Siegfried, Il Drago E Altre Storie is the title of the debut album made by the Italian progressive rock band Errata Corrige. It came out in 1976 and became a collector's item for lovers of progressive rock, because it seems only 500 copies were released on vinyl in those days. After a long hiatus in which nothing happened with the band, in 1991 the band released a second album with Mappamondo-an album which seems at first to be their farewell album too. But musicians are also just ordinary people with feelings and emotions. While getting older thinking about the past and what could have been...this led to the reunion of the band which recorded their debut back in the seventies. The result of all this can be heard and seen on the newly recorded Siegfried, Il Drago E Altre Storie in 2015.
On Siegfried, Il Drago E Altre Storie (2015 version) the band once again consisted of Mike Abate (guitars and vocals), Marco Cimino (keyboards, flute, vocals), Gianni Cremona (bass, acoustic guitar, vocals), and Guido Giovine (drums, percussion, vocals) - they are joined by Manuel Zigante (cello), Martin Mayes (French horn), Federico Forla (oboe), Ivan Bert (trumpet), and Diego Mascherpa (sax and clarinet). It may not come as a surprise that I never heard the original album forty years ago. Therefore I can't compare the new recording with the old ones. But after hearing the entire 2015 version I can't deny that it certainly made me curious to check out the original album one day. Well if you still have equipment to play vinyl albums you are lucky. Because Black Widow Records, who also released the new version, released at the same time the original album again on vinyl.
I am sure you can hear on this vinyl release the same dreamy soft Italian prog rock as I heard on the CD I received. Siegfried, Il Drago E Altre Storie (2015 version) recalls in many ways Genesis' Trespass (1970) and Nursery Cryme (1971). I guess that's not so strange if you do know all of the musicians grew up when those albums came out and as with many Italian bands in those days Genesis was a big influence. Therefore the sound of a Mellotron can also be heard on the compositions the musicians wrote next to the acoustic guitar and flute parts. Only the vocals, done in their native language, don't have any references to the way Peter Gabriel sang back in the seventies. All of the songs are of a very high level and show that the musicians didn't forget after all those years to perform very well on their instruments! I certainly had a good time listening to the five tracks available.
The accompanying DVD of the band recording the album is rather entertaining. It features different band members introducing each of the songs performed and recorded. As a bonus on this disc, there is a faithful cover of a composition taken from King Crimson's second album In The Wake Of Poseidon (1970) titled Cadence And Cascade. This version doesn't have the original lyrics written by Peter Sinfield, but rather has been replaced by Italian lyrics written by the band themselves.
Siegfried, Il Drago E Altre Storie is a fascinating album, even forty years later after its first ever release. I guess lovers of the early albums made by Genesis have to consider checking out this lost gem!
**** Henri Strik (edited by Robert James Pashman)
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