Jazz Related Rock • Italy
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Area's uncompromising blend of jazz-rock, ethnic folk, experimentation, and political philosophies made them a unique presence in Italy during the 1970s. Fronting the band's musical fusion was singer Demetrio Stratos, who embellished his own operatic technique with yodels and growls. Stratos died in 1979, and the remaining members disbanded after releasing one instrumental album.

Arbeit Macht Frei The band was formed in 1972 by various musicians who had experience in pop, avant-garde, and jazz groups. The band consisted of Demetrio Stratos (born 1945, Alexandria, Egypt; died June 13, 1979, NY - voice, organ, harpsichord, percussion); Giulio Capiozzo (born 1946, Boretto, Italy drums, percussion); and Patrizio Fariselli (born 1951, Cesenatico, Italy - piano, electric piano, bass clarinet, percussion, ARP synthesizer). Guitarist Johnny Lambizzi and bassist Victor Edouard Busniello were soon replaced by Giampaolo Tofani (born 1944, Florence - electric guitar, EMS guitar synthesizer, flute) and Patrick Erard Djivas (bass). Manager Gianni Sassi
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AREA Discography

AREA albums / top albums

AREA Arbeit Macht Frei (Il Lavoro Rende Liberi) album cover 4.41 | 20 ratings
Arbeit Macht Frei (Il Lavoro Rende Liberi)
Jazz Related Rock 1973
AREA Caution Radiation Area album cover 3.15 | 15 ratings
Caution Radiation Area
Jazz Related Rock 1974
AREA Crac! album cover 3.99 | 12 ratings
Jazz Related Rock 1975
AREA Maledetti (maudits) album cover 3.83 | 13 ratings
Maledetti (maudits)
Jazz Related Rock 1976
AREA 1978 Gli Dei Se Ne Vanno, Gli Arrabbiati Restano! album cover 3.24 | 9 ratings
1978 Gli Dei Se Ne Vanno, Gli Arrabbiati Restano!
Jazz Related Rock 1978
AREA Tic & Tac album cover 1.83 | 3 ratings
Tic & Tac
Jazz Related Rock 1980
AREA Chernobyl 7991 album cover 2.00 | 2 ratings
Chernobyl 7991
Jazz Related Rock 1997

AREA EPs & splits

AREA live albums

AREA Are(A)zione album cover 3.20 | 6 ratings
Jazz Related Rock 1975
AREA Event '76 album cover 1.75 | 2 ratings
Event '76
Jazz Related Rock 1979
AREA Concerto Teatro Uomo album cover 2.33 | 3 ratings
Concerto Teatro Uomo
Jazz Related Rock 1996
AREA Parigi - Lisbona album cover 2.00 | 1 ratings
Parigi - Lisbona
Jazz Related Rock 1996
AREA Live in Torino 1977 album cover 2.00 | 1 ratings
Live in Torino 1977
Jazz Related Rock 2004
AREA Live 2012 album cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
Live 2012
Jazz Related Rock 2012

AREA demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

AREA re-issues & compilations

AREA Anto/logicamente album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Jazz Related Rock 1977
AREA Area '70 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Area '70
Jazz Related Rock 1980
AREA Gioia e Rivoluzione album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Gioia e Rivoluzione
Jazz Related Rock 1993
AREA Live Concerts Box album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Live Concerts Box
Jazz Related Rock 1996
AREA Revolution album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Jazz Related Rock 2003
AREA International POPular Group album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
International POPular Group
Jazz Related Rock 2004
AREA Gold Edition album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Gold Edition
Jazz Related Rock 2007
AREA The Essential Box Set Collection album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Essential Box Set Collection
Jazz Related Rock 2010

AREA singles (0)

AREA movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

AREA Reviews

AREA 1978 Gli Dei Se Ne Vanno, Gli Arrabbiati Restano!

Album · 1978 · Jazz Related Rock
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siLLy puPPy
The bizarre musical outfit known as AREA who was one of the most unique entities to emerge from the avant-prog and jazz-fusion scene in Italy continued their string of challenging and eclectic releases with their fifth studio album 1978 GLI DEI SE NE VANNO, GLI ARRABBIATI RESTANO which translates into “The gods depart and the angry ones remain!” This album immediately sounds like AREA but it also feels different than the previous four and there are legit reasons. Firstly Paolo Tofani had left as guitarist and there is less guitar as a result. Bassist Ares Tavolazzi picks up any needed guitar parts on this which mostly shine through as acoustic. They are now a quartet and there also lacks the ensemble of guest musicians who helped out previously. Demetrio Stratos also contributes as a composer on GLI DEI... something he had not done before.

The feel of this album is totally different. Many of the songs seem to be more accessible. There are plenty of avant-jazz passages and frenzied instrumental “noodling” to be found but the tracks are primarily composed of catchier melodies more akin to “Crac” than the other albums but even more so by incorporating funky disco and poppy fol and even some Mothers inspired doowop. The tempo is slower on this one with fewer blitzkrieg fusion attacks but not totally devoid of them either.

AREA is one of my faves because I really love their uniqueness and fearless approach but I have to admit that on this album it starts to feel like they are beginning to recycle many of their ideas and that they are one album away from becoming a total parody of themselves. Thankfully that doesn't happen here as there are plenty of fresh influences to keep this album interesting from beginning to start. Although I don't understand Italian fluently I don't mind the spoken parts as the vocal style is so emotive as to convey the mood of what's being said.

Sadly this would be the last album with Demetrio Stratos before he died from complications caused by a severe case of aplastic anemia at the age of 34. It is so sad that such a talent was taken from the world but at the very least the band was wise enough not to try to replace the irreplaceable and decided to call it quits keeping the legacy from falling into mediocrity like many innovative bands from the 70s did. This album, while not their best, is still an excellent addition to any avant-prog lover's collection but I do recommend skipping the horrible all instrumental album “Tic & Tac” that several members released under the AREA name a few years later.

AREA Maledetti (maudits)

Album · 1976 · Jazz Related Rock
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Although many artists in the 70s were recording albums in English, most of the Italian groups including AREA continued to use their native language. One of the plights of this decision is for non-Italian speakers to be utterly clueless what the album is about. Not speaking much of the lingo I formed my opinion solely on the music. What a surprise to learn that this is actually a concept album about an imaginary bank in which history is stored and loses data from the 15th century causing people to forget how to govern the world. The outcome of which leads to society learning how to divide power amongst the different demographics. Hmmm. More socialist proganda? Maybe....

Did that change my perception of this album? Well, YES! and it made me appreciate that AREA was an even more complex band that I thought and made me realize how much we can miss when taking an album out of the context of its place and time. What once seemed like random and chaotic tracks now seem like they were placed there for a reason.

About this album! AREA continue their strange mish-mash of rock, jazz, Balkan and Mediterranean music that separated them from other prog acts of the day. MALEDETTI incorporated all of the elements that made up their sound and went the experimental route once again. After a spoken word opener (in Italian) that explains the evaporation of information we get a rather straight forward jazz-fusion track “Diforisma Urbano,” followed by “Gerontocrazia” which incorporates a txalaparta (a Basque xylophone type instrument) to the mix. This is a track that Mr Stratos really steps up to the plate and delivers a stunning vocal performance. “Scum” is a track that is clearly inspired by the jazz classics but takes it into a frenetic and ecstatic state of virtuosity. “Il massacro di Brandeburgo numero tre in sol maggiore” is the most unexpected track in all of AREA's disocraphy. It is an excerpt of J.S. Bach's Brandenburg Concerto. WTF?!! After that unexpected tidbit we continue with “Giro, Giro, Tondo.” This is yet another ecstatic jazz-fusion fest which everyone shines especially keyboardist Patrizio Fariselli. The last track “Caos (parte seconda)” is probably the track that leaves most casual listeners alienated and running for the hills. This is one of the strangest tracks on the album. It is indeed a piece of musical insanity but there is a bass piano piece that is the underpinning of the whole thing (kinda reminds me of The Pink Panther theme). Very wild and has something to do about the whole structured system falling apart.

In conclusion, this album started out as a 4 star album but after many listens and then another few after the discovery that it is a concept album I have to say this has weaseled itself into my heart as the 4th masterpiece in a row. The details are dizzifying. Just read the amount of guest musicians and instruments involved in the whole thing. AREA continue to make me believe they were one of the best musical entities of the ages. I wish I knew Italian better so I could understand their lyrics. This album requires multiple listens and dedication to appreciate it. Sorry, no easy listening with this one.

AREA Crac!

Album · 1975 · Jazz Related Rock
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After the bleak (but brilliant) CAUTION RADIATION album, AREA return to an even more accessible sound started on their debut album. Well, accessible AREA style. Still not the easiest of listening but at least they have a template of musical scales that you can get into including the signature Macedonian scales and even some progressive funk on “L'elefante Bianco.”

This album is more about crafting cohesive songs and less about lurking into the free-jazz-fusion experimentation although some of the experiments from CAUTION are incorporated. This album is another winner for me. It's as tight as ever and Demetrio Stratos' vocal skills are still incredible (which we get more of this time.)

This is the album that made them popular in Italy and this is also the album that extended their music into France. This was also the first part of their existence where they benefited from a stable lineup (considered the classic period) that allowed them to tour. This is by far their easiest album to like on the first spin so if you are totally new to this band, CRAC! may be a better entry to this band's discography than even the impressive debut album.

AREA Arbeit Macht Frei (Il Lavoro Rende Liberi)

Album · 1973 · Jazz Related Rock
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A stunning masterpiece on the verge of progressive rock and jazz rock!

This is the amazing debut album from mighty italians Area from the 70s' prog world. The inimitable manner the album is constructed amazes. Arbeit Macht Frei is full of energy and emotional intensity from the very first note to the last one. Being extremely intensive, profound, innovative and distinctive, it's real cornerstone of jazz oriented rock music as whole, and as prog masterpiece on the other side. All over the album there are not taking a rest for the musicians. Great musicianship as well. True masterpiece of jazz rock and progressive rock history. A must!

AREA Caution Radiation Area

Album · 1974 · Jazz Related Rock
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I guess I have an appetite for the wilder side of music. I absolutely love it when a band has the audacity to go places where no one was expecting. AREA did just that with an even more outlandish second album after an already experimental first.

I think this album is albsolutely brilliant! If you listen from beginning to end you will notice that the music is the perfect representation of either radiation poisoning or a nuclear meltdown (not sure which). The album starts off with kind of a warning siren sound and proceeds to a familiar song structure similar to their first album ARBEIT MACHT FREI with the same Macedonian inspired scale that leads you to believe you're in for a continuation of the debut. However things quickly change gear after the first track and the free-jazz-fusion and avant-prog experiments begin.

The tracks gradually become freer and more experimental as they procede until the very last track simulates complete breakdown of anything remotely melodic and structured representing a total musical meltdown similar to the death of a human cell or a nuclear reactor (still not sure which). It leaves you with a feel of lifelessness where only radioactive isotopes now rule for the rest of eternity.

An interesting concept album that allows the listener to slowly devolve from order to chaos representing the destructive nature of radioactivity. Unbelievable that Demetrio Stratos would go on to die from complications due to aplastic anemia which can be caused by exposure to radiation. I just wish he would've used his vocal skills more on this one.

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