Saturday, 21 September 2013

Parentin. Andrea - Rock Progressivo Italiano: An introduction to Italian Progressive Rock (2011)



This is a review of a book for a change.

First off all, I have to start this review with a short disclaimer. The author has added me to the thank you list for reasons I do not fully understand. I am massive flattered by this inclusion though. My interest in Italian prog is based on the music alone and I am by no means an expert. The others listed in the thank you list is experts though.

And so is the author himself. A man with a passionate interest in Italian prog rock. That shines through in the book. A book written on a meagre budget. That explains the lack of any illustrations in the book. The lack of album covers and bandlogos is the shortfall of the book.

That aside, the book is as good as it can get. The first part puts the scene into it's right social and political context. A context difficult to understand for those of us who was not there. But the author has put the listener in the picture and I find this part of the book most interesting. I really learned something new.

The author's description of each of the albums he fancies is very interesting too. Again, I learned something new. Most of these albums are from the 1970s though. That decade is supposed to be the golden era of Italian prog rock. That view is disputed taken into the account the release off the new excellent albums from Italy since year 2010 and in particular this year. The final part, 25 % or so of the book is dedicated the new bands and albums. This presentation of the new scene is presented as a road trip. A highly effective way of presenting a scene. The author has very much continued on his blogspot blog Italianprogrockmap which serves as a continuation of this book.

The final overview of the links, Myspace and others, are probably already out of date as Myspace is slowly fading out of the internet and use these days. Use Google instead or the author's blog.

Both that blog and this book is the most complete Italian prog rock lexicon by a mile and the author is the leading authority on this scene. A lexicon I will use for many years until the author or someone else comes up with something better. Something I find highly unlikely.
Everyone who are into the Italian prog rock scene and want to learn more about it should get this book. It is as good as it can get. That is why I give it the full five points.

5 points

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