Sound" and published only on cassette . The pieces in this collection ( see the phone , My freedom ) will be recorded, a few weeks after the audition, by training already retouched, with Claudio Franco Pontecorvi Falco on guitar and drums.

THE SEVENTIES

In 1971 , Banco del Mutuo Soccorso participated, with little luck, the 2nd Caracalla Pop Festival in Rome . Among the groups that intervened in the festival there were Experiences and Fiori di Campo who had already released a single ( Out of town / Two children in the yard with the label Apollo ZA-50014). The time to socialize and, at the end of the event, Banco del Mutuo Soccorso had assumed its final formation, incorporating Francesco Di Giacomo , Lino Stopponi , Renato D'Angelo and Pierluigi Calderoni , respectively vocals, keyboards, bass and drums of the group's experiences, as well as Marcello Todaro , guitarist dei Fiori di Campo. It was a real qualitative change: the group passed the beat of the songs the first period, to compositions more progressive , heavily influenced by classical music education of the brothers Nocenzi refined and enhanced by texts written by Francesco Di Giacomo .

The group took part, with the addition of another guitarist ( Claudio Accarino , part of the group from 1970 until the end of 1972), the second edition of the " Festival of avant-garde and new trends " , held in Rome Villa Pamphili from ' 1 to 4 June 1972, and finishing in first place tied with the Circus 2000 .

This line-up released in 1972 their debut album Banco del Mutuo Soccorso that, with songs such as RIP (Peace) , the long suite The Garden of the magician and Metamorphosis , instrumental with a brief but wonderful insert final vowel, catalyzed immediately 'public attention to the nascent stage of the Italian progressive rock . Peculiar also ' artwork on the cover of the vinyl , shaped like a piggy bank in terracotta.

In the same year the second album was released, Darwin! , the first concept album made ​​by the group: the songs are in fact all related to the central theme of the species theory of Charles Darwin .

These two albums can be considered the most creative and original of the group, focusing on the dizzying twists and virtuoso keyboards brothers Nocenzi and on the inimitable tenor registers Di Giacomo, the service of a peculiar cross between the English prog-rock, the Mediterranean sounds and the tradition of melodrama italics, that shines in the most unexpected moments.

The first alternation in the formation of the group came in 1973 , when Todaro was replaced on guitar by Rodolfo Maltese , from the group Homo Sapiens . In I was born free ( 1973 ) Maltese formally appeared as a guest, but in fact it was already a member of the Bank.

In 1974 , at the suggestion of Greg Lake , Banco abandoned Remember to switch to label Manticore , owned by the British band Emerson, Lake & Palmer , which had already merged also the PFM . In 1975 was released the album Banco (also known as Banco IV ), which re-proposed in English, for the foreign market, the best songs of the first three albums (similar to operation in Photos of Ghosts PFM). The album was a critical success both in Italy and abroad.

Francesco Di Giacomo in conjunction with Banco in 1979
In 1976 it was published in As a last supper , promoted with a European tour that saw the Banco sound like supporters of a "giant" of the progressive rock English, the Gentle Giant , of which, however, the Roman group was a more than credible version " Mediterranean "with the same tendency, at least in the early years of his career, to elaborate and refined arrangements and the internal structure of the pieces completely disconnected from the song format. Of this album was also made ​​an English version ( As in a Last Supper ), with the translation of Angelo Branduardi .

In the same year the group also recorded Red Carnation , the soundtrack of the film of the same name (taken from a novel by Elio Vittorini , directed by Luigi Faccini ). This is the first instrumental album of the Bank, which opened a new era in the evolution of the style of the group. More instrumental, and sounds even more complex, was the next … of land , which were explored solutions that trespassed from rock to jazz and classical music . This complex construction, the Bank took advantage of the contribution of ' Symphony Orchestra Musicians Union of Rome directed by Antonio Scarlato professor of composition at the Conservatorio Santa Cecilia of Rome, in addition to the collaboration of keyboardist Alessandro Essene .

In 1978 participated, along with Branduardi and many other artists, in a tour called The Caravan of the Mediterranean in which all participants took turns on stage. Branduardi , from the concert series, will release a box set with 3 LP called "Concerto." In many songs the musicians are members of the Bank.

From … of land , the name of Banco del Mutuo Soccorso was formally replaced by the abbreviation Tour , now widely used by journalists and fans .

The seventies Banco closed with another highly acclaimed album, Song of Spring , with its suggestions ethnic and pastoral atmosphere. In this album John Colaiacomo of Kaleidon took over on bass, replacing D'Angelo.

THE EIGHTIES

The first work of the Bank in the eighties was a live album (the first) entitled terminus , where the group goes over the salient features of its history. Conceptually sealing his "first era", this album paved the Tour to a change of course in particular the abandonment of certain typical patterns of progressive rock of the seventies, in particular in relation to the structural complexity (and length in minutes ) songs, songs in favor of relatively more simple and direct. This trend is perfectly represented by the first two albums of the decade, Urgentissimo ( 1980 ) and Good News ( 1981 ). In this period the training was enriched by Karl Potter and percussion musician who had previously collaborated with Pino Daniele and which helped boost the effectiveness of the rhythm section of the Bank.

In 1983 comes out Tour where there is the song Moby Dick , which will become one of the most popular songs of the band, despite moving away from the canons of the progressive rock that characterized them in the past. The album is another turning point as it was the last to see the presence of Gianni Nocenzi , who left the group shortly after the summer promotion to pursue a solo career and work with the firm Japanese Akai as a test of keyboards and samplers .

In 1985 , John left the band Colaiacomo (reappear a few years later in Ezra Winston ), was replaced by multi-instrumentalist Gabriel Amato , a former member of the band of Aretha Franklin . The result was the album … and so on ( 1985 ) and a participation in the Festival of Sanremo , but displeased many fans, who struggled to recognize the spirit of the Tour of the past. It opened as a result a period of crisis which led to several years of silence, interrupted only by the release of Do not put your fingers in the nose , the first solo album by Francesco Di Giacomo , who participated as musicians but all the members of the last training the Bank.

In 1989 it was finally published Plautilla Woman , a collection of unreleased songs of the seventies.

THE NINETIES

Francesco di Giacomo del Banco along with Blanche Dubois and Vito Life, bassist Powerillusi . Loreto , August, 1999, before an evening performance in Recanati , dedicated to Giacomo Leopardi
At the beginning of the nineties , following what was in fact the example of many progressive rock band "classic", the Bank took action for revival of their first period, returning to the name Banco del Mutuo Soccorso and bringing on tour songs of the seventies.

It was later published in a box (shaped like a piggy bank, prompting the cover of the first album), containing the first two albums, Banco del Mutuo Soccorso and Darwin! re-recorded in the studio with new arrangements.

Halfway between stylistic revival and new sounds was the solo album On the 13th of 1994 . Three members of the group historians Nocenzi Vittorio, Francesco Di Giacomo and Rodolfo Maltese, together with the young Roman guitarist Philip Marcheggiani also embarked in the project Acoustic , in which several classic songs were reinterpreted unplugged . During this period, the Bank also undertook several world tours, touching Japan , Mexico , United States , Brazil and Panama . From one of the most successful concerts (in Japan , on 25 and 26 May 1997 ) was adapted into the live album Naked (which also included a new song in the studio of the same name.)
In 1999 the workforce is enriched by the presence of Alessandro Papotto , fiatista graduated from the conservatory, a former member of the band to new progressive Suburbs World .

A Naked followed no stage ( 2003 ), a live album in celebration of the thirtieth anniversary of the band, seeing as guests the likes of Morgan, Mauro Pagani, Federico Zampaglione (Tiromancino), Gianni Nocenzi, Eugene Kelly, Philip Cats, Angelo Branduardi, for a series of concerts of great success.

DISCOGRAPHY

ALBUMS
1972 - Banco del Mutuo Soccorso ( Discs Remember , SMRL 6094)
1972 - Darwin! ( Discs Remember , SMRL 6107)
1973 - I was born free ( Discs Remember , SMRL 6123)
1975 - Tour - ( Manticore , MAL, 2013)
1976 - Red Carnation
1976 - As in a last supper ( Manticore , MAL 2015);
1976 - As in a Last Supper (English version of " As in a last supper ")
1978 - … ground ( Discs Remember , SMRL 6226)
1979 - Song of Spring ( Discs Remember , SMRL 6247)
1980 - Urgentissimo
1981 - Good news
1983 - Tour
1985 - … and so on
1989 - Woman Plautilla ( Rare! Records , NL 74215; recordings of 1969 )
1989 - Do not put your fingers in the nose (published under the name Banco presents Francesco Di Giacomo )
1991 - From here you sir overlooking the valley (new recording of the first two albums)
1994 - The 13
1997 - Nude

iNDIVIDUAL
1973 - I do not break / The city thin ( discs Remember , SRL 10713)
1979 - Song of Spring / Circobanda ( Discs Remember , SRL 10896)
1979 - Nothing / I am the beast ( Discs Remember , SRL 10908)
1980 - The spider / Terminal ( Discs Remember , SRL 10915)
1980 - Paul Pa / But that idea
1980 - Where will / But that idea
1980 - The spider / Rip
1981 - Kiss Me Alfredo / Good news
1981 - Tommy / Mississippi (published as The band Tom )
1983 - Moby Dick / Speed
1983 - Far from
1985 - Big Joe / Allons enfant
1989 - Father Francis / I see the phone / My freedom ( Contempo , PT 42926 EP )
1985 - Big Joe
1994 - Thrill
1997 - Nude
1997 - Spider

LIVE
1979 - End of the line ( remember discs , SMRL 6260)
2003 - No stage
2005 - Following in the footsteps … ( Ma.Ra.Cash Records )
2011 - Various Artists - PROG EXHIBITION - Edel / Aereostella (7 CD box set and 4 DVD)

ANTHOLOGIES
1975 - Tour - ("Banco IV" - Compilation in English with an unprecedented "Breadfruit" in Italian) ( Manticore , MAL, 2013)
1993 - The Story
1993 - The great successes
1996 - The Origins ( 1996 )
1996 - Anthology
1998 - The 70's
2004 - Made in Italy
2005 - Music Myths
2006 - Italian Collection - Compilation ( EMI , 0946 3647952-1)

VIDEO
1992 - What you see is ( VHS )
2004 - What you see is ( DVD )
2007 - Live Tour 1980 ( DVD )

CURRENT LINEUP
Francesco Di Giacomo - voice , percussion (since 1971)
Vittorio Nocenzi - keyboards , voice
Rodolfo Maltese - guitar , trumpet (from 1973)
Titian Ricci - bass (since 1989)
Maurizio Masi - drums (since 1992)
Philip Marcheggiani - guitar (since 1994)
Alessandro Papotto - wind (since 1999)

FORMER MEMBERS
Gianni Nocenzi - keyboards (1968-1984)
Gianfranco Coletta - guitar (1968-1969)
Claudio Falco - guitar (1969-1971)
Claudio Accarino - guitar (1970-1972)
Marcello Todaro - guitar (1971-1973)
Fabrizio Falco - bass (1968-1971)
Renato D'Angelo - bass (1971-1978)
Gianni Colajacomo - bass (1978-1984)
Luigi Cinque - saxophone (1979-1980)
Karl Potter - drums (1979-1980)
Gabriel Amato - bass , keyboards (1985)
Paolo Carta - Guitar (1986-1987)
Mario Achilli - drums (1968-1969)
Pontecorvi Franco - drums (1969-1971)
Pierluigi Calderoni - drums (1971-1991)
Max Emeralds - guitar (1993-1994)

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