Oct 18, 2017

RhoDeo 1742 Aetix

Hello, Fra Lippo Lippi is an 1855 dramatic monologue written by the Victorian poet Robert Browning which first appeared in his collection Men and Women. Throughout this poem, Browning depicts a 15th-century real-life painter, Filippo Lippi. The poem asks the question whether art should be true to life or an idealized image of life. The poem is written in blank verse, non-rhyming iambic pentameter.

Well this painter Filippo Lippi, has somehow escaped being made a film about, but a book has been written about him. He sure had a extraordinairy life, becoming an orphan early in life, picked up by the church becoming a priest age 16, leaving that save space age 28 ending up a slave 10 years later after being caught by pirates, but by then displaying his skill in art, picked upon witnessing artists painting at his previous monestry, he maneged have himself bought free, extending a career as a painter. Once Cosimo de' Medici had to lock him up in order to compel him to work, and even then the painter escaped by a rope made of his sheets. His escapades threw him into financial difficulties from which he did not hesitate to extricate himself by forgery. His life included many similar tales of lawsuits, complaints, broken promises and scandal. Somehow still close to church at age 48 he worked as a chaplain at a nonnery, 4 years later working on another madonna he fell in love with the 21 year old model Lucrezia Buti (a novice), he took her to his home impregnated her, much to the dismay of the nuns, he had another child with her and age 63 he was poisoned for refusing to marry Lucrezia after getting special dispensation by the Pope Paul II (likely by the 'dishonoured' Buti family).

I wonder how many 15th century orphans made this much out of their lives ?

Today's artists  are a band from Norway. They had several hits in the 1980s, such as "Shouldn't Have to Be Like That", "Everytime I See You" and "Light and Shade", and recorded a new album as late as 2002. The band name is derived from Robert Browning's poem about the Renaissance painter Filippo Lippi..........N'Joy

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Fra Lippo Lippi was founded in Nesodden, Norway in 1978 by bassist Rune Kristoffersen, drummer Morten Sjøberg and keyboardist Bjørn Sorknes. Two years prior, the group was rehearsing under the name Genetic Control. They released a 4-track instrumental EP that year.

In 1981, Sorknes left as the band was writing songs for their debut album. The band, which then consisted of the duo of Kristoffersen and Sjøberg, recorded and released In Silence under Uniton Records. In 1982, Per Øystein Sørensen came on board as the band's lead vocalist for their second album Small Mercies.

Just as the band were preparing a follow-up album, Sjøberg and keyboardist Øyvind Kvalnes departed at the prospect of giving up their day jobs for the uncertain careers as professional musicians, leaving Kristoffersen and Sørensen as the only two members. Songs was released that year to positive reviews, and 5,000 copies were sold in Norway without the aid of singles or promotion.

Months after Songs was released, the band was signed to Virgin Records. Songs was re-recorded and remixed for the international market in 1986. This version of the album also included a new song titled "Everytime I See You". In 1987, the band recorded and released their follow-up album Light and Shade in Los Angeles, CA, with the producing aid of Walter Becker. Shortly after the album's release, they were dropped by Virgin Records.

The band's popularity in the Philippines prompted them to tour the country in 1988. In Manila, their shows sold out six times over two weekends. The band continued to record and release further albums independently, starting with 1989's The Colour Album. A live album titled Crash of Light was released in the Philippines in 1990. In 1995, the band released their first compilation album The Best of Fra Lippo Lippi '85–'95. Selected tracks originally from Songs, Light and Shade and The Colour Album were re-recorded. Two years later, another compilation was released in the Philippines. The Virgin Years - Greatest Hits featured tracks directly licensed from Virgin Records.

In 2002, Kristoffersen retired from the band to focus on his record label Rune Grammofon, and the band released In a Brilliant White which contains mostly Sorensen's works and was initially produced and released only in the Philippines. The first single "Later" became a hit in the Philippines even before the album was released, hence EMI Philippines (now PolyEast Records) decided to produce a full-length album with it. It also features a collaboration single "Wish We Were Two" featuring Per Sorensen and Kyla. This album was also released in Norway eventually, following releases over other countries in Asia.

On September 2009, Sørensen released Våge, his first solo album and his first-ever work in Norwegian. An English version titled Master of Imperfection was released in 2012

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Most of Fra Lippo Lippi's catalog is own by Virgin, but leader Rune Kristoffersen still holds the rights to the group's first two LPs, In Silence (1981) and Small Mercies (1983). Both are integrally reissued here as part of a CD filled to the rim, the first release on Rune Arkiv, a sub-label of Kristoffersen's own, Rune Grammofon. The rift between these two albums and Fra Lippo Lippi's later more mainstream outings has been stressed elsewhere. As is, this collection (which also includes two B-side tracks from 1982, "In a Little Room" and "An Idea") offers a nice epochal slab of Gothic-pop.

Yet another facet of the dark-punk sound was exhibited by Norway's Fra Lippo Lippi. The usual characteristics are there: bass-prominence, cold atmospheres and tribal drums. But Fra Lippo Lippi's sound runs deeper than that. Their songs seem as if they come out of a catacomb, out of some alternate Middle-Ages dimension.
"In Silence" is built around a delicate melody carried by the bass and drums, while the guitar diffracts through mirror melodies of it's own, chanting vocals appear here and there in the background - as if to express the menace that plagues the medieval land, while the singer's ghostly baritone enhances the cursed surroundings.

"Recession" goes even deeper, 4 minutes of bass-heavy morbid monotony, slow besetting ritualistic drums and faint vocals, for an elegiac melody to finally appear through doom-laden synthesizers (as if a spectral presence is taking over), only for the song to end as it began with it's minimalistic cold-wave patterns. "The Inside Veil" goes for a very effective slow/ fast dynamic and contrasting feel between the anaemic and the epic; "I Know" goes for a symphonic coda, and in "Quiet" a humble synth line underlines the singer's feeble cry.

Without a doubt, the album reaches it's apex with "Lost", that starts as a cosmic black hole, then tribal drums kick in and the dark priest chants his ritual, the medium vortex appears courtesy of the choral vox, sub-symphonic keyboards and ecstatic guitar, only for the ceremony to end without a logical conclusion, just everything fading quietly in the brooding horizon. If Joy Division never had existed this would have been a groundbreaking album.

Fra Lippo Lippi - In Silence + Small Mercies   (flac  394mb)

Fra Lippo Lippi - In Silence
01 Out Of The Ruins 3:17
02 A Moment Like This 3:34
03 In Silence 4:37
04 Recession 6:18
05 The Inside Veil 4:24
06 I Know 4:27
07 Quiet 3:34
08 Lost 7:30

Fra Lippo Lippi created the blueprint for the band they'd eventually become on Small Mercies. On this album, the Norwegian group's roots in gothic rock have yet to be severed, especially with the funereal percussion, grim basslines, and sinister vocals on "Barrier." Nevertheless, the melodic, atmospheric keyboards that linger throughout the record would later shape Fra Lippo Lippi's trademark piano-based new wave pop. In fact, the second track on the album, "A Small Mercy," is the genesis of one of Fra Lippo Lippi's future hits, "Everytime I See You." The songs on Small Mercies are moody and depressing, but they're appropriate for rainy days. Like Joy Division, Fra Lippo Lippi were able to crawl into life's bleakest recesses and exit with music that emitted an ominous beauty. On "The Treasure," mournful piano, sullen bass, and hypnotic drums illustrate the story of a crumbling relationship; it is stunningly gorgeous. The wintry "Some Things Never Change" and the picturesque instrumental "French Painter Dead" contribute to the record's somber elegance. If Ian Curtis of Joy Division hadn't hung himself, he would've recorded an album like Small Mercies. Mellow and relentlessly sad, it sounds oppressive in the light of day, but it glows in the dark.

Fra Lippo Lippi - Small Mercies

01 Some Things Never Change 4:55
02 A Small Mercy 3:53
03 Barrier 3:33
04 Sense Of Doubt 5:37
05 The Treasure 5:03
06 Slow Sway 4:11
07 Now And Forever 4:45
08 French Painter Dead 3:51
09 In a Little Room 2:58
10 An Idea 2:42

Fra Lippo Lippi - In Silence + Small Mercies   (ogg    166mb  )

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Fra Lippo Lippi shed their skin on Songs. On Songs, Fra Lippo Lippi leave their gothic past behind, uncovering the pop heart beneath their morose perspective on life. The pulsating new wave beat and sunny chorus of "Come Summer" are exhilarating; "Come Summer" is the opening track on Songs, and it quickly establishes Fra Lippo Lippi's newfound appetite for upbeat melodies. Sad tunes still abound, but vocalist Per Oystein Sorensen expands the emotional scope of the lyrics. Instead of simply sounding depressed, Sorensen evolves into a soulful storyteller; his empathic voice vividly captures the joy and sorrow of the songs' lyrics. The listener can easily feel sympathy for the man pining for his late lover in "Shouldn't Have to Be Like That" and the woman who drowns herself in "Leaving." Musically, Fra Lippo Lippi proceed in the direction hinted at on their previous album, Small Mercies. Piano and synthesizer started becoming essential to Fra Lippo Lippi's style on Small Mercies, and they're promoted to a larger role on Songs. "Shouldn't Have to Be Like That" is elevated with uplifting synthesized hooks. On "The Distance Between Us," crestfallen piano buttresses the agony in Sorensen's voice; the moving keyboards on "Coming Home" sculpt the lyrics' profound resignation. On Songs, Fra Lippo Lippi have basically found themselves, and it's a discovery that is engaging and moving from beginning to end.

Fra Lippo Lippi - Songs (flac 242mb)

01 Come Summer 3:44
02 Shouldn't Have To Be Like That 3:54
03 Even Tall Trees Bend 3:55
04 Just Like Me 4:47
05 Leaving 3:50
06 Regrets 3:48
07 Crash Of Light 4:14
08 The Distance Between Us 4:10
09 Coming Home 3:44

Fra Lippo Lippi - Songs   (ogg  87mb)

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"Let's celebrate a brand new day," proclaims vocalist Per Oystein Sorensen on "Crazy Wisdom," and that statement easily sums up Fra Lippo Lippi's surprisingly smooth evolution from gothic rock to reflective, jazzy pop on Light and Shade. Fra Lippo Lippi already began shedding their black clothes on Songs, but Light and Shade has the breezy air and sunny disposition of a walk in the park. Released during a decade wherein yuppies stressed the importance of work and money over love and leisure, Light and Shade mainly focuses on life's simple pleasures. It is an uplifting, stylish LP that swings like a pendulum between joy and sorrow. The fetching "Angel" soars with a sad yet hummable chorus; it features some of Fra Lippo Lippi's most charming piano work. "Some People" recalls the Beatles with its singalong melodies. Much of Light and Shade resembles the late ‘80s efforts of China Crisis, especially its relaxed, mellow grooves and touches of jazz. The lyrics unfold like short stories. In the moving "Beauty and Madness," Sorensen sings about a homeless man and wonders if anybody will ever see his inner worth. Sorensen manages to avoid being either saccharine or preachy because of the sincerity and soulfulness in his voice. On Light and Shade, Fra Lippo Lippi part the curtains and let the sunshine beam through the window.

Fra Lippo Lippi - Light And Shade   (flac 266mb)

 01 Angel 5:11
 02 Freedom 5:18
 03 Don't Take Away That Light 4:36
 04 Beauty and Madness 4:18
 05 Home 4:43
 06 Light and Shade 4:49
 07 Some People 4:26
 08 Crazy Wisdom 4:35
 09 Stardust Motel 4:49
 10 Indifference 5:40

Fra Lippo Lippi - Light And Shade   (ogg  110mb)

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February and March see the recording of their fifth album "The Colour Album" at the famous Rainbow Studio in Oslo. The producer this time is another Swede, Johan Ekelund. A different approach was consciously taken by the duo in the production of this album.. resulting to mixed reviews especially here in the Philippines. It was definitely, different - with a rougher edge.. But still the songs are catchy but back to their melancholic tendencies.."The Colour Album" is cracking and there are some incredibly catchy tracks on there such as "Mother's Little Soldier", which was a single in Europe, "You Bring Me Joy" and "Count On Me". There are some nice downtempo tracks too such as "Childhood Days", which is still pretty haunting to listen to even after all these years.

Fra Lippo Lippi - The Colour Album   (flac 238mb)

01 A Little Rain Must Fall 04:06
02 Mothers Little Soldier 03:38
03 Under the Same Sun 03:52
04 You Bring Me Joy 03:43
05 Love Is a Lonely Harbour 05:10
06 Count on Me 04:09
07 ABC 04:08
08 Childhood Days 06:01
09 Into the Blue 04:17

Fra Lippo Lippi - The Colour Album   (ogg  94mb)

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Anonymous said...

In case you're interested, your file of the Songs LP doesn't match what you have listed (also, the tracks seem to be out of order.)

However, what you have posted is actually the preferable of the two options. What you're showing (and have scans for) is the tracklisting for the revised, second edition, which was partly re-recorded, but what you posted appears to be the original (and superior) 9 track version of the album.

Hoping you have the remainder of the catalog for a second posting. A criminally underrated band.

Rho said...

Hello Anon, yes didn't check the listings-usually unnecessary, this btw is a vinyl-rip, and no this is all their eighties work i posted here, next week another band..

Anonymous said...

I thought it sounded like vinyl (only listened to a little of it so far), but again, this was a great post regardless and thank you, because the CD of this version is extremely hard to come by now, even in the blogosphere.

Cass said...

Most excellent post, Rho! Very many thanks :)