Uno - "Uno" (Fonit Cetra 1974)

Italian band which included former members from Osanna. Their first and only album is a quiet good one, with lyrics both in Italian and English. The album varies between beautiful mellow tracks like "Right Place" and "Stay With Me" to energetic blowouts like "Uomo Come Gli Altri" and "Popular Girl". The sound is dominated by flute, sax, guitar and some very distinctive synth which in fact gives the band a sound of their own. The synth usually just lays in the background and plays a simple but good theme while the flute and sax are soloing on top. You can hear this on tracks like "I Cani E La Volpe", "Stay..." and the beautiful "Uno Nel Tutto". If you like Osanna, then you'll probably like Uno too.

L'Uovo Di Colombo - "L'Uovo Di Colombo" (CBS 1973)

Excellent organ-based progressive from Italy. The music on the album is often quite energetic, but there's some variation here too. "Io" has some jazz-influences, and "Visione Della Morte" has a more symphonic sound to it than the rest of the album. The organ sound and playing is awesome. Just check out fantastic tracks like "L'Indecisione", "Vox Dei" and the instrumental "Turba". Energetic music that will satisfy any fan of organ-based progressive rock.

Utopia - "Todd Rundgren's Utopia" (Bearsville 1974)

The name Todd Rundgren would probably make most of you run like hell, but Utopia's first album is a surprisingly good attempt at making progressive rock. In fact, the album is very good! And a band including three keyboard-players and 30-minute long tracks should appeal to most progressive rock fans! The album starts with the 14-minute "Utopia Theme". Very intense and powerful with great themes and melodies. Personally, I think the closest comparison would be ELP and Egg. Don't ask me why, because Utopia doesn't sound like any of them. It's probably more right to say that if you like ELP and Egg, then you'll also like this album. "Freak Parade" is another good track, with great instrumental parts. The funk-influenced vocal-parts may not be to everyone's taste, but personally I think it sounds good. "Freedom Fighters" is a pure pop-song, but event this sounds very good! "The Ikon" clocks in at 30:22, and is a track so complex and excellent that it's no point in me telling you. You just got to hear it yourself. This album is a no-miss, but it's probably the only good Utopia album. I have "Initiation" too, but it's just a load of shit so big that I don't even care for reviewing it here.

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