Nights At The Roundtable - Italian Prog-Rock legends PFM from their 1975 album Chocolate Kings - From Under, Manticore/Numero Uno - 1975
As long as we're paying an homage to the 70's tonight, I thought I would include a band who were a huge influence on what came to be known as the Prog-Rock movement. Known for their musicianship, PFM had a very solid reputation in their native Italy and all over Europe and Japan a few years before they made their mark in the U.S. In 1973 they signed to Manticore Records, the label started by Emerson, Lake & Palmer and began a series of groundbreaking tours to coincide with the re-release of their earlier Italian albums dubbed into English, that brought their unique message to the American audience. Around this time their original singer and flautist, Mauro Pagani quit to pursue a solo career and Bernardo Lanzetti stepped in as lead singer. Lanzetti had gone to University in Texas and was fluent in English, which up until that time was a drawback, particularly with U.S. labels and radio stations as the band only sang in Italian.
Tonight's track, From Under is the opening number from their first album with Lanzetti and the first one to be done completely in English. Chocolate Kings wound up being somewhat controversial, primarily because the original cover (released by Numero Uno/RCA Italiana) depicted a frowsy and overweight Marilyn Monroe as she might have looked had she lived into the 70's. The cover was re-done for American audiences depicting a flag draped candy bar which satisfied the Monroe Estate who didn't see the humor.
PFM are still together, with practically all the original members intact still recording and touring and still around to remind you what they were like in the 1970s when Prog was new and PFM were were practically the only game in town.