Artist

FABIO CELI E GLI INFERMIERI

Fabio Celi (keyboards, vocals)
Ciro Ciscognetti (keyboards)
Luigi Coppa (guitar, mouth harp)
Rino Fiorentino (bass)
Roberto Ciscognetti (drums, percussion)

One of many bands active in the Naples area, originating from S.Giorgio a Cremano, Fabio Celi & gli Infermieri (a very 60's sounding name) released at the end of the sixties a commercial pop single, as Fabio Celi & i Pop, and an album for a small Neapolitan private label connected with the Studio 7 recording studio. The album was issued in 1973, though it had been recorded in 1969 with a 4-track Revox.

The band leader Fabio Celi (whose real name was Antonio Cavallaro) assembled a twin keyboards five-piece band much influenced by the organ driven british psych and pop sounds of the 60's, all mixed with funny and outrageous lyrics. Due to these lyrics it was allegedly banned by the Italian TV company RAI, and couldn't receive any national promotion.
Their live acts were particularly impressive, with large use of dry ice smoke, and the singer, who was brought on stage in a coffin, was restrained in a straitjacket during the final song, L'artista sadico [The sadistic artist].

Follia contains six long tracks, with piano, organ (a modified Farfisa which sounds like a moog) and fuzz guitar to the fore and a reverbed voice recorded well above the musical background. The group has a very good sound but some rhythms are typical of late sixties Italian pop.
Surely a nice listen even if the strange lyrics, which sound still relevant sometimes, and the dissonant voice can be slightly difficult to accept at first.

Celi also released a solo single in 1971 with the same line-up as the album except for guitarist Coppa being replaced by Silvio Feo.
In 1973, year of release of the LP, the group played at "Festival d'Avanguardia e Nuove Tendenze" held in Naples, and in 1975 their Uomo cosa fai appeared on TV in a popular program, Adesso Musica, as if the group was going to be back on the musical scenes, but the band was never able to come back from oblivion.

Drummer Roberto Ciscognetti has played since 1980 with Popularia, and still also plays with Renzo Arbore & his Orchestra Italiana, with a repertoire of old songs from the Italian and neapolitan tradition. His brother Ciro Ciscognetti played with Napoli Centrale and now in the piano bar circuit, as does the leader Antonio Cavallaro (Fabio Celi).
Luigi Coppa left the music and works as an employee, while bass player Gennaro Fiorentino sadly died of a heart attack.

 

 

LP
Follia Studio Sette (LG 1101) 1973 gatefold laminated cover - some copies with stickered cover


CD
Follia Mellow (MMP 255) 1996 reissue of 1973 album with 2 bonus unreleased tracks
  Canaria (CD 161) 2007 as above
Only music Canaria (CD 281) 2007 reissue of the 1973 album in instrumental version and with no bonus tracks - as "Fabio Celi"


SINGLES (with picture sleeve)
T'ho vista piangere
Un milione di baci
Gilbert (GP 116) 1968 as "Fabio Celi & i Pop"
Via Gaetano Argento 80141 Napoli
Fermi tutti una rapina
Moon (NP 9022) 1971 as "Fabio Celi" - both unreleased tracks

 

A rare and expensive album, Follia was originally issued in a very small quantity, with a gatefold laminated cover. 
According to what claimed by Celi himself, the album was recorded in 1969, but their label wasn't able to issue it and tried to get in touch with a major company. The LP was finally issued in 1973, and sold a low number of copies. Some of these had a sticker on the cover with the writing "Disco censurato dalla RAI!" ("Record banned by RAI", the Italian TV company).
The record only had a limited local distribution, but many unsold copies were frequently offered on sale since the 90's, still at very high prices.

No vinyl reissues or counterfeits exist
The Mellow CD reissue also contains two bonus tracks, from their 1971 single.

The Nuova Canaria label, from Naples, released Follia on CD both in the original recording, again with the bonus tracks from the 1971 single, and in an instrumental version, entitled Only music.

Follia - gatefold cover

LP label

stickered cover

T'ho vista piangere - 7" single cover

Via Gaetano Argento 80141 Napoli - 7" single cover

Only music - CD

 

Information on keyboardist Ciro Ciscognetti can be found at www.edizionimusicali.com/cirociscognetti/index.htm 

Drummer Roberto Ciscognetti's group Popularia has a website at www.popularia.net 

 

 

Thanks to Antonio Cavallaro for the information and to Luigi Papi for the precious help