One of my favourite bands of the 70s was Italian group PFM (that means Premiata Forneria Marconi or first prize to the Marconi bakery).

They started being a group in the style, vaguely, of King Crimson, and even covered 21st Century Schizoid Man, but they were far better suited to their own compositions.

They made two albums in Italy, before coming to the attention of Greg Lake, who signed them to ELP’s Manticore label. With the help of Peter Sinfield, English lyrics were created for existing tracks and new lps were released.

PFM appeared on UK radio, did international tours and had much success, but it all seemed to go downhill later and some of their later albums are not so good.

However, there is a live double cd from 1998 which is hugely enjoyable, and they are still on the go. Indeed, their 2017 release Emotional Tattoos (in Italian or English) is a real return to form and is hugely enjoyable.

Live albums, especially Cook, are great but always sound a bit frantic to me.

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