Sunday, August 23, 2009

Ping Pong - About Time (1971)

Little is known about this band from Emilia, which released no less than two albums and a couple of singles with this name, and others in later years as Bulldog. Both albums don't contain any information on the band and is likely that the record companies wanted to promote them as a foreign band as it was common practice then, to give the groups a wider audience. The only foreign member was in fact English bassist Taylor, who had come to Italy with the beat band The Casuals during the 60's, the others were from Bologna and Modena.

First album contains 10 tracks, all sung in English and with good use of flute and guitar. The sound is not particularly original and owes much to English bands. There are some jazzy influences here and there, like in the last track, Funny wife, that's totally instrumental and contains a long drum solo. Sax player Alan King, who collaborated with many Italian artists including Banco del Mutuo Soccorso (in their ...di terra LP) makes a guest appearance in the album.

The second, Ping Pong, came two years later on Spark label, and contained a mix of commercial songs and more original tracks, this time entirely sung in Italian and with the strong presence of new vocalist Giorgio Bertolani.
Tracks like Il miracolo, Caro Giuda (Italian version of Blue Mink's single Time for winning), both also released on singles, or Cresciuta in un paese with orchestral arrangement, fall in the typical mainstream pop Italian style of the era, while Il castello or the long jazzier Suite in 4 tempi are among the best moments, very well composed. Musically well played, the album contains nice keyboard and sax parts, demonstrating the very good quality of the musicians involved.

Like many other bands examined here (Exploit, Flashmen, Fili d'Erba) Ping Pong mixed together totally different styles, alternating between commercial songs and more original tunes, in this case jazz-oriented. The result is, unfortunately, rather disjointed and not particularly satisfying.

The band reappeared a few years later as Bulldog, with two albums and lots of singles all sung in English and mostly rock-oriented with the usual commercial songs put in.
Bass player Alan Taylor, released a solo pop single on Blue Jean (BJ 614), Song for Magdalena, in 1977. Taken from here

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Ping Pong - About Time (1971)

Ping Pong - Ping Pong (1973)

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you Lisa i've been searching for this by years!!! but song 8 has missing: could you re-post it? Thanks a lot again , and i'm waiting for the second!!!

Lisa Sinder said...

corrected - thank you for pointing this out

Lothar Funk said...

Thank you, these are amazing...your reviews are excellent too...stop by and visit me for rare soundtrack and library music.

Lothar Funk said...

Thanks for your informative reviews, and superb collection...stop by for rare soundtracks and library music.