album list
I Pooh, 'Un Po' del Nostro Tempo Migliore'

Un Po' del Nostro Tempo Migliore  (1975,  52.45)  ***/½

Una Storia Che Fa Ridere
Eleonora, Mia Madre
Orient Express
Il Tempo, una Donna, la Città
I Pooh, 'Forse Ancora Poesia'

Forse Ancora Poesia  (1975,  39.21)  **½/½

Corri Corri
Ninna Nanna
Wild Track
Quel Tanto in Più
Quinta Stagione
Cara Bellissima
Peter Jr.
Un Posto Sulla Strada
Forse Ancora Poesia
I Pooh, 'Poohlover'

Poohlover  (1976,  39.59)  ***/TT

Il Primo Giorno di Libertà
Fare, Sfare, Dire, Indovinare
Un Uomo Straniero Venuto dal Tempo
Storia di una Lacrima
Tra la Stazione e le Stelle
Io Sono il Vento e Quel Giorno Ero Là
Padre del Fuoco, Padre del Tuono, Padre del Nulla
I Pooh, 'Rotolando Respirando'

Rotolando Respirando  (1977,  44.15)  ***/T

Sara nel Sole
In Diretta nel Vento
Che ne Fai di Te
Rotolando Respirando
Per una Donna
Il Suo Tempo e Noi
Una Domenica da Buttare
Dammi Solo un Minuto
Ancora Tra un Anno
Pooh, 'Boomerang'

Boomerang  (1978,  44.46)  ***/T½

La Città degli Altri
Ci Penserò Domani
Pronto, Buongiorno e'la Sveglia
Leggenda di Mautoa
Air India
Quaderno di Donna
Incredibilmente Giù
Classe '58
Il Ragazzo del Cielo (Lindberg)
Pooh, 'Viva'

Viva  (1979,  37.53)  **½/T½

Io Sono Vivo
Notte a Sorpresa
Una Donna Normale
Tutto Adesso
In Concerto
Rubiamo un'Isola
Così Ti Vorrei
Susanna e Basta
L'Ultima Notte di Caccia
Pooh, 'Hurricane'

Hurricane  (1980,  38.28)  **½/½

Hurricane (Rotolando Respirando)
I Dedicate My Love to You (In Diretta nel Vento)
Flow (Ci Penserò Domani)
Fade Away (Pierre)
A Million Miles From Nowhere (La Città degli Altri)
Care (Per una Donna)
Give Me Only This Moment (Dammi Solo un Minuto)
Ready Get Up and Good Morning (Pronto, Buongiorno è la Sveglia)
Your Love (Che ne Fai di Te)
Pooh, '...Stop'

...Stop  (1980,  39.43)  **/T

Caro Me Stesso Mio
Stagione di Vento
Numero Uno
Ali per Guardare Occhi per Volare
Cantero per Te
Aria di Mezzanotte
Quasi Citta
Gatto di Strada
Pooh, 'Buona Fortuna'

Buona Fortuna  (1981,  39.44)  **/½

Buona Fortuna
Banda Nel Vento
Lascia Che Sia
Compleanno de Maggio
Gente della Sera
Fuori Stagione
Dove Sto Domani
Chi Fermera la Musica
Pooh, 'Palasport'

Palasport  (1982,  84.56)  **½/T

Canterò per Te
Buona Fortuna
Dove Sto Domani
Siamo Tutti Come Noi
Notte a Sorpresa
Aria di Mezzanotte
Ultima Notte di Caccia
Parsifal parte I
Parsifal parte II
Canzone per l'Inverno
Chi Fermerà la Musica
Banda Nel Vento
Quello Che Non Sai
Piccola Katy
In Silenzio
Tanta Voglia di Lei
Noi Due Nel Mondo e Nell'Anima
Nascerò Con Te
Banda Nel Vento (ripresa)
Viva (strumentale)
Ancora Tra un Anno

Current availability:

Mellotrons used:

I Pooh formed in 1966 and, incredibly, are still going, with no periods of inactivity in between. A beat group when they formed (of course), they shifted into a rather cheesy form of orchestrated progressive pop in the early '70s, before gravitating towards mainstream pop/rock by the middle of the decade. Most surprisingly, albums as late as 1982's live Palasport still feature keys man Roby Facchinetti's trusty Mellotron, albeit in a supporting role.

1975's Un Po' del Nostro Tempo Migliore is their last 'overblown orchestral epic' album, ten-minute closer Il Tempo, Una Donna, La Città pushing its length to over fifty faintly excruciating minutes. In fairness, the album's far from unpleasant, but this is essentially progressive rock for an Italian audience that prefers big, orchestral balladry, but will go along with the band's more muso ambitions. Facchinetti's Mellotron is credited, but all but inaudible, what with the orchestra splashed all over the album, its only even possible sighting being the background strings on Credo, but I wouldn't even swear to that. Their second album of that year, Forse Ancora Poesia, drops the epics, leaving the band in a kind of vacuum, before they reinvented themselves as full-on pop-rockers the following year. As a result, it's probably their weakest album of the period, not helped by what I take to be even more minimal Mellotron use than before, with naught but some ridiculously background flutes on Peter Jr.

While the lengthy orchestral tracks coughed their last on Un Po' del Nostro..., Poohlover still has a prog feel about it in places, notably on the pocket epic Un Uomo Straniero Venuto Dal Tempo and closer Padre Del Fuoco, Padre Del Tuono, Padre Del Nulla, although much of the album consists of pretty mainstream fare. Facchinetti's Mellotron turns up on Gitano (upfront flutes and choir swells), Un Uomo Straniero Venuto Dal Tempo (sounds like heavily reverbed Mellotron choir), (I think) strings on Io Sono Il Vento E Quel Giorno Ero Là and more obvious choir on the final track, effected in places. 1977's Rotolando Respirando (We Go and Breathe, apparently) reminds me of Queen, of all bands, with the same sort of overblown pomp-pop with a considerable guitar presence, although more 'Italian' (and not just because of the vocals) and less, er, interesting. Better tracks include opener Sara Nel Sole and side two's big ballad, Ancora Tra Un Anno, though it's all fairly unexciting stuff, to be honest, just scraping three stars for not being too awful. Limited Mellotron, with what sound like distant background choirs on the title track and a major flute part in Il Suo Tempo E Noi, alongside real strings, but that seems to be it, although I'm willing to admit it could be hidden away on one or two other tracks.

The following year's Boomerang is very similar to its predecessor, with bits of 'Queen guitar' dotted about and a preponderance of stately ballads with a vaguely proggy edge to them. Leggenda Di Mautoa and Quaderno Di Donna are about the best, with most tracks being neither memorable for especially good, the slushy Classe '58 being fairly typical. Mellotron choirs and flutes on Leggenda Di Mautoa and choirs and strings on lengthyish closer Il Ragazzo Del Cielo (Lindberg), on the band's last album to feature any level of progressivity whatsoever. '79's Viva (the band by now without the 'I', or 'The') is essentially mainstream pop, minus even the Queen influence (sadly), replaced by a horrid Euro-disco feel to some of the tracks. No even slight highlights, I'm afraid, although the closing title track is about the least irritating thing here. It's also one of the only two tracks with any Mellotronic input, with a largish helping of choirs, rather buried in the mix, although the strings on L'Ultima Notte Di Caccia are slightly more obvious.

1980's Hurricane is the anomaly in the Pooh catalogue: an English-language album that turns out to be re-recorded versions of old songs with new lyrics, in true, er, PFM style. Not. The band only mine three of their previous four releases (the Mellotron ones, coincidentally), with the bulk of the material being sourced from Rotolando Respirando. As a result, it's a marginal improvement on its predecessor, although, strangely enough (?), the band chose not to rework any of their earlier epics for the record. The title track, a reworking of Rotolando Respirando itself, reprises the original's Mellotron parts and repositions the track in its obvious place as album opener. ...Stop was their second album of the year, although, of course, the only one of new material and is unsurprisingly pretty unexciting and mainstream. I thought it was Mellotron-free, until the nice choir swells on closer Inca (also the album's best track), keeping the album on this site by the skin of its teeth. '81's Buona Fortuna is only here because I've seen the 'Mellotron' credit on a vinyl original. Very mainstream Italian pop/rock, next to no audible Mellotron, with the only possibility being a high string note at the end of Dove Sto Domani. Useless.

1982's live Palasport seems to have been released in several versions; the original double-LP listing is now available on a 2-CD set, but a seemingly completely different version appeared on a single disc in 1990, not to mention another, different single CD that appeared at another point... On the 1990 version, not only have several tracks been mostly needlessly cut, as the disc comes nowhere near its 80-minute capacity, but everything's been moved around for no obviously good reason, so, for example, side four's eight-song medley now sits somewhere near the beginning, while ...Stop's Inca, one of their more Mellotron-heavy tracks, is missing. Having finally sourced the 'proper' version, I can tell you that what you do get is (presumably) their most popular material in front of a huge, female-heavy crowd, who sing along at every opportunity, with the strange inclusion of the whole of the overblown ten-minute title track from Parsifal, a.k.a. an excuse for the band to show off their chops. Facchinetti's credited with Mellotron and indeed, the choirs are present and correct in the proggish Inca and Viva (Strumentale), albeit rather muted, with literally just a few chords at the end of Parsifal Parte II.

For what it's worth, Palasport seems to be the last Pooh Mellotron album, which should hardly come as a surprise, given the era. There's a remote possibility there's a few string chords on '83's AOR-friendly Tropico del Nord, but it doesn't seem likely, all things considered. So; (I) Pooh's early-mid '70s titles are vaguely OK, if not exactly outstanding, but they were well on the way down by the time Poohlover appeared. Can I actually recommend any of these? Er, not really, no, although there are a handful of decent Mellotron tracks (and halfway decent tracks, actually) dotted around throughout their catalogue. A compilation of their best bits might be worth hearing, but it isn't commercially available, for the fairly good reason that it wouldn't be very, er, commercial.


My research has unearthed several Pooh bootlegs from their 'Mellotron period' (c. 1976-82), but I haven't actually been able to track anything down for review. Keep an eye on this space, but not too closely...


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