Demetrio Stratos (vocals, organ, percussion)
Paolo Tofani (guitar, synth)
Victor Busnello (sax)
Patrizio Fariselli (keyboards)
Patrick Djivas (bass)     
Giulio Capiozzo (drums, percussion)

from 1974:
Busnello and Djivas left, added:
Ares Tavolazzi (bass)

Area were in fact an "international popular group", as the cover of their first album says, with greek singer Demetrio Stratos coming from the beat group I Ribelli, French bass player Djivas and belgian sax player Busnello. 
The first line-up, in 1972, also included pianist Leandro Gaetano and the guitarist of hungarian origin Johnny Lambizi, the latter soon replaced by Paolo Tofani, a musician with the longest experience in the group, having played in 60's bands Samurai along with Formula Tre keyboardist Gabriele Lorenzi, I Califfi and for a short time with Noi Tre, that also included future Triade bass player Agostino Nobile.

Arbeit macht frei was an essential album in the Italian rock of the 70's, full of different influences yet totally original in its sound. Stratos' voice is stunning, used like an instrument, and the backing band is powerful, formed by top quality and inventive musicians. Some jazz and eastern folklore influences are easily distinguished, and the music is not easy to categorise. The group image was characterised by the style of Cramps label designer Gianni Sassi, that added a distinctive visual style to their music.

Second LP, Caution radiation area, was more experimental with tracks like Lobotomia and ZYG (Crescita zero) that show strong free-jazz influences.
The following album, Crac, released the same year, returned to a more prog style, with some of their best rock tracks in Gioia e rivoluzione and L'elefante bianco, yet retaining the long instrumental parts that were the group's trademark.

The strong political influences in Area music emerged in their rendition of the popular socialist hymn L'internazionale, released as a single in 1974 and a concert classic, as demonstrated in the 1975 live LP Are(a)zione

1976 saw a radical turn in the group's style, with the help of external musicians such as sax player Steve Lacy and percussionist Paul Lytton, playing in Maledetti. The band was turning toward jazz and even the posthumous live recordings from 1976 concerts seem to demonstrate it. 
was the last chapter in the long Area/Cramps connection, with the group signing a recording deal with Ascolto and releasing less successful albums at the end of the 70's.
1978, gli dei se ne vanno gli arrabbiati restano, their first on the new label, contained a couple of interesting prog-inspired tracks, like the opening Il bandito del deserto and Hommage à Violette Nozières, mixed with others in a stronger free-jazz direction.

Demetrio Stratos died in 1979, probably one of the most important singers and music researchers of all the Italian (and probably european) musical scene. The day after his death a big concert, with 60000 people, was held at the Arena Civica in Milano to honour him (this had been originally organised to collect funds to support Stratos expensive medical therapy), and a double album was taken from the event.

Another group called Area II appeared in the mid 80's, this was in fact a group built by original Area drummer Giulio Capiozzo with session musicians. Much closer to jazz than any previous Area incarnation, the group lasted for two albums in 1986-87.
A new CD by Area, Chernobyl 9771 was released in 1997, the line-up included this time another original member, Patrizio Fariselli, along with Capiozzo.
This was probably the last time the Area name has appeared on an album of new recordings, the group kept playing until 1999 then split. Drummer Giulio Capiozzo has sadly died in August 2000.

The name Area has been resurrected by Patrizio Fariselli, Ares Tavolazzi and Paolo Tofani with Tuscan drummer Walter Paoli for a series of concerts since 2010, including dates in New York and Japan. This line-up produced a double CD, entitled Live 2012, featuring a guest appearance on one track by singer Maria Pia de Vito. The quartet continued the long reunion tour in 2013.



Arbeit macht frei Cramps (CRSLP 5101) 1973 gatefold cover with lyric inner
first copies include a cardboard revolver - early copies distributed by Ricordi, later by Baby Records
  Cramps (5205 101) 1978 as above, but with no insert
  Get Back (GET 5101) 2000 same as the original with insert
  Akarma (AK 394) 2011 as above
  Sony/BMG (88883 77543 1) 2013 numbered box set with LP, CD, poster and gun insert
  Cramps/De Agostini (CRSLP 5101) 2017 gatefold cover with inner, cardboard revolver and 8-page insert - no.6 in the De Agostini "Prog Rock Italiano" series
Caution radiation area Cramps (CRSLP  5102) 1974 single cover with lyric inner - early copies distributed by Ricordi, later by Baby Records
  Cramps (5205 102) 1978 same as above
  Get Back (GET 5102) 2000 same as above
  Akarma (AK 395) 2011 as above
  Sony/BMG (88883 77555 1) 2013 numbered box set with LP, CD and 5 cards
  Cramps/De Agostini (CRSLP 5102) 2018 single cover with inner and 8-page insert - no.23 in the De Agostini "Prog Rock Italiano" series
Crac Cramps (CRSLP  5103) 1974 gatefold cover - first copies had a sticker on the shrinkwrap - early copies distributed by Ricordi, later by Baby Records
  Cramps (5205 103) 1978 same as above, no sticker
  Get Back (GET 5103) 2000 same as above
  Akarma (AK 396) 2011 as above
  Sony/BMG (88985 36547 1) 2017 new remastered reissue
Are(a)zione Cramps (CRSLP 5104) 1975 gatefold cover with inner
  Cramps (5205 104) 1978 same as above
  Get Back (GET 5104) 2000 same as above
  Akarma (AK 397) 2011 as above
Maledetti Cramps (CRSLP 5105) 1976 gatefold cover with inner
  Cramps (5205 105) 1978 same as above
  Akarma (AK 1009) 2000 same as above
  Akarma (AK 398) 2011 as above
Anto/logicamente Cramps (CRSLP 5106) 1977 compilation - single cover with inner
  Cramps (5205 106) 1978 same as above
1978, gli dei se ne vanno gli arrabbiati restano Ascolto (ASC 20063) 1978 rough gatefold cover 
  BTF/Vinyl Magic (VM 142LP) 2009 as above
  Warner Music (50541 97029 820) 2018 new remastered reissue
Event '76 Cramps (5205 107) 1979 gatefold cover with inner - recorded live in 1976
  Akarma (AK 1038) 2002 gatefold cover
Tic & tac Ascolto (ASC 20224) 1980 single cover with inner
  CGD (9031 74033-1) 1990 as above
  BTF/Vinyl Magic (VM 141LP) 2009 as above
Area '70 Cramps (9279 594) 1980 compilation - single cover - released in the Polygram "Successo" mid-price series


Arbeit macht frei Artis (CRSCD 001) 1989 reissue of 1973 album
  EMI/Cramps (72438 57424 2) 1998 as above
  Edel (CRA 0136472) 2002 as above - digipack cover
  Cramps (CRSCD 001) 2009 new reissue with mini-LP gatefold cover and revolver insert
  Gruppo Ed.L’Espresso (4) 2014 mini-LP gatefold cover – no.4 in the “Progressive Rock Italiano" series
Caution radiation area Artis (CRSCD 002) 1989 reissue of 1974 album
  EMI/Cramps (72438 57425 2) 1998 as above
  Edel (CRA 0136482) 2002 as above - digipack cover
  Cramps (CRSCD 002) 2009 new reissue with mini-LP cover
Crac Artis (CRSCD 003) 1990 reissue of 1974 album
  EMI/Cramps (72438 57425 2) 1998 as above
  Edel (CRA 0136492) 2002 as above - digipack cover
  Cramps (CRSCD 003) 2009 new reissue with mini-LP gatefold cover and sticker
  Cramps/Mondadori (5) 2018 reissue of 1974 album - mini-LP gatefold cover with booklet - no.5 in the Mondadori "Prog Italia" series
Are(a)zione Artis (CRSCD 004) 1990 reissue of 1975 album
  EMI/Cramps (72438 57427 2) 1998 as above
  Edel (CRA 0136502) 2002 as above - digipack cover
  Cramps (CRSCD 004) 2010 new reissue with mini-LP gatefold cover
1978, gli dei se ne vanno gli arrabbiati restano Urlo/CGD (9031 74033-2) 1992 reissue of 1978 album
  CGD (9031 74033-2) 1999 as above
  Warner Music (50541 97029 608) 2018 digipack cover - new remastered reissue
Tic & tac Urlo/CGD (9031 72211-1) 1992 reissue of 1980 album
Maledetti Artis (CRSCD 005) 1993 reissue of 1976 album
  Akarma (AK 1009) 2000 as above - mini gatefold cover
  Edel (CRA 0136512) 2002 as above - digipack cover
  Cramps (CRSCD 005) 2009 new reissue with mini-LP gatefold cover
Anto/logicamente Artis (CRSCD 006) 1994 reissue of 1977 album
  Edel (CRA 0142032) 2002 as above - digipack cover
  Cramps (CRSCD 006) 2010 new reissue with mini-LP cover
Event '76 Artis (CRSCD 007) 1994 reissue of 1979 album
  EMI/Cramps (72438 57430 2) 1998 as above
  Edel (CRA 0136522) 2002 as above - digipack cover
  Akarma (AK 1038) 2002 as above - mini gatefold cover
  Cramps (CRSCD 007) 2010 new reissue with mini-LP gatefold cover
Concerto Teatro Uomo Cramps (CRSCD011/12) 1997 2CD - recorded live in 1976
  Edel (CRA 0153222) 2004 as above - digipack cover
Parigi-Lisbona Cramps (CRSCD018)  1997 recorded live in 1976
  Edel (CRA 0138582) 2002 as above - digipack cover
Chernobyl 7991 Sony (486862 2) 1997 new studio album from 1997
Live concerts box Akarma (AK 1033/3 CD) 2002 3CD box set including Concerto Teatro Uomo and Parigi-Lisbona, both with mini-LP gatefold covers 
Revolution box set Akarma (AK 1036/4 CD) 2002 4CD box set including Arbeit macht frei, Caution Radiation Area, Crac, and Are(a)zione, all with mini-LP gatefold covers and also sold separately
Live 1977 Akarma (AK 1042/2 CD) 2002 2CD - unreleased live recordings in Turin
Live 2012 UpArt (UPA CD003) 2012 2CD box set with poster - live recordings from the Reunion Tour 2011/2012

BOOTLEG CD (relevant issues)
Acrostico in memoria di Demetrio Le Matango (LM 97003) 1997 live recording from Florence, 1978
La mela di Odessa Black Hole (BH 001/2)  1998 2CD - live recordings from 1976 and 1977

Parco Lambro
(with Gerontocrazia)
Laboratorio (LB/LP 201) 1976 live recordings from the 1976 Parco Lambro festival - also features Sensations' Fix, Ricky Gianco, Agorà, Canzoniere del Lazio, Toni Esposito, Paolo Castaldi, Eugenio Finardi.
  Stampa Alternativa (RP 02) 2005 CD reissue of the above with different mini LP cover - only sold with the book Area/Musica e rivoluzione by Gianpaolo Chiaricò
1979: Il concerto
(with Danzanello and  L'internazionale)
Cramps (5203 001) 1979 2LP - gatefold with inner - from the Demetrio Stratos tribute concert - also features Banco del Mutuo Soccorso, Angelo Branduardi, Francesco Guccini, Antonello Venditti, Roberto Vecchioni, Roberto Ciotti, Eugenio Finardi and others
  Edel (CRA 0136532) 2002 single CD reissue of the above - digipack cover
  Akarma (AK 1026) 2002 single CD reissue of the above - mini gatefold cover
  Cramps (CRS BOX001) 2009 2CD + DVD box set with 40 page book
  Cramps/De Agostini (5203 001) 2018 2 LP - gatefold cover and 8-page insert - no.12 in the De Agostini "Prog Rock Italiano" series

SINGLES (with picture cover)

L'abbattimento dello Zeppelin
Arbeit macht frei
Cramps (CRSNP 1701) 1973 both tracks from Arbeit macht frei
Citazione da G.L.Jackson
Cramps (CRSNP 1703) 1974 unreleased tracks


Luglio, agosto, settembre nero Cramps/Bla Bla (JB56) 1974 jukebox single coupled with Aktuala/Miña  
L'internazionale Cramps (CRSNP 1703/1802) 1976 jukebox single, coupled with Eugenio Finardi/Musica ribelle
Diforisma urbano Cramps (CRSJB 5105/1602) 1977 jukebox single coupled with Alberto Camerini/Gelato metropolitano 
Hommage à Violette Nozières  Ascolto (YD 521) 1978 jukebox single coupled with Pierangelo Bertoli/Rosso colore




Area II Gala (GLLP 91005) 1986 single cover with inner
City sound Gala (GLLP 91011) 1987 single cover with inner


City sound Gala (CDGLP 91011) 1987 original CD issue
  Platinum (PLCD 021) 2002 reissue of 1987 album
Area II Platinum (PLCD 020) 2002 reissue of 1986 album



All the albums by Area are still easy to find in Italy, as they have been issued in large quantities. Around 1977-78 the Cramps label changed distribution and adopted a different numbering system replacing the CRSLP-5 prefix with 5205 (CRSLP 5101 became 5205 101 and so on). Many of the albums released until then were reissued with the new catalogue numbers, but are easily identified for this reason.

Hardest to find are the first album in original form with the gun insert, and Crac with the sticker. The first issue of Arbeit macht frei, Caution radiation area and Crac have a "Distribuzione Dischi Ricordi Spa" credit on the back cover, they were later distributed by Baby Records.
Some say that early copies of Caution radiation area contained a cardboard insert reproducing the radiation danger sign that's in the cover picture.

The shaped revolver insert included in the debut album has been seen in two different versions, with text "Corpo DI reato" or "Corpo DEL reato" and it seems impossible to determine which was released first.
The same insert was present in the various reissues of the album, but can be identified by the back colour of the insert cardboard (the original was grey and rough, copies are white and smooth), the green coloured parts are darker (the original has pale colours) and the slimmer shape of the revolver's hammer (see pictures below).

A vinyl reproduction of the first album was released in late 90's and also included the gun insert, this is very similar to the original but can be identified with a side to side comparison, having a slightly miscoloured label and different matrix writings on vinyl. This reissue was released in 500 numbered copies for Italy and 500 non-numbered ones for abroad. Even the vinyl reissues made by Get Back and Akarma included the shaped gun insert.
A vinyl reissue of Caution Radiation Area was released at the same time as the one of Arbeit Macht Frei.

SonyMusic issued in 2013 two numbered edition box sets containing the LP and CD versions of Arbeit macht frei and Caution radiation area along with various inserts.

The single L’internazionale/Citazione da G.L.Jackson contained two tracks unreleased at the time of its release. Both tracks later appeared on compilations, L’internazionale on Area 70 (the same track appears on other compilations, but always in the live version taken from Are(A)zione) and Citazione da G.L.Jackson on Anto/logicamente.

A very rare promotional compilation featuring a track by Area (Antes de hablar abra la boca, taken from Tic e Tac) is SIM Hi-Fi (CGD 15049), promoted by Radio Studio 105 and issued to launch the 1980 hi-fi and electronics exhibition in Milan.

Japanese issues exist of Arbeit macht frei (Pioneer-Warner P-10286C), Are(A)zione (Pioneer-Warner P-10393C), 1978, gli dei se ne vanno gli arrabbiati restano (King GXF2053) and Tic & Tac (King K22P116).
A French issue (on Cramps, distributed by Barclay) exists of their 1974 single L'internazionale (no.640 068) and their albums Crac (no.940.512), Are(A)zione (no.940.528, with glossy gatefold cover) and Maledetti (no.940.803, with liner notes in French), and it's likely that other Area records have been issued in that country.
Anto/logicamente (Cramps P5205 106 - single cover with inner) and 1978, gli dei se ne vanno gli arrabbiati restano (CBS 83142- gatefold cover) were also issued in Portugal.

Strange Days Records issued in Japan in 2007 as part of the series ”CRAMPS Label Collection” the CD's Arbeit Macht Frei (POCE-1156), Caution Radiation Area (POCE-1157) Crac! (POCE-1158) Are(A)zione (POCE-1159) Maledetti (Maudits) (POCE-1160), Anto/Logicamente (POCE-1161), Event '76 (POCE-1162), Parigi-Lisbona (POCE-1168) Gioia e Rivoluzione (POCE-1169), all with mini-LP covers.

Both Area II albums are not easy to find, though their value is low. They have been reissued on CD by Platinum Records, the first one with a different artwork.
An odd version of Area II is the original cassette, containing an extra track not on the LP, Play the music.

Arbeit macht frei - front cover

Arbeit macht frei - inner gatefold and gun insert


Arbeit macht frei - gun insert, original (top) and reissue (bottom)


Arbeit macht frei - gun insert comparison, revolver hammer detail, original (left) vs.reissue (right)


Arbeit macht frei - another original gun insert, with different text "Corpo di reato"

Caution radiation area - front cover

Crac - front cover Crac sticker
Are(a)zione - front cover Maledetti - front cover
1978: gli dei se ne vanno, gli arrabbiati restano - front cover Event '76 - front cover
Tic & Tac - front cover
L'abbattimento dello Zeppelin - 7" single L'Internazionale - 7" single
Hommage à Violette Nozières  - promo single
Area II/Same - LP
Area II/Omonimo - CD and cassette version
Area II/City Sound - LP
Area - Live 2012 CD


Click on the pictures to enlarge


Area 2012/13 - Promotional photo
Live at Trasimeno Blues 2013
Castiglione del Lago, Rocca, 20-7-2013


The official site of Area is
Area's keyboardist Patrizio Fariselli has an official website at that contains lots of information on both Area and Fariselli solo career.
The website of Paolo Tofani is



Thanks to Massimiliano Chiarini, Luigi Papi, Alessandro Ciuti, Manuel Da Achada, Annunziato Cangemi, Ubaldo (Franco) Cibei, Pierre Tassone, Nicola Benelli, Silvio Teot, Antonio Calcagno, for some of the information and pictures in this page