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

2018-02-18
Didier Lockwood RIP – Word reaches us today of the death of one of France's great jazz musicians, violinist Didier Lockwood. His playing bridged many worlds, from traditional jazz to fusion to progressive rock, and his talent can be heard on recordings by Magma, Clearlight, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, and many more. Lockwood was 62. » Read more

2018-02-15
10 Years of Fruits de Mer - The Incomplete Angler – Those of you who are faithful followers of Exposé will know that we have been promoting Fruits de Mer and its side labels and releases from nearly its first year. Now music journalist and author Dave Thompson has written a book chronicling the past ten years as a celebration of this milestone. » Read more

2018-02-14
Tom Rapp RIP – Singer / songwriter Tom Rapp, best known with the band Pearls Before Swine, passed away on February 12, at the age of 70, after a battle with cancer. » Read more

2018-01-30
Bill Bruford Ventures into Uncharted Territory – Drum master Bill Bruford, veteran of some of the most creative bands in history (King Crimson, Yes, Genese, etc.), is sharing some of what he's learned about being a drummer and a musician in his new book, Uncharted: Creativity and the Expert Drummer, out on University of Michigan Press. » Read more

2018-01-18
Christian Burchard RIP – Multi-instrumentalist Christian Burchard, who founded the seminal band Embryo in 1969, has died at the age of 71. His January 17 passing was announced on the band's Facebook page. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Phased - Medications – The promo sheet says something about Black Sabbath crossed with Hawkwind, and for once you can take that at face value. Heavy, spaced-out rocking good fun, skeletal imagery notwithstanding. These guys...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues