70's Italian Prog Rock bands: Biglietto per l'Inferno


Claudio Canali (vocals, flute, flugelhorn)
Marco Mainetti (guitar)
Giuseppe Banfi (organ, moog)
Giuseppe Cossa (piano, organ)
Fausto Branchini (bass)
Mauro Gnecchi (drums)


Born in 1972 in Lecco, in northern Italy, from the ashes of Gee and Mako Sharks, Biglietto per l'Inferno are still regarded as one of the most influential Italian prog rock bands, despite a single LP release, their magnificent self-titled album from 1974. The band had an intense live activity and a very powerful sound driven by the twin keyboards of Banfi and Cossa and the lead guitar of Mainetti, with flute intermissions by singer Claudio Canali. They attended several Italian music festivals with fair results thanks mainly to singer Canali who moved through the stage, with great scenic approach.


Claudio Canali
The album is a masterpiece, blending symphonic prog with hard rock. Its hard-rock based sound being perfectly enriched by keyboards and flute, and the lyrics are strong and effective. Two tracks, Una strana regina and Confessione were also released as a single, the latter in an instrumental-only version, with the same cover design as the album, the classic picture of jumping singer Claudio Canali, taken by Caesar Monti.

Il nevare

In 1975, a second album was recorded and was ready to be released under the production of Eugenio Finardi, as was a single taken from it, and the band was even in touch with Klaus Schulze, but the Trident label's end brought Biglietto per l'Inferno to split after some concerts in Italy and Switzerland at the end of 1975. The album, Il Tempo Della Semina, had a limited circulation among fans as a bootleg tape, and only gained an official issue in 1992 on the Mellow label.

L'arte sublime di un giusto regnare

Of all the band members only keyboardist Giuseppe Banfi had a relevant solo career (as J.B.Banfi) with three solo albums in a cosmic vein between 1978 and 1981 (the last two of these came on Klaus Schulze's IC label), while drummer Gnecchi has played in jazz groups and collaborated with PFM guitarist Franco Mussida in his first solo album, Racconti dalla tenda rossa, in 1991. Singer Claudio Canali has become a monk, unusual choice after the strong dialogue with a priest in the lyrics of Confessione.

In early 2004 Un Biglietto per l'Inferno box set was released to celebrate this group, including CD remastered versions of both official albums, a third CD with a live recording from 1974 and a bonus DVD including some video tracks of band members, interviews and audio cuts. A great product, and the first box set ever released to celebrate an Italian prog group! In 2009 three of the original members, Giuseppe Cossa and Mauro Gnecchi, under the production of Giuseppe Banfi and with help from other musicians, released a CD, Tra L'assurdo E La Ragione, as Biglietto per l'Inferno. Folk, including mostly reworkings of the band's old compositions.


  Studio albums

Biglietto Per L'Inferno (1974): 
1. Ansia 
2. Confessione 
3. Una Strana Regina 
4. Il Nevare 
5. L'Amico Suicida 
6. Confessione (strumentale)
Il Tempo Della Semina (1992): 
1. Il Tempo Della Semina 
2. Mente Sola-Mente 
3. Viva Lotta Pensa 
4. L'arte Sublime Di Un Giusto Regnare 
5. Solo Ma Vivo 
6. La Canzone Del Padre
Tra L'assurdo E La Ragione (2009):
1. Il Tempo Della Semina
2. Il Nevare
3. Tra L'assurdo E La Ragione
4. L'amico Suicida
5. L'arte Sublime Di Un Giusto Regnare
6. Una Strana Regina
7. Ansia
8. Confessione
9. Tarantella Integrale

Live album

Biglietto Per L'Inferno Live 1974 (2005):
1.Il tempo della Semina
2. Ansia
3-4. Confessione
5. Una strana Regina
6. Il Nevare
7. L'Amico suicida