Artist

BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO

1971-72:
Francesco Di Giacomo (vocals)
Marcello Todaro (guitar)
Gianni Nocenzi (keyboards)
Vittorio Nocenzi (keyboards)
Renato D'Angelo (bass)
Pierluigi Calderoni (drums)

from 1973:
Todaro replaced by:
Rodolfo Maltese (guitar, trumpet, French horn)

Formed in 1969 around brothers Gianni and Vittorio Nocenzi, both keyboard wizards, Banco del Mutuo Soccorso is a unique example of long professionalism and beautiful musicianship, still playing in the 2000's with the same enthusiasm they had many years before. Early line-ups comprised former Chetro & Co. guitarist Gianfranco Coletta (later replaced by Claudio Falco), bassist Fabrizio Falco and drummer Franco Pontecorvi (replaced by Mario Achilli). Some of these musicians had previously played with Gianni Nocenzi in Crash.

Their first recordings before a stable lineup were officially released not before 1989, in the Banco del Mutuo Soccorso three-track 12" and Donna Plautilla LP, but their real beginnings are with the entrance in 1971 of new members Di Giacomo, D'Angelo and Calderoni, all of them coming from the same band, Le Esperienze, and guitarist Marcello Todaro from Fiori di Campo

The first album, simply called Banco del Mutuo Soccorso, housed in a large money box shaped cover, is still one of the most representative examples of the Italian prog, with classical influences based on the twin keyboards interplay and the original voice of Francesco Di Giacomo. R.I.P. and Il Giardino del mago are among their best tracks ever, and Traccia has always been a live classic. Their live activity was constant and they supported the likes of Curved Air and Rory Gallagher when touring Italy, developing a large and dedicated following.

Darwin! is a concept album based on the mankind evolution (a recurring theme in many prog albums of the time) and keeps the same high level of their first album, with nice tracks like the long L'evoluzione and La conquista della posizione eretta.

Third album and another milestone in their production, Io sono nato libero, has a shaped gatefold cover with a lyric booklet stapled in. Non mi rompete and La città sottile, both from this album were also released as a single, and all these albums entered the top 10 charts being highly successful at the time.

Right after the recordings for the third LP the original guitarist Marcello Todaro (later with Crystals) was replaced by Rodolfo Maltese from Homo Sapiens, that also had a collaboration role in the album. The group needed some time to reorganize with the new line-up and a transition album was released, Banco, with English-sung versions of some of their best tracks and just an unreleased gem, L'albero del pane. Banco del Mutuo Soccorso was trying, just like PFM in the same years, to break the foreign markets, and an English album seemed a good move. The album appeared on ELP's Manticore label, still distributed in Italy by Ricordi, and gave way to an international tour of UK and USA that didn't give the success the band hoped.

Coming back to Italy they released in the beginning of 1976 Garofano rosso, a completely instrumental album, soundtrack to the film of the same title, and though the voice of Francesco Di Giacomo is missing, yet the record keeps the distinctive Banco sound, like in the long Suggestioni di un ritorno in campagna.
Another album in the same year, Come in un'ultima cena, based on the Last supper biblical theme, the last one with stronger classical influences and some very good tracks like Il ragno and Quando la buona gente dice. This album was also released abroad with the English title As in a last supper.

The subsequent album is another highly ambitious work, ...di terra, all instrumental and played with an orchestra, a good album though not representative of Banco's style.

At the end of the 70's the band has a  line-up change, with bass player Renato D'Angelo being replaced by Gianni Colaiacomo, but after Canto di primavera the band entered a low-level period with the live Capolinea (the first with the shortened new name Banco), Urgentissimo and the following ones all having a strong commercial feeling that's distant from their first works. Five of the band members (the Nocenzi brothers, Colaiacomo, Maltese and Calderoni) also helped Angelo Branduardi in his 1978-79 Italian and european tour and are featured in his 1980 Concerto 3-LP box set.

In 1983 one of brothers Nocenzi, Gianni, leaves Banco for a solo career, and he's never rejoined the band, that kept on playing live despite a limited record production.

The 90's gave new interest in Banco's music, and the band released a good 3-LP box set (again with a moneybox shaped design, as their first album) with re-recorded versions of their first two albums in longer form.In 1997 a double live CD, Nudo, brings the group to new Italian and international tours, even in Japan. Banco were now a six-piece, with Francesco Di Giacomo, Vittorio Nocenzi and Rodolfo Maltese aided by Filippo Marcheggiani (guitar), Tiziano Ricci (bass), Maurizio Masi (drums), often joined by Alessandro Papotto (clarinet, sax, flute). This last member permanently joined the group later, also playing with Periferia del Mondo, with which he released some very interesting albums.

2002 saw the band celebrate 30 years since their first album with a great concert in Rome, with Vittorio Nocenzi's brother Gianni rejoining the band after so long, and a handful of dates, including some unplugged ones, to promote Vittorio's solo album Movimenti. The live CD No palco, released in 2003 is taken from the Rome event, with the presence of many guests including Mauro Pagani, is only partially convincing.
The small independent label Ma.Ra.Cash has released an official live in 2005, Seguendo le tracce, with the full recording of a 1975 concert in Salerno, and it's a pleasure to hear Banco in perfect form in what's probably their best live album ever issued.
The 40-years of Banco, with the group still playing live, were celebrated by Sony with a box set in 2012 including a remastered version of 1972 debut album, a second album with unreelased recordings and a nice illustrated book. A year later, Darwin! was reissued in the same way.

The long career of Banco was severely hit by the sudden death of singer Francesco Di Giacomo in a road accident in February 2014. Di Giacomo was THE voice of the Italian Prog, but he also was one of the most sincere and open-minded people in the history of the whole Italian music.

 

LP
Banco del Mutuo Soccorso Ricordi (SMRL 6094) 1972 gatefold moneybox shaped cover with pull-out flap - custom label
  Ricordi (SMRL 6094) 1972 reissue with same number as above and standard gatefold cover
  Ricordi/Orizzonte (ORL 8041) 1976 reissue with single cover in Orizzonte series - orange/black label, later green/white
  Sony Music (88697 54505 1) 2009 reissue with gatefold moneybox shaped cover with pull-out flap, same as the original - limited and numbered issue
Darwin! Ricordi (SMRL 6107) 1972 gatefold cover with lyric inner - custom label - two different pictures in the inner gatefold
  Ricordi/Orizzonte (ORL 8094) 1978 reissue with single cover in Orizzonte series 
Io sono nato libero Ricordi (SMRL 6123) 1973 gatefold dome shaped cover with 8-page stapled booklet - custom label
  Ricordi/Orizzonte (ORL 8202) early 80's reissue with single cover in Orizzonte series 
Banco Manticore (MAL 2013) 1975 gatefold cover
  Ricordi/Orizzonte (ORL 8216) early 80's reissue with single cover in Orizzonte series 
Garofano rosso Manticore (MAL 2014) 1976 early copies with textured single cover, later with standard single cover
  Ricordi/Orizzonte (ORL 8334) early 80's reissue in Orizzonte series 
  Virgin (MPIT 1005) early 90's reissue with standard cover
Come in un'ultima cena Manticore (MAL 2015) 1976 gatefold cover - 16-page booklet
  Ricordi/Orizzonte (ORL 8466) early 80's reissue with different single cover in Orizzonte series 
  Virgin (MPIT 1001) early 90's reissue with gatefold cover
... di terra Ricordi (SMRL 6226) 1978 laminated single cover with inner
  Ricordi/Orizzonte (ORL 8479) early 80's reissue with different single cover in Orizzonte series 
  Virgin (MPIT 1002) early 90's reissue
Canto di primavera Ricordi (SMRL 6247) 1979 single cover with lyric inner
  Ricordi/Orizzonte (ORL 8473) early 80's reissue in Orizzonte series 
  Virgin (MPIT 1004) early 90's reissue
Capolinea Ricordi (SMRL 6260) 1980 laminated gatefold cover with inner
  Ricordi/Orizzonte (ORL 8506) early 80's reissue in Orizzonte series - single cover
  Virgin (MPIT 1003) early 90's reissue
Urgentissimo CBS (84677) 1980 gatefold cover
Buone notizie CBS (85415) 1981 single cover with lyric inner
Banco CBS (25729) 1983 single cover with lyric inner
...e via CBS (26642) 1985 single cover with lyric inner
Donna Plautilla BMG/Raro! (NL 74215) 1989 gatefold cutout cover - limited 2500 copies, 500 of which on clear vinyl
Da qui messere si domina la valle Virgin (BMSX 1/2/3) 1991 3LP numbered shaped box with booklet
Il 13 EMI (72438 30559 2 0) 1994 limited numbered vinyl issue
40 anni Sony (88725 43927 1) 2012 2 LP box set including the reissue of 1972 debut album and studio and live unreleased recordings, and an illustrated book
Darwin! Sony (88883 72277 11) 2013 3 LP box set including the reissue of 1972 second album with 2012 Darwin concert recfording and an illustrated book
 

CD

Banco del Mutuo Soccorso Ricordi/Orizzonte (CDOR 8041) 1988 reissue of 1972 album 
  BMG (74321-76370-2) 2001 as above with digipack cover
  BMG (74321-98666-2) 2003 as above with mini-LP gatefold cover
  Sony/BMG (88697-85366-2) 2011 as above with mini-LP gatefold cover
Darwin! Ricordi/Orizzonte (CDOR 8094) 1990 reissue of 1972 album
  BMG (74321-76371-2) 2001 as above with digipack cover
  Sony/BMG (88697-97691-2) 2011 as above with mini-LP gatefold cover
Io sono nato libero Ricordi/Orizzonte (CDOR 8202) 1990 reissue of 1973 album 
  BMG (74321-91788-2) 2002 as above with digipack cover
  Sony/BMG (88697-92143-2) 2011 as above with mini-LP gatefold cover
Urgentissimo CBS (460569-2) 1990 reissue of 1980 album 
Banco CBS (460567-2) 1990 reissue of 1983 album 
...e via CBS (460568-2) 1990 reissue of 1985 album 
Garofano rosso Virgin (MPICD 1005) 90's reissue of 1976 album 
  Virgin (7866117) 2000 as above
Come in un'ultima cena Virgin (MPICD 1001) 90's reissue of 1976 album 
  Virgin (7866122) 2000 as above
...di terra Virgin (MPICD 1002) 90's reissue of 1978 album 
  Virgin (7866062) 2000 as above
Canto di primavera Virgin (MPICD 1004) 90's reissue of 1979 album 
  Virgin (7866092) 2000 as above
Capolinea Virgin (MPICD 1003) 90's reissue of 1980 album 
  Virgin (7866112) 2000 as above
Buone notizie CBS (460570-2) 1991 reissue of 1981 album 
Da qui messere si domina la valle Virgin (BMSX 1CD) 1991 2CD numbered shaped box with booklet
Live 1970 Mellow (MMP 150) 1993 live recording from 1970
Il 13 EMI (72438 30559 2) 1994 new studio album
Nudo EMI (72438 23620 2 9) 1997 2CD new live recordings
No palco Sony/Epic (513507-2) 2003 new live recordings from 2002
Donna Plautilla BMG (82876-62852-2) 2004 reissue of 1989 album with late 60's recordings - mini LP gatefold cutout cover
Seguendo le tracce Ma.Ra.Cash (MRC 003) 2005 unreleased live recording from Salerno, 1975
Quaranta Immaginifica/Edel (ARS IMM 1007) 2012 live recording from Rome's Prog Exhibition 2010
40 anni Sony (88725 43926 2) 2012 2CD set with the remastered version of 1972 debut album and studio and live unreleased recordings - foldout cover with booklet
Darwin! Sony (88883 72276 29) 2013 2CD set with the remastered version of 1972 second album and 2012 Darwin concert recordings - foldout cover with booklet
 

CD BOOTLEG

Live - Papagayo Club Prehistoric (PR 01) 1994 live recording from 1972


VARIOUS ARTISTS COMPILATIONS
1979: Il concerto
(with E mi viene da pensare)
Cramps (5203 001) 1979 2LP - gatefold with inner - from the Demetrio Stratos tribute concert - also features Area, Francesco Guccini, Antonello Venditti, Angelo Branduardi, Roberto Vecchioni, Roberto Ciotti, Eugenio Finardi and others
  Edel (CRA 013653-2) 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
Prog Exhibition - 40 anni di musica immaginifica (with Nudo, R.I.P., Cento mani e cento occhi, Metamorfosi, Il ragno, Canto nomade per un prigioniero politico, La conquista della posizione eretta, Evoluzione, Traccia II) Immaginifica/Edel (ARS IMM 1004) 2011 7 CD + 4 DVD box set also featuring Sinestesia, The Trip, La Maschera di Cera, Tagliapietra-Pagliuca-Marton, Premiata Forneria Marconi, Periferia del Mondo, Raccomandata con Ricevuta di Ritorno, Osanna
 

SINGLES (with picture sleeves)

Non mi rompete
La città sottile
Ricordi (SRL 10713) 1973 both tracks from Io sono nato libero
Canto di primavera
Circobanda
Ricordi (SRL 10896) 1979 both tracks from Canto di primavera
Niente
Sono la bestia
Ricordi (SRL 10908) 1979 both tracks from Canto di primavera
Il ragno
Capolinea
Ricordi (SRL 10915) 1980 live - both tracks from Capolinea
also as green vinyl 12-inch with no. SRLM 2011
Paolo Pa'
Ma che idea
CBS (9474) 1980 both tracks from Urgentissimo
Baciami Alfredo
Buone notizie
CBS (A 1796) 1981 both tracks from Buone notizie
Moby Dick
Velocità
CBS (A 3261) 1983 both tracks from Banco
Lontano da (remix)
Traccia tre
CBS (A -12-3925) 1983 12-inch single - both tracks from Banco
Grande Joe
Allons enfants
CBS (A 6034) 1985 side A from ...e via - side B from Banco
also in 12 inch version
Banco del Mutuo Soccorso RCA/Contempo (PT 42926) 1989 three tracks 12" EP with 1969 unreleased recordings
 

PROMOTIONAL AND JUKE BOX SINGLES

Dove sarà
Ma che idea
CBS (9304) 1980 promo-single - both tracks from Urgentissimo
Baciami Alfredo CBS/A&M (JC 15057) 1981 jukebox single - backed with The Police/Invisible sun
Grande Joe CBS (JC 15137) 1985 jukebox single - backed with Anna Oxa/A lei

 

First three album all came originally with a custom label with the same moneybox picture as on their first album.
First album, Banco del Mutuo Soccorso, was originally released in a very limited pressing with a giant moneybox-shaped cover, on the front cover a small pullout flap had black & white pictures of the band members. This is by far the rarest item on the band discography, and very difficult to find in good condition, because being oversized, it always had its extremities folded or broken. A second issue in a standard size gatefold cover was released soon afterwards, and has the same catalogue number and identical label.
Original vinyl has the date 22/4/72 hand stamped on both sides, but some copies exist carrying the date 3/5/72; these have the same label but the tracks separation grooves are less evident and, according to someone, they have a lesser sound quality. This second issue is usually found with a standard, non-shaped, gatefold cover.
Some vinyls are reported having an April date on side A and May date on side B, these were clearly pressed during the transition from a matrix to the new one.

The album has been 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. 74321-98785-2) but was probably never issued in this form.

The LP has been reissued on vinyl with the same gatefold shaped cover as the original in 2009 by Sony Music, in a limited numbered pressing.

Two different issues exist of Darwin, the most common of the two has in the inner gatefold a picture of the band members holding a giant plate full of watches' parts. Another version exists with the same gatefold cover and a similar picture with the band members with their hands up, but without the plate; this is much rarer and it was probably the first to be issued.

Io sono nato libero has a dome shaped cover with a booklet stapled in. Two different versions exist of the label, which reproduces a close-up of the moneybox as for the previous LP's. The two versions have a different text layout, but catalogue numbers and covers are identical.

Garofano rosso has a single cover that, only in the very first issue, had an orange peel texture. Later copies were made of standard smooth cardboard.

Come in un'ultima cena contains a brown-on-white booklet.

The album  ...di terra was chosen as soundtrack for the Renato Greco ballet Malgré tout, represented in 1981. A special edition of that record, containing the vinyl reissue (Ricordi/Orizzonte ORL 8479) in a different cover with the title of the show, was sold in the theatre.

Donna Plautilla was issued in 1989 by the Raro! magazine and sold by mail or through selected shops. 2500 copies were released, the first 500 on transparent vinyl. Original copies are still easily found in both versions.
The recordings come from the late 60's, around the same time as the tracks Padre Francesco, Vedo il telefono and La mia libertà, issued in 1971 on the RCA cassette-only compilation Sound '70 and later re-released on the 12" single Banco del Mutuo Soccorso produced by RCA/Contempo in 1989.

Da qui messere si domina la valle is a hard plastic moneybox-shaped box, with the LP version having the same giant size as the very first album. It was released as 3-LP,  2-CD or 2 cassettes set, all containing a small CD-sized booklet. The albums contain 90's re-recordings of Banco del Mutuo Soccorso and Darwin! that have also been released as two separate CD's. The box set was released in a limited issue of between 5000 and 10000 copies, each copy having a small numbered sticker on the back of the box.

All the albums have been reissued many times, most of the Ricordi and Manticore releases were also repressed in the budget Orizzonte series from early 80's onwards, original Orizzonte releases had orange/black labels, then a pale green label with black R logo, later issues had a dark blue design with rainbow coloured logo.

In 2012 and 2013 Sony Music produced two box sets to celebrate the first two albums by Banco: 40 anni, issued in 2012 as a 2-LP or 2-CD set, contains the first album along with a second record including new unreleased live and studio recordings. Darwin!, issued in 2013 as a triple vinyl or double CD, contains the original second album and a live version recorded in 2012, along with an unreleased studio track sung by Franco Battiato. Both the sets include a picture book.

Banco and the English-sung version of Come in un'ultima cena (renamed As in a last supper with English lyrics by Angelo Branduardi) have been issued in many european countries and USA, mostly on Manticore.
... di terra has been issued in Germany on Musiza/Ariola (200 247-320), like Buone notizie (CBS 85415).
Japanese issues exist of Banco del Mutuo Soccorso (King/Seven Seas GXH2022), Io sono nato libero (King/Seven Seas GXF2054, with single cover), Darwin (King/Seven Seas GXH 2015), Come in un'ultima cena (King K28P717) and Banco (Warner-Pioneer P-8578M).
A new vinyl reissue of Banco del Mutuo Soccorso, with the original moneybox-shaped gatefold cover, was released in 2007 by BMG/Sony Japan (BVJ 34001) in limited edition. The same label had already reissued this album on CD with the shaped cover in 2003 (BVCM-37421).
Come in un'ultima cena was also issued in Korea (EMI/Virgin VKPL 0058) with gatefold cover and booklet.

Il 13 has been released in a limited and numbered vinyl pressing along with the more common CD issue.

The Nudo double CD has been released by mexican Sol & Deneb label as two separate CD's, called Nudo-Acustico and Nudo-Live in Tokyo 1997. The same label has also released a double live CD called En concierto, May 1999 - Mexico City.

No counterfeits exist of any Banco releases.

Banco del Mutuo Soccorso (original issue) - front cover

extractable tab detail

Banco del Mutuo Soccorso - inner gatefold 

Banco del Mutuo Soccorso - later issue front cover

Darwin! - gatefold cover

Darwin! - inner gatefold detail (2 different versions)

Darwin! - inner sleeve and custom label
Io sono nato libero - front cover
Io sono nato libero - inner gatefold
 
Io sono nato libero - LP label (2 versions with different lettering)
Banco - front cover
Garofano rosso - front cover
Come in un'ultima cena - gatefold cover
Come in un'ultima cena - inner gatefold + booklet
Come in un'ultima cena - Orizzonte reissue
...di terra - front cover ...di terra - special issue for the "Malgré tout" ballet
Donna Plautilla - front cover Banco del Mutuo Soccorso 12" - front cover
Da qui messere si domina la valle - box set + booklet
40 anni - LP/CD box set Darwin!- LP/CD box set
Non mi rompete - 7" single cover Canto di primavera - 7" single cover
Niente - 7" single cover Il ragno - 7" single cover
Live - CD Nudo - CD
Seguendo le tracce - CD
Live - Papagayo Club - CD

 



Click on pictures to enlarge

Live in Spello - Villa Fidelia 26-Aug-2001 Live in Spello 26-Aug-2001 with Ensemble Micrologus
Acoustic tour in Castiglione del Lago (PG) 14-Jul-2002
Beat-less: Maurizio Pizzardi, Francesco Di Giacomo, Rodolfo Maltese - Castiglione della Valle (PG) 18-Jun-2005
Vittorio Nocenzi at 70's Flowers Festival, Fano (PU), 29-Set-2005
Rodolfo Maltese guesting with Mangala Vallis at Stazione Birra, Morena (Roma), 11-Nov-2005
    
 
Live in Rome, Piazza Don Bosco, 4-Apr-2006
Photos by Fabio Gaigher
 
Acoustic concert in Cerqueto (PG) 18-Jun-2006
  
Francesco Di Giacomo and Rodolfo Maltese
Live "Io ti canto" concert, Foligno PG 28-Dec-2006
Photos by Pino Antonelli
  
Francesco Di Giacomo and Rodolfo Maltese with Riccardo Regi (Estate di S.Martino)
Live "Io ti canto" concert, Foligno PG 28-Dec-2006
Photos by Pino Antonelli
  
Francesco Di Giacomo and Rodolfo Maltese with Patrizia Bovi (Ensemble Micrologus)
Live "Io ti canto" concert, Foligno PG 28-Dec-2006
Photos by Pino Antonelli
    
 
Banco del Mutuo Soccorso at Nearfest 2008
Zoellner Arts Center, Betlehem, PA, USA, 22-Jun-2008
Photos by Charles Terenzio
    
 
Banco del Mutuo Soccorso at ProgExhibition 2010
Teatro Tendastrisce, Rome, 6-Nov-2010
    
Banco del Mutuo Soccorso and John Wetton at ProgExhibition 2010
Teatro Tendastrisce, Rome, 6-Nov-2010
 
 
 
 
Roccavivi AQ 16-Aug-2011
 
 
Gianni Nocenzi, Rodolfo Maltese, Claudio Falco, Tiziano Ricci
"40 anni di Banco" at Meeting di Primavera, Castiglione del Lago PG
22-Apr-2012
  
  
Le Radici del Rock - Viterbo 21-Jul-2012

 

 

For more information you can visit the band's official website www.bancodelmutuosoccorso.it

Periferia del Mondo, including new member Alessandro Papotto and helped in their recorded works by other Banco members, have their own website at http://www.periferiadelmondo.it

 

 

Thanks to Fabio Gaigher, Pino Antonelli and Charles Terenzio for some of the live pictures in this page, and to Luiz Claudio Cals Brügger, Manuel Da Achada, Lorenzo Pittan of Amarcord and John Bogazzi for some pictures and information