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LIVE 1974


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Contraction Live 1974 album cover
3.06 | 11 ratings | 2 reviews | 0% 5 stars

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Live, released in 2009

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. We Made It (3:37)
2. Chat Bruinne / Star-Child (5:14)
3. Solid Shine (1:53)
4. Le temps fuit comme une ombre (9:08)
5. Trois ou Quatre (5:37)
6. 42 Nord (1:46)
7. Pixieland (3:23)
8. Sagesse (3:22)
9. La bourse ou la vie (17:48)


10. Sagesse (demo) (3:27)

Line-up / Musicians

Yves Laferrière - bass
Christiane Robichaud - vocals
Robert Lachapelle - keys
Robert Stanley - guitar
Rawn Bankley - guitar
Denis Farmer - drums

Releases information

Montreal's Studio Tempo Sessions winter of 1974, in order to participate in CKVL-FM's radio series "Performances".

Issued by ProgQuébec as MPM33

Thanks to Sean Trane for the addition
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CONTRACTION Live 1974 ratings distribution

(11 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(0%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(10%)
Good, but non-essential (90%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

CONTRACTION Live 1974 reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
3 stars 3.5 stars really!!!

It is the unearthing of such archives that renders our 00's so endearing to this proghead and I can never thank enough Sean & Stephen for creating their label. Indeed if Contraction was a central part of Quebec's prog scene, their production of only two studio albums didn't show it as clearly as VEBB's huge line-up (sharing a few Contraction members) was. Soo finding a radio broadcast that took place between their two albums' release is one small miracle and will make for a legit third Contraction album, even if there are only four previously unreleased tracks on it.

Using the band's debut album's back cover, as front artwork for this live album, ProgQuebec chose the sensible way as most of the tracks are from that album, anyway, but it's too bad there are not more pictures of them live (except one in their second album's reissue). . Soo end of Jan 74, live in Studio Tempo and aired a few days later on a Montreal radio station (amazingly enough, not the famous CHOM-FM), these tapes laid forgotten for 35 years. The group was closing a Gentle Giant double-header, so most likely the GG broadcast is lying around somewhere too. Please not that Contraction is a sextet here, when they claimed an octet (and more) on the first studio albums.

However what strikes is that not only is the sound excellent, but Contraction's music was even better live than in the studio, being more energetic and having another life on stage. After the nowhere-else-available slow-evolving We Made It (most likely from the English version of their debut album) and the more up-lifting Chat Bruine (Star Child probably being the English version) Contraction surely builds in intensity. When nearing the two successive previously-unreleased tracks, it's probably not hard to guess that Solid Shine was probably a left-over from the English version of the debut, while the fantastic 9-mins Le Temps Fuit Comme Une Ombre is a real gift, the closing section even having an Allman's Whipping Post feel. The group then returns to the French version of their debut and send three faithful versions of 3 Ou 4, 42 Nord and Pixieland. Then onto another previously unreleased track, close to country music, but the real gift of the album is an almost finished version of La Bourse Ou La Vie, the 17-mins epic that graces their second album. a slightly different version than the studio version, but what a way to finish the broadcast. Fantastic stuff!!! Has been added another track, a bonus studio and instrumental version of Sagesse, played in its sung version just before the epic, but offering a slightly less country-like atmosphere and more Classic-influenced in its instrumental version ? there are still scats from Robichaud.

While I wouldn't call this album as essential as their studio counterparts, it's clear that this Live album is almost as important to confirmed fans.. Hopefully the next Contraction- related album that ProgQuebec releases is Frank Dervieux's Dimension M, because in terms of bei,ng essential, that one caps it all off, from those unearthed Quebec gems that have yet to find a Cd release. In the meantime, we get to sink our teth in this juicy piece of music.

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars "During the Winter of 1974, CKVL-FM presented a Progressive Rock concert series entitled "Performances", recorded live at Studio Tempo in Montreal.That night, we shared the bill with the British group GENTLE GIANT. It was a memorable evening. Due to technical problems having delayed the English group's concert,we only began to play at around 1:00 AM in the morning, in a state of advanced fatigue !" I really enjoyed their studio album called "La Bourse Ou La Vie" in fact I would rate it better than this live release and I noticed that Hugues has the same feelings. It's not that this live performance isn't a good one, but I do have issues with it especially early on. Christiane the singer reminds me a little of Joni Mitchell and she sings in French and English during this concert. My problems with the early part of this concert is that she seems to get show-cased. It's all about the vocals until the fifth track, and that's disappointing because I love the instrumental work of this band which seems to be more the focus on the studio album I own.

"We Made It" is one of those songs with the focus on the vocals but we do get some nice relaxed guitar led sections. "Chat Bruinne / Star-Child" is another mellow tune with Christiane taking the spotlight. "Solid Shine" is more of a pop song. "Le Temps Fuit Comme Une Ombre" is led by vocal melodies and guitar early before the drums and piano join in. It turns jazzier after 6 1/2 minutes.This is the first track that I really enjoy. "Trois Ou Quatre" is even better and a top three for me. It comes to life after a minute and we get a great sound 3 minutes in.This is more like it ! This continues right to the end. Nice. "42 Nord" is a short pastoral track with vocal melodies. "Pixieland" is a top three as well with the prominant bass to start as it builds quickly.Guitar and piano lead a minute in. Excellent sound here.

"Sagesse" is like the earlier tracks with the focus on the vocals. "La Bourse Ou La Vie" is the almost 18 minute closer and my favourite.Vocal melodies come to the fore 1 1/2 minutes in and the guitar follows leading the way with piano and drums.The guitar is lighting it up before 4 minutes. It then settles back 5 1/2 minutes in but then slowly builds. A calm before 8 minutes as a laid back sound with vocals comes in. Another calm 11 1/2 minutes in then solo piano takes over.Vocal melodies join in at 13 1/2 minutes. It starts to kick back in after 15 minutes. A nice ride.

I think fans of Folk would like this one a lot because there's so much laid back music with the focus on the vocals. Like Hughes I have to give 3.5 stars.

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