Banco del Mutuo Soccorso
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|Banco del Mutuo Soccorso|
Francesco Di Giacomo of Banco, at a concert in Frascati, 2009
|Also known as||Banco|
|Genres||Progressive rock, Italian progressive rock, art rock|
|Labels||Ricordi, Manticore, EMI, Sony|
|Past members||Francesco Di Giacomo
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. Recently, they were still active, playing live in 2001 and 2008 at NEARfest. Their charismatic fatty frontman, Francesco Di Giacomo, died in 2014.
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.
|1972||Banco del Mutuo Soccorso||5|
|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|
|2003||No Palco||30th anniversary live album|
|2005||Seguendo le Tracce||live recording from 1975|
|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|
- Ciò che si vede è (1992, DVD release in 2004)
- Live 1980 (2007)
- Il Balletto di Bronzo
- I Cervello
- La Locanda delle Fate
- Le Orme
- La Premiata Forneria Marconi
- Il Rovescio della Medaglia
- Sbardella, Massimo (February 21, 2014). "Scontro frontale, muore Francesco Di Giacomo Era la voce del Banco del Mutuo Soccorso" [Francesco di Giacomo dies in frontal crash, was the voice of Banco del Mutuo Soccorso] (in Italian). Retrieved February 22, 2014.
- "Official band history". Retrieved 2007-10-20.