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Alpha Ralpha

Eclectic Prog

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Alpha Ralpha Alpha Ralpha album cover
4.09 | 37 ratings | 2 reviews | 19% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1977

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Synergie (4:07)
2. Nova (5:42)
3. Syrtis Major (2:22)
4. Gen?se (8:03)
5. Rez (3:43)
6. Gothic (0:37)
7. Magellan (7:22)
8. Lagune Ouest (3:39)
9. Hymn (3:47)

Total time: 39:22

Line-up / Musicians

- Michel Mareska / electric guitar
- Claude Alvarez-Pereyre / electric & acoustic guitars
- Jean Alain Gardet / keyboards
- Charlie Charriras / bass
- Emmanuel Lacordaire / drums, percussion


- Francois Breant / piano, synthesizer
- Jean de Anthony / guitars
- Claude Samard / guitars
- Jean-Jaques Goldman / vocals

Releases information

LP Warner Bros. FLP 56330(Canada, 1977)
LP Warner Bros. 56330 (France, 1977)

Thanks to clarke2001 for the addition
and to clarke2001 for the last updates
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ALPHA RALPHA Alpha Ralpha ratings distribution

(37 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(19%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(46%)
Good, but non-essential (16%)
Collectors/fans only (19%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

ALPHA RALPHA Alpha Ralpha reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars In every serious prog collection, there are always a few albums that have achieved 'reverential' status even though that epithet seemed only to be shared by very few, if any. I remember purchasing the vinyl copy of this album in 1977 when it was released in Canada on Warner Brothers, motivated by the cool spectral cover and a line-up of a few talented musicians such as Tai Phong's Jean-Alain Gardet and the legendary Francois Breant on keys and Jean- Jacques Goldman (well before becoming a pop superstar), as well as drummer Emmanuel Lacordaire (Nemo, Breant). Rounded out by Malicorne's Claude Alvarez-Pereyre, Michel Mareska on lead guitar, Charlie Charriras on bass. I loved the album from the very first spin, especially inspired by the opener "Synergie" which I consider a rather unique track of iconic proportions. The remaining, mostly all-instrumental tracks have a na´ve preciousness that defies description, yes dated but utterly charming. The entire set-list is very well-balanced and exudes unending inspiration. I have patiently waited for nearly 40 years for a CD version and finally, that day has come, as Paisley Press has dedicated its time and resources to release this on CD.

The affair kicks off with the spectacular "Synergie", an immediate winner built around a zig-zagging fuzzed guitar phrasing that evokes determination and originality, not overtly complex but extremely gratifying. Wistful, syncopated, forceful and resolute, the layered mood exudes a sizzling charm that sets the table for a perfect musical experience. This track has been a perennial fave since the day it was spawned and I have used it many times on various playlists (audio cassettes, remember those?) as introduction.

The three part "Nova" keeps the pace ablaze with some lavish choir work (A Tai Phong trait), followed by some zippy synths and a dynamic rhythmic pulse, furthered by a galloping bass and complex drums, with Breant's exuberant piano work and Mareska shooting off some gritty solos. Then a more country styled finger-picking break (guest Claude Samard) that evolves into a blitzing axe solo, as well as a superb and unique double synth foray on the Arp Odyssey.

The brief "Syrtis Major" reverts to a gentle space lullaby, heavily dependent on the Elka string synthesizer, a rather mythical French instrument that is comparable to the mellotron in original sound. This is of course, a perfect segue into the 'piece de resistance', the aptly titled "Genese", an epic 8 minute plus symphonic ride that owns some serious references to the Genesis model, with delicate string guitar weavings, extroverted percussion patterns, looping bass and primo keyboard work, typically on piano. The highly distorted electric guitar (Samard) certainly hints at the Hackett sound, perhaps in a bluesier vein, so the comparisons to fellow countrymen Pulsar are quite warranted, offering up some lovely and intricate melodies and skilled soloing. The marimba effects are equally applause worthy.

The beautiful melody on "Rez" is sadly too short but the keyboard package is noteworthy, then abruptly exploding into a jazzy jam led by a busy bass rumble, fueled by stinging guitars, honky-tonk piano and surprise: a slithering violin volley that gets taken over by a distorted axe excursion from guest Jean de Antony that just hisses with passion. This is very jazz-fusion, sounding almost like classic JL Ponty (another Frenchman). Wow! "Magellan", named after the first circumnavigator of our planet, is another epic 7 minute slab of symphonic prowess featuring the indomitable style of Francois Breant, both on piano and ARP, providing a more experimental edge. The arrangement is armed with dissonance and intricacy, Charriras curling some nifty patterns on his bass guitar, paralleled by the suave keys and the mighty e-guitar. Shifting between hard and soft passages, this is truly a cinematic adventure that warrants repeated returns, in depth investigations that focus on all the subtleties woven into the piece. The laid-back moments are incredible and the insistent ones surge suddenly, showing again an affinity to Pulsar. Both De Antony and Mareska deliver simply stupendous solos here.

The delicate , very Moerlin-era Gong sound of "Lagune Ouest " is dominated by Alvarez-Pereyre on marimba and violin , firmly encamped in a more folk tradition , not shocking as Malicorne was his previous band. Finally the celestial "Hymn" closes out this fantastic jewel, a rare and unique one-shot wonder that is, IMHO' a must- have in any prog collection, not only for the music contained within, but its precious rarity in being further discovered. The heavenly voices and exalted violin create a sense of magical release that will soothe the soul and elicit the smiles.

This is probably a 4 star recording for most fans but my feelings as well as the seemingly eternal anticipation force me to elevate this to the loftiest heights. Desert island choice for sure.

5 Long time waitings

Latest members reviews

4 stars Most super obscure prog rock bands are on tiny labels or even private releases that are extremely hard to find and cost a bunch of money, and you only hope some label took up to the plate and had it reissued, like Cathedral's Stained Glass Stories (which was reissued). The French band Alpha Ralpha i ... (read more)

Report this review (#1403206) | Posted by Progfan97402 | Friday, April 24, 2015 | Review Permanlink

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