Area (band)

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Area
Demetrio stratos.JPG
AreA live in Castelmassa (Rovigo), Italy, 1978
Background information
Origin Italy
Genres Progressive rock
Art rock
Free jazz
Jazz fusion
Experimental
Electronic
Years active 1972–1983
1993–1999
2009–present (live reunions)
Labels Cramps, Ascolto, Sony
Associated acts I Ribelli
I Califfi
Area II
The Pleasure Machine
PFM
Past members Demetrio Stratos
Giulio Capiozzo
Eddie Busnello
Leandro Gaetano
Johnny Lambizzi
Patrick Djivas
Patrizio Fariselli
Paolo Tofani
Ares Tavolazzi
Gianni Sassi
Massimo Urbani
Pietro Tonolo
Sara Borsarini
Guido Guidoboni
Larry Nocella
Paolo Dalla Porta
Pietro Condorelli
Angela Baggi
Marco Micheli
Stefano Bollani

Area - International POPular Group, most commonly known as Area or AreA, is an Italian progressive rock, jazz fusion, electronic, experimental group[1] formed in 1972 by singer Demetrio Stratos and drummer Giulio Capiozzo. They are known for their left-wing adogmatic Socialist and Communist lyrics.

History[edit]

Demetrio Stratos' years: 1972–1979[edit]

Area grew to be one of the most respected and important bands of the blooming 70s Italian progressive rock scene.

Originally composed of Demetrio Stratos, Giulio Capiozzo (drums and percussion), Victor Edouard "Eddie" Busnello (saxophone and flutes), Leandro Gaetano (piano), and Johnny Lambizzi (guitar), soon followed by Patrick Djivas (bass) and Patrizio Fariselli (keyboards and piano), Area was formed in 1972.[2][3][4] The band was led by Demetrio Stratos, a highly original and talented singer of Greek family who used his voice as an instrument, in spite of not having written anything for the group until the "1978 Gli Dei Se Ne Vanno, Gli Arrabbiati Restano!" album.

In 1973, Johnny Lambizzi left the band and was replaced by Paolo Tofani (guitar and synth). In that year, they recorded their first studio album Arbeit macht frei ("Work Brings Freedom"), taken from the inscription that was found on the gate at the entrance to Auschwitz Nazi concentration camp,[2][4] was released by Cramps Records and the band performed in many musical and cultural events. Area went on tour in Chile and, representing Italy, they took part in the eighth Biennale de Paris.[3] At that time, Area's sound was an odd mish-mash that drew from rock, jazz, Eastern, and Arabic music, and it was the blending of all sorts of music that made the band stand out. The band soon grew to prominence because the youth of the time were able to identify with Area's socialist lyrics, and the band was founded on a strong and virtuosic musicianship. To aficionados of Italian progressive rock, their debut album Arbeit macht frei is considered a classic.

In 1974, Eddie Busnello and Patrick Djivas left the band. Patrick Djivas, who would later play with Premiata Forneria Marconi, was replaced by Ares Tavolazzi (bass).[3] Early in the band, Area had prominent saxophone work from Busnello but when he left, along with bassist Patrick Djivas, the Area sound became more guitar and keyboard oriented. At that time, the line-up of the group was composed of Demetrio Stratos on vocals, Hammond organ and steel drum; Giulio Capiozzo on percussion; Patrizio Fariselli on piano and keyboards; Ares Tavolazzi on bass and trombone; and Paolo Tofani on guitar and VCS 3 syntethizer.[4]

The sixth unofficial member of the group was Gianni Sassi, founder of the Cramps Records label, who took care of the group's image. Sassi was involved in nearly all of the cultural projects of the time and was a component of the Italian Fluxus movement, the international network of artists, composers, and designers noted for blending different artistic media and disciplines in the 1960s.[2] Area held a “therapeutic” concert at the Psychiatric Hospital of Trieste, directed by Franco Basaglia; recorded their second studio album Caution Radiation Area, played at the Parco Lambro Festival in Milan and at the first International Festival of Rovereto; They represented Italy at the first Pop Festival of Berne and performed at the Velodromo Vigorelli event against the Vietnam War together with Joan Baez.[3]

During 1975, the number of their live performances and exhibitions increased. They participated at the second Parco Lambro Festival and at the "Festa Nazionale dell'Unità" in Florence; in November of that year, Area recorded their third studio album Crac!, and their recordings were published for the first time in France.[3]

It was the mid-1970s and live events roused enthusiasm as never before; they fulfilled the need to be together and the illusion of continuing as a person. Area ... (was) a head above the rest. Not only because they seemed to be more attentive to the themes outside the world of music ... nor due to their interest in the use of instruments which seemed vaster and futuristic, but above all because ... (of) an incomparable coherence in their everyday work and in the steadfastness (sic) with which thay faced even their contradditions.

—“Riflusso,” resistances, unoccupied roads , [1]

In 1976, their recordings were distributed in Japan. They were featured at the third Parco Lambro Festival. In this year, Area played around 200 concerts in Italy. They were invited to take part in the Fête de L'Humanité, held in the working class suburbs of Paris at Le Bourget, near Aubervilliers, and at the Festa do Avante! in Lisbon. Giulio Capiozzo and Ares Tavolazzi left the group for a couple of months to meet the Andrea Mingardi Orchestra. Fariselli, Tofani, and Stratos did a concert at the University of Milan with Steve Lacy and Paul Lytton, and from that concert their live album was released, Event 76. Area recorded their fourth studio album Maledetti with the Arze brothers, Steve Lacy, Paul Lytton, Walter Calloni, and Hugh Bullen as guest musicians.[3]

During a concert at the Teatro Uomo in Milan in 1977, the band presented their compilation album Anto/Logicamente, and Paolo Tofani left the group.[3]

In 1978, Area left the Cramps record label for Ascolto, a record label owned by CGD; in that year, their fifth studio album was released, 1978 Gli Dei Se Ne Vanno, Gli Arrabbiati Restano!. In March, they played three concerts in Lisboa, Coimbra, and Oporto in Portugal; in July, the band had two dates in Havana, Cuba at the World Festival of Youth and Students (for Anti-Imperialist Solidarity, Peace and Friendship).[3]

1979 was the year of study, experimentation, and research. Members of the group guested on PFM violinist/flautist's first solo album, "Mauro Pagani" (released in Tokyo in 1979 on Seven Seas and distributed by King Record Co.) with contributions by Demetrio Stratos, Giulio Capiozzo, Patrizio Fariselli, and Ares Tavolazzi ("L'Albero Di Canto" and "L'Albero Di Canto II" with Area members backing Pagani exclusively). Later Demetrio Stratos left Area, and Fariselli, Capiozzo, and Tavolazzi recruited several musicians: Massimo Urbani, Pietro Tonolo, Sara Borsarini, and Guido Guidoboni.[3] In April 1979, Demetrio Stratos was diagnosed with a severe case of aplastic anemia. His condition deteriorated rapidly and he was transferred to New York City Memorial Hospital for treatment. Meanwhile, in Italy, his friends organized a concert to pay for his medical expenses. Many musicians accepted the invitation to perform, and the concert was planned for June 14, 1979. It was to become Demetrio Stratos’ memorial concert, where over a hundred musicians played in front of an audience of 100,000. He died in New York City Memorial Hospital on June 13, 1979 at the age of thirty–four, while waiting for a bone marrow transplant (the official cause of death was myocardial infarction, more commonly known as heart attack).[1][4][5][6] The band, Demetrio Stratos, Patrizio Fariselli and Paolo Toffani were included in the Nurse with Wound list, a list of musicians and bands that accompanied the first album by Nurse With Wound, entitled Chance Meeting on a Dissecting Table of a Sewing Machine and an Umbrella and released in 1979.

Area released five studio albums and two live albums before Demetrio Stratos's death in 1979: the already mentioned Arbeit Macht Frei, Caution Radiation Area, Are(A)zione (live), Crac!, Maledetti, the live performance Event '76 and Gli Dei Se Ne Vanno, Gli Arrabbiati Restano!, which does not feature Paolo Tofani and was not released by Cramps.

Post Demetrio Stratos years and Area II: 1980–1986[edit]

Tic&Tac, their sixth studio album, was released in 1980. Then, Area released Gli Uccelli ("The Birds"), a Greek classic comedy by Aristophanes, in collaboration with the theatrical company Nuova Scena and directed by Memè Perlini. Gli Uccelli was performed in Italy around 100 times and finished in Brussels on May 1981. Larry Nocella was recruited and the band did several concerts with him.[3]

In 1982, together with Nuova Scena company, they prepared and performed Tristano e Isotta ("Tristan and Iseult"), a theatrical representation with dance and music of that influential romance/tragedy under the choreography and direction of Amedeo Amodio. In 1983, Area disbanded and the musicians continued their musical activities separately.[3] There was a reappearance of Area II in the mid-1980s. Area II released two studio albums, but this was in fact a project by Area drummer Giulio Capiozzo with session musicians.

First reunion: 1993–2000[edit]

In 1993, Patrizio Fariselli, Giulio Capiozzo, and briefly, Ares Tavolazzi, resumed the live activity of Area, experimenting with new sounds, materials, and new languages. Ares Tavolazzi left the band and was replaced by Paolo Dalla Porta and Pietro Condorelli.[3]

Chernobyl 7991, their seventh and last studio album, was released in 1997. Gigi Cifarelli, John Clark and Pietro Condorelli featured as guest musicians. In January, the record was presented at the Leoncavallo Social Center in Milan, where they were denounced for "abuse of musical instruments and serious acoustic pollution". The group commonly known as Area II had several live concerts performed as a trio consisting of Fariselli, Capiozzo, and Paolo Dalla Porta.[3]

In 1998, Marco Micheli replaced Dalla Porta, and the band also recruited Angela Baggi.[3] This line-up toured until its split in 1999. Capiozzo died a year later.

Second reunion: 2009–present[edit]

On 25 August 2009 in Siena, Patrizio Fariselli, Ares Tavolazzi, and Paolo Tofani with Capiozzo's son, Christian on drums, and Mauro Pagani on vocals and violin perform together for the first time in over a decade during the ninth Edition of the festival "La Città Aromatica", dedicated to Demetrio Stratos thirty years after his death.[7] On 29 and 30 January 2010, there was another reunion when Fariselli, Tavolazzi, and Tofani with UT Gandhi (Umberto Trombetta) on drums, played together at the San Lazzaro di Savena (Bologna) theatre as part of "StratosFerico: Omaggio a Demetrio Stratos", a tribute to Demetrio Stratos.[8][9] On 2 May, Fariselli, Tofani, and Tavolazzi reunited again for a performance at New York's Brecht Forum, accompanied by Italian session drummer Walter Paoli and former collaborator Mauro Pagani on violin and vocals.[10]

The official Reunion Tour started on 21st Sept 2010 in Milano at Blue Note Club,[11] with Fariselli, Tavolazzi, Tofani, Walter Paoli on drums and Mauro Pagani as special guest. During the Reunion Tour that still continues, AREA had several special guests among them Maria Pia De Vito on vocals. On November 2012 AREA released a new double live CD entitled "Live2012" that features some of the best live performances recorded during the Reunion Tour.

Members[edit]

1972
Original line-up
1973
  • Demetrio Stratos – lead vocals, organ, steel drums
  • Giulio Capiozzo – drums, percussion
  • Patrizio Fariselli – piano, keyboards
  • Paolo Tofani – lead guitar, synthesizer, VCS 3
  • Eddie Busnello – saxophone, flute, bass clarinet
  • Patrick Djivas – bass guitar
1974-1979
Classic line-up
  • Demetrio Stratos – lead vocals, organ, steel drums
  • Giulio Capiozzo – drums, percussion
  • Patrizio Fariselli – keyboards
  • Paolo Tofani – lead guitar, synthesizer
  • Ares Tavolazzi – bass guitar, trombone
1979
  • Giulio Capiozzo – drums, percussion
  • Patrizio Fariselli – keyboards
  • Ares Tavolazzi – lead guitar, bass guitar, vocals
  • Massimo Urbani
  • Pietro Tonolo
  • Sara Borsarini
  • Guido Guidoboni
1980-1982
  • Giulio Capiozzo – drums, percussion
  • Patrizio Fariselli – keyboards
  • Ares Tavolazzi – lead guitar, bass guitar, lead vocals
  • Larry Nocella – saxophone
1993
  • Giulio Capiozzo – drums, percussion
  • Patrizio Fariselli – keyboards
  • Ares Tavolazzi – lead guitar, bass guitar, lead vocals
1993-1997
  • Giulio Capiozzo – drums, percussion
  • Patrizio Fariselli – piano, keyboards
  • Paolo Dalla Porta – bass guitar, double bass
  • Pietro Condorelli – lead guitar, lead vocals
1998-1999
  • Giulio Capiozzo – drums, percussion
  • Patrizio Fariselli – piano, keyboards
  • Angela Baggi – lead vocals
  • Marco Micheli – bass guitar, double bass
2009–present
  • Patrizio Fariselli - piano, keyboards
  • Paolo Tofani - lead guitar
  • Ares Tavolazzi - bass guitar
  • Christian Capiozzo - drums (2009)
  • Walter Paoli - drums (2010)
  • Mauro Pagani - violin, lead vocals

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Year Album Additional information
1973 Arbeit macht frei Cramps, CRSLP 5101.

Track listing

Side one

  1. "Luglio, agosto, settembre (nero)" – 4:27
  2. "Arbeit macht frei" – 7:56
  3. "Consapevolezza" – 6:06

Side two

  1. "Le labbra del tempo" – 6:00
  2. "240 chilometri da Smirne" – 5:10
  3. "L’abbattimento dello Zeppelin" – 6:45
1974 Caution Radiation Area Cramps, CRSLP 5102.

Track listing

Side one

  1. "Cometa Rossa" – 4:00
  2. "ZYG (Crescita Zero)" – 5:27
  3. "Brujo" – 8’02

Side two

  1. "MIRage? Mirage!" – 10:27
  2. "Lobotomia" – 4:23
1975 Crac! Cramps, CRSLP 5103.

Track listing

Side one

  1. "L’elefante bianco" – 4:33
  2. "La mela di Odessa (1920)" – 6:27
  3. "Megalopoli" – 7:53

Side two

  1. "Nervi scoperti" – 6:35
  2. "Gioia e rivoluzione" – 4:40
  3. "Implosion" – 5:00
  4. "AREA 5" – 2:09
1976 Maledetti (Maudits) Cramps, CRSLP 5105.

Track listing

Side one

  1. "Evaporazione" – 1:45
  2. "Diforisma urbano" – 6:18
  3. "Gerontocrazia" – 7:30
  4. "Scum" – 6:30

Side two

  1. "Il massacro di Brandeburgo numero tre in sol maggiore" – 2:20
  2. "Giro, giro, tondo" – 5:55
  3. "Caos (parte II)" – 9:00
1978 1978 Gli Dei Se Ne Vanno, Gli Arrabbiati Restano! Ascolto, ASC 20063.

Track listing

Side one

  1. "Il bandito del deserto" – 3:13
  2. "Interno con figure e luci" – 4:07
  3. "Return from Workuta" – 3:02
  4. "Guardati dal mese vicino all’aprile!" – 5:12
  5. "Hommage à Violette Nozières" – 3.18

Side two

  1. "Ici on Dance!" – 3:27
  2. "Acrostico in Memoria di Laio" – 6:12
  3. "“FFF “(Festa, Farina e Forca)" – 3:49
  4. "Vodka Cola" – 7:27
1980 Tic&Tac Ascolto, ASC 20224.

Track listing

Side one

  1. "La torre dell'alchimista" (Fariselli) – 5:50
  2. "Danza ad anello" (Fariselli) – 5:13
  3. "A.S.A" (Fariselli) – 4:34
  4. "Letric rag" (Fariselli) – 1:50
  5. "La luna nel pozzo" (Fariselli) – 3:41

Side two

  1. "Tic&tac" (Fariselli) – 4:38
  2. "Quartet" (Tavolazzi) – 2:12
  3. "Sibarotega" (Fariselli) – 4:16
  4. "Chantee d'amour" (Tavolazzi) – 4:47
  5. "Antes de hablar abra la boca" (Fariselli) – 4:22
1997 Chernobyl 7991 Sony.

Track listing

  1. "15.000 umbrellas (part one)"
  2. "15.000 umbrellas (part two)"
  3. "Liquiescenza"
  4. "Wedding day"
  5. "Chernobyl 7991"
  6. "Fall down"
  7. "Il faut marteler"
  8. "Efstratios"
  9. "Mbira & Orizzonti"
  10. "Colchide"
  11. "Deriva (sogni sognati vendesi)"
  12. "Sedimentazioni"

Live albums[edit]

Compilations[edit]

Year Album Additional information
1975 Are(A)zione Cramps, CRSLP 5104.

Track listing

Side one

  1. "Luglio, agosto, settembre (nero)" – 4:25
  2. "La mela di Odessa (1920)" – 11:’10
  3. "Cometa Rossa" – 5:40

Side two

  1. "Are(A)zione" – 14:37
  2. "L’Internazionale" – 3:20
1979 Il concerto - Omaggio a Demetrio Stratos Cramps.

Track listing

Side one

  1. Kaos Rock – "Basta basta"
  2. Area – "Danz(A)nello"
  3. Francesco Guccini – "Per un amico"
  4. Eugenio Finardi – "Hold On"
  5. Roberto Ciotti – "Shake It"

Side two

  1. Venegoni & Co. – "Coesione"
  2. Angelo Branduardi – "Il funerale"
  3. Carnascialia – "Europa Minor"
  4. Adriano Bassi and Italo Lo Vetere – "Nero sul bianco"

Side three

  1. Antonello Venditti – "Bomba o non bomba"
  2. Skiantos – "Ehi Sbarbo; Ehi Buba Loris; Come faccio a farmi fare"
  3. Gaetano Liguori and Tullio De Piscopo – "Tarantella del vibrione"
  4. Giancarlo Cardini – "Novelletta"

Side four

  1. Giancarlo Cardini – "Solfeggio parlante per voce sola"
  2. Roberto Vecchioni – "Figlia"
  3. Banco del Mutuo Soccorso – "E mi viene da pensare"
  4. Area – "L'Internazionale"
1979 Event '76 Demetrio Stratos, Paolo Tofani, Patrizio Fariselli, Steve Lacy and Paul Lytton live 1976. Cramps, 5205-107.

Track listing

Side one

  1. "Caos II" (part 1) – 20:15

Side two

  1. "Caos II" (part 2) – 9:18
  2. "Event ‘76" – 9:27
1996 Parigi-Lisbona Cramps. Live 1976

Track listing

  1. "L’elefante bianco" – 5:21
  2. "Megalopoli" – 8:06
  3. "La Mela di Odessa" – 8:56
  4. "Lobotomia" – 4:11
  5. "Presentation Concerts Lisboa" – 3:26
  6. "Arbeit macht frei" – 8:25
  7. "Cometa Rossa" – 7:15
  8. "Luglio, agosto, settembre (nero)" – 6:51
  9. "L’Internazionale" – 4:12
1996 Concerto Teatro Uomo Ascolto, ASC 20063.

Track listing

Disc one

  1. "Evaporazione"
  2. "Arbeit Macht Frei"
  3. "Luglio,agosto,settembre (nero)"
  4. "L'abbattimento dello Zeppelin"
  5. "ZYG (crescita zero)"
  6. "Cometa rossa"
  7. "Lobotomia"
  8. "Il massacro di Brandeburgo numero tre in sol maggiore"
  9. "L'Elefante bianco"
  10. "Gerontocrazia"

Disc two

  1. "La mela di Odessa"
  2. "Gioia e rivoluzione"
  3. "Scum"
  4. "Giro, giro tondo"
  5. "L'Internazionale"
  6. "Boom boom"
  7. "Improvvisazione"
1996 Live Concerts Box Akarma
2003 Live '77 Akarma
2012 LIVE 2012 Up Art Records, UPA CD003

Track listing

Disc one

  1. "La Mela di Odessa"
  2. "Cometa Rossa" feat. Maria Pia De Vito
  3. "Luglio,agosto,settembre (nero)"
  4. "Nervi scoperti"
  5. "Gerontocrazia - l'Elefante bianco)"
  6. "Arbeit Macht Frei"
  7. "Sedimentazioni"

Disc two

  1. "Encounter #1"
  2. "Encounter #2 (Skindapsos)"
  3. "Trikanta Veena Suite"
  4. "Encounter #3"
  5. "Canzone di Seikilos"
  6. "Aten (variazioni su Nefertiti di W. Shorter)"
Year Album Additional information
1977 Anto/Logicamente Cramps

Track listing

Side one

  1. "L’abbattimento dello Zeppelin" – 6:52
  2. "Arbeit macht frei" – 7:53
  3. "ZYG" – 5:27

Side two

  1. "Citazione da George L. Jackson" – 3:14
  2. "Nervi Scoperti" – 6:35
  3. "Gerontocrazia" – 7:30
1980 Area '70 Cramps
1996 Gioia e Rivoluzione Universal/Polydor
2002 Revolution Akarma
2005 International Popular Group Auditorium
2007 Gold Edition Edel

Singles[edit]

Year Single Additional information
1973 "L'abbattimento dello Zeppelin / Arbeit Macht Frei" Cramps, CRSNP 1701.
1974 "L'internazionale / Citazione da G. L. Jackson" Cramps, CRSNP 1702.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Demetrio Stratos" (in Italian). demetriostratos.it. Retrieved 2007-12-20. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "Biografia Area" (in Italian). Fariselli Project. Retrieved 2007-12-17. 
  3. ^ a b c d Borella, Mike (2001-02-11). "Area: International POPular Group". Ratings. Gnosis. Archived from the original on 19 May 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-21. "Originally written in the Spring of 1995, updated in February 2001" 
  4. ^ Contributori di Wikipedia (2007-12-12). "Demetrio Stratos" (in Italian). Wikipedia, L'enciclopedia libera. Archived from the original on 2007-11-24. Retrieved 2007-12-13. 
  5. ^ Pavese, Antonella. "The life and times of Demetrio Stratos". AntonellaPavese.com. Archived from the original on 20 January 2008. Retrieved 2007-12-14. "In April 1979, Demetrio Stratos had been diagnosed with a severe case of aplastic anemia. He was 34 years old. His conditions deteriorated rapidly and he was transferred to New York City Memorial Hospital for treatment. Back in Italy, his friends organized a concert to pay for his medical expenses. Many musicians accepted the invitation to perform, and the concert was planned for June 14, 1979. It was to become Demetrio Stratos’ memorial concert: he died in New York City on June 13, 1979, while waiting for a bone marrow transplant." 
  6. ^ Donatella Cinelli Colombini. "Holiday house Chianti guided tours tuscany wine tasting holidays montalcino" (PHP). Local Events. www.cinellicolombini.it. Retrieved 2010-06-05. [dead link]
  7. ^ Claudio Costantino (2010-01-24). "Reunion degli Area per due concerti a San Lazzaro in memoria di Stratos" [Area reunion for two concerts in San Lazzaro in memory of Stratos] (XHTML). Rock-progressive: Pro(g)tagonisti Special (in Italian). www.cinellicolombini.it. Retrieved 2010-06-05. 
  8. ^ Paolo Ansali (2010-01-20). "StratosFerico: l'omaggio a Demetrio Stratos a San Lazzaro di Savena (BO) con reunion degli Area" [StratosFerico: a tribute to Demetrio Stratos in San Lazzaro (BO) with Area reunion] (PHP) (in Italian). MusicalNews.com. Retrieved 2010-06-05. 
  9. ^ "Area + Mauro Pagani". The Brecht Forum. Retrieved 2010-06-05. 
  10. ^ http://www.musicalnews.com/articolo.php?codice=19690&sz=2

External links[edit]