Marco Zoccheddu (guitar, vocals)
Claudio Ghiglino (guitar, vocals)
Giorgio Usai (keyboards, vocals)
Enrico Casagni (bass, flute, vocals)
Paolo Siani (drums, vocals)
Zoccheddu replaced by
Antonello Gabelli (guitar, vocals)
Gabelli replaced by
Arturo "Ricky" Belloni (guitar, vocals)
A group from Genova, they had much in common with New Trolls,
even because two of their members, Usai and Belloni, have even played with that band in different stages.
The origins of the group lay in the 60's, with a quartet called Plep from the names of the four musicians, Paolo Martinelli, Luciano Biasato, Enrico Casagni and Paolo Siani, but after the line-up change, the name became J.Plep for the release of a single for Carosello in 1969 (even if the label has the name "Gil dei J.Plep" who was in fact the singer Giorgio Usai).
After many concerts the name Nuova Idea was chosen in
1970 for their first single, presented
at the Disco per l'Estate and including two tracks based on a similar theme; but the
real success came in 1971, when the band played at the first Viareggio pop festival
with Come, come, come, and a long 20-minute version of that track was
also included in the
Ariston sampler Al Festival Pop Viareggio 1971 along
with tracks by Stormy Six and Top 4.
The same track appeared on the first side of their debut album In the beginning, while on the other side there were four shorter songs in a more melodic style (three of these had already appeared on the band's early singles). The record was issued by Ariston with none of the musicians knowing about it. Another track from the album, Realtà, was used in an instrumental version as leading theme of a popular TV show (A come Agricoltura).
In 1971 guitarist Marco Zoccheddu, a leading figure in their concerts, left the band to form Osage Tribe. His place was taken, for short time by Antonello Gabelli, who played on the second album Mr.E.Jones, a concept album based on a clerk's life, with good lyrics and some nice tracks like the long Illusione da poco. The band makes a strong use of multivocal and falsetto parts not unlike New Trolls', but the instrumental parts are very well played.
At the end of 1972 another new guitarist, Ricky Belloni from the
Milan group Il Pacco, and the
band releases their best product, Clowns, where the particular (and
disturbing, to many listeners) voice of the
newcomer adds an original touch to a majestic instrumental background. The
success is still far from Nuova Idea, and the band members split, with Belloni
joining New Trolls in 1975 to record their Concerto Grosso
n.2, Usai following
his example in 1978, and drummer Siani playing with Equipe 84 and
Another drummer, Flaviano Cuffari (from Simon Luca's backing band), had briefly played in the group when Siani left in the summer of 1973, just before the split.
After the end of Nuova Idea Ricky Belloni and Paolo Siani formed the short-lived
supergroup Track that only released an album on Ariston
in 1974, Track rock, a sort of all-stars jam session.
Ricky Belloni also had a solo single on PDU (Ricordi da bruciare/Letto sfatto) in 1974 before joining New Trolls.
Drummer Paolo Siani released two easy pop singles under the name Pappy Mammy & Son in 1975 and 1976 on Ariston.
Bassist Enrico Casagni made a solo LP in 1977, entitled Qualcuno stanotte for EMI/Parlophone.
The first line-up of Nuova Idea was also behind the Underground Set and Psycheground Group names with a totally different kind of records.
A group featuring four original members (Zoccheddu, Belloni, Usai, Siani) reunited for some concerts in 2011 and 2012; the recordings from these concerts appear on the 2014 DVD Live anthology issued by Black Widow and also featuring all the TV appearances by the band in the years 1971-73.
Drummer Paolo Siani made some albums since 2010 with help from various Nuova Idea members (Marco Zoccheddu, Ricky Belloni, Giorgio Usai); especially the first two of them (Castles, wings, stories & dreams from 2010 and Faces with no traces issued in 2016) had some excellent reviews.
An important addition to the Nuova Idea discography is their fourth LP It’s an old dream, recorded in 1976 and never released until its first issue in 2020. The album had been recorded by Claudio Ghiglino, Ricky Belloni and Giorgio Usai with producer Gian Piero Reverberi and various guest musicians among which Gianni Belleno (New Trolls) and Bob Callero (Il Volo, Osage Tribe, Duello Madre). It includes ten English-sung tracks and, despite a more commercial sound than their previous works yet it keeps some of the band's peculiarities.
|In the beginning||Ariston (AR/LP 12061)||1971||gatefold cover - some copies with poster|
|Mr.E.Jones||Ariston (AR/LP 12075)||1972||gatefold laminated cover - some copies with poster|
|Ariston/Oxford (OX 3099)||1978||reissue with single cover|
|Ariston/De Agostini (AR/LP 12075)||2019||gatefold cover with 8-page insert - no.52 in the De Agostini "Prog Rock Italiano" series|
|Clowns||Ariston (AR/LP 12100)||1973||gatefold laminated cover|
|RCA/Sony (88697 42820 1)||2009||numbered reissue of the 1973 album with gatefold cover|
|Sony Music/De Agostini (50)||2019||gatefold cover with 8-page insert - no.50 in the De Agostini "Prog Rock Italiano" series|
|It's an old dream||Progressivamente/De Agostini (GMP 005)||2020||unreleased album recorded in 1976 - single cover with inner and 8-page insert - no.80 in the De Agostini "Prog Rock Italiano" series|
|In the beginning||Vinyl Magic (VM 021)||1990||reissue of 1971 album|
|BMG (82876-64123-2)||2004||as above with mini-LP gatefold cover - now deleted|
|BMG (82876-64123-2)||2011||as above with mini-LP gatefold cover|
|Clowns||Mellow (MMP 123)||1992||reissue of 1973 album|
|BMG (82876-54407-2)||2003||as above with mini-LP gatefold cover - now deleted|
|BMG (88697-85365-2)||2011||as above with mini-LP gatefold cover|
|Ariston/Mondadori (22)||2019||mini-LP gatefold cover with booklet - no.22 in the Mondadori "Prog Italia" series|
|Mr.E.Jones||Mellow (MMP 124)||1992||reissue of 1972 album|
|Sony/BMG (88697-97696-2)||2011||as above with mini-LP gatefold cover|
VARIOUS ARTISTS COMPILATION ALBUMS
Festival Pop Viareggio 1971
(with Come, come, come)
|Ariston (AR/LP 12053)||1971||single cover compilation - also includes Stormy Six and I Top 4|
with (Pitea, un uomo contro l'infinito, Uomini diversi, Sarà così)
|Vinyl Magic (VM 058)||1995||CD compilation with singles tracks from Claudio Rocchi, Simon Luca, I Top 4|
SINGLES (with picture sleeve)
|Pitea, un uomo contro
|Oregon (OR 700)||1970||gatefold cover - A-side unreleased on LP, B-side from In the beginning|
|La mia scelta
Non dire niente
|Ariston (AR 0510)||1971||two tracks from In the beginning|
|Ariston (AR 0539)||1972||two tracks from Mr.E.Jones|
|Ariston (AR 0589)||1973||both unreleased tracks|
PROMOTIONAL AND JUKE BOX SINGLES (with blank cover)
|Pitea, un uomo contro l'infinito||Oregon (OR 700)||1970||juke box single - backed with Mino Reitano/Cento colpi alla tua porta|
|Pitea, un uomo contro l'infinito||Oregon (OR 700)||1970||juke box single - different version of the above single, backed with Rosanna Fratello/Una rosa una candela|
|La mia scelta||Ariston (AR 0510/0527)||1971||juke box single - backed with Rosanna Fratello/Sono una donna non sono una santa|
|La mia scelta||Ariston (AR/EP/1016)||1971||promo 4-track EP - also contains Mark & Marta/I ragazzi come noi, Focus/House of the king and Alessandra Casaccia/Mangerei una mela|
|Non dire niente||Ariston (AR/EP/1018)||1971||promo 4-track EP - also contains Claudio Rocchi/Grazie, Giovanna/Io volevo diventare... and Giovanna/Sono solo una donna|
|Mister E.Jones||Ariston (AR 0539)||1972||juke box single - backed with Ornella Vanoni/Il mio mondo d'amore|
|Ariston (AR/EP/1029)||1972||promo 4-track EP, Free Line series no.4 with cover, also contains Ornella Vanoni/Parla più piano and Stray/Move on|
|Sarà così||Ariston (AR/EP/1035)||1973||promo 4-track EP, Free Line series no.9 with cover, also contains Gilda Giuliani/Serena, Anna Identici/Mi son chiesta tante volte and Ornella Vanoni/Ma come ho fatto|
SINGLES (with picture sleeve)
L'anima del mondo
|Carosello (CI 20232)||1969|
|PAOLO SIANI FEAT. NUOVA IDEA
|Castles, wings, stories & dreams||Black Widow (BWR 131)||2010||gatefold cover - also exists in limited edition with purple vinyl, foldout insert and card|
|Faces with no traces||Black Widow (BWR 190)||2016||gatefold cover - also exists in a 100 copies limited issue with booklet, poster, card and bonus 7" single|
|The leprechaun's pot of gold||Black Widow (BWR 215)||2019||single cover with insert|
|Castles, wings, stories & dreams||Black Widow (BWR 131-2)||2010||digipack cover|
|Faces with no traces||Black Widow (BWR 190-2)||2016||contains three video tracks|
|The leprechaun's pot of gold||Black Widow (BWR 215-2)||2019|
In the beginning was issued on the old black Ariston label with silver writing, by the time Mr.E.Jones came out the record company had launched a new "young" label for their progressive artists, called "Produzione Gnomo" with a beige background. Clowns was also released on the Ariston Gnomo label.
Only some copies of Mr.E.Jones contained a promo
poster, that curiously had the same design as their first album. These
even carried a small coupon advertising the poster, visible under the shrinkwrap and obviously lost in most cases.
An identical poster, but without the title of the second album, can be found in some copies of the first LP.
Mr.E.Jones was also reissued in 1978 in the Oxford series with a single sleeve reproducing the same design as the original. It's likely that Clowns has also been included in this reissues series.
Clowns was reissued on vinyl in 2009 by Sony, in a limited numbered pressing.
No counterfeits should exist nor foreign issues.
J.Plep, along with their lonely single from 1969, also appeared in the soundtrack of the film L'uomo dal pennello d'oro (released in Italy in 1972) with the song Soul of the world. The rest of the film soundtrack was credited to The Underground Set, but apparently it has never appeared on record.
In the beginning - LP
Mr.E.Jones - LP with poster card
Clowns - gatefold cover
It's an old dream - LP
Pitea, un uomo contro l'infinito - 7" single gatefold cover
La mia scelta - 7" single
Mister E.Jones - 7" single
Sarà così - 7" single
La scala - J.Plep 7" single
|Live anthology - DVD|
Thanks to Giorgio Meloni of Metrodora for information on the Nuova Idea/Underground Set connection, and to Pino Orlandi, Pasquale De Vico, Luciano Fassa, Marzio Barbieri, for information on the discography.