Bernardo Lanzetti (vocals, guitar)
Gino Campanini (guitar, vocals)
Maurizio Mori (keyboards, vocals)
Franz Dondi (bass)
Pier Emilio Canavera (drums, acoustic guitar, vocals)
This five-piece from Parma was formed in 1971 from the
ashes of Gli Immortali, a group that included
singer Bernardo Lanzetti, just returned back to Italy after a living in the
USA, guitarist Gino Campanini and drummer Piero Canavera. These musicians were
joined by keyboardist Maurizio Mori and bass player Franz Dondi (who had played
with I Moschettieri, that were among the young bands supporting The Rolling
Stones during their Italian tour, but just released a single in 1967, Quando
il tempo dell'amore).
In one of the last concerts with the old name, the five musicians were spotted by Premiata Forneria Marconi, that introduced them to their manager Franco Mamone.
With the new name Acqua Fragile and the professional management of Mamone, the group was able to play with important foreign names such as Soft Machine, Alexis Korner & Snape, Tempest, Curved Air, Audience, Uriah Heep, and above all, Gentle Giant.
Their first album was released in 1973 on the
independent Numero Uno label, one of the very few Italian prog albums entirely
sung in English. A good album with nice west-coast multivocal influences mixed
with an English prog sound, especially inspired by the likes of Genesis and
The LP included seven long tracks, with good instrumental parts and the nice original harsh voice of Lanzetti, not far from Family's singer Roger Chapman distinctive tremolo technique.
The choice of singing in English didn't probably help the group in achieving a good popularity in Italy, and the album wasn't released abroad as it was probably planned. Oddly the English lyrics weren't included in the album cover, that only contained the Italian translation.
Second album Mass media stars was from 1974 and also gained an US release, thanks to the English lyrics. Not dissimilar from their first but with a slightly better production, this contained six long cuts.
At the end of 1974 keyboardist Joe Vescovi replaced
Maurizio Mori after The Trip's split. He stayed in for some
months and his presence is documented in the bootleg-quality Live in Emilia CD.
But the strongest hit to the group's stability came when Bernardo Lanzetti joined PFM, replaced for a while by Roby Facini, previously with I Top 4 and Dik Dik.
Acqua Fragile split in 1975.
Bass player Franz Dondi and drummer Pier Emilio Canavera have played with Rocky's Filj,
and in the Beatles-inspired band,
Shout!, that released 2 CD's in the 90's.
Dondi formed in 2004 Acqua Fragile Project, with a new line up in which he was the only original member, playing the old group's songs. They were active until 2006.
After his experience with PFM, Bernardo Lanzetti embarked in a long successful solo career. In the 2000's he has collaborated and then joined Mangala Vallis. In his live album from 2013, Vox40 (including a CD and a DVD, Ma.ra.Cash MRC 038) Lanzetti has rearranged with an orchestra part of the old Acqua Fragile repertoire and is joined in some tracks by his old cohorts Canavera and Dondi. The three original members were the nucleus of a new Acqua Fragile line-up that produced A new chant in 2017, a good record that brings to mind the sound of the group in the Seventies.
|Acqua Fragile||Numero Uno (DZSLN 55656)||1973||poster cover - lyric inner|
|Sony/BMG (88985 30571 1)||2016||reissue of the above|
|Numero Uno/De Agostini (DZSLN 55656)||2020||gatefold cover with inner and 8-page insert - no.64 in the De Agostini "Prog Rock Italiano" series|
|Mass media stars||Ricordi (SMRL 6150)||1974||single cover with lyric inner|
|Contempo (CONTE 003)||1991||same as above with inner|
|Sony/BMG (88875 12127 1)||2015||new reissue|
|Ricordi/De Agostini (SMRL 6150)||2018||single cover with inner and 8-page insert - no.26 in the De Agostini "Prog Rock Italiano" series|
|Acqua Fragile||BMG (ND 74853)||1991||reissue of 1973 album - now deleted|
|BMG (74321-98055-2)||2003||as above with mini-LP gatefold cover - now deleted|
|Sony/BMG (88697-34368-2)||2008||new reissue with standard jewel case|
|Mass media stars||Contempo (CONTECD 003)||1991||reissue of 1974 album - now deleted|
|BMG (74321-98059-2)||2003||as above - mini LP cover - now deleted|
|Sony/BMG (88697-85364-2)||2011||new reissue with mini-LP cover|
|A new chant||Esoteric (EANTCD 1069) - UK||2017||new studio album|
|Live in Emilia||Prehistoric (PR 03)||1994||live recording from 1975|
VARIOUS ARTISTS COMPILATION ALBUMS
|Quelli della Numero Uno
(with Song from a picture)
|Numero Uno (CFD 01080-10)||1999||10 CD - box set with tracks from singles and albums|
SINGLES (with picture sleeve)
|Ricordi (SRL 10746)||1974||both tracks from Mass media stars|
Acqua Fragile was originally released with a poster cover and a lyric inner. The first vinyl reissue came out in 2016.
The album was reissued on CD in March 2003 by BMG with mini-LP gatefold cover and obi, as part of their "Dei di un perduto rock" series, and later repressed in October of the same year when a second batch of those CD's came out.
The CD was announced by BMG as being also available with standard jewel case (cat.no. 74321-98054-2) but was probably never issued in this form.
A Japanese vinyl edition exists on King/Seven Seas label (no.K22P113), with the same poster cover design as the original.
Mass media stars had a vinyl reissue, identical to the original, in 1991 by the Contempo label. It has been reissued again in 2015.
The album was also issued in the USA on Import label (IMP 1005, released around 1978), in Venezuela on Ricordi (SMRL 11105 - issued in 1976) and in Japan on King (GXF2055) with the original single cover.
The albums Acqua Fragile and Mass Media Stars have been reissued on CD by the English label Esoteric in 2011 with catalogue number ECLEC2277 and ECLEC2278. The same label issued the third studio album, A new chant, in 2017.
Acqua Fragile - front cover
Acqua Fragile - poster cover
Mass media stars - front cover
Bar gazing - 7" single
A new chant - CD
Live in Emilia - CD
Click on pictures to enlarge
fronting Mangala Vallis with Rodolfo Maltese on guitar
at Stazione Birra, Morena (Roma), 11-nov-2005
fronting Mangala Vallis
at Stazione Birra, Morena (Roma), 11-nov-2005
The right photo has Bernardo singing with a "synthesized glove" on the throat
|Bernardo Lanzetti with Rodolfo Maltese (Banco) and Beggar's Farm
at Tuoro sul Trasimeno (PG), 19-jul-2009
|Bernardo Lanzetti with L'Estate di San Martino
The Acqua Fragile Project site is at http://acquafragile.altervista.org/
Bass player Franz Dondi, currently with Acqua Fragile Project, has a personal site at www.franzdondi.com, dedicated to his artistic activity.
Find info on Acqua Fragile's discography on Bernardo Lanzetti's official fanclub at www.bernardolanzettifansclub.com
Bernardo Lanzetti collaborated with Mangala Vallis on their two CD's and in many concerts. The site of the group is www.mangalavallis.it
Thanks to Alos for the 7" single scan