on 12 October 2010
'Cook' was first issued as a single LP in 1975, culled from two concerts in Toronto and New York in August 1974, captured by a mobile unit. These 3 discs illustrate the wide range of music content that PFM would play to an audience at this time from 'Photos of Ghosts' and my favourite 'The World became the World' releases as well as tracks from their earlier Italian issues. What audiences did not realise until they went to see live in concert is that the band would play extended and more elaborate versions of many of these tracks which demonstrate their excellent musicianship, energy, dexterity and melodic finesse.
These three discs are by and far the best reissue of the Manticore series in my view, as they faithfully reproduce the band in their element, playing live before an enthusiastic audience. Disc one is the remaster of the original released album while discs 2 & 3 give us the complete Central Park concert, with no overdubs which shows how good they are live. The accompanying booklet gives us an illustrated anthology of the band up to 1975 and in addition there are two postcards. For £16.99 this box set is good value, and I would summarise it as a well cooked and presented menu of PFM at this period of their musical development.
on 14 October 2010
One of the best albums from one of the finest and most neglected of bands now, at last, given the treatment it deserves. Back in the 70's as a single LP this was stunning quality and the tremedous songs and incredible musicianship gave enormous pleasure. As a 3 CD set with a detailed booklet, postcards and lavish artwork it is now quite breathtaking. Having said that the whole reissue programme of PFM albums has been terrific.
on 12 December 2010
I first bought this as vinyl about 35 years ago.
It is still as appealing now I have it on CD.
It may be a live album, but it is one of the few excellent live recordings.
Mostly progressive rock with English lyrics, but it has one terrific slow romantic song in Italian.
PFM were new and unknown in the UK when this was first released, it is a shame there were not more fans like me in the UK.
The music is typically well constructed and should be appealing to lovers of rock music with a progressive edge.
on 8 December 2011
As the very best musicians, like EL&P were for example, PFM gave it's best in live performances, one never the same as the other. This is probably the shapshot of their best career moment, in terms of ideas and energies, although I would put into it also the Chocolate Kings album and the following year North-American tour (portrayed in one CD of "1971-'81 - 10 years of PFM success"). Basically the period with Mauro Pagani who, without taking anything from the others, great musicians as well, was the classic "cherry on the cake", the added value given by his flaute, violin and accordion skills and his classic background, that was giving PFM that particularly sophisticated sound no other Prog Rock band had achieved.
This remains one of my very favourite albums of my collection, and the emotions it transmits me are the same as the first time I heard it, 30 years ago. The 2 CDs added with this release just confirm that.