Artist

MAXOPHONE

Alberto Ravasini (vocals, bass, acoustic guitar, flute)
Sergio Lattuada (keyboards, vocals)
Roberto Giuliani (guitar, piano, vocals)
Leonardo Schiavone (clarinet, flute, sax)
Maurizio Bianchini (French horn, trumpet, vibes, percussion, vocals)
Sandro Lorenzetti (drums)

Maxophone, from Milan, formed in 1973 as a six-piece with an unusual assortment of instruments, due to their past experience as music students. 
A band of great talents and musicianship, their only LP, released in 1975, came too late to compete with the most important Italian bands of the genre and went sadly unnoticed.

Maxophone, released on the Produttori Associati label (along with Duello Madre one of the few ventures in rock records by this label) is a marvellous album, full of dreamy atmospheres and complex horn arrangements, with good vocal parts in a Genesis style. The opening C' un paese al mondo was even released as a single at the time, but they didn't reach the success they'd deserve with a better production and a good label promotion. 
An English-sung version was also released to launch the group abroad, but this was an unsuccessful choice, and the Italian version is usually considered better. 

The band disbanded after a final single in 1977.
Sax and flute player Leonardo Schiavone had a short collaboration with Stormy Six at the end of the 70's.

A wonderful release to celebrate the memory of such a band, is the excellent From cocoon to butterfly box set, issued by BTF in 2005 and containing a CD with 10 tracks, demo and alternate versions with many unreleased cuts, and a DVD with 4 TV recordings, a new track recorded in 2005 and interviews with all the band members reunited in this occasion.
The group survived through founder members Ravasini and Lattuada, with
new members Marco Croci (bass, vocals), Carlo Monti (drums, violin) and Marco Tomasini (guitar, vocals). This line-up played at the popular Club Città in Tokyo in 2013, and the concert appeared on a CD, obviously entitled Live in Tokyo.

 

LP
Maxophone Produttori Associati (PA-LP 57) 1975 gatefold cover
later copies had single cover with inner
  Akarma (AK 1029) 2001 gatefold cover - two bonus tracks
  AMS/BTF (AMS LP23) 2010 new reissue with gatefold cover


CD
Maxophone (English version) Mellow (MMP 179) 1993 English version of 1975 album
  AMS/BTF (AMS 139CD) 2008 reissue of the English version LP, with mini-LP gatefold cover, obi and booklet
Maxophone (Italian version) Mellow (MMP 308) 1997 reissue of 1975 album with two bonus tracks from the 1977 single
  Akarma (AK 1029) 2001 as above with mini gatefold cover
  AMS/BTF (AMS 138CD) 2008 same as above, with mini-LP gatefold cover, obi and booklet
From cocoon to butterfly BTF/Vinyl Magic (VM100 AB MVA) 2005 box set including CD + DVD with unreleased recordings
Live in Tokyo Immaginifica (ARS IMM/1023) 2014 live at Club Città in Tokyo, april 2013 - mini-LP gatefold cover


SINGLES
(with picture sleeve)
C' un paese al mondo
Al mancato compleanno di una farfalla
Produttori Associati (PA-NP 3244) 1975 both tracks from Maxophone
Il fischio del vapore
Cono di gelato
Produttori Associati (PA-NP 3267) 1977 both unreleased tracks

    

The Italian version of this album, with gatefold cover, is rather rare and expensive, the English-sung versions (USA, Canada and Germany) are most common. 
Both have the same musical background, only the vocal parts differ. English lyrics were written by a J.Bratel and are not a simple translation of the Italian ones, so titles are different like the LP's track order.
The Akarma vinyl and CD and Mellow and AMS/BTF CD reissues all include as bonus tracks both sides of the band's last single, Il fischio del vapore.

A single cover version was also issued in Italy, with a lyric inner (lyrics were printed in the inner part of the standard gatefold cover). This is much rarer than the gatefold issue, though it was probably a later pressing.
Recently a light fabric round patch with the group logo was found inside an original gatefold cover copy, but it's impossible to know whether this was a promotional gadget included in the first copies.

It was released on Produttori Associati representative Pa-Usa in USA and Canada (no. PA-7002); early US copies are gatefold, a second issue has a single cover with lyric inner, the Canadian issue had a single cover with insert.
The German issue was released with a gatefold glossy cover and orange Produttori Associati label, catalogue number 6.22641 AO.

The Italian-sung album has also been issued in Korea on Si-Wan (SRML 2012) and Japan on Crime/King (K28P732).
Also from Japan, a one-sided red flexi 7" single with Il fischio del vapore was released by Crime/King (no.SPS10) in 1977; this was a promo-only single, probably included in the early Japanese LP copies.

No counterfeits exist.

All the six members of Maxophone also appear on a 1975 LP by singer-songwriter Corrado Castellari, Gente cos (Ricordi SMRL 6181).

The 2005 box set From cocoon to butterfly has a 4-fold cover and contains a CD with 10 unreleased audio recordings of tracks from the first album and some tracks never heard before, along with a DVD with interviews, video recordings from the Italian RAI TV, and a new video track especially recorded for this event by the reformed group.

 

Maxophone - gatefold cover

   

Maxophone - Italian and German LP labels

Promotional fabric patch

C' un paese al mondo - 7" single cover

Il fischio del vapore - 7" single cover

From cocoon to butterfly - CD+DVD box set

Live in Tokyo - CD

 

A website dedicated to Maxophone can be found at http://www.maxophone.it

 

Thanks to Giancarlo Del Papa, Guilherme Tofani, Giovanni Ottone for information