Artista

ALAN SORRENTI

A very important artist from Naples, Alan Sorrenti released his first album in 1972 on Harvest. He had a welsh mother and had spent much time in Wales as a child.

Aria is a very nice album, with two different sides: the first only contained the long title track, a dreamy suite starting with acoustic guitar and based on the marvellous instrument-like voice of Sorrenti, and exploding in the final part with a memorable violin solo by Jean Luc Ponty. Side 2 was softer, with three tracks, two of which also appeared on a single.

The album was successful, and Alan Sorrenti was one of the few solo artists to compete with prog groups in the open air festivals of the time. The album was also issued abroad, but with little success.

A second album, with the long title of Come un vecchio incensiere all'alba di un villaggio deserto was released a year later. 
It was based on the same formula as Aria, but probably lacked the fresh impact of its predecessor. Again a side-long title track opposed to some shorter and softer tracks, this time with help from Francis Monkman (Curved Air) and Dave Jackson (Van der Graaf Generator) along with percussionist Toni Esposito.

Third album is usually considered the least convincing of Alan's early production, despite some very good tracks, his style slowly shifting toward straight songs. The remake of the traditional neapolitan classic Dicitencello vuje, included on the album and also released as a single, was seen by his early fans as a treason, and while it gave very good sales and chart placement, it caused the artist to be boycotted in many summer festivals.

After a two year break a new Alan Sorrenti came back in 1976, with a more commercial style, influenced by dance music, and totally closing his past avantgarde experience. The long Alan Sorrenti's career ended with a last album in 1992.

 

LP (up to 1974)
Aria Harvest (3C064-17836) 1972 gatefold textured cover with inner
  Harvest (3C064-17836) 1973 as above with smooth cover
  Harvest (3C064-17836) 1982 reissue of the above with single cover
Come un vecchio incensiere all'alba di un villaggio deserto Harvest (3C064-17878) 1973 single cover with glued 12-page booklet on front
Alan Sorrenti Harvest (3C064-18059) 1974 single cover with inner - two different label designs exist, standard and small


CD 
Aria Mellow (MMP 191) 1994 reissue of 1972 album - now deleted
  EMI (72438 60271 2) 90's as above
  Vinyl Magic (VM 071) 2000 as above - now deleted
  Water (WATER 180) 2006 as above
Come un vecchio incensiere all'alba di un villaggio deserto Mellow (MMP 192) 1994 reissue of 1973 album - now deleted
  EMI (72438 60270 2) 90's as above
  Vinyl Magic (VM 076) 2000 as above, with bonus track Le tue radici, taken from 1974 single
  AMS/BTF (AMS 20LP) 2010 reissue with gatefold cover
Alan Sorrenti Mellow (MMP 237) 1995 reissue of 1974 album - now deleted
  EMI (72438 60268 2) 90's as above


SINGLES (with picture sleeve -  up to 1974)
Vorrei incontrarti
Un fiume tranquillo
Harvest (3C006-17852) 1972 both tracks from Aria
Una luce si accende
A te che dormi
Harvest (3C006-17881) 1973 both tracks from Come un vecchio incensiere all'alba di un villaggio deserto
Dicitencello vuje
Poco pił piano
Harvest (3C006-18017) 1974 both tracks from Alan Sorrenti
Le tue radici
part I & II
Harvest (3C006-17983) 1975 both unreleased tracks 


PROMO-ONLY AND JUKEBOX SINGLES (with blank covers)
Dicitencello vuje Harvest (3C000-70028) 1974 jukebox single - backed with other artist

 

The Alan Sorrenti albums are not particularly rare nor expensive. 
The very first issue of Aria had a textured heavy gatefold cover and is difficult to find, while much common later issues (since around 1973) had a smooth thinner cover.

Come un vecchio incensiere had a small 12-page booklet with the lyrics glued to the LP. It's difficult to find this intact.
Along with the main foreign guests, a double bass player named Ron Mathienson is mentioned on the cover: it's likely that he was british jazzist Ron Mathewson, who played in his long career with Ronnie Scott, Stan Getz, Gordon Beck, Ian Carr and many others.

The third album, Alan Sorrenti, has a much simpler design than the others, a single cover with lyric inner.
Early copies of the record were pressed with a smaller label, of the size used on the singles (8,5 cm diameter instead of 10), later replaced by a standard one.
The single Le tue radici, despite having a catalogue number lower than Dicitencello vuje was released later, in 1975.

Aria was also released by Harvest in 1973 in France (and probably also in Germany) with a totally different single cover, giving much relevance to the presence of Jean Luc Ponty. The back of the cover contains a large picture of Ponty, very popular in France at the time, whose name is also on the front cover, and no picture of Alan!

No counterfeits exist.

As it happened with Saint Just, one of the Sorrenti singles, Una luce si accende, has on the back cover the writing "l'unico ed autentico progressive italiano" (the only real Italian progressive), probably the first time that the word "progressive" was used in Italy instead of the more common "pop" during the 70's.

Aria - gatefold cover

 

Aria - French issue LP, front and back

Come un vecchio incensiere.... - LP - the centre of the cover can be opened as a booklet

Come un vecchio incensiere.... - open cover with booklet

Alan Sorrenti - LP

  

Alan Sorrenti - small and regular label

Vorrei incontrarti - 7" single cover

Una luce si accende - 7" single cover

Le tue radici - 7" single cover

Dicitencello vuje - 7" single cover

 

 

Thanks to Alos, Peppe Carrese and Lorenzo Pittan of Amarcord for some pictures and information