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Heldon Third - It's Always Rock'n'Roll album cover
2.94 | 41 ratings | 6 reviews | 15% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1975

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. ICS Machnique (4:11)
2. Cotes de cachalot ŕ la psylocybine (8:35)
3. Méchamment rock (3:33)
4. Cocaine Blues (9:42)
5. Aurore (18:13)
6. Virgin Swedish Blues (7:27)
7. Ocean Boogi (5:53)
8. Zind Destruction (8:22)
9. Doctor Bloodmoney (16:49)

Total time 82:45

Line-up / Musicians

- Richard Pinhas / ARP & VCS3 synths, Mellotron, guitar, tapes, bass (2,7), composer
- Alain Renaud / guitar (not confirmed)

- Aurore / vocals (5)
- Georges Grünblatt / Mellotron & guitar (2,7)
- Patrick Gauthier / ARP synthesizer (9)
- Ariel Kalma / Indian Harmonium (5)
- Gilbert Artman / drums (3)
- Jean-My Truong / drums (9)

Releases information

Artwork: G. Muguet

2xLP Disjuncta ‎- 000006/7 (1975, France)
2xLP Bureau B ‎- BB 282 (2018, Germany)

2xCD Spalax ‎- CD 14231/2 (1991, France)
2xCD Captain Trip Records ‎- CTCD-632/3 (2005, Japan) Remastered by Souichirou Nakamura
2xCD Bureau B ‎- BB 282 (2018, Germany)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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HELDON Third - It's Always Rock'n'Roll ratings distribution

(41 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(15%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(27%)
Good, but non-essential (29%)
Collectors/fans only (27%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

HELDON Third - It's Always Rock'n'Roll reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by soundsweird
2 stars Interesting for its early use of noise and distortion (predating the Noise genre by 20+ years) on some tracks, but it wasn't enough for me. I sold the 2-LP set back in the 70's, after keeping it for a few years. Most of the album was either too simplistic, annoying, and/or repetitious for me.
Review by Sean Trane
2 stars I'll give this one another halfstar but the fact is that this double vinyl is simply too much. And Too Long and not enough is happening in the music to justify this lenght. This album was titled as an answer to the Rolling Stones's mid 70's album "only R'n R", but really Richard Pinhas misses the mark with this album although as far as artwork is concerned this is the better sleeve. Lenghty , unimaginative , repetitive (normal thing in minimalism but here a problem arises), but not entirely pointless album , either.

Approach this album with care or better yet avoid unless you are a major fan.

Review by oliverstoned
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "It's always rock'n'roll" represents a summit in Heldon's discography and is probably their most accomplished album on a technical level. It pushes further "Allez theia" space cosmic rock and prefigures the experimental synthe orientation of " Agneta Nilson". A perfect balance of Pihnas frippian amethyst guitar "Virgin Swedish Blues" (a theme from "Allez theia"), the synthe repetitive variations and the superb end with drum and acid reversed sounds of "Doctor Bloodmoney", the transcendental "Ocean Boogi". Some tittles evoke the strong psychotropic inspiration ("Cotes de cachalot ŕ la psylocybine", "Cocaine Blues") reminding that an open, if not expanded mind is necessary to fully enjoy this classic album from the French school.

Review by Modrigue
3 stars The third album from HELDON is clearly an experimental transitionnal record. The music pieces are trippy and spacey but sound repetitive by moments and are mostly pure ambient and improvised. The bands investigates the possibilities of tortured synthetizers and dissonnant Frippian guitars. Nonetheless, "It's Always Rock And Roll" contains interesting passages that are well worth the listen.

The introduction "ICS Machinique" is very enchanting in comparison to the rest of the record, rather dark. "Cocaine Blues" is a well constructed evolving track featuring trance loops that transports you in a galaxy far away... the ideal place to listen to "Aurore". The surprise here are "Virgin Swedish Blues" and "Ocean Boogi", which reminds me a lot of MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA's "Bird of Fire". A very enjoyable relaxing tune pre-dating Post-Rock! A music to hear while contemplating the sky. The fright comes back with "Zind Destruction", a true example of HELDON's playing dementia. This song destroys your ears but it rocks. The final track, "Doctor Bloodmoney", features long variations in the style of "Back to Heldon".

"It's Always Rock And Roll" is undoubtly an inegal album, but captures very fine moments from the french electronic band. Prefiguring modern ambient music, this record may sound too experimental for HELDON's newcomers, but if you are already into them or into Krautrock, give it a listen.

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars This is HELDON's third album and it's a double with 85 minutes of music on it. Rather ambitious no doubt, but after his first two albums i'm not surprised that Richard Pinhas would be wanting to take on the world. Like most doubles this is very much a hit and miss affair. Richard composed all the songs except for "Ocean Boogi" which happens to be a George Grunblat tune. Very cool to see that Jean-My Truong from ZAO is playing drums on "Doctor Bloodmoney". Patrick Gauthier guests on synths on the same track.

"ICS Machinique" features these interesting sounds that are like mini outbursts of thunder. Synths eventually join in. "Cotes De Cachalet Ala Psylocybine" has this electronic beat, then the guitar comes in making some noise before 2 minutes. The guitar becomes really prominant 5 minutes in. "Mechammment Rock" is my favourite. Drums and bass to open before the synths join in. The guitar starts to rip it up. Awesome sound ! Gilbert Artman the leader from LARD FREE guests on drums. How cool is that ! "Cocaine Blues" features pulsating electronics as other sounds come in. A deeper sound then takes over as other sounds come in. So much going on here. By the way the first disc is my favourite.

Disc two begins with "Aurore" which features some guest Indian harmonium.This is very repetitive. Dogs come in barking before 15 minutes to add a new dimension, but at over 18 minutes in length this is a long one. "Virgin Swedish Blues" has these spacey sounds as the guitar tastefully plays. Mellotron in this one as well. "Ocean Boogi" is my favourite of disc two. The acoustic guitar, bass and spacey sounds all sound so good. Electric guitar arrives after 2 minutes. Mellotron follows. Such a good track. "Zind Destruction" is dedicated to "the man on the guitar" which I assume is Robert Fripp. The guitar sounds so psychedelic here as Richard lights it up. The sounds pulsate as Pinhas solos away. "Doctor Bloodmoney" is the almost 17 minute closer. Lots of spacey synths including Patrick Gauthiers solo. Jean comes in on the drums 12 1/2 minutes in right to the end. Some excellent moments from him here.

An excellent double album.

Review by ZowieZiggy
2 stars The least I can with this French band, is that the more they released albums, the least accessible is their music.

Their first two albums showed a clear Crimson influence which is hardly to find here. The sound is mostly purely experimental, mechanical, and technical. If you're looking at beautiful synth lines, music from the outer world, amazing and poignant melodies there is only one advice: you'd better pass your way because this album doesn't feature any of these characteristics.

"It's Always Rock 'N' Roll" (what a strange title for such music displayed) is not as minimalist as the "Kraftwerk" debut, but it is not too far either. I am not submerged with joy while listening to this long release. The stereotype could be "Cocaine Blues": a boring and repetitive track of about ten minutes which generates basically no emotion at all. And I need emotions to survive.

The first track that could raised my interest is the first epic "Aurore" (dawn). This is indeed a fine prog electronic track. At least according my concepts which combine some coldness, great atmosphere, aerial keys, some magnificence and last but not least some great harmonies. Some TD filiation at the turn of the second part is probably not alien to my good impression about this song.

The icy "Ocean Boogi" holds some nice mellotron sounds which are quite precursory of the much later Scandinavian scene. A good track indeed.

I wouldn't even take the long running time of this album as an argument: would it be cut by half, I wouldn't have liked it better. Only "Aurore" and "Ocean Boogi" are worth. Two stars.

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