Celeste — Celeste (AKA Principe di un Giorno)
(Vinyl Magic VM 039, 1976/1994, CD)
by Peter Thelen, 1995-07-01:
Celeste's first album, also known as Principe di un Giorno, is an absolute gem, an overlooked classic that deserves a place among the best Italian releases of the classic period. Originally released in 1976 on the Grog label, the sound is a delicately woven tapestry of acoustic and electric guitars, flutes, piano, violin, sax, and synths, with a judiciously applied blanket of Mellotron when the need calls. Of course, drums and bass are there also, but – like on parts of Genesis' Trespass – they serve to accentuate certain parts of the music rather than provide an ongoing rhythm. Vocalist Ciro Perrino (who doubles on percussion, flute, 'Tron, and more) has a gentle voice that mixes well with the acoustic-based music, and doesn't dominate or constantly call attention to itself. Some parts, especially where flute and Mellotron are involved, remind this writer of the quieter aspects of the early King Crimson, while other moments recall two other Italian classics: Errata Corrige's Siegfried, il Drago and PFM's Per un Amico, both of which Celeste compares favorably to. This one is an absolute must-have, easily among the ten best Italian albums of the 70s.
by Mike McLatchey, 2016-06-23:
McLatchey's Second Tier
At the most pastoral, Arcadian side of Italian progressive rock we have perhaps as the archetype the great second album by Premiata Forneria Marconi – Per un Amico (already covered). Celeste's sole album (or at least it was until the archives opened up) was perhaps an even farther step in the direction PFM were going, in fact it's arguable to some extent whether this really was a rock album. It's beautiful, romantic, and layered with Mellotrons and synthesizers to give it a huge, rich 70s atmosphere and the obvious original model must be The Moody Blues on Days of Future Passed. The songs are brilliantly crafted and show just how profound a symphonic album could be at its most gentle and tranquil. I still own the original Japanese CD, I think it even shows an 80s copyright on it; I bought it very early on in my exploration of this era of music. I think maybe only Errata Corrige's original album was even remotely in the same ballpark at least in terms of skill. Great vocals on this one too.
Related artist(s): Celeste
Krautrock Documentary Seeks Funding – The next installment of the Progressive Warriors documentary series will focus on the vast body of music that falls under the banner of "krautrock." As most of our readers will know, previous films have tackled RIO and the Canterbury scene, as well as what we might call "mainstream" prog rock. » Read more
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more
The Cosmic Jokers - The Cosmic Jokers & Galactic Supermarket – Give LSD to the Haight Ashbury scene in the bay area in the late 60s and you have the flower power generation; give it to a bunch of young radical German musicians and you have the Ohr, Pilz, and... (1994) » Read more