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Capsicum Red

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Formed in Treviso, Italy, in 1970, Capsicum Red were destined to become one of the era's most adventurous (albeit shortlived) bands, although few people could have guessed that from listening to their earliest releases. Signing to Bla Bla, the band issued their first single, the delightfully pop-flavored "Ocean"/"She's A Stranger", early the following year and promptly scored a hit - intriguingly, but certainly successfully, Bla Bla promoted Capsicum Red as a British import! "Tarzan"/"Shangri-La", the band's second single, was similarly styled (and similarly successful), and it was 1973 before Capsicum Red truly revealed their musical intentions, across an astonishing debut album. Appunti per un'idea fissa was unrelentingly progressive, layered with classical overtones - among them a 15 minute interpretation of Beethoven's Pathetique piano sonata - but also punctuated by the band's own gripping songwriting. Unfortunately, the stylistic shift was too vast for the group's proven audience. Appunti per un'idea fissa sank like a stone and, by the end of the year, Capsicum Red had folded. Canzian promptly formed a new band, Pooh, and launched an immediate (and lucrative) return to the pop-based glories of early Capsicum Red; bassist Paolo Steffan later resurfaced as one half of the country rock duo Genova & Steffan. ~ Dave Thompson



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