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19 Jun 2017

The Trip "The Trip" 1970 Rock Progressivo Italiano














The Trip  "The Trip" 1970 Rock Progressivo Italiano

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One of many English bands coming to Italy in search of success during the beat-era, The Trip included a young Ritchie Blackmore in their first line-up, along with founder members Andersen and Gray and drummer Ian Broad, but a line-up change brought two italians in, keyboards player Joe Vescovi from Savona (later the leading figure in the band) and drummer Pino Sinnone from Turin.

With a stable line-up the band had a good recording deal with RCA and released their first album in 1970, and a single taken from it.
The Trip (sometimes referred to as Musica Impressionistica, from a title on back cover) can't be yet considered a prog album, rather a rock-blues LP, with five long pieces led by guitar and organ. The long opening cut Prologo, is a good introduction to the band's sound that since their early days has always mixed English and Italian-sung tracks in their production.

Also in 1970 the band members acted in the film Terzo canale - Avventura a Montecarlo, a nonsense comedy based on the story of a band trying to get to Montecarlo from Italy and playing the Rome Caracalla Pop Festival in the end.

With Caronte, in 1971, the Trip's sound became much more original, with more space to Joe Vescovi's keyboards. Since the first notes of Caronte I, the opening track, it's clear that a classical influence has enriched the band's sound. The long Two brothers is another highlight of a very important album.

After the second album two members quit the band, with Billy Gray releasing a solo album, and the band kept on as a trio with new drummer, the young Furio Chirico from Turin, coming from some important rock experiences with 60's groups I Ragazzi del Sole and Martò e i Judas.
Atlantide, housed in an ambitious gimmix cover, obviously sees the leading role of Joe Vescovi's keyboards, with the sound veering toward an ELP-like style. The band was now very popular in Italy, and the album's first copies contain a promotional single with a long interview and excerpts from the LP.

The same line-up released the fourth and last album, this time with the short-lived Trident label. Time of change contains yet another step in the band's sound evolution, still keyboard-based but with stronger classical and jazzy influences.

After Time of change drummer Chirico left to form Arti & Mestieri, the others tried to revive the band with the help of Osage Tribe's drummer Nunzio Favia, but the band split after some months when Andersen was injured in an accident.
Joe Vescovi briefly joined Acqua Fragile at the end of 1974 and later both he and Favia joined Dik Dik. Vescovi reappeared in 2002 with a new Beatles-inspired band, Shout!, including ex-Acqua Fragile bass player Franz Dondi. A CD is released on Electromantic.

In 2010 the reunion of the 1972-73 three-piece line-up has been anounced, and Joe Vescovi, Arvid Wegg Andersen and Furio Chirico played in November at the Prog Exhibition in Rome.
The project of reforming the Trip went on with a concert in Japan in 2011, but the death of Andersen in 2012 (despite some other live appearances by the remaining two founder members) and especially the demise of Vescovi in 2014 declared the end of the glorious group.

The unreleased recording of the January 1972 concert at Rome's Piper in the Controcanzonissima festival, still with the four-piece line-up, has been issued in 2016 by Black Widow with the title Live '72......Italian Prog.........

 With such a name and such a title, you can easily imagine which type of music this Italian band is playing. Pure psychedelic glory of course!
And I have to say that it is quite enjoyable to the ears of yours faithfully. Totally early Floyd oriented, this album is sung in English (when vocals apply) and can't be really be considered to belong to the Italian genre IMHHO.

The opening number, which is an instrumental, is a highlight of this album. More ASOS oriented I would say: it is demoniac psychedelia from the good old days. With "Incubi", the band gets back a bit more in time, and the sound is more "Piper" oriented. Instrumental passages are quite well performed but the vocal parts are not that great (but this is general remark as far as I'm concerned).

"Visioni dell'Aldilà" is a weird track in its early stages (but Roger said about ASOS that it couldn't be called a "song"; so?). Vocals are better than usual; but there is no structure in this song. Themes are changing all the time: so be prepared for quite an experience! What a ride!

At a certain moment ("Rifflessioni"), the band doesn't seem to know in which direction they want to go. This song is a pitiful melting pot of several influences (mainly pop, boogie, AND decadent music).

The closing number is a childish pop/psyche song which sounds quite outdated (but hey! This was released in 70). All in all, I quite like this album. Three stars is accurate for this work.....by ZowieZiggy ....................

This was one of the first groups to emerge from the new Italian rock scene. They formed in London in 1967 on the initiative of pop singer Ricky Maiocchi (ex-Camaleonti) who needed a new backing group. Many British beat bands moved to Italy in the late sixties in search of gigs, among them The Sorrows, The Primitives and The Talismen. Most of the original Trip members were also English, including (future Deep Purple axeman) Ritchie Blackmore, who eventually became homesick and returned to England. When Joe Vescovi was recruited in 1969, he quickly became the leader of the group, updating their sound with the current (pioneering) Anglo-American attempts to expand the rock format, blending it together with the inspiration and composing techniques of 17th and 19th century classical music.

On their eponymous first album, The Trip almost sounded like a cross between Vanilla Fudge, The Nice and Quatermass (another group that had a great deal of influence on the early Italian rock scene; they released their only album in 1970). "Prologo" almost pastiched the organ work of Mark Stein on Vanilla Fudge's first album. Other enlightening features were Billy Gray's Blackmoresque guitar parts and Joe Vescovi's distinctive, high-pitched voice. The album showed great promise, but didn't quite succeed in creating an integrated group sound. Organ parts of great emotional intensity were sometimes followed by almost banal vocal arrangements in a more pop tradition.

However, better things were soon to come when The Trip released their masterpiece, "Caronte" in 1971. The powerful interplay between Gray and Vescovi is excellent throughout the album. If the "dream collaboration" between Jimi Hendrix and Keith Emerson had ever happened, then I imagine it would have sounded close to this! The finest example of this is on "Two Brothers", which merged psychedelic, heavy and classical flavours of rock. By now, Vescovi could afford a mellotron, offering mellow string textures on the track, "Little Janie". The excellent rhythm section throughout the album, courtesy of Andersen and Sinnone, was also notable. Speaking of Jimi Hendrix, the album also included the mournful requiem "Ode a J.Hendrix".

The fruitful Gray-Vescovi collaboration sadly came to an end when Bill Gray left, along with drummer Pino Sinnone, in 1972. The latter was replaced by Furio Chirico and for their last two albums The Trip remained a keyboard trio focusing on Vescovi's great talents.
"Atlantide" (1972) was a fine album, absorbing more jazz-rock influences, particularly with the increased use of changing time signatures. The Trip took great care in production details, often using Leslie cabinets and flanging effects on organ, bass and piano.

Their final album, "Time Of Change" (1974), was their crown achievement in terms of musical dexterity, displaying neck­breaking keyboard pyrotechnics. Here The Trip used a very broad range of influences, from conventional music to avant-garde. Opus Avantra had a similar basic idea, but with completely different results, musically speaking. Their complex jigsaw never hung well together, whereas The Trip's work was more convincing. Most impressive was "Rhapsodia" (20:00), in the top class of Italian keyboard-driven progressive rock (along with Metamorfosi's "Inferno", Latte E Miele's "Passio Secundum Mattheum" and Le Orme's "Collage").

The Trip were one of the most influential Italian groups, even if they were heavily influenced by Anglo-American artists in their early stages. Almost all their lyrics were sung in English, but well executed....Scented Gardens of the Mind ...........

1969-71:
Billy Gray (guitar, vocals)
Joe Vescovi (keyboards, vocals)
Arvid "Wegg" Andersen (bass, vocals)
Pino Sinnone (drums)

1972-73:
Gray and Sinnone quit, enters:
Furio Chirico (drums)

Songs / Tracks Listing
1. Prologo
2. Incubi
3. Visioni Dell'Aldil?
4. Riflessioni
5. Una Pietra Colorata

Albums:

The Trip - 1970, RCA PSL 10460 (CD reissue: RCA ND 74111)
Caronte - 1971, RCA PSL 10508 (CD reissue: RCA 74321-26543-2, 1995)
Atlantide - 1972, RCA PSL 10540 (CD reissue: RCA 74321-26552-2, 1995)
Time Of Change - 1973, Trident TRI 1002 (CD reissue: Vinyl Magic, VM 008, 1989)

johnkatsmc5, welcome music..