The Italian prog rock band PFM (Premiata Forneria Marconi) has been around since the early seventies, and they released their debut album Storia Di Un Minuto way back in 1972!! Key players have always been Patrick Djivas and Franz Di Cioccio and with I Dreamed Of Electric Sheep (Ho Sognato Pecore Elettriche) PFM add another great album to their already extensive collection.
This album is released as a double album featuring an Italian and an English version and although the English pronunciation of Di Cioccio is clearly slightly Italian, I prefer the English version as Italian is more suitable for opera than for progressive rock, obviously... The music of PFM is a daring blend of folk, jazz, hard rock, rock and progressive rock and the lyrics show a passion for science fiction movies, among others Blade Runner. I Dreamed Of Electric Sheep opens with an instrumental beauty Worlds Beyond; being excellent prog rock with lots of orchestration. Electric Sheep is a fairly “basic” rock song with a singalong chorus, especially if you listen to the Italian version called Pecore Elettriche. Kindred Souls is THE highlight of the album, being the longest song, it is also the most proggy song, featuring fabulous guest performances by none less than Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson (flute) and Steve Hackett playing some awesome guitar parts. The album ends with two instrumentals, Transhumance and Transhumance Jam, both being straightforward pure prog rock with great melodies and tempo changes galore.
Conclusion: I Dreamed Of Electric Sheep is a more than excellent prog rock album, featuring outstanding musicianship with lots of creativity and diversity.
***+ Martien Koolen (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)
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