Banco del Mutuo Soccorso

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Banco del Mutuo Soccorso
Francesco Di Giacomo.jpg
Francesco Di Giacomo of Banco, at a concert in Frascati, 2009
Background information
Also known as Banco
Origin Italy
Genres Progressive rock, Italian progressive rock, art rock
Years active 1969–current
Labels Ricordi, Manticore, EMI, Sony
Website bancodelmutuosoccorso.it
Members Vittorio Nocenzi
Francesco Di Giacomo
Rodolfo Maltese
Tiziano Ricci
Maurizio Masi
Filippo Marcheggiani
Alessandro Papotto
Past members Gianni Nocenzi
Claudio Falco
Fabrizio Falco
Franco Pontecorvi
Marcello Todaro
Renato D'Angelo
Pierluigi Calderoni
Gianni Colaiacomo
Karl Potter

Banco del Mutuo Soccorso is an Italian rock band. A popular progressive rock band in the 1970s, they continued making music in the 1980s and 1990s. They are still active, playing live in 2001 and 2008 at NEARfest.

History[edit]

Inspired by progressive rock acts from England, in particular Gentle Giant, Jethro Tull and Emerson, Lake & Palmer, keyboardists Vittorio Nocenzi and his brother Gianni founded Banco del Mutuo Soccorso in Rome, Italy. They later recorded their eponymous debut in 1972, soon to be followed by Darwin!, and in 1973 Io sono nato libero. Right from the start the most striking features of their sound was the complex texture provided by the piano, Hammond organ and synthesizers played by the Nocenzi brothers, plus the original vocals delivered by Francesco Di Giacomo. A careful balance of electronic and acoustic instruments, plus the use of reeds (played by some of the members of the band, in addition to their usual instrument), made the sound of Banco increasingly original and innovative, with a blend of rock, jazz and classical music which did not however forsake the Italian melodic tradition.

Proving popular in Italy and becoming known abroad, the band signed with Manticore Records together with the Premiata Forneria Marconi. In 1975 Banco was released, a collection of translated songs together with new material, targeting the international market. Come in un'ultima cena was also translated as As in a Last Supper.

The late 1970s saw Banco del Mutuo Soccorso going in new directions, with a film soundtrack in 1976's Garofano rosso and recordings with an orchestra in 1978's ...di terra. They changed their name to the simplified Banco.

The 1980s saw Banco's musical direction change towards lighter pop and shorter songs, producing some hits. This is due to the limited success they had abroad with their albums with English lyrics (also due to the shutdown of Manticore in 1977), which led to the decision to exploit Di Giacomo's remarkable vocal gifts with more marketable songs. Gianni Nocenzi left the band for a solo career. Other members came and went.

In the 1990s and now back to using the longer name, they started playing their 1970s material again. They performed unplugged versions of their songs live and re-recorded their first albums. New material was also produced.

Today, the band continues to play live, although no new material has been recorded since 1997.

On 21 February 2014, Francesco di Giacomo died in a car accident, in Zagarolo, at the age of 67.[1]

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Year Title Italian Chart Notes
1972 Banco del Mutuo Soccorso 5
1972 Darwin! 4
1973 Io sono nato libero 10
1975 Banco 10 includes English versions of songs from previous albums
1976 Garofano rosso 9 film soundtrack
1976 Come in un'ultima cena 8
1978 …di terra with Orchestra dell'Unione Musicisti di Roma
1979 Canto di primavera 36
1980 Urgentissimo 11
1981 Buone Notizie
1983 Banco 23
1985 ...E Via 42
1994 Il 13
1997 Nudo

Live albums[edit]

Year Title Italian Chart Notes
1979 Capolinea 28
2003 No Palco 30th anniversary live album
2005 Seguendo le Tracce live recording from 1975

Other releases[edit]

Year Title Italian Chart Notes
1976 As In A Last Supper English version of Come in un'ultima cena
1989 Donna Plautilla compilation of previously unreleased pre-1972 material
1989 Non Mettere le Dita nel Naso under the name of Francesco Di Giacomo
1991 Darwin reworking of the original 1972 album
1991 Da qui Messere si Domina la Valle re-release of the first two albums
1996 Banco d'Accusa compilation boxset, released under the name of Francesco Di Giacomo

Videos[edit]

  • Ciò che si vede è (1992, DVD release in 2004)
  • Live 1980 (2007)

See also[edit]

References[edit]