Robert Deller (keyboards, vocals)
Massimo Pravato (guitar, bass)
Umberto Maschio (drums)
Guitarist Massimo Pravato, from near Venice, had played since the late 60's in various groups in the Padova area, The Bart's Group and I Delfini. Around 1970 he joined a group from Udine, Upupa, that included the English born keyboardist Robert Deller, and he played with them for a couple of years, until the two of them split and formed a trio with drummer Umberto Maschio, also from Padova.
The yet unnamed group moved to Germany, having a
residency in a Munich club thanks to Deller's father, and they recorded their
album in 1972 having had a contact with the Poliband music group (that was
specialised in children music) that owned the Pan label.
Despite the death of Massimo Pravato in a car accident in 1973, the album was released a year later, but went largely ignored.
A nice album by a little known group, the LP was only released in Germany, but unlike the Atlantide album Francesco ti ricordi, it's very hard to find even from German dealers.
Hero is a very long album, over 46 minutes, and contains nine songs in the 4-5 minute range, with the only exceptions of the 9-minute Clapping and smiling and the 7-minute long Dew-drops, in a rural hard prog style with English lyrics, well sung by Deller. The sound is not particularly original but a very pleasant listen overall.
An Umberto Maschio playing percussion with guitarist Jacopo Gianninoto from Vicenza is Hero's drummer's son.
|Hero||Pan (87 304 IT) - Germany||1974||single cover|
|AMS/BTF (AMS LP 57)||2012||as above|
|Hero||AMS/BTF (AMS 104)||2006||reissue of 1974 album with one extra track - mini-LP gatefold cover with booklet|
Very hard to find for Italian collectors, the Hero
album has only been printed in Germany by the small Pan label in a single cover,
and is hence easier to find in Germany, but always at very high prices.
It's been reissued on vinyl in 2001 by a German label and on CD by the Australian Progressive Line label (no.PL560). Along with another Japanese CD reissue, these all appear to be bootleg pressings.
The only existing authorized CD reissue is the one from 2006 on AMS/BTF, which includes as a bonus an alternate version of one of the album tracks. The same label has reissued the LP in 2012.
No other issues exist.
Hero - LP
Thanks to Matthias Scheller (of the From Genesis to Revelation prog rock website) and Stefano Pravato for the information on Hero.