Cook is a live album by Italian prog rock group Premiata Forneria Marconi or PFM for a shorter, easier to say name.It has also been released as Live In The USA.
It was recorded in Cleveland and Toronto in 1974.
Progressive rock was popular in Italy in the early to mid 1970s and as well as supporting British bands, they also had a thriving prog rock scene of their own.
Premiata Forneria Marconi were one of the leading lights and Greg Lake of Emerson, Lake and Palmer had them signed for Manticore and tried to break them in the English speaking countries.
Their Italian classic from 1972 Per Un Amico effectively became Photos of Ghosts thanks to new lyrics written by Peter Sinfield.
This live album is partly in English and partly in Italian.
It has been extended in 2010 by adding the entire concert from Central Park, New York City recorded on 31st August 1974. This duplicates some of the tracks but it’s very nice to have.
Songs On Cook
The original album
Four Holes In The Ground – 7:50
Dove….Quando…. – 4:21
Just Look Away – 8:46
Celebration including When The World Became The World – 8:36
Mr. Nine Till Five – 4:32
Alta Loma Five ‘Till Nine including P.F.M’s arrangement of Rossini’s William Tell Overture – 15:51
The New York concert
River Of Life – 6:04
Four Holes in the Ground – 7:26
Is My Face On Straight? – 17:32
Dove….Quando…. – 4:36
Guitar Solo – 3:34
Just Look Away – 5:00
Mr. Nine ’till Five – 5:23
Alta Loma Nine Till Five – 19:54
Celebration/Drum Solo/The World Became The World – 17:39
Playing on the album are:
Flavio Premoli – lead vocals, piano, keyboards, Mellotron, Moog synthesizer
Franco Mussida – acoustic guitar, electric guitar, 12 string guitar, mandolin, vocals
Mauro Pagani – flute, piccolo, violin, vocals
Patrick Djivas – bass,
Franz Di Cioccio – drums, percussion, vocals
Earlier in 1974 Djivas had replaced their original bassist Giorgio Piazza but all the others are founder members of PFM.
PFM play symphonic progressive rock and are a cross between Genesis and Yes.
Over on ProgArchives.com the album is given a rating of 4.13 from 134 people. To put that into context, 49% say it is an “Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection” while 38% say “Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music”.
It really is that good if you’re prepared to dabble with prog rock that isn’t all in English. PFM have since then recorded and released a lot of live albums but I think this is a terrific place to start and it’s been made even better with the addition of the New York concert.
What Do You Think?
Is this the best live album by PFM? Why?
I have included this album in my search for the best prog rock live album.
Because there are so many great progressive rock live albums I have split the poll into two and you may find some of your favourites in the second division. Albums will be promoted when they get enough votes.
I believe this album would do really well if more people knew about it.