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Pooh - 1979 Viva



ARTIST: Pooh
ALBUM: Viva
LABEL: CDG
SERIAL: 20162
YEAR: 1979
CD REISSUE: 1999, CDG, 20162-2

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Roby Facchinetti - vocals, keyboards, piano * Stefano D'Orazio - vocals, drums * Dodi Battaglia - vocals, guitars * Red Canzian - vocals, bass

TRACK LISTING: 01 Io Sono Vivo * 02 Notte A Sorpresa * 03 Una Donna Normale * 04 Tutto Adesso * 05 ..In Concerto * 06 Rubiamo Un'isola * 07 Cosi Ti Vorrei * 08 Susanna E Basta * 09 L'ultima Notte Di Caccia * 10 Viva

WEBLINKS: www.pooh.it


Background
With roots traced all the way back to the early 1960's as The Jaguars; Pooh are one of the longest running and successful bands in Italian music history. Commonly referred to as Italy's Bee Gees, it's a fair comparison, although unlike the Brother's Gibb, Pooh's music has a stronger romantic flavour and a Euro-centricity that is quite appealing. Their catalog is extensive and the quality throughout is very high making a difficult choice for a first Glory Daze review. Decisions, decisions, but since I tend to favor their work recorded in a ten year period between 1975 and 1985; we'll pick from the middle and give 1979's 'Viva' a go.


The Songs
One of their biggest sellers at well over half a million copies; Pooh were undeniably at the peak of their powers with this record. Having dropped the orchestral arrangements that dominated their early output beginning with 1978's 'Boomerang', Pooh offer up a more synthesized sound on 'Viva' and like fellow Italian progressive popster's New Trolls and their album 'Aldebaran'; the band adopted elements of disco which proved to be quite effective. Vocals are naturally in Italian and even though my command of the language is severely limited, it's impossible not to enjoy music this good. Opener 'Io Sono Vivo' (I'm Alive) was released as the first single with the metronomic disco beat front and center and I hear a bit of ABBA in the chorus which is always a good thing. 'Notte A Sorpressa' (Nice Surprise) has all the elements of a typical Bee Gees ballad and apparently was another big hit for the band. Guitarist Dodi Battaglia provides tasty licks throughout and I especially like his Brian May-isms on the up-tempo 'Tutto Adesso' (Everything Now) and the very Queen influenced 'L'ultima Notte Di Caccia' (The Last Night of Hunting). Last but not least, the instrumental title track gives the band a chance to stretch their progressive muscle and I would be amiss having not pointed out how much this track reminds me of Saga, closing out what is truly an excellent album.


In Summary
Pooh are still putting out discs and filling stadiums in Italy, having recently completed a major tour in 2010, yet despite pockets of popularity in other parts of Europe and Japan, they remain relatively unknown. There's no time like the present to discover Pooh's music as most of their catalog is in print on CD. Start with 'Viva' and prepare to be impressed.


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Comments
#1 | aoraor on September 20 2011 13:32:22
A very well done review Eric, even because this is strictly a local release with lyrics in italian, but as always Pooh do in their albums, there is an high level of musicianship, guitar skill and great vocal harmonies, courtesy of the keyboardist and leader Facchinetti along with his band mates. I'd suggest other releases from late 70s to early 80s, even if a double compilation (La Grande Festa) is likely the place to start to enjoy this hugely successful italian light Aor combo.
#2 | AOR Lee on December 16 2013 05:29:02
Will have to track this album down, eish! If only for an endless cd buying budget!
 
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