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
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'è 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 and played with the symphonic pop group Accademia in the early 80'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, which is together since 2008, played at the popular Club Città in Tokyo in 2013, and the concert appeared on a CD, obviously entitled Live in Tokyo. Later, in 2017, the same line-up released the second studio album in the history of Maxophone, La fabbrica delle nuvole, with lyrics especially composed for them by writer Roberto Roversi before his death in 2012.
The story of Maxophone came to a definitive end in May 2018 with the demise of Sergio Lattuada, one of the founder members of the group who had strongly wanted their recent reunion.
|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||gatefold cover - newly reissued in 2022 with clear vinyl|
|La fabbrica delle nuvole||AMS/BTF (AMS LP 128)||2017||gatefold cover - white/blue splatter vinyl|
|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-LP 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|
|La fabbrica delle nuvole||AMS/BTF (AMS 278 CD)||2017||mini-LP gatefold cover|
SINGLES (with picture sleeve)
|C'è 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|
La fabbrica delle nuvole
|AMS/BTF (AMS EP 131)||2017||10" single with silver vinyl and postcard insert - limited release for Record Store Day 2017 - B-side taken from La fabbrica delle nuvole|
The Italian version of this album, with gatefold cover,
is rather rare and expensive, the English-sung versions (USA, Canada and Germany) are more 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. No counterfeits exist.
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.
A light fabric round patch (10cm diameter) with the group logo was found inside some original gatefold cover copies, probably a gadget included in the first copies or initially distributed to record stores to promote the LP.
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.
All the six members of Maxophone also appeared on a 1975 LP by singer-songwriter Corrado Castellari, Gente così (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
The 2013 Tokyo concert recording was issued in Japan on CD by the Vivid Sound label (no.VSPR4108) with the title Live Recorded at Club Città on April 26 2013 and gatefold mini-LP cover. The Italian version, entitled Live in Tokyo, came out the following year.
The 2017 album La fabbrica delle nuvole came out on CD and in a limited pressing on "cloud coloured" white/blue splatter vinyl.
The 10-inch single L'isola was issued in limited pressing for Record Store Day 2017 and contains on the A-side an unreleased track composed in 1972 by three of the musicians who would later form Maxophone (Giuliani, Ravasini and Lorenzetti).
Maxophone - gatefold cover
Maxophone - Italian and German LP labels
Promotional fabric patch
La fabbrica delle nuvole - LP
C'è un paese al mondo - 7" single
|Il fischio del vapore - 7" single|
L'isola - 10-inch single
From cocoon to butterfly - CD+DVD box set
Live Recorded at Club Città
|Live in Tokyo - CD|
Thanks to Giancarlo Del Papa, Guilherme Tofani, Giovanni Ottone, Corrado Magnano for information