Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM) (translation: Award-winning Marconi Bakery) is an Italian progressive rock band originating from Milan, Italy. They were the first Italian group to have success abroad, entering both the British and American charts. Between 1973 and 1977 they released five albums with English lyrics. They also had several successful European and American tours, playing at the popular Reading Festival in England and on a very popular national television programme in the U.S.A.
PFM introduced new sounds, such as the synthesizer, to the Italian musical world. They were also among the first to combine symphonic classical and traditional Italian musical influences in a rock music context. Such innovations and their longevity have made them among the most important bands in the international Progressive rock genre.
The original core members of PFM (Franco Mussida, Franz Di Cioccio, Flavio Premoli, and Giorgio Piazza) came together in the mid 1960's while playing together as backup musicians for many different Italian pop, rock and folk singers such as Lucio Battisti, Mina, Adriano Celentano and Fabrizio De André. They appeared on many recordings for other artists during this period and quickly established themselves as top players on the Italian rock and pop scene. Mussida, Premoli, Piazza and Di Cioccio then formed the group "I quelli" (English translation "Them", or "Those Guys") in 1968. I quelli released one album and some successful Italian singles.
Premiata Forneria Marconi was officially formed in Milan, Italy in 1970 when the members of I quelli met Mauro Pagani from the group Dalton. Pagani helped the group expand their sound to include violin and flute. By this time they were already highly experienced musicians and easily able to play the kind of complex progressive heavy rock played by the leading English and American groups. Their early live performances included covers by groups such as King Crimson and Jethro Tull. Other early influences included Chicago, Ekseption, and The Flock.
They had a long name, as Italian progressive bands tended to have back then, and so were usually referred to as "La Premiata", and later "PFM". After rejecting Isotta-Fraschini (an Italian car maker) the group finally settled on Pagani's suggestion, "Forneria Marconi" (meaning "Marconi Bakery"), borrowed from the sign of a shop in the small town of Chiari, near Brescia. However, record producer and friend Alessandro Colombini suggested the name was not strong enough, so the title "Premiata" (award-winning) was added. Some objected that "Premiata Forneria Marconi" was too long a name, but the group's philosophy stated that the more difficult to remember a band's name, the more difficult to forget it.
The most recent line-up of PFM follows:
- Franco Mussida: acoustic guitar, electric guitar, 12 string guitar, mandolin, vocals (1970–present)
- Franz Di Cioccio: drums, percussion, lead and backing vocals (1970–present)
- Patrick Djivas: bass, programming (1974–present)
- Lucio Fabbri: violin, keyboards (1979–1987, 2000–present )
- Gianluca Tagliavini: piano, Hammond, Minimoog, other keyboards (2005–present)
- Piero Monterisi: additional drums (2006–present)
Former members of PFM follows:
- Flavio Premoli: piano, keyboards, Mellotron, Moog synthesizer, lead vocals (1970–1980, 1997–2005)
- Giorgio Piazza: bass (1970–1974)
- Mauro Pagani: flute, piccolo, violin, vocals (1970–1976)
- Bernardo Lanzetti: lead vocals, rhythm guitar (1975–1977)
- Gregory Bloch: violin (1976–1977)
- Walter Calloni: additional drums (1982–1987)
- Roberto Gualdi: additional drums (1997–2005)
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