Claudio Simonetti's GOBLIN
TICKET KAUFEN (EVENTIM)
IN DER MARKTHALLE
Goblin is an Italian progressive rock band known for their soundtrack work. They frequently collaborate with Dario Argento, most notably creating soundtracks for Profondo Rosso in 1975 and Suspiria in 1977. CD re-releases of their soundtracks have performed well, especially in Germany and Japan. Goblin returned with a series of live concerts in Europe in 2009 and in North America in 2013.
Initially recording as Cherry Five (they had done some live gigs as Oliver), their early work spawned one eponymous progressive rock record, and they were then called in to compose the soundtrack for Profondo Rosso. The band changed their name to Goblin, rewriting most of the score, originally written by Giorgio Gaslini including the famous main theme. The 1975 soundtrack album was a huge hit. After a reshuffle in their line-up, they put out an instrumental progressive rock album Roller, before working with Argento again for 1977’s Suspiria. Other film soundtracks and a concept album (Il Fantastico Viaggio Del Bagarozzo Mark) followed, then the score for the European version of George A. Romero’s 1978 Dawn of the Dead. In both this and Suspiria’s opening title sequences, they are credited as “The Goblins with Dario Argento”. Tracks 1, 2 and 7 from the European version are also in the American version of the film.
Despite their success, membership continued to be a revolving door, and the band also struggled to maintain their credibility. The remaining members continued to work on further soundtracks, and there was a partial reunification of three of the four band-members for Argento’s Tenebrae (1982) (the album was credited to the three band-members separately, not as Goblin). The last collaboration with the director took place in 2000, with the film Non ho sonno (Sleepless).
Between 1972 and 1973, Claudio Simonetti (keyboards) and Massimo Morante (guitars), aided by Fabio Pignatelli (bass guitar) and Walter Martino (drums), recorded some demo tapes using the name Oliver.
On a trip to London, while looking for contacts, the band bumped into Eddie Offord (then producer of Yes); after listening to a demo tape, the tycoon producer expressed interest and asked them to move to England. By then, Fabio Pignatelli had become a steady member, and the band found a regular drummer, Carlo Bordini, and an English lead vocalist (Clive Haynes). After many months of rehearsing, they returned to London while Offord was on tour with Yes in the US; after many performances and various attempts at striking deals with record houses, they were forced to go back to Italy, due to lack of funds.
Back home, they signed with Cinevox, and Clive Haynes was replaced by Tony Tartarini who had previously recorded with L’Uovo Di Colombo under the name Toni Gionta. The band’s name was changed to Cherry Five by the label, and according to Claudio Simonetti for no apparent reason, as the members themselves had intended to continue as “Oliver.” Whatever debate about the band’s name there may have existed, their first LP was titled Cherry Five. Cinevox Records was active mainly in soundtrack publishing. Due to the band’s peculiar sound, the band was frequently called to perform and arrange famous musicians’ compositions. This helped them better understand the world of soundtracks and the particular techniques required. Their final act as Cherry Five was to drop new drummer Carlo Bordiniand bring back Walter Martino on drums.
Success and soundtrack to controversial movie, 1975-78
At the beginning of 1975, the band began a cooperation with Giorgio Gaslini on the Profondorosso film project. The band replaced Martino (who went on to join the band Libra) with Agostino Marangolo (of the band Flea on the Honey/Flea/Etna) during this period. Martino recorded on all but two cuts of Profondo rosso.
By chance, after three or four days of recording, Gaslini left the film after a conflict with Dario Argento, so Argento decided to try the band’s hand at composing, giving them one night to write a score, and one day to record it. To distinguish this new release from their first LP which was just about to be marketed, the band changed their name again, this time to Goblin. Their success exceeded all expectations: more than one million copies sold, enjoying
52 weeks on the Italian hit charts and ranking first in both the singles and LP categories. It launched a highly successful period for the band, which came to an end in 1978 when the band split after the recording of Dario Argento’s Zombi (also known as Dawn of the Dead).
In 1976, they collaborated with Willy Brezza to compose the soundtrack to Perché si uccidono (the film was released in the US as “Percy is Killed”, but this was a mis-translation and there is no character even called Percy in the film). For the only time, Goblin used the name Il Reale Impero Britannico due to the controversial subject matter of the movie (drug abuse and addiction). Willy Brezza wrote the original soundtrack, and the remaining tracks were written by the band together with Fabio Frizzi. The following year they scored the Italian crime film The Heroin Busters (La via della droga), directed by Enzo G. Castellari, and starring Fabio Testi and David Hemmings.
Between 1978 and 1979, the band’s core musicians recruited many new members consecutively. Fabio Pignatelli, Agostino Marangolo, his brother Antonio Marangolo (a saxophonist who contributed to several albums) and nephew Carlo Pennisi (a session man who often played in place of Massimo Morante when he was absent) all worked together from 1980 to 1982 in the band, Flea on the Honey, which managed to record several LPs. Pignatelli took part in all the recordings, with Agostino Marangolo ranking lead for number of performances. The remaining members continued to work on further soundtracks, and there was a partial reunification for Argento’s Tenebrae (1982) (although each member of the band was credited separately, not as Goblin). Over time, it was three of the “founding fathers” (Pignatelli, Simonetti and Morante), plus Marongolo, who became synonymous with the name Goblin.
Reunion for Sleepless soundtrack, 2000
After 22 years of hiatus, in 2000, the group reformed to score the Dario Argento thriller Non ho sonno (Sleepless). The soundtrack was a great success and showed the group could still make great music, much to their fans’ delight. The group were scheduled to perform in Tarrytown, New York for the infamous Cult-Con, but failed to appear. Simonetti did however appear at the show and informed fans that old wounds resurfaced during their brief reunion.
With his horror theme tribute band, Daemonia (formed by Titta Tani, Bruno Previtali, Federico Amorosi, and Simonetti himself), he performed a nine-song set from the films of Dario Argento, and Goblin later officially disbanded.
Nevertheless, in 2005, with the release of Giovanni Aloisio’s official Goblin biography and the opening of their official website, Morante and Pignatelli reformed the group once again and with Marangolo and Guarini recorded the album Back to the Goblin – 2005 under the independent label BackToTheFudda. The album was available only through the official site and was not distributed in regular stores. It is also available on iTunes. New Goblin/Goblin Rebirth and the Goblin Keys, 2010-present New Goblin were scheduled to perform at Unsound Festival Kraków on 23 October 2010, consisting of Claudio Simonetti in the line-up, as well as Morante, Guarini, Bruno Previtali and Titta Tani. Essentially, it was three members of the classic lineup and two members of Simonetti’s other band, Daemonia (Previtali and Tani being the bassist and drummer, respectively, of that band).
In 2011, the monumental 450-page book, Goblin sette note in rosso (Goblin seven notes in red) was released, written by Fabio Capuzzo. It traces the full history of Goblin from 1973 to 2011 with a detailed analysis of all the albums and movies with music performed by Goblin (including all the works as session musicians). It also details full biographies, exclusive interviews and contains discographies and filmographies of the Italian composers who created scores for police, giallo and horror movies, and information about all the Italian rock bands with a role in movie soundtracks.
In 2011/2012 New Goblin (Morante, Guarini, Simonetti, Previtali and Tani) had an intense live activity around the world, including Japan (twice), Australia (twice) and New Zealand.
In April 2012, Claudio Simonetti and now Greater Toronto based Maurizio Guarini performed with drummer Bob Scott and guitarist Chris Gartner, in Shock Stock 2012 on 14 April 2012 as The Goblin Keys. On 24 June 2013, the New Goblin line-up announced their first-ever North American tour and under their original banner, Goblin, played 17 dates in October 2013, with Secret Chiefs 3 as the opening act.
Tour and Simonetti’s Goblin, 2013-present
Simonetti has since formed another incarnation of the band called Claudio Simonetti’s Goblin, which features him and the other members of his horror film theme cover group Daemonia. In February 2014 they began touring and playing complete scores live during screenings of the films Deep Red, Suspiria and Dawn of the Dead. In April 2014, the band was slated to tour, performing the score to Dawn of the Dead live throughout North America, but in July the tour was canceled. In June 2014 Claudio Simonetti’s Goblin released an album titled The Murder Collection, consisting of new, but faithful, versions of some of Goblin and Simonetti’s most well-known compositions.