Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography


Morse Code

Symphonic Prog

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Morse Code La marche des hommes album cover
3.95 | 86 ratings | 11 reviews | 28% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

Write a review

from partners
Studio Album, released in 1975

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. La marche des hommes (11:16)
2. Le pays d'or (3:19)
3. La cérémonie de minuit (5:01)
4. Cocktail (3:27)
5. Une goutte de pluie (3:22)
6. Qu'est-ce que t'as compris? (5:31)
7. Problème (2:08)

Total Time 34:04

Bonus tracks on 2007 remaster:
8. Cocktail (disco mix) (4:24)
9. Qu'est-ce que t'as compris? (7" single version) (3:34)

Line-up / Musicians

- Christian Simard / lead vocals, grand piano, electric piano, Hammond organ, Mellotron, clavinet, synth, chimes, lyre
- Daniel Lemay / electric & acoustic guitars, flute, vocals
- Michel Vallée / bass, backing vocals
- Raymond Roy / drums, triangle, bongos, timbales, Chinese bells, gong

Releases information

Artwork: Jacques Bourassa (photo)

LP Capitol Records ‎- ST-70.038 (1975, Canada)

CD ProgQuébec ‎- MPM21 (2007, Canada) Remastered by Christian Simard and Guy Hébert with 2 bonus tracks

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
Edit this entry

Buy MORSE CODE La marche des hommes Music

MORSE CODE La marche des hommes ratings distribution

(86 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(28%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(44%)
Good, but non-essential (23%)
Collectors/fans only (5%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

MORSE CODE La marche des hommes reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by loserboy
5 stars MORSE CODE were a French Canadian progressive rock outfit that released 3 great mid 70's albums. This four piece band blend rich analog keyboards with distinct bass, guitar, flute and drum interplay. Overall sound is very big and deep really making this album and unbelievable listening experience. With a sound somewhere between GENESIS' "Selling England By The Pound" and ANGE's "Emile Jacotey" this album delivers everything a prog fan would love. On "La Marches Des Hommes" (The March Of The Men) they utilize lots of piano, mellotron, organ, clavinet in a similar way to that of classic GENESIS. Songs are very well constructed and enable the listener to create lots of imagery as you listen with lots of dynamic timing and mood changes. Vocals are exceptionally well done with some nice harmony and of course sung in French. Their most widely recognized piece is the self titled 12 minute epic track which is simply to die for but I also love the rest of the album equally well. Another essential progressive rock album for your collection.
Review by Sean Trane
4 stars This group became one of the first full-out rock outfit in La Belle Province, under the name Morse Code Transmission, developing a naïve English-sung psychedelic rock over their first two albums. While none of those two albums will ever graces the top 20, of Psych rock lists, they were indeed charming but flawed, both are indeed worth a listen, but maybe not to spend the small fortunes the vinyls are fetching, nowadays, none of these having received a CD re-issue, yet! Hint, hint, Sean & Stephen!!!!

As Morse Code Transmission disintegrated, like the psychedelic caterpillar metamorphosing into the progressive butterfly, the group reformed and came into full maturity with this highly regarded album. As the Quebec scene was now reaching its golden hour, so did MC, and their brand of symphonic rock sung in French (as was the case with Harmonium, and later Pollen, Opus-5 and a few more) became in instant hit with the local population. But this was also very limited to their province, as English Canada will stay oblivious to MC.

Down to a quartet (the standard prog quartet) with Keyboardist Christian Simard as chief composer of the music but getting the help of outsider Chantal Dusseault for all of the lyrics, they developed a rather classic symphonic influenced rock in the range of Pollen, Atoll, Ange and a few more. This album, like the following Pro-creation, is a concept one, and is deeply rooted in the progress of mankind. Excellent lyrics and often excellent music, this was part of the classic Quebec albums from the second half of the 70's.

Although Simard is clearly the leader of the group, it is clear that the better tracks are the one written collectively by the group: from the awesome 11-min+ title track, to the hectic Cérémonie De Minuit, to the thoughtful "Qu'est-ce que tu as compris?" and the great lively instrumental Cocktail, the group smokes, blazes, cruises through your mind as a red-hot iron, with their excellent multi-layered vocals and the overall impeccable musicianship. The only weaker tracks being the Simard-only Pays D'Or and the two short tracks Goutte De Pluie and Problème (both sung with a vocal delivery sometimes reminiscent of " Le Grand Jacques" Brel), but hardly anything really bothersome.

The ProgQuebec re-issued (and remastered) version comes with two bonus tracks, none of which are obligatory, on the contrary. The disco remix of the instrumental Cocktail and the single version Compris, being both forgetful and best forgotten.

The first of a run of three classic albums, La Marche Des Hommes is of course more hinted at French speakers, but the singing is relatively accent-less and the lyrics easily understandable, therefore this is well recommended to others progheads also.

Review by greenback
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The Quebec progressive scene is not complete without talking about this very good album. The mix of hard rock and progressive rock is noticeable here. The sound of the electric guitar is impressive. Among the similitudes involved, there are Kayak, early Genesis circa Foxtrot and Nektar. The excellent lyrics are not outdated, since they are about the existential, economical & social problems of the World, more than ever present nowadays. The keyboards mainly consist in piano, omnipresent mellotron and organ; "Cocktail" contains an excellent catchy mix of clavinet and mellotron a la Greenslade. There is only one epic track "La Marche Des Hommes", a very progressive song full of organ, mellotron and bold electric guitars like the major progressive bands of the 70's. The one-channel lead vocals on "La cérémonie de minuit" seems to more leave the room to the catchy & pleasant music. The catchy refrain on "Problème" is very soothing. The accessible hit "Qu'est-ce que t'as compris ?" has been aired many many times from every radio station of the province of Quebec, and I guess it is still aired nowadays.
Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars I am so impressed with this album and the follow-up "Procreation". Tough for me to pick out which one I like better between the two. Lots of mellotron once again in these excellent Symponic tracks.This is has been a pleasure to listen to.

"La Marche Des Hommes" opens with spacey synths before the organ takes over and powerful outbursts come and go until they stay as the vocals join in before 1 1/2 minutes. Mellotron floods in with a calm before 3 minutes. It's building with vocals and drums.The pulsating organ before 5 minutes with the guitar is very GENESIS-like. Love the sound before 6 1/2 minutes with vocals and mellotron. It returns later around 10 minutes. Beautiful. "Le Pays D'or" opens with piano and reserved vocals. It's fuller 1 1/2 minutes in.The mellotron and guitar are outstanding after 2 1/2 minutes to end it.

"La Ceremonie De Minuit" opens with intricate guitar as drums and vocals join in with pulsating organ. Great sound before 2 minutes as it gets fuller.The guitar starts to solo over top 3 1/2 minutes in. "Cocktail" is a great sounding track with flute. The bass and drums are so impressive. Mellotron blows in too. "Une Goutte De Pluie" has this light beat with reserved vocals as the organ floats in. A fuller sound 1 1/2 minutes in as the drums get louder and piano and mellotron join in. "Qu'est-Ce Que T'as Compris ?" is more dynamic with drums and bass standing out. Vocals and mellotron before a minute as it settles. It kicks back in quickly with organ that starts to pulsate.The guitar after 2 1/2 minutes is excellent. Organ's turn a minute later. So good. "Probleme" opens with the drums building then the vocals, mellotron and bass join in. Guitar follows.It settles late to end it.

The album cover is as stunning as the music.

Review by Tarcisio Moura
4 stars Although this album is not praised by critics as much as its follow up, Procreation, I´ve got say I like this one better. Maybe because the classic symphonic side of the group is more evident, specially on the 11+minute title track. Excellent vintage keyboards all over (organ piano, mellotron), very good guitar parts, versatile rhythm section and very good french sung vocals. I guess the vocal parts are the most insteresting part of the whole band appeal, quite unique. Those harmonies are quite charming and deeply rooted in the traditional french music, it was quite ahead of its time (only french band Arrakeen would explore furthermore this fine combination, but in the early 80´s).

For the instrumental part, which is less original, but again very good and very well performend, the influences seem to to be early Genesis, Yes and other prog acts of the 70´s like Nektar or Eloy. One of my favorite tracks is Cocktail with its joyful rhythm, great flute lines and creative use of the clavinet. But clearly there are no weak tracks and the band shows their versatility and ease of creating catchy songs. Nothing too adventurous, of course, but still unique and very good. Production is top notch.

Conclusion: if you like something different, but not too spaced out, with fine mixtures of styles and a strong french element, this band from Quebec might be for you. I was quite pleased to find this album. Four strong stars.

Review by Warthur
3 stars A hard-edged symphonic album from Morse Code, this incorporates exceptional keyboard playing from Christian Simard. The compositions often take on a heavy, foreboding, doomy edge to them, with La Marche des Hommes in particular sounding rather militant, though not to a Zeuhlish extent. This compelling release, along with strong releases by Maneige and Harmonium, should be enough to convince anyone that 1975 was truly a great year for the prog scene in Quebec, though to be honest I personally find both Maneige's debut and Harmonium's classic Cinquieme Saison are a bit more compelling to this one. (In particular, the vocals seem to be the band's weak point here and certainly do nothing for me.)
Review by FragileKings
4 stars Morse Code (previously known as Morse Code Transmission) shortened their name for this, their third album. This was also their first album in French and saw them moving away from their more psychedelic origins.

The title track opens the album and introduces a heavy prog rock sound not unlike a French-speaking cousin of Uriah Heep. Electric guitar, Hammond organ, piano, synthesizer, bass and drums along with lead vocals by Christian Simard carry the song through its harder rock course but not without interludes of piano and synthesizer-led instrumentals. About halfway through, however, the song takes an abrupt turn into Yes territory with a loud buzzing bass and more symphonic prog approach. The song is completely different with harmony vocals singing each line to the same melody in between lines of music and more short instrumental passages. There's a break with a long and slowly building passage led by organ and drums as bass and guitar join. This part releases back into the second part of the song with that loud buzzing bass. The whole track of 11:16 comes to a rather quick ending. This is a pretty excellent track by which to be introduced to the band.

"Le pays d'or" is a short piano-based song that is slow and light and though not particularly memorable to me, it provides a strong contrast to "La marche des hommes". It does include a bit of Mellotron and some scratchy, straining, weepy guitar as the song builds in emotional power. Some may like it more than others.

"La ceremonie de minuit" features acoustic guitar and alternates between a simple but space rock-styled part and this acoustic part with a wavering Hammond sound. A good inclusion for this album.

"Cocktail" is a grooving danceable instrumental piece with a flute solo and an uplifting melody played first on Mellotron and then on synthesizer. The piece has such a groove to it that the record company had them remix it so that it could be released as a dance single for clubs. I don't find any extreme differences between the two versions (both are included in the Prog Quebec reissue of this album) and simply enjoy it for its very blatant mid-seventies sounds.

The final three tracks see the band continuing to write with different approaches: "Une goutte de pluie" sounding a lot like 69/70 era Pink Floyd, slow and dreamy with organ and piano but some flute too; "Qu'est-ce t'as compris" another grooving rocker with a great proggy intro but a rather simple song melody with simply grooving rock; and "Probleme" which sees more of the band's softer but powerful side

This is quite a noble effort, using a pretty full but standard spectrum of seventies prog instruments: flute, organ, Mellotron, synthesizer, and acoustic and electric guitars along with a lead vocalist and harmony and backing vocals. The album shows a strong variety of songs without being incongruous. The only points I find detracting from a truly excellent album are the unfortunate standard rock number that "Qu'est-ce t'as compris" collapses into and the somewhat forgettable "Le pays d'or".

Though frequently compared to Genesis, I feel Morse Code are less like Genesis here than they may be to some other bands other reviewers have mentioned.

An excellent addition to any seventies rock collection and a very good addition to any prog collection. Three and a half stars rounded up.

Review by VianaProghead
4 stars Review Nº 197

The progressive rock scene in Anglophone Canada during the 70's wasn't particularly robust. Rush is the most well known band to attempt to apply English progressive sensibility to their sound. On the contrary, for Francophone's, was given a huge welcome to the progressive rock. It's very curious how English progressive rock became most popular in Canada in the Province of Quebec where most people speaks French. Certainly, that is why many of those bands chose to sing in French, thus creating a platform that made French lyrics acceptable and even desirable.

So, it was in that context that appeared in the 70's many progressive rock bands in Quebec like Offenbach, Morse Code Transmission (latter Morse Code), Octobre, Contraction, Et Cetera, Pollen, Incubus (latter ExCubus), L'Orchestre Sympatique, Conventum, Toubabou, Harmonium, Garolou, Sloche and Maneige.

Morse Code is one of the best Quebecois prog rock bands of the 70's, alongside with Harmonium, Pollen and Maneige. Their origin goes back to 1967, when bassist Vallée and drummer Roy founded Les Maîtres. Following the recruitment of keyboardist and singer Simard in 1968, and then Jocelyn Julien on guitar, the band made their first steps performing rehearsals for The Beatles and The Bee Gees. Turning cheerfully in all the trendy clubs of his city and province, the combo begins to forge its own repertoire, and modifies their patronymic in Morse Code Transmission at the request of their record company which publishes, in 1971, their first eponymous debut album. That opus is a collection of short and commercial plays, sung in English. Continuing in this direction, after the replacement of Julien by Bernard Tapin, the band offers in 1972 a double album "Morse Code Transmission II". But, it was not until 1975 that the group really took off under the shortened name of Morse Code with the superb "La Marche Des Hommes", entirely sung in French.

The line up on the album is Daniel Lemay (vocals, flute and guitars), Christian Simard (vocals and keyboards), Michel Vallée (vocals and bass) and Raymond Roy (drums and percussion).

"La Marche Des Hommes" has seven tracks. "La Marche Des Hommes" is the title track. It shows impressive songwriting skills from Simard, often with the instrumental and vocal sections based partly in the same themes, giving the track a feel of continuity despite its complexity and many chord changes. This is the great highlight on the album. "Le Pays D'Or" is a ballad with one of the finest melodies on the album, featuring some unusually authentic sounding mellotron strings. It provides a strong contrast to "La Marche Des Hommes". Some may like it more than others, but I like it. "La Cérémonie De Minuit" shows further Simard's clear influences from Tony Banks in his keyboard playing. It features acoustic guitar and alternates between a simple but space rock styled part and this acoustic part with a wavering Hammond sound. This is another great inclusion on the album. "Cocktail" is an instrumental track. It's a great sounding track with flute. The bass, the mellotron and drums are so impressive too. It contains an excellent catchy mix of music. This was a hit at the radio and one of a TV program took it for their theme song. "Une Goutte De Pluie" is the band in really laidback and relaxed mood, pleasant and moody. It's a delicate and endearing ballad highlighting Simard's emotive vocal delivery and light piano work. This is another good ballad. "Une Goutte De Pluie" sounds nicely but it's probably, in my humble opinion, the weakest track on the album. "Qu'Est-Ce Que T'As Compris?" is quite the opposite, showing their upbeat and rocking side, but still wrapped up with the same symphonic progressive arrangements as the rest of the songs. This is an all out rock number showcasing each member's strengths. It has been aired many times from every radio station of the province of Quebec, and probably it's still aired nowadays. "Problème" is a grandiose ballad but with a modest length at only two minutes, which was a pity that it was not a bit longer. It shows more of the band's softer but powerful side. This is a good song mix with a lot of mellotron and the catchy refrain on "Problème" is very soothing too. "Problème" closes out the album properly in a very calm and catchy way.

Conclusion: "La Marche Des Hommes" is an impressive statement for Morse Code. Leaving in the past their psych influences, Morse Code return in mid 70's with a bright symphonic prog album with careful guitar work, intelligent vocal parts, dominant organ sounds and some mellotron touches, not far from what Genesis, Ange and many other prog bands were creating a few years earlier. This is an excellent example of Quebecois symphonic progressive rock music. "La Marche Des Hommes" contains all the right moves and all of the elements sure to please any 70's progressive rock fan. The music was highly influenced by Genesis but with that French influence getting compared with the likes of Ange. The vocals are all in French. In fact, if you are a fan of such prog bands coming from France like Ange, Mona Lisa or Atoll, you won't have any problem in warming up to this album. It's a highly recommended album for all prog lovers.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

Latest members reviews

3 stars My first intro to these Canadian legends. It is my understanding that this is the first foray into symphonic prog from this band and their third album overall. They started out as a space rock band and their past is pretty obvious on this album too. The music on this album though is a mix of ... (read more)

Report this review (#398965) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Saturday, February 12, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Amazing album made by this band from Canadá. This is an example of the seventies soud, when inspiration and quality is much more important that profits. Four members made a concept album when we can listen some Genesis and Yes influencies but in a different way. Very original's and lyrics ar ... (read more)

Report this review (#293598) | Posted by João Paulo | Friday, August 6, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars First of all this is a masterpiece of prog Québécois.You can forget the 2 first ones (morse code transmission 1 and 2 and in english not bad but not essential).I had the chance to see them when I was a teenager and it was impressive to see Christian Simard the keyboardist in the middle of the st ... (read more)

Report this review (#37341) | Posted by pots | Thursday, June 23, 2005 | Review Permanlink

Post a review of MORSE CODE "La marche des hommes"

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.