Exposé Online banner

Osanna — Tempo
(Black Widow DVD 2215/BWR 163, 2014, 2DVD)

by Henry Schneider, Published 2014-06-03

Tempo Cover art

Tempo is a double DVD housed in a beautiful book with lots of photos from Italian theatrical proggers Osanna. Disc One is a concert recorded in Naples at the Trianon Theater on October 24, 2012. This is a career spanning concert featuring songs from their catalog along with guest musicians David Jackson (on “Theme One”), Gianni Leone (on “Introduzione”), and Tito Schipa Jr. (“Per la Strada”). Other guests included Sophya Baccini, Giampero Ingrassia, Elio Eco, Maurizio Capone, and Antonella Morea. Since the massive Prog Exhibition 40 Anni di Musica Immaginifica was recorded about the same time, all of the songs from that concert are here as well as more for the entire performance. Extras on Disc One include a music video of “Rosso Rock” with Lino Vairetti in black robes with the left side of this head black and the right side white walking/drifting through some ruins. Images are meant to make him transparent and then by the end of the song is whole head is grey with red makeup smeared all over. This imagery recalled to me the Star Trek episode from January 10, 1969 with Frank Gorshin “Let That Be Your Last Battlefield.” There were two aliens Bele and Lokai and what lingers in my mind after all these years is that Bele believes his black and white coloration to be superior to Lokai's — "I am black on the right side" ... "Lokai is white on the right side." So in this video, Lino must be a member of Lokai’s race. Sorry for the tangent. The other extra on the disc is a backstage interview. Unfortunately most is in Italian without any subtitles. The only exception is when David Jackson is interviewed and of course he speaks English. But this is not much of an issue as the interviews are edited with excerpts from the sound check and actual concert so it tends to hold your interest even if you don’t speak Italian.

Disc Two, titled Osanna Story, is a collection of 20 historical video clips from 1971 – 2009 including extracts from TV shoes and live concerts. This alone is worth the price of this double DVD set. It is fascinating to see that band evolve over this 40 year time period. The earliest videos are multiple versions of “L’Uomo” recorded on various TV shows. And it is amusing to watch the Emcee struggle against laughing at the band all made up in greasepaint and robes and to talk seriously about the music. And to make things even more awkward for the Emcee, the band stands there with extremely serious expressions. If I counted correctly, there are at least six different videos of “L’Uomo” with two in this century. Over time this song has taken on a more aggressive nature and I think is far superior to the original. Back in the day, they all had long hair and lots of facial hair. That in combination with the greasepaint made them freakish, especially compared the relatively conservative Emcees in coats and ties and the straight laced audience. This was quite a statement for the 70s. Today Lino is bald and his son Irvin is now part of Osanna. The band if anything has more stage presence and aggressiveness today than when it began and the makeup and costuming no longer seems out of place.

This is quite a documentary effort and belongs in the library of any prog rock aficionado.


Filed under: New releases, 2014 releases

Related artist(s): Van der Graaf Generator, Osanna, Il Balletto di Bronzo, Sophya Baccini

Latest news

2020-05-15
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more

2020-05-14
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santan, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more

2020-05-06
Florian Schneider RIP – Florian Schneider, one of the founders of the pioneering electronic group Kraftwerk, has died at the age of 73. Co-founder Ralf Hütter announced that his bandmate had passed away from cancer after a brief illness. » Read more

2020-04-23
Shindig Festival Goes Lock-Down – Here's what they're saying: It's A Happening Thing! The Shindig! Magazine Lockdown Festival. In our days of no large gatherings of people, maybe it's still possible to have a music festival. Shindig! Magazine is giving it a go with a multi-artist streaming extravaganza on Saturday April 25. » Read more

2020-03-24
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

The Science Group - A Mere Coincidence – Yugoslavian composer Stevan Tickmayer has worked extensively in the fields of 20th Century music (both composed and improvised) and jazz. For this project, he takes a collection of texts by Chris...  (2000) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues