Thanks to the folks at Akarma Records, this debut and only release from Italian prog legends Murple is given fantastic new life on CD. Smothered in a mini-LP styled sleeve featuring enchanting, wrap-around cover art, the music on Io Sono Murple is just as impressive. Although recorded in 1973 (on a division of BASF), Murple's concept album about a penguin leaving his home in Antarctica and eventually falling into captivity within the confines of a circus and then a zoo called Antarplastic, still sounds fresh today.
Made up of two long tracks, Io Sono Murple fits in with other influential albums recorded by members of the Italian prog scene in that era like Banco, PFM, Il Billetto Di Bronzo, Le Orme, Locanda Delle Fate, Metamorfosi, Alusa Fallax, and Quella Vecchia Locanda. The balance between ELP styled keyboard prog, folk, hard rock guitar, and fusion, are all perfectly complemented. While much of the material is instrumental, Pino Santamaria adds gorgeous Italian vocals in spots, as well as electric and acoustic guitar. As one can imagine, the focus here is on the keyboards, and Pier Carlo Zanco adds layers of textures with piano, Hammond, and synthesizers, which give these pieces lots of classic elements and most of all sophistication.
At barely 34 minutes, Io Sono Murple will leave you gasping for more, and wondering why the band never went any further. At least we have this fabulous re-issue to remember Murple by, as this release cemented the band in the ranks of the great Italian progressive rock bands.