Exposé Online banner

Area — Arbeit Macht Frei
(Cramps Records CRSCD 001, 1973/2009, CD)

by Mike McLatchey, Published 2014-11-23

Arbeit Macht Frei Cover art

McLatchey's Top Tier #3

The singular Italian jazz rock band of the 70s created classics after this one, but I'm not sure any of their other albums had quite the grooves this one did. For one thing this was a jazz rock album that really wasn't modeled on Mahavishnu Orchestra or even Miles or any of his offshoots so much as it seemed to work from the early Nucleus albums, with a pyrotechnic vocalist who was like a mix of Elvis and Leon Thomas. This is a group that a lot of fans of jazz and rock often miss from their radars, but not only was it a step forward vocally but Paolo Tofani's experiments with putting his guitar through a VCS3, but it really changed up the tones in a unique way. It seems stridently less intellectual than the way fusion was going by the mid 70s and the level of chemistry and intuition at play here was usually something that took a few years for a band to develop. Area had it right from the get go.


Filed under: Reissues, 2009 releases, 1973 recordings

Related artist(s): Area

Latest news

2020-05-15
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more

2020-05-14
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santan, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more

2020-05-06
Florian Schneider RIP – Florian Schneider, one of the founders of the pioneering electronic group Kraftwerk, has died at the age of 73. Co-founder Ralf Hütter announced that his bandmate had passed away from cancer after a brief illness. » Read more

2020-04-23
Shindig Festival Goes Lock-Down – Here's what they're saying: It's A Happening Thing! The Shindig! Magazine Lockdown Festival. In our days of no large gatherings of people, maybe it's still possible to have a music festival. Shindig! Magazine is giving it a go with a multi-artist streaming extravaganza on Saturday April 25. » Read more

2020-03-24
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Present - High Infidelity – High Infidelity is Present’s seventh release of intelligent music that extends the tradition laid down in Trigaux’s previous releases. This new CD contains three songs: "Souls for Sale,"...  (2003) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues