Exposé Online banner

Celeste — Celeste (AKA Principe di un Giorno)
(Vinyl Magic VM 039, 1976/1994, CD)

by Mike McLatchey, 2016-06-23:

Celeste (AKA Principe di un Giorno) Cover art

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.


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.


Filed under: Reissues , Issue 7 , 1994 releases, 1976 releases

Related artist(s): Celeste

More info

Latest news

2017-10-18
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart $amp; Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more

2017-10-13
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more

2017-09-26
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more

2017-09-06
Holger Czukay RIP – Holger Czukay, a musical experimentalist without boundaries who has been involved with expanding the sound palette of rock music since the late 60s, has died at the age of 79. After studying with Karlheinz Stockhausen in the early 60s, he became fascinated with the possibilities of rock music, and was a co-founder of the pioneering group Can. He leaves behind an impressive body of work both as musician and producer. » Read more

2017-08-22
John Abercrombie RIP – Another of the greats of jazz guitar has left us. John Abercrombie plied his way through a beautiful series of albums on the ECM label as well as bringing his talent to bear on albums by many of jazz's greatest artists. From his early work in the group Dreams to Gateway and outstanding work with Billy Cobham, Jack DeJohnette, Kenny Wheeler, and many more to his own trios and quartets, he brought a unique instrumental voice to the world. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Eleanor Hovda - Coastal Traces – Hovda is an important, yet little known composer who has been active on the contemporary music scene for over twenty years, mostly through live performances, scores for dance companies (of which...  (1999) » Read more

Marble Sheep - Stone Marby – This album sees Marble Sheep back together in the studio for the first time since about 1993, and a finer example of heavy Japanese psychedelic music I could not name. There are bits of Hawkwind, Pink...  (2002) » Read more

Various Artists - Le Meilleur du Progressif Instrumental – This is the third sampler in Musea's Meilleur... series, which extracts material from their regular releases and distribute them as low-cost samplers to familiarize new listeners with their...  (1996) » Read more

The Pineapple Thief - Little Man – UK-based quintet The Pineapple Thief have built a healthy following for their brand of modern, indie-influenced prog rock. Their 2005 release 10 Stories Down sold 5,000 copies and they’ve become...  (2008) » Read more

Soft Machine - Spaced – The material on Spaced was originally recorded in 1969 (circa Third) for a special choreographed multi-media one-week event of the same name at the London Roundhouse. Although the music here (seven...  (1997) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues