Exposé Online banner

Battiato — Fetus
(Water 168, 1971/2006, CD)

Battiato — Pollution
(Water 174, 1972/2006, CD)

Battiato — Sulle Corde di Aries
(BMG 74321 58555 2, 1973/2000, CD)

Franco Battiato — Clic
(Ricordi 74321 58551 2, 1974/1998, CD)

by Mike McLatchey, Published 1995-07-01

Fetus Cover artPollution Cover artSulle Corde di Aries Cover artClic Cover art

Franco Battiato, as is well known, was an Italian pop singer who for a span in the 70s made a string of very experimental albums that fit in the vein of groups such as Opus Avantra or Pierrot Lunaire. Battiato on all of these titles (and beyond) set out to create new musical forms, a task he handled admirably. This chronicles the first four of the eight Battiato titles released by Artis. The other four may be covered in a future issue.

Fetus was his first and certainly not as impressive as his later titles. There are a lot of influences here — Italian popular music, folk, electronic experiments and tape collage all swirled into an unusual tapestry of music. I would say his folk / pop influences show through the strongest here, and with the albums short duration there's not a lot you can sink your teeth into.

Pollution, however, is a much more successful outing, with the disparate styles blending into a much more cohesive whole. Battiato's music can jump from neo classical to Italian progressive rock (somewhere between Sensations Fix and Le Orme) to space rock like Gong and on to bizarre tape collages with narration. It all adds up to a fascinating and innovative album with more humanity than you'd expect from this type of experimentation.

Sulle Corde di Aries was Battiato's third release and showed his fascination for electronic, minimalist, and systemic musics. As such, it is quite similar to Pollution except much more electronic based and with a more definitive style. There are also a lot of modern classical strains coming through here and a great spacey feel again reminding me of Sensations Fix or Gong at times. A simply fascinating album.

Clic is the Italian version and not the version that was on Island records. It too moves in a far more electronic direction, sounding like an avant garde Klaus Schulze with lots of systemic patterns and neo classical vocals. This is often quoted as his best album, and certainly deserves a listen. The latter three titles all deserve the attention of those into experimental or avant garde rock albums.


Filed under: Reissues, Issue 7, 2006 releases, 1971 recordings, 1972 recordings, 2000 releases, 1973 recordings, 1998 releases, 1974 recordings

Related artist(s): Franco Battiato

Latest news

2019-11-07
Glenn Smith RIP – Glenn Smith, founder, mandolinist, and primary composer of the DeLand, Florida based prog / fusion band Magnatar, passed away on October 18th 2019 at the age of 68, after a brief illness.  » Read more

2019-11-04
Dino Brassea RIP – Word reaches us of the passing of Dino Brassea, who sang and played flute in Cast for many years. By our count, Brassea appeared on 11 Cast albums between 1994 and 2002. He also released music as a solo artist. » Read more

2019-10-06
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more

2019-08-20
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more

2019-06-05
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Herbe Rouge - Herbe Rouge – This progressive group is of the sort that could only come from France in the 70s where a distinctive and idiosyncratic form of weirdness flourished. Like many of their progressive compatriots, Herbe...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues