Equipe 84


Band members                             Related acts

line up 1 (1963-70)

- Alfio Cantarella -- drums, percussion, backing vocals

- Franco Ceccarelli -- guitar, backing vocals
- Victor Sogliani (RIP 1995) -- bass, backing vocals
- Maurizio Vandelli -- lead vocals, guitar, sitar

 

  line up 2 (1970)

NEW - Mike Shepstone -- drums, percussion (replaced Alfio Cantarella)
- Victor Sogliani (RIP 1995) -- bass, backing vocals

NEW - Mario Totaro -- keyboards
- Maurizio Vandelli -- lead vocals, guitar, sitar

 

  line up 3 (1970-71)

NEW - Franz Di Cioccio -- drums, percussion (replaced 

  Mike Shepstone)
- Victor Sogliani (RIP 1995) -- bass, backing vocals

NEW - Mario Totaro -- keyboards
- Maurizio Vandelli -- lead vocals, guitar, sitar

 

  line up 4 (1971-72)

NEW - Dario Baldan Bembo -- keyboards (replaced Mario Totaro)

- Franzz Di Cioccio -- drums, percussion (replaced 

  Alfio Cantarella)
- Victor Sogliani (RIP 1995) -- bass, backing vocals

- Maurizio Vandelli -- lead vocals, guitar

 

  line up 5 (1973-74)

NEW - Alfio Cantarella -- drums, percussion (replaced 

  Franz Di Cioccio)

NEW - Gagliardone Thomas -- keyboards (replaced 

  Dario Baldan Bembo)
- Victor Sogliani (RIP 1995) -- bass, backing vocals

- Maurizio Vandelli -- lead vocals, guitar

 

  line up 6 (1974-76)

NEW - Paolo Siani -- drums (replaced Alfio Cantarella)

- Victor Sogliani (RIP 1995) -- bass, backing vocals

- Gagliardone Thomas -- keyboards

- Gagliardone Thomas -- keyboards

- Maurizio Vandelli -- lead vocals, guitar

 

  line up 7 (1976-79)

NEW - Silvano Bolzoni -- drums, percussion replaced Paolo Siani)

- Victor Sogliani (RIP 1995) -- bass, backing vocals

- Gagliardone Thomas -- keyboards

- Maurizio Vandelli -- lead vocals, guitar

 

  line up 8 (1984-95)

- Massimo Bazza -- drums, percussion 1984-95)

- Franco Ceccarelli -- guitar, backing vocals

- Paolo Pigozzi -- keyboards, vocals, 1984-present), 

- Giuliano Ragazzi -- guitar, vocals, 1984-99), 

- Victor Sogliani (RIP 1995) -- bass, backing vocals

 

  line up 9 (1995-99)

- Silvano Bolzoni -- drums,, percussion (replaced Massimo Bazza)

- Franco Ceccarelli -- guitar, backing vocals

- Paolo Pigozzi -- keyboards, vocals, 1984-present), 

- Roberto Poltronieri -- bass (replaced Victor Sogliani)

- Giuliano Ragazzi -- guitar, vocals, 1984-99), 

 

  line up 10 (1999-2003)

- Claudio Bonora (drums, percussion (replaced Silvano Bolzoni)

- Franco Ceccarelli -- guitar, backing vocals

- Paolo Pigozzi -- keyboards, vocals, 1984-present), 

- Roberto Poltronieri -- bass 

 

  line up 11 (2003-)

- Michele Avella -- drums, percussion (replaced Claudio Bonora)

- Franco Ceccarelli -- guitar, backing vocals

- Paolo Pigozzi -- keyboards, vocals, 1984-present), 

- Roberto Poltronieri -- bass 

 

 

 

 

The Hurricanes (Victor Sogliani)

- I Quelli (Franz Di Cioccio)

- The Marinos (Victor Sogliani)

- Nuova Idea (Paolo Siani)

- Paul and the Cats (Victor Sogliani)

- Premiata Forneria Marconi (Franz Di Cioccio)

- The Rokes (Mike Shepstone)

- Maurizio Vandelli (solo efforts)

- The Tigers (Victor Sogliani)

 


 

Genre: psych

Rating: 4 stars ****

Title:  Stereoequipe

Company: Dischi Ricordi

Catalog: SMRL 6060
Year:
 1968

Country/State: Modena, Italy

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: gatefold sleeve; original Italian pressing; heavy hissing in spots; not skip

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 290

Price: $130.00

 

Best time to play: anytime !!!

 

If Equipe 84  is any indication of the genre, then I'm going to have to spend some time, energy, and money exploring '60s Italian pop and psych bands.  

 

Translating roughly as Team 84 (supposedly a reference to the band's collective age), the group initially came together in 1963.  Seemingly inspired by The Beatles and other British Merseybeat bands, the band showcased the talents of drummer Alfio Cantarella, guitarist Franco Ceccarelli, bassist Victor Sogliani, and singer/multi-instrumentalist  Maurizio Vandelli.

 

left to right: Victor Sogliani - Alfio Cantarella (front) - Maurizio Vandelli - Franco Ceccarelli

 

I don't understand a word of Italian, but their third album, 1968's "Stereoequipe" was a mesmerizing collection from start to finish.  (The oddball album title came from the fact it was the  first Italian LP to be release solely in stereo.)  And here's where it gets kind of strange.  Most of the twelve songs had previously been released as singles:

 

 

- 1967's '29 Settembre' b/w ' Dall Amore Che Nasce L'Uomo' (Ricordi catalog number SRL 10-452)

- 1967's 'Nel Cuore Nell'Anima' v/w 'Lardo' (Ricordi catalog number SRL 10-475)
- 1967's 'Nella Terra Dei Sogni' (Land Of Make Believe)' b/w 'L'Amore Verde' (Ricordi catalog number 45 JB-1) promo copies only - 

- 1968's 'Un Anno' b/w 'Nel Ristorante Di Alice' (Ricordi catalog number SRL 10-500)

- 1968's 'Un Angelo Blu' b/w 'Nella Terra Dei Sogni' (Ricordi catalog number SRL 10-510)

 

From a technical standpoint the album was a compilation of previously released material, including a number of Italian-cized pop hits (The Easybeat's 'Land of Make Believe', Brenda Holloway's 'Every Little Bit Hurts', and Traffic's 'No Face, No Name And No Number').  That said, at least to my ears the results sounded very much like a true album. Musically the album had a cohesive, if  varied sound that really didn't sound particularly fragmented, or stitched togetherI've actually seen it described as an Italian version of "Sgt Pepper" and while I can understand the comparison, don't be fooled into thinking this album was a second string imitation.  Yes, the Italian lyrics were a minor inconvenience, but you quickly got over it.  Vandelli had a likeable, if occasionally goofy voice ('29 Settembre' served as a good example of his weirder vocal stylings) and exemplified by tracks like 'Nel cuore, nell'anima', 'Nel ristorante di Alice', and 'Un angelo blu'the band's knack for crafting highly commercial melodies that managed to combine the best aspects of mid-'70s pop and psych influences made this one special.  

 

- I don't speak or understand Italian which put me at a distinct disadvantage as far as 'Nel cuore, nell'anima' went.  Still, showcasing Maurizio Vandell's likeable voice, musically the track had a distinctive Eleanor Rigby-meets Procol Harum flavor, complete with a nifty melody and some heavy, psych-tinged orchestration.  Very nice way to start the album off.    rating: **** stars
-
Complete with what sounded like sitar and tabla, the pounding 'Ladro' found the band incorporating raga influences into a garage sound.  Neat and quite impressive.  rating: **** stars

- One of the most commercial songs on the album ' dall'amore che nasce l'uomo' had a nice pop feel and one of those rousing choruses that was very radio friendly.   Interestingly YouTube has a brief black and white television performance of the song at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NYCLbzN0uAQ   rating: *** stars

- Kicked along by the playful melody, wistful vocals, and wonderful horns,  'Nel ristorante di Alice' was a glistening slice of power pop and  easily the most commercial song on the album !!!  Even if you didn't have a clue what the lyrics were about (I think the title translated along the lines of ' In Alice's Restaurant', this song was great.  rating: ***** stars

- A strange ballad '29 Settembre' (29th September), started out slowly, but once it kicked into gear, showcased another nice melody and a couple of strange spoken word segments slapped on top of it.  With an English lyric, the song was actually tapped as the band's lone American single - 1967's '29 September' b/w 'Auschwitz' (Imperial catalog number 66266).   YouTube has a hysterical promotional video for the song at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vGCA-320cbM    rating: **** stars

- 'Un Anno' (I'm guessing it translates as 'One Year'), was actually a cover of Traffic's '(No Face, No Name And No Number'.  To be honest, their cover won't make you forget the original, but it was a nice stab at the tune and gave bassist Sogliani a moment in the spotlight.  rating: *** stars

- The opening jet engine noises momentarily through me, but then 'Un angelo blu' ('A Blue Angel'), turned into a breezy, radio-ready pop number.  Very Paul McCartney-styled melody which may turn some folks off, though it instantly won me over.   rating: **** stars

- 'Tutto solo colore' was one of the weirdest Motown cover's I've ever come across.  A cover of Brenda Holloway's 'Every Little Bit Hurts', this version found the band working sitar, raga, and freak-out electronic influences into their repertoire with surprisingly enjoyable results.   The band was featured performing the song in the 1967 Italian film "Una Ragazza Tutta d'Oro'.  For anyone interested, YouTube has a clip of the performance at:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ngM0-oRpZOU'    rating: **** stars

- One of four tracks written by the team of Italian singer/songwriter Lucio Battisti and Giulio Rapetti (aka Mogol), ''Hey ragazzo' was given a cool, slightly acid drenched folk-rock/garage arrangement.  Nice, but ultimately not quite as good as Battisti's original.   rating: **** stars

- 'Per un attimo di tempo' started out as another pretty, psych-influenced ballad, included Indian percussion, droning strings, what sounded like a Themerin, and other goofy studio effects.  It all built up into a strange, freak-out ending, before closing out with what sounded like churchl bells.  rating: *** stars

- The album's lone instrumental 'Intermission Riff (Sigla di TV 7)' managed to meld sitar, harpsichord, show band horns, and "snake charmer" clarinet into one of the album's neatest tunes.  rating: *** stars

- A fragile mid-tempo slice of heavily orchestrated pop, to my ears 'Nella terra dei sogni'  sounded a bit like The Zombies.  Pretty pop number with a great hook, and very commercial, but ultimately it paled compared to some of the earlier songs.  rating: **** stars

 

Yeah, it's only four months into the year, but this is my favorite album of the year so far.

 

"Stereoquipe" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Nel cuore, nell'anima   (Lucio. Battisti - Mogol (aka Giulio Rapetti)) - 

2.) Ladro    (Lucio. Battisti - Mogol) - 

3.) dall'amore che nasce l'uomo   (Maurizio Vandelli - Francesco Guccini) - 

4.) Nel ristorante di Alice   (Ricky Gianco - Mogol - Gian Pieretti - Maurizio Vandelli) 

5.) 29 Settembre   (Lucio. Battisti - Mogol) - 

6.) Un Anno (No Face, No Name And No Number)   (Stevie WInoon - Capaldi - Mogol - Maurizio Vandelli) - 

 

(side 2)
1.) Un angelo blu (I Can't Let Maggie Go)    (B. Dello - Mogol) - 

2.) Tutto solo colore  (Every Little Bit Hurts)   (Ed Cobb - Maurizio Vandelli) - 

3.) Hey ragazzo   (Lucio. Battisti - Mogol) - 

4.) Per un attimo di tempo   (Maurizio Vandelli - Francesco Guccini) - 

5.) Intermission Riff (Sigla di TV 7)  (instrumental)   (Wetzel) - 

6.) Nella terra dei sogni (Land of Make Believe)   (George Young - Harry Vanda - Maurizio Vandelli) - 

 

Unfortunately it's in Italian, but Maurizio Vandelli has a web presence at:  http://www.vandelli.com

 

Only 54, Sogliani died from a pulmonary embolism in October 1995.

 

 

 

 

 

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