Though not overtly progressive, Eugenio Finardi has always been associated with Cramps label and musicians, and has created some nice rock albums with prog and jazz-rock influences, very far from the singer-songwriter typical acoustic guitar sound so common in Italy during the 70's.
Finardi, from Milan, played in a few important rock
bands that never recorded, like L'Enorme Maria (that was also the backing group
on Simon Luca's LP's) and Il
Pacco, along with
fellow guitarist Alberto Camerini, and had some session recordings also as
guitarist, before an English-sung first single on Numero
He was of American mother and had lived in the States, so his English was almost perfect, but despite this he's never tried to have a musical career abroad. His first musical experiences lay in the early 70's (but his first band Tiger, a trio, was formed around 1969), and he played some open-air festivals since 1971. Along with his work as musician, he also produced between 1974 and 1975 two albums for Trident, the debut LP by Claudio Fucci and the second (posthumously released) LP by Biglietto per l'Inferno.
After signing a contract with Cramps, he produced a debut album in 1975, with help from well-known session musicians Hugh Bullen, Walter Calloni (then with PFM at the end of the 70's), Lucio Fabbri, and the album had good long tracks like Se solo avessi and La storia della mente.
In 1976 the single Musica ribelle was a hit, dealing with the great success of newly introduced private radio stations in Italy, and the second album Sugo entered the charts. With help from Area's Patrizio Fariselli, Paolo Tofani and Ares Tavolazzi, the album was his most successful and probably his best. Along with easier cuts like the singles' tracks, it contains intense songs like Soldi, La paura del domani and the instrumental Quasar, never having a weak or disturbingly commercial moment.
Finardi was now a constant presence at open-air festivals, offering great live performances, and always aided by very good musicians. His lyrics have always been very strong, dealing with politics as well as social problems.
Diesel, in 1977, was another good album, with a successful single like Non è nel cuore and great long tracks like Non diventare grande mai with Paolo Tofani and Scimmia (about drugs) with other Area members Fariselli and Tavolazzi. Along with Sugo it's recommended to prog fans, though not properly a prog album!
In 1978 fourth album Blitz, a bit weaker than the previous ones, with Finardi now accompanied by a stable backing band, Crisalide. Extraterrestre was a hit single, but the eight tracks on the album are shorter and the overall result is not as good as the others despite the excellent quality of the musicians.
Last album on Cramps was Roccando rollando from 1979, recorded after a long period spent on the road; there's little rock'n'roll in it, and despite the excellent musicianship, the album is rather fragmented and the style veers toward a poppy sound, as in his later albums.
The long career of Eugenio Finardi still lasts in the 2000's, but he gradually left his role as an alternative rock singer-songwriter, and also had some softer releases in his production, but always made everything with his typical good taste.
|LP (Cramps years only)|
|Non gettate alcun oggetto dai finestrini||Cramps (CRSLP 5151)||1975||single cover with lyric inner|
|Cramps (5205 151)||1978||as above|
|Philips (5205 151)||80's||single cover - no inner|
|Sugo||Cramps (CRSLP 5152)||1976||gatefold cover with lyric inner|
|Cramps (5205 152)||1978||as above|
|Philips (5205 152)||80's||single cover - no inner|
|Diesel||Cramps (CRSLP 5153)||1977||gatefold cover with lyric inner|
|Cramps (5205 153)||1978||as above|
|Philips (5205 153)||80's||single cover - no inner|
|Blitz||Cramps (5205 154)||1978||single cover with lyric inner|
|Philips (811 002)||80's||single cover - no inner - reissued in "Successo" series|
|Roccando rollando||Cramps (5205 155)||1979||laminated gatefold cover with lyric inner - custom blue label|
|Philips (6389 018)||80's||single cover - no inner- reissued in "Successo" series|
|All albums reissued on CD|
VARIOUS ARTISTS COMPILATION LP'S
(with Musica ribelle)
|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, Area.|
|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 Hold on)
|Cramps (5203 001)||1979||2LP - gatefold with inner - from the Demetrio Stratos tribute concert - also features Area, Banco del Mutuo Soccorso, Francesco Guccini, Angelo Branduardi, Antonello Venditti, Roberto Vecchioni, Roberto Ciotti 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|
|Cramps/De Agostini (5203 001)||2018||2 LP - gatefold cover and 8-page insert - no.12 in the De Agostini "Prog Rock Italiano" series|
|Quelli della Numero Uno
(with Spacey Stacey)
|Numero Uno (CFD 01080-10)||1999||10 CD - box set with tracks from singles|
SINGLES (with picture sleeve - Numero Uno and Cramps label production only)
Hard rock honey
|Numero Uno (ZN 50305)||1973||both unreleased tracks|
|Cramps (CRSNP 1801)||1975||both tracks from Sugo|
|Cramps (CRSNP 1802)||1976||both tracks from Sugo|
|Non è nel
|Cramps (CRSNP 1803)||1976||both tracks from Diesel|
Op.29 in Do maggiore
|Cramps (CRSNP 1804)||1977||both tracks from Blitz|
|Cramps (CRSNP 1805)||1978||both tracks from Blitz|
La canzone dell'acqua
|Cramps (5201 806)||1979||both tracks from Roccando rollando|
PROMOTIONAL AND JUKEBOX SINGLES (with blank cover - Cramps label production only)
|Musica ribelle||Cramps (CRSNP 1802/1703)||1976||jukebox single - backed with Area/L'internazionale|
|Non è nel cuore||Cramps (JB 1)||1976||jukebox single - backed with a track by Pupo|
|Affetto||Cramps (CRSJB 1301)||1977||jukebox single - backed with Canzoniere del Lazio/Nu gatto come nu lione|
|Cramps (CRSJB 1501)||1977||3-track jukebox single - backed with Alberto Camerini/Pane quotidiano|
|15 bambini||Cramps (JB 20)||1978||jukebox single - backed with Nada/Dolce più dolce|
Song fly high
|Cramps (AS 5000 543)||1979||promotional single - both tracks from Roccando rollando|
All the 1975-78 albums are easy to find, and not expensive.
All of them had lyric inner covers, the first and fourth had single sleeves,
second and third were gatefold, all of them being in the classic style (as Area,
Arti & Mestieri, Battiato among the others) of
Cramps' designer Gianni Sassi.
Some of these albums were later reissued on Philips label.
No counterfeits exist, the only known foreign issues are for Sugo released in Japan (Pioneer-Warner P-10313C) and Portugal.
Non gettate alcun oggetto dai finestrini - front cover
Sugo - front cover
Diesel - front cover
Blitz - front cover
Spacey Stacey - 7" single
Musica ribelle - 7" single
Non è nel cuore - 7" single
Affetto - 7" single
Click on pictures to enlarge
The official website of Eugenio Finardi is at www.eugeniofinardi.it
Thanks to Alos for information on the Philips reissues