Premiata Forneria Marconi is arguably the most popular and  representative band of the Italian progressive rock groups.
P.F.M.'s genesis goes back to the 1960's during the beat club era with a group called- "Quelli" ("Those ones"), which composed of:  Pino Favarolo (guitars),  Teo Teocoli (vocals), drummer Franz Di Cioccio  and Giorgio Piazza at bass. They were  later joined by keyboardist Flavio Premoli and Alberto Radius and Franco Mussida on guitars.
The Quelli  built up success in Italy by  covering  foreign songs and because  of their musical skills, they were in-demand as session musicians.
Teo Teocoli left the group in 1970,  to work in a cabaret. Radius left to form the Formula Tre and finally  Di Cioccio left for a few months to play with Nuova Equipe 84.
At the end of 1970 Di Cioccio, Mussida, Premoli and Piazza formed the Premiata Forneria Marconi; (Sometimes shortened to PFM ), the name came from the place where they played, an old pastry shop in Brescia, Italy. Shortly afterwards the group was joined by Mauro Pagani (ex Dalton).
The band debuted in  1971 at the Lyric Theater in Milan, supporting Yes'  first Italian tour. Showcasing their musicality, they garnished much-needed experience... people started to take notice, including  Mogol (one of the most famous Italian songwriters and producers), for the label Number One and  decided to produce PFM's first album.
With PFM supporting bands such as: Black Widow, Deep Purple and Procol Harum, their debut album-  `Storia di un minuto' was influenced, by the English style. The rock music included  classical tones and Mediterranean influences.
The album was well received and influenced many Italian Prog bands.
In the 1972, the band released their  second album-  `Per un amico', that illustrated  the group maturing and polishing  their complex arrangements.
`Photos of ghosts',  the bands next album (and my favorite), went to the top of the charts in Italy and even entered the charts in the US.
In the 1974 `L'isola di niente', showcased  bassist Jean Patrick Djivas in replacement of Giorgio Piazza (who went to the  Crystals). The album, released out of Italy with the name `The world became the world', was the most sophisticated album to date. PFM toured the US supporting bands such as: Poco, Santana, Beach Boys and others. The tour gave the band a live album- `Live in U.S.A.' (titled- `Cook' in  Italy).
When Bernardo Lanzetti, ended his relationship with  Acqua Fragile in 1975, he joined PFM to release- `Chocolate Kings', an album that slowed their growing popularity in the US.  After  touring  in Japan, Mauro Pagani left the band.
`Jet Lag',  released in  1977, was a more  jazz-rock oriented album and included guest musician-  violinist Gregory Bloch. In the same  year, they released a collection of there best work- `Antologia'.
In  1978, the album `Passpartù',  was released (lyrics by  pop songwriter Gianfranco Manfredi). The album was a disappointment.  Shortly,  Lanzetti left  the group for the solo career. Violinist Lucio Fabbri joined the band.
In 1979, PFM (with Roberto Colombo on keyboards), went on  tour with Fabrizio De André (one of most famous Italian pop singers). They recorded the tour and released a live  LP- `De André e P.F.M. in concerto',  with solid success, and followed up with `De André e P.F.M. in concerto - Vol. 2'.
The eighties showed a different musical direction for PFM. `Suonare suonare', released in 1980  (like Genesis' `Lamb Lies Down on Broadway), showcased rough city atmospheres; the tossed away their symphony rock roots.
With Flavio Premoli leaving the band, the next album continued the direction as the last album, hence `Come ti va in riva alla città' was released.
In the 1982 the group  toured and produced another  live album- `Performance' and then released a new studio album- `Pfm ? Pfm !', which contained a single that garnish good success- "Capitani coraggiosi".
After a long break, PFM released `Miss Baker',  in 1987. The music is closer to  dance music than to rock.
After little success Premiata Forneria Marconi stopped recording and touring, though there was no declaration of a break-up. More best collection albums are released in the next several years.
Ten years after the last album,  Di Cioccio, Djivas, Mussida and Premoli, got together  and promoted at the end of the 1996 a 4 CD boxed set which documented their  live activity from the 1971 to the 1981 (`PFM - 10 anni live 1971-81').  Franz Di Cioccio released a book about h the history of the band (`PFM - Due volte nella vita', Ed. Mondadori), and the group  reunited again and recorded a new concept album, released on April 24 1997- `Ulisse'. The album concentrates on  more of a  pop than  old P.F.M. style, but it was well-received. During the  Italian "Ulisse Tour" which occurred from the  end of 1997 to the begin of 1998, PFM  recorded a new live album: ` (il Best)'.
       PFM's latest album is- `Serendipity' released in  2000.  Their 2001 tour line-up is:  Franz Di Cioccio, vocals; Franco Mussida, guitars; Flavio Premoli, keyboards; Patrick Djivas, bass; Roberto Gualdi, drums; Damiano Della Torre, keyboards.
       PFM  had to cancel their  USA performance at the NearFest 2001, a multi-artist prog festival that is held every summer in Pennsylvania, due to a bad injury suffered by Flavio Premoli.
       In 2002  PFM, has returned to their finest progressive form and released a live double CD  album from Japan which (IMHO) is excellent.

Discography  (incomplete)

Storia Di Un Minuto     Numero Uno, 1972
Per Un Amico      Numero Uno, 1972
Photos of Ghosts        Manticore/Numero Uno, 1973
L'Isola Di Niente          Numero Uno, 1974
Thw World Became the World      Manticore/Numero Uno, 1974
Cook/Live in  USA        Manticore/Numero Uno, 1974
Chocolate Kings   Asylum/Numero Uno, 1976
Jet Lag         Asylum/Numero Uno, 1977
Passpartù    Zoo 1978
Suonare Suonare (Italy, 80)
Numero Uno, ZPLN 34140   (Italy, 81)
Dischi Numero Uno,    (2LPs, Italy, 82)
Dischi Numero Uno,    (Italy, 84)
Miss Baker   (Italy, 87)
10 Anni Live - 1971-1981      BMG/Ricordi, 96)
Ulisse          RTI Music, 97)
A Celebration Live         (Italy, 97)
Live compilation    (UK, 98) (il Best) (Italy, 98)
Serendipity                                  (Italy  2000)
PFM LIve in Japan                        (Sony 2002)