(Le Orme` - roughly translated "The Footprints"- makes perfect sense) The main reason most bands from the Prog-Rock era didn't become household nam
September 4, 2009


(Le Orme` - roughly translated "The Footprints"- makes perfect sense)

The main reason most bands from the Prog-Rock era didn't become household names was the language barrier. There were a lot of bands doing really incredible things from Italy, France, Sweden, Germany, Spain, Hungary, Japan - literally all over the world. The trouble was, most all of them sang in their own languages and that was a tough sell to the majority of English speaking record companies and impossible to get airplay on just about every American radio station (unless you were either a college station or a public station with a very progressive Music Director). So hearing about what new bands were happening in Italy was pretty much either by word of mouth, or by one of the two import companies supplying very limited quantities of albums from overseas to the U.S. market - Jem Records or Peters International. Outside of that, you were on your own.

Probably of all the countries most heavily involved in the Prog scene, the Italians were far and away the busiest. From the late 1960's to the mid-1970's there seemed like an avalanche of new and interesting bands popping up.

One of those, and certainly one of the main groups to gain worldwide recognition was Le Orme` (pronounced Lay Ormay). Literally translated as "The Footprints". They were a three piece band; keyboards, bass and drums and, together with bands like PFM and Banco did more to further the cause of Progressive Rock to the rest of the world than anyone outside the UK.

Le Orme have had a long career, one that's still going strong, although personnel and direction changes over the years have altered their sound, they are still extremely popular throughout Europe.

They did have one foray into the English language market. During a brief stint with Charisma (through the recommendations of Genesis and Peter Hamill of Van der Graaf who often toured with them in Italy), they re-recorded vocals for an English version of their 1973 album "Felona e Sorona". It wasn't terribly successful and didn't stay in print for very long,and was certainly never issued in the States. But the original Italian version was a great success and has been reissued numerous times and has been considered some of their best work.

So . . .with best feet forward, if you aren't familiar with them - here is the first track off the original Italian version of Felona, "Sospesi nell'Incredibile".

In the words of Adlai Stevenson: "don't wait for the translation - yes or no."

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