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Clearlight Forever Blowing Bubbles album cover
3.81 | 95 ratings | 12 reviews | 20% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1975

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Chanson (4:45)
2. Without Words (7:40)
3. Way (8:15)
4. Ergotrip (6:24)
5. Et pendant ce temps la (4:42)
6. Narcisse et Goldmund (2:39)
7. Jungle bubbles (2:42)

Total time 37:07

Bonus tracks on 2000 & 2014 reissues :
8. Sweet absinthe (7:48)
9. Without words (Mellotron remix) (7:43)
10. Flute aquatique (2:45)

Extra bonus tracks on 2014 remaster:
11. Overture (7:10)
12. Vibrato (7:56)

Line-up / Musicians

- Cyrille Verdeaux / grand piano, harpsichord, organ, synth, Mellotron, glockenspiel, congas, gong, production & mixing

- Joel Dugrenot / lead vocals, bass
- Brigitte Roy / vocals (6)
- Amanda Parsons / chorus vocals
- Ann Rosenthal / chorus vocals
- Jean-Claude D'Agostini / electric & 12-string guitars, flute
- David Cross / acoustic & electric violins
- Bruno Verdeaux / synthesizer, congas
- Bob Boisadan / e-piano, organ, synth
- François Jeanneau / synth, flute, soprano sax
- Chris Stassinopoulos / drums, congas
- Gilbert Artman / percussion, vibraphone
- Christian Boulé / guitar (8)

Releases information

Artwork: Jean-Claude Michel

LP Virgin ‎- 840 098 (1975, France)

CD Mantra ‎- MANTRA 045 (1990, France)
CD Clearlight Music ‎- C8M-002 (2000, US) With 3 bonus tracks
CD Gonzo Multimedia ‎- HST209CD (2014, UK) Remastered by Jon Hughes with 5 bonus tracks

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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CLEARLIGHT Forever Blowing Bubbles ratings distribution

(95 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(20%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(42%)
Good, but non-essential (32%)
Collectors/fans only (5%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

CLEARLIGHT Forever Blowing Bubbles reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
3 stars 3,5 stars really!!

If the debut album was simply stunning, unfortunately, one cannot expect this sophomore record to be quite as successful. Out with Cyrille Verdeaux is a real band (with Christian Boule already present on Symphony II) as well as a real star guest list including David Cross (KC), Gilbert Artman (Lard Free) and the Northettes (of Hatfield and National Health fame). But all of this does not save this record from paling with its predecessor; although it is clear Verdeaux did not try to duplicate his first record either, which is a sign that they were real artistes.

Also released on the (then-reliable) Virgin label, it contains unfortunately some very cheesy and embarrassing bubble sounds that ruin an otherwise interesting record if you make abstraction of the opening and second last tracks, which are sung and are not particular well at it. Clearly the centrepieces are the highlight of the album taking you back a bit to the debut album, but without making a copy/paste either. Without words and ergotrip being the better tracks, IMHO, but you can also safely put your money on Way and Pendant Ce Temps-Là (in the meantime) which are also superb. A rather stunning closing track with full electronics-délire does end the album on a high note.

Not quite as essential than Symphony, this recode is nevertheless still a great moment, despite its flaws, and is much worth your investigations.

Review by philippe
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Clearlight is a mesmerising French prog band led by the piano / keyboarder Cyrille Verdeaux. Clearlight represents the pinnacle of the French prog rock scene (with Lard Free). "Forever Blowing Bubbles" is a collection of highlighted soundscapes featuring extended / short tracks, mainly instrumental with a dominant of piano /guitar /sax combination. Each composition delivers its own personal atmosphere. The album starts with a kind of pop / soft ballad partially sung in French. It contains very romantic piano / violin parts then we have a fast, stunning technical guitar break. The second track begins with an interesting melodic repetitive piano part combined to experimental / electronic "cosmic" arrangements. It finally turns (as in the previous track) to a piano based line mixed with a freaky & powerful improvised guitar solo. The two following tracks are my favourite. "Way" is a celestial, strange tune for piano / wha wha guitar and voices in the distance..."Ergotrip" is a catchy mental projection to an other galaxy, with lot of "cosmic" noises, psychedelic flute part, melodic piano lines followed by technical / emotional guitar/ sax solos... An excellent symphonic / "cosmic" rock manifestation!!
Review by oliverstoned
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Following "Symphony", here's the second album from Clearlight, and clearly the most accomplished effort from this major french band. Delightful Tim Blake's-like synthe, incredible cosmic guitar by the unknown Jean-Claude D'Agostini - another "french Hillage"- while Christian Boulé appears on the fantastic bonus "Sweet absinthe" (Clearlight 888 CD remaster). Cyril Verdeaux adds a unique symphonic touch to the whole thanks to his piano work. Joel Dugrenot on bass, Gilbert Artman on drums and percussions, David Cross on violin are also here, among others. There are also some tensed moments with magmaian influences, which alternate with space cosmic flights. The music is dense and inspired, with psychedelic effects reminding of german prog (the music accelerates as if the tape was played too fast and other kinds of shifts). The bonus on the CD release are wonderful -especially "Sweet absinthe"-, making this album a cosmic rock absolute masterpiece.
Review by Tom Ozric
4 stars The French ensemble 'Clearlight' was/is a project centered around keyboard whizz Cyrille Verdeaux, with many guests, both English and French. 'Forever Blowing Bubbles' being an amazing album, featuring (to name but a few) - Joel Dugrenot (on Bass, ex-Zao), David Cross (Violin, ex King Crimson), Christian Boule on Hillage-like cosmic guitar, Amanda Parsons and Ann Rosenthal (a.k.a. The Northettes, from Canterbury proggers 'Hatfield and the North') and Gilbert Artman (percussion, from his Electronic-cum-Krautrock band 'Lard Free'). This alone suggests the diversity of sounds on this exciting symphonic space-rock trip, and somehow, everyone gets a chance to shine. Starting in fine form with 'Chanson', a dynamic track with shifting moods, it features Cross's searing violin and the Northettes on dreamy vox. 'Without Words' is a track which gradually builds into a super-sonic jam with Boule's (assuming it's Boule - there's 2 guitarists here and Boule has worked with Hillage) blistering guitar work. 'Way' is another Dugrenot composition, and is reminiscent of the material he composed in Zao ('Satanyia' and 'Reinna'), his zeuhl-like bass playing, mysterious moods, another searing violin solo (who was it that said Cross couldn't play violin ??) and abrupt tempo changes throughout. A 'way' excellent track !!

'Ergo Trip' has a bubbly synth intro to it, with the main section featuring violin, guitar and synth madness, and the piano melodies holding all the cosmic chaos together. 'Et Pendant Ce Temps La' is built around a repetitive riff, with some lead mellotron lines - the track is almost hypnotic. 'Narcisse et Goldmund' features vocals sung beautifully in French by Brigitte Roy, with some mellotron choirs toward the end. 'Jungle Bubbles' is a bubbling synth-fest - perhaps more for fun, rather than 'serious' composition, but rounds off the album wonderfully.

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars This is a worthy follow-up to the amazing debut but it's not nearly as good in my opinion. Again we get some great guests helping Cyrille out including Joel Dugrenot (ZAO) on bass, David Cross (KING CRIMSON) on violin and Gilbert Artman (LARD FREE) on drums.The guitar is often in the same style as Steve Hillage's playing and i'm sure that's not by accident as Steve played on the debut.

"Chanson" opens with bubbly synths as piano and faint vocals take over. It kicks in with guitar around a minute. It settles right down with reserved vocals, flute and piano as these contrasts continue. Violin before 4 minutes. "Without Words" again opens with bubbly synths then it turns mellow but it does start to build. A much better sound 3 minutes in as the guitar arrives and lights it up. It settles back before 6 minutes. "Way" opens with laid back drums and piano. It builds before 3 minutes with violin then settles back with bass and drums. Piano joins in then guitar 4 minutes in.This is really good. It speeds up 7 minutes in to the end.

"Ergotrip" has these spacey, bubbly synths for over a minute then the piano takes over. Drums and guitar join in.The guitar leads after 3 minutes then the violin joins in.The piano is prominant late. "Et Pendant Ce Temps La" opens with these powerful wind-like sounds. Bass, drums and piano then take over.The mellotron stands out the best on this track. "Narcisse Et Goldmund" features female vocals including Amanda Parsons in a pastoral setting. It ends beautifully. "Jungle Bubbles" has lots of synths and percussion. It ends in an experimental manner.

I think it's worth 4 stars but I would start with the debut if you want to check CLEARLIGHT out.

Review by Warthur
3 stars The third Clearlight album (if you count Delired Cameleon Family) shows the influence of a range of acts from the Virgin stable, but incorporates their sounds into an intriguing and original vision. Old pals Gong are of course a big influence, with many of the more guitar-dominated heavy sections reminiscent of the tripped-out instrumentals on You, whilst Way opens with a Robert Wyatt-influenced vocal section before developing (as Ergotrip does) into a frenzied crescendo dominated by Zeuhlish rhythms. Meanwhile, gentle songs like Narcisse et Goldmund add a medieval folk twist to proceedings. By the time the concluding synthesiser experiment of Jungle Bubbles is reached, the listener has been taken on a fast-paced tour of the weirder end of the prog world as it existed in 1975, but may be left wondering just where precisely Clearlight's heart lies.
Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars After his experimental work on ''Delired Cameleon Family'' Cyrille Verdeaux would regather Clearlight in 1975 for a second album on Virgin, entitled ''Forever blowing bubbles''.By the time the official line-up consisted of Cyrille Verdeaux on piano/keyboards, Bob Boisadan on electric piano/synthesizer, Jean-Claude d'Agostini on guitars/flute/sax, Christos Stapinopoulos on drums and Joël Dugrenot on bass/lead voices.However there are plenty of guest participants in the album like ex-King Crimson's David Cross on violin, Christian Boulé on guitar, Gilbert Artman on drums/percussion and Bruno Verdeaux on synthesizer and congas along with a couple of female singers.

This album is pretty much on par with ''Clearlight symphony'', maybe with a more pronounced jazzy flavor at moments, but still with plenty of Classical influences and intense, spacey soundscapes.What is really different from Clearlight's debut is the heavy amount of chaotic, Fusion-esque workouts, where the complex guitars of d'Agostini meet the electric piano of Boisadan and the heavy Mellotron of Cyrille Verdeaux.Still the music remains pretty much balanced between symphonic references, often colored with soft piano interludes and melodic guitar breaks or even some nice flute work, jazzy interludes with frenetic guitars and impressive executions on the rhythm section and cosmic explorations with synthesizers in evidence.They do sound pretty close to compatriots CARPE DIEM, but Clearlight (maybe along with GONG) were masters on producing somekind of Space Fusion, led by the distortions on guitars and the trully convincing synth drives over the sound of primordial analog keyboards.The odd violin and sax performances of David Cross and Jean-Claude d'Agostini strengthen further this unique flavor, but Cyrille Verdeaux'es orchestral background is still evident in plenty of the contained pieces, much in an early KING CRIMSON style with the Mellotron as the leading instrument.

Solid and at times trully demanding album.The amount of chaotic instrumental battles might be a bit disturbing, but the result is no less than intricate and satisfying.Plenty of reissues with additional material appear in the market.Strongly recommended to fans of Space, Symphonic and Jazz Rock...3.5 stars.

Latest members reviews

4 stars Clearlight and its mastermind, the keyboard all-rounder Cyrille Verdeaux, defined his trademark sound and flavour with the two first albums - textures of keyboards, guitars, sometims strings and brass instruments borrowing from fusion, classical music and progressive rock. From progressive rock, ... (read more)

Report this review (#2504017) | Posted by sgtpepper | Tuesday, February 9, 2021 | Review Permanlink

3 stars My first venture into Clearlight. Maybe I should have started with their debut album..... but here I go. I have seen some references to this band in some Canterbury scene bios. So I became curious and wanted a piece of the action for myself. I also happens to like the French prog rock scene ... (read more)

Report this review (#261085) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Saturday, January 16, 2010 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Clearlight's 1975 album "Forever Blowing Bubbles" hosts a great and promising array of musicians, with the keyboard wizard Cyrille Verdeaux leading the pack. Christian Boulé is also featured quite prominently, and his guitar sound is, as others mentioned, very similar to Steve Hillage's (GONG) tr ... (read more)

Report this review (#112264) | Posted by OGTL | Thursday, February 15, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This is an absolutely stunning followup to the stunning self-titled debut. The music follows pretty much in the direction of the first which would be a highly varied and densely textured symphonic prog, not so much because of metric changes and reversals but in the evolving and accumulating d ... (read more)

Report this review (#53249) | Posted by | Monday, October 24, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Clearlight returns with a new album which provides the listener with some fine symphonic prog rock songs. The first song has some cheesy vocals, but after that song it becomes much better. This french ensemble plays so well that i can't stop listening to it. Moreover, this ensemble offers a ri ... (read more)

Report this review (#39430) | Posted by Dan Yaron | Thursday, July 14, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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