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Morse Code

Symphonic Prog

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Morse Code Procréation album cover
3.63 | 71 ratings | 11 reviews | 21% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1976

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Précréation (5:09)
2. Qu'est-ce t'es v'nu faire ici (4:41)
3. Nuage (2:19)
4. L'eau tonne (3:59)
5. Des hauts et des ha!... (4:31)
6. De tous les pays du monde (3:48)
7. Procréation (26:17)

Total Time 50:44

Bonus tracks on 2007 remaster:
10. Punch (1976 single) (3:19)
11. Image (long version prev. unreleased) (5:21)

Line-up / Musicians

- Christian Simard / lead vocals, keyboards
- Daniel Lemay / guitars, flute, vocals
- Michel Vallée / bass, backing vocals
- Raymond Roy / drums, percussion

Releases information

Artwork: R. Rompré Inc.

LP Capitol Records ‎- SKAO 70.046 (1976, Canada)

CD ProgQuébec ‎- MPM22 (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
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Buy MORSE CODE Procréation Music

MORSE CODE Procréation ratings distribution

(71 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(21%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(42%)
Good, but non-essential (30%)
Collectors/fans only (7%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

MORSE CODE Procréation reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by loserboy
5 stars A year after releasing the classic album "La Marche Des Hommes", Canada's MORSE CODE released another masterful concept album titled "Procreation". Following very closely their patented formula of progressive rock, this album will simply make all prog fans drool. Imagine a blend of HACKETT'esque guitar swoops with lots of beautiful mellotron/organ, creative bass and drum interplay and highly imaginative song writing and you have "Procreation". MORSE CODE is really a perfect marriage of classic ANGE with GENESIS ! Vocals are sung in French and really remind me of the theatrical presence of Christian Decamps (ANGE's vocalist). This album showcases the epic 26+ minute epic title piece which blends a highly British 70's prog character with their unique Québécois flavour. Overall another killer album that everyone needs to have in their collection... absolutely essential album !
Review by Sean Trane
4 stars 4.5 stars really!!!

MC's second album of their second incarnation (MCT being the first) is the band's apex in their career. Following their Marche Des Hommes album's breakthrough, the group began touring all over Quebec and eastern Canada with harmonium, Offenbach and Octobre. Gradually they started introducing new tracks to their repertoire, most of which wouyld come to fruition on this album, including the 26-mins Procreation and its intro. They released a non-album single which find its way on here in terms of bonus tracks, on this first real Cd re-issue by the great team ProgQuebec. So the album got released at the end of the 76 summer and gets a fully respected re-issue with great bonus tracks, great live photos (one can see they had a few years on their colleagues, too) and re-printed lyrics.

Right off the opening Procreation prelude/intro, one can hear they the group has climbed up one more flight of stairs to prog heaven as the instrumental lead-off, even if it hints a bit at Genesis, is a fantastic piece of keyboard-led prog, from organs, mellotrons and piano to flutes and others. While many groups from La Belle Province chose the joual alternative, MC tried to be as neutral as possible, while remaining resolutely Quebecois, and the great "Qu'Est-Ce Que T'es Venu Faire Ici?" is the perfect example of this and a wink to their earlier album's other track. Again a mega-Genesis feel, but nothing shocking, either. Nuages is a very much a classical organ intro, before the group takes things a step higher, but remaining a full speed organ thing over great back up. While the following play on word Eau Tonne (Autumn) is another semi-Quebecois/French dilemma but over a Fender Rhodes. A much-superior "Hauts Et Ha!" duplicates the fun play on words, but the album takes a risk at plunging into music hall-type as Charles Trenêt or Maurice Chevalier, if it wasn't for the great instruments playing behind it. More of the Same for Pays Du Monde, with a good dose of cheesiness to top it all off.

And then comes the flipside with its sidelong self-tiled epic, which from the first notes sends you out in Nirvana-land, where outsider Robitaille's lyrics are grabbing you by the throat. The epic is of great quality and mixes subtlety with adventures, and the lengthy slow 2/3rd of time passage is a pure joy even if it is a bit déjà-vu.

As for the two bonus tracks, they were rumored to aim at the disco market (as they had previously done with Cocktail), but believe me, you'd have a hard time guessing this was supposed to win over the dance floors, even if they are funked-up. Both compositions are instrumentals, up-tempoed and up-lifting

The group will then start a monster 65 dates eastern Canada (this writer remembers having to pass up on concert tickets for lacks of means, having invested in a hi-fi chain) throughout four provinces, with extended lightshow, explosives and full theatrics, soon pushing them to refuse opening acts or headliners, due to their show's complexity. Having avoided Montreal and Quebec City (hoping to finish triumphantly there), the group ended up exhausted and wearied by their shot at bigger times.

Review by ClemofNazareth
2 stars The apparent humor and other lyrical themes of this album are unfortunately lost on non-French speakers. But the fast-paced if occasionally pedantic keyboards overcome that drawback for the most part.

As a kid in northern Montana I seem to remember these guys having some very brief popularity under the name Morse Code Transmission. It wasn’t all that unusual for us to be exposed to quite a bit of Canadian music though, and I’ve read these guys toured a lot back then, so I suppose it’s possible they appeared somewhere in our general vicinity like in Alberta or Saskatchewan or something. Not sure, but I definitely remember this album cover because it kind of creeped me out.

But by this time their sound had moved away from that early seventies harder rock/psych sound and into this Harmonium-like Francoprog thing, and any appeal they had to mountain hicks was largely lost.

The organ and mellotron make the album, but I personally have never been able to get too excited about this kind of understated, pristine type of sound. The instrumental passages seem to drag on forever, often with little variation and meaningless repetition of mostly organ sequences that just don’t grab me at all.

The lengthy three-part title track offers a fair bit of dynamic electric guitar around the middle, but here again the organ goes for long stretches of repetitive playing, shifting tempo and key only to drift into another repetitive progression. There’s some Banks- like styling here I suppose, but the French singers don’t come even close to comparing to the dynamic presence of Peter Gabriel. This whole back side of the album really reminds me quite a bit of innumerable and forgettable mid-seventies pretentious pop bands.

So I think I’ll give this two stars since there seems to be adequate evidence that fans of the band and this style of symphonic prog seem to appreciate the album. Not my thing, but if you’re into bands like Harmonium and milder and more ethnic Genesis clones you might get into this.


Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars The province of Quebec just seems to be more artistic than the rest of Canada. How else do you explain the healthy Prog scene that seemed to flourish there in the seventies. So many great bands from this province and MORSE CODE were definitley near the top of that list. I have enjoyed this album so much.The bass is probably my favourite thing about it followed by the mellotron and drumming.The sound is crisp and the music is quite powerful and dynamic. Check out the freaky album cover as well.

"Precreation" builds until it's full with some good pulsating organ. It settles with flute before 2 minutes then kicks back in just like before.The guitar 3 minutes in sounds really good. Mellotron before 4 minutes. "Qu'est-Ce T'es V'nu Faire Ici" opens with guitar and spacey sounds.Vocals and a beat take over. It kicks in before a minute. Organ too. Contrasts continue.The guitar solo after 3 minutes is excellent. Mellotron follows. "Nuage" is an instrumental just like the opening track. Organ to start then it kicks in before a minute. Chunky bass too. It settles back with organ to end it. "L'eau Tonne" is kind of lazy with vocals. The bass is powerful though. Keyboards 2 minutes in as the vocals stop briefly. "Des Haunts It Des Ha !..." opens with organ as loud outbursts including drums come and go. Vocals join in. The organ sections are powerful.The vocals are far from it though. Haha. Synths before 3 minutes.

"De Tous Les Pays Du Monde" starts with organ and reserved vocals. Drums after 1 1/2 minutes. The vocals become more passionate then we get a full sound with mellotron. Powerful stuff. The title track is divided into three parts and is a side long suite. "Procreation I" opens with guitar as drums,bass and organ join in. Reserved vocals follow. It picks up with pulsating organ and drums. Chunky bass too. A fantastic rhythm section here. Mellotron before 4 minutes and the guitar follows. Themes are repeated then it turns spacey and blends into "Procreation II". It kicks in at a minute. Killer sound. It then settles back with mellotron.Vocals before 3 minutes. A calm before 4 1/2 minutes. Fragile vocals join in. It kicks back in before 6 minutes. Nice drum work here then the vocals return. Mellotron to end it as "Procreation III" arrives. The organ and sound to start sounds Swedish but that changes quickly when the vocals arrive. I like the synths after 3 minutes, they remind me of RUSH. Mellotron follows. It kicks back in after 6 minutes then the vocals return. A great rhythm here.

Just an incredible album that I can't recommend enough.

Review by Tarcisio Moura
3 stars Well, I had never heard of this obscure symphonic band from Canada until recently. I was surprised with the high ratings I found here on PA and I begun to seek one of their CDs until I finally found this Procréation. When I started to listen to it I had a quite bad first impression: it sounded good musically although lacking any original ideas. The first track, Précréation, for exemple is an instrumental that sounds like a mix of Genesis, Yes and Focus. It is ok, but a bit too short for this kind of music. The remaining tunes followed suit although some parts are downright bad (Des Hauts et des Ha!). It seems the lyrics have a kind of quirk type of humor, but since I know very little french I got nothing of their meaning. Vocals are average.

The highlights of this CD to me are the two last tracks: De Tous Les Pays du Monde is an early Genesis carbon copy alright, yet I loved it because it is so well written and performed. The 25 minute title track is another one that grabed my atention because it followed the symphonic rock cliches in almost every single aspect. It should be a great work, but although I found nothing wrong in it, it also failed to generate any real excitement or enthusiasm. It´s the kind of song you like it when you hear but you don´t actually want to listen to it all over again once it is finish, if you know what I mean. There are far better symphonic epics out there, specially at the time of this release. Small wonder they never really made it.

Production is quite good and the my CD copy sounds very clear and crisp.

Rating: I found Procréation very hard to give a fair rating. The musicians are very skillful and if you like old fashioned symphonic prog rock chances are you might like this record. After several spins over a month period I found that the CD has its merits. It is good, alright. Sometimes even very good, but not enough to warrant an excelent (4 star) rating like many of my fellow reviewers did. So I guess it is a matter of taste. Listen and judge for yourself.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars During the fall of 75' Morse Code were enjoying a great amount of recognition.The group performed all around the Quebec and New Brunswick areas, breaking attendance records and gigging next to Harmonium, Offenbach or Octobre, while their lives were supported by a theatrical show.The following year Vallee was voted best bassist and Simard best keyboardist of the Quebec region (next to Octobre's Pierre Flynn), while the band had already starting performing live their most ambitious piece ''Procreation''.After a single on Capitol Records, the album of the same name was eventually released in September 1976.

The sound of Morse Code was no more enigmatic.They had fully become a bombastic Symphonic Rock act with strong GENESIS, YES, E.L.P. and ANGE influences, making space for long instrumental themes and delivering plenty of poetical moments.The first side of the LP contains six tracks of short length, that explore the Classical inspirations and complex arrangements of Rock music, based on organ interludes, grandiose Mellotron showering, smooth but complicated guitar playing ala STEVE HOWE by Daniel Lemay and deep bass work by Vallee.The addition of the theatrical vocals make the ANGE comparisons quite reasonable, while a strong array of keyboards, including synthesizers, offers impressive textures full of melodic interludes and adventurous solos.The lack of personality is still an issue though.

The flipside of the original LP contains one of the longest Progressive Rock suites ever writen by a band of the Classic Prog era, the three-part ''Procreation'', clocking at over 26 minutes.The first part is a nice mix of GENESIS and GREENSLADE stylings with dominant use of Hammond organs but also plenty of dual keyboard themes, backed up by the jazzy guitar moves of Lemay and the nice, lyrical voice of Simard.The second part is closer to a cross between E.L.P. and YES, full of complex guitar chords, haunting Mellotron washes and striking Classical interludes on Hammond organ, while the vocal parts obtain an extremely romantic atmosphere.Entering the third and longer part the listener will meet series of instrumental interplays, again with an evident YES vibe on the bass and keyboard parts but with a more HACKETT-like touch in the smoother guitar lines, which will slowly lead to the romantic, dreamy and deeply atmospheric ending of the track.Simard's powerful Mellotron and Vallee's pounding bass open the gates to a YES-like outro with wordless vocals and strong symphonic-inclined musicianship with organs, bass and calm guitars in the forefront.

This is an excellent example of well-crafted Symphonic Rock by one of Quebec's major acts.Almost flawless and pretty professional musicianship with nice instrumental ideas and a very rich sound, that is being hurt by the endless references to the major names of the scene.Still, this is a must have for all Sympho-maniacs ot there.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

Review by FragileKings
3 stars Let's see, what year is this album from? 1976? I think someone caught the Yes bug.

Morse Code's second album under the abbreviated moniker (formerly known as Morse Code Transmission) sees the band moving further into symphonic prog. Already on 'La marche des hommes', that chunky Rickenbacker bass sound was prominently in the mix, most obviously on the 11-minute title track. Here it stands out on the whole album. Add to that lots of Mellotron, some seventies synthesizer, some Steve Howe-inspired guitar runs, and a 26- minute title track, and things start to seem like a French Canadian Yes has been born. Though not exactly a clone (that award goes to Cathedral), when your music is this similar to Yes you have to expect comparisons. And yes, there are enough similarities to merit those comparisons here.

But let's take a look at the album for what Morse Code put into it. For starters, I find Morse Code to be a little heavier than Yes. Think 'Heart of the Sunrise' without the hurried intensity or parts of 'The Revealing Science of God' without that thematic feeling. The opening track 'Précréation' has some good melodies in it and works well as an introduction to the title track which comes later. There's some classically influenced organ playing and flute as the piece moves through different musical themes over the course of its five minutes. It's a very good start to the album.

'Qu'est-ce t'es v'nu faire ici' is quite different from anything Yes ever did and brings us closer to the previous album. That bass is still in there loud and proud, but the vocal style is softer for the verses and the guitar and organ more rock than most of classic Yes. 'Nuage' might at first bring to mind Rick Wakeman's 'Cans and Brahms' from 'Fragile' but this keyboard instrumental also brings in the guitar, bass, and drums in two parts. 'L'eau tonne' also keeps the band fairly deep in Quebec prog waters, perhaps bringing them closer to contemporaries Octobre or Dionysos, namely because of Christian Simard's strong French vocal (lower in register than Jon Anderson in case you were wondering).

'Des hauts et des ha!..." begins with some wonderful almost ominous and foreboding music and sounds like this is going to be the best track so far. But it turns a bit silly as Simard sings ''ee 'ee 'ee 'ee' 'ah 'ah 'ah 'oh 'oh 'oh' This passes and we return to some excellent progressive rock with a very active bass and a synthesizer solo followed by organ and more synthesizer. It works wonderfully until that laughing bit returns. Too bad because the music is tops. A short and simple musical number (sounds like it's from a musical!) follows and passes quickly thankfully. I'm not into 'De tous les pays du monde'.

This brings us to the 26:17 title track. Here's where the Yes comparisons will bite as surely as bedbugs. As with any long epic, it takes a few listens to digest. My conclusion is that it has a lot of terrific moments and good variety but doesn't reach the heights of 'Close to the Edge' or 'The Revealing Science of God' but is still better than some of the stuff on 'Tales from Topographic Oceans'. Four out of five stars for an epic over 20 minutes and home to a number of musical highlights on the album.

Two more tracks (bonus tracks on the ProgQuebec release, I think) remain to conclude the album: 'Punch', a funky and punchy short instrumental, and 'Image', a little more rocking but still slow and steady with a synthesizer that mimics an accordion.

It's hard to say which album I prefer of the two that I have by this band, but there's enough solid work on here to be worthy of adding to a prog collection if you're okay with French lyrics. If anything comes as a drawback, I find that the music introduces some excellent sounds that promise prog heaven but in the end something falls short and true bliss is rarely discovered. Still, this album has me feeling confident enough to buy the next album, 'Je suis le temps'. I believe that among these three albums an excellent playlist of songs can be achieved.

Review by Matti
3 stars This Quebec band started long before the great prog explotion of the mid-70's. Their first two albums under the name Morse Code Transmission (1971 and 1972) are psychedelic rock sung in English. La Marche des Hommes (1975) introduced their new style favouring organ, Mellotron and rhytmic complexity. The thick sound resembles the Nursery Cryme -era Genesis. The next album, Procréation, is perhaps more uneven, but it also contains the band's finest moments.

The instrumental opener 'Précréation' has those sharp Tony Banks -like organ notes and also a lot of room for guitar and flute. A promising start, if not yet anything very significant. The second track of under 5 minutes approaches more epic atmosphere on the unsung parts while the vocal parts stay less inspired. The brief instrumental 'Nuage' concentrates on the circulating organ melody without really taking off. 'L'eau tonne' (notice the word play; l'automne, autumn) is a melodic and light-hearted song, a curious mix of proggy instrumentation and a composition reminding of entertainment vocal music. For the vocals, I have to say that they lack any charisma. The hi-hi-hi-hi and ha-ha-ha-ha in the song 'Des hauts et des ha!' i actually irritating. Frankly, up to this point the album would hardly be worth three stars.

The real treat comes on the second side of the LP, the three-part title epic. In the sung first movement an instrumental passage already shows glimpses of something more impressive, but the song per se feels a bit uninspired. The rest of the epic wanders deeper into progressive unpredictability and wide dynamics. Now the little vocal parts succeed to increase the interest unlike earlier on the album. This is a pure prog epic in the vein of 'Supper's Ready', even if it naturally pales in comparison to such masterpiece. Oooh, that Mellotron sound! The final movement is the clear highlight, being very progressive in itself. A beautiful, meditative section starring Mellotron and flute is followed by a return to the grandiosity.

If only the whole album was as good as the second side... Unfortunately it isn't, and I feel that three stars is the most honest rating I can give. If you enjoy the French prog with the Genesis influences (Ange, Mona Lisa, ...), Morse Code is definitely worth checking out.

Latest members reviews

5 stars In spite of receiving an inferior quotation among the albums of the Canadian band MORSE CODE in PROGARCHIVES, I consider "Procreation" a work superior in relationship "La Marches des Hombres" and side by side with POLLEN "Pollen" some of the best disks of progressive symphonic produced at that ... (read more)

Report this review (#285326) | Posted by maryes | Sunday, June 6, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Morse Code was one the best Quebec prog bands of the seventies together with Harmonium, Octobre? More influenced by King Crimson (first period) than the other bands aforementioned, this quartet included lots of mellotron parts in their albums. "Procreation" (1976) is certainly their best. Imag ... (read more)

Report this review (#266390) | Posted by Thierry | Monday, February 15, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This is a gem, a masterpiece of prog Québécois (sung in French) you cannot get better than that.The song Procréation is the Supper's Ready or the Close to the Edge of the 70's french prog from Québéc (like Histoires sans Paroles of Harmonium).A 25 min opus of pure delight (hammond-moog-mellotron ... (read more)

Report this review (#37472) | Posted by pots | Friday, June 24, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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