Exposé Online banner

Battiato — Fetus
(water168, 1971/2006, CD)

Battiato — Pollution
(water174, 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

2017-02-20
Larry Coryell RIP – One of the greats of jazz guitar has left us at the age of 73. Larry Coryell was one of the founding figures of jazz fusion, but produced a significant body of work the bridged many styles. His group Eleventh House provided a unique take on the combination of jazz and rock that was distinct from contemporaries such as Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever, and Weather Report. » Read more

2017-01-31
John Wetton RIP – After a long battle with colon cancer, singer and bassist John Wetton has died at the age of 67. As an integral member of such bands as King Crimson, UK, and Asia, his was one of the distinctive voices in progressive rock, lending a human touch to often difficult music. » Read more

2017-01-30
Seaprog Announces First Artists for 2017 – The organizers of the Seaprog Festival in Seattle have announced the first set of confirmed performers for the 2017 festival. The best known names are Cabezas de Cera and Jack o' the Clock, but a host of other bands are featured, mostly from the Northwest. The festival will take place June 2-4, 2017. » Read more

2017-01-27
Acoustic Festival of Britain 2017 Announces Eclectic Lineup – The Acoustic Festival of Britain has been going since 2006, and this year's event sees a number of outstanding artists on the bill. Fairport Convention, Tir na nOg, and Martin Turner are some of the artists we've covered, and there are many more, including The Men They Couldn't Hang, Howard Jones, Chantel McGregor, and many more. The festival runs June 2-4, 2017 at Uttoxeter Racecourse in Staffordshire. » Read more

2017-01-26
Butch Trucks RIP – Butch Trucks was one of two drummers in the first incarnation of the Allman Brothers Band in 1969, helping the band achieve its legendary status as an American original. He died on January 24, 2017 of a self-inflicted gunshot would. He was 69. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Ars Nova - Transi – If this trio of all female musicians were a pop group, I doubt if anyone would think twice, but in the testosterone driven underground of Prog, the idea is practically a novelty (at least for...  (1995) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues