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Patrick Moraz

Crossover Prog

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Patrick Moraz Timecode album cover
1.94 | 17 ratings | 4 reviews | 0% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1984

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. No Sleep Tonight (4:50)
2. I Want U (3:57)
3. Beyond The Pleasure (3:48)
4. Life In The Underworld (4:13)
5. Overload (3:27)
6. Black Brains Of Positronic Africa (5:00)
7. Elastic Freedom (In Search Of) (4:14)
8. Shakin' With The Passion (3:59)
9. You Are The Vision Of My Dream (4:55)

Total time 38:23

Bonus tracks on 2006 remaster:
10. No Sleep Tonight (Original Keyboard Backing Track) (5:06)
11. Black Brains Of Positronic Africa (Ballet Music) (Original Keyboard Backing Track) (5:07)

Line-up / Musicians

- Patrick Moraz / chants, performer, programming, co-producer

- John McBurnie / lead & harmony vocals
- Kitty Bruce / lead vocals (7)
- Lyn 'Cecil' Collins / backing vocals (1,5,7,9)
- Gregg Jackman / chanting vocals (3)
- John Avila / bass, lead vocals (1,5,9)
- Gregory Alban / drums (1,5,9)
- Bill Bruford / Simmons drums (4)
- Barry Radman / programming, co-producer

Releases information

Artwork: Shoot That Tiger!

LP Passport Records ‎- PB 6039 (1984, US)

CD TimeWave Music - IDVP007CD (2006, UK) Remastered with 2 bonus tracks

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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PATRICK MORAZ Timecode ratings distribution

(17 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(0%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(0%)
Good, but non-essential (18%)
Collectors/fans only (29%)
Poor. Only for completionists (53%)

PATRICK MORAZ Timecode reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
1 stars This is not the kind of prog album that I want you to collect. Even, I have difficulty in categorizing the music of this album. For sure, it's not prog at all. Most of songs were performed in pop / disco kind of beat. I can not believe this album is from one of prog rock maestro where his performance in YES "Relayer" was really excellent. Probably, Moraz was tired with the kind of complex music and tried to make it simple. The result was the album that is nowhere to take the best part of it. If I review this album under the corridor of pop or disco music, I still cannot take the best out of it. One track reminds me to the OST from the film "Flash Dance" starred by Jennifer Beals in the 80s from the song "It's a Maniac". Only this thing that I know out of this album.

There is one track that has a sort of prog (probably?) touch, i.e "Black Brain of Positronic Africa". Moraz also used the lead vocal of his previous work: John McBurnie. Bill Bruford contributed to this album using Simon drums on "Life in the Underworld". But, it does not help. Even, I can not sense the touch of Bruford here.

If you really want to get the best albums of Patrick Moraz, you must buy "The Story of I" and "Out In The Sun" albums. GW, Indonesia.

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
1 stars Warning, beware of the Europop

It is ironic that Moraz is by far best known for his brief time with Yes, which resulted in one classic album ("Relayer"), and part of one live album ("Yesshows"). Prior to that he replaced Keith Emerson in the Nice, who then became known as Refugee. In more recent times, he has also been a part time member of the Moody Blues. Along the way, he has produced a succession of solo albums, "Timecode" being a 1984 release, while he was with said Moodies.

With Moraz enviable heritage, it is difficult to see what he was trying to achieve here, or indeed to offer any words of encouragement. Let's be clear, this album is as prog as Abba, in fact the comparison with that group is quite appropriate. This is an album of pop songs with a dance beat. While Moraz takes on virtually all the instrumental duties himself, the track are dominated by the vocals of John McBurnie, Kitty Bruce, and John Avila. Moraz chants from time to time, but there's little in the way of keyboard solos. By the time we get to track 4, "Life in the underworld", were listening to pure Europop, this particular track would fit right in on a Bucks Fizz b-side.

The only track to offer any redemption, is "Black brains of positronic Africa", an entirely instrumental track which finally sees Moraz taking centre stage. It still has that pop beat, but there are definite jazz noodlings, and at least we get to hear Moraz upfront. From there on in, its more of the same average pop songs.

I guess we all have our off days, but Moraz quality control went haywire here, avoid.

Review by greenback
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars When I bought this record several years ago, I found it pretty bad and insipid: so, the rating would have been near 0 star. But nowadays, my capability to notice the many good points regarding this record seem to have increased. This record remains VERY underrated in the prog community, since it is not prog at all: maybe people are just afraid to like it, but I am not!

The songs are quite dynamic, unbelievably CATCHY for a prog/fusion composer, and the sound is quite fresh, modern and good: Moraz's keyboards sound more European new wave of the 80's than Latin. It is clear here that Moraz wanted to reach success by "TRYING" to make pop & accessible songs! The problem with most of the prog artists is that they do not have the capability of creating hits. I would say Moraz succeeded at a certain level: indeed, most of his songs here are pretty well made, and their pop, addictive & catchy characters are quite noticeable, although it is probably not accessible enough for the average people: you listen to the keyboards textures, the catchy male & female vocals and the other instruments, and you are able to find many catchy & addictive things that can be appreciated even by a simple minded person; unfortunately this applies to about 50% of the album, like on "No sleep tonight", "I want you", "Overload", "Elastic freedom", "Shakin' with the passion" and "You are the vision of my dreams". I dare to say the catchy parts are worth a 3.5 stars, while the rest is less convincing, reaching say 2.5 stars. "Elastic freedom" is the best track: it is a catchy & accessible pop track, featuring a female singer reminding the Parachute Club's singer. If Moraz extended the catchy & addictive aspects to all the record, then this album would have probably been categorized as a very good pop one!

Review by daveconn
3 stars I've seen two reviews of this album on ProgArchives, both rating it one out of five stars. Me, I've got precious few single-star arrows in my quiver, as I feel that dismissing any work of art (musical or otherwise) diminishes us, the audience. So first order of business: Timecode isn't a bad album at all. Secondly, a frame of reference by which to admire it: Thomas Dolby, Tony Banks, the Peter Baumann of "Repeat Repeat." Moraz and vocalist John McBurnie plied similar terrain on Out In The Sun, only this time they're blinded by the science of DIY (do it yourself) synthesizer pop. (McBurnie even references the Dolby hit on "Beyond The Pleasure"). I'm not particularly fond of synthesizer pop music, cautious as I am of the thin line that separates guilty pleasure from gullet-choking tripe. Yes, you'll find both on Timecode, sometimes in the same song. For example, the first run-through of "Life In The Underworld" is a hoot, the repetition of it a bore. And the cleverness of "I Want U" is canceled out by a lame entry like "Shakin' With The Passion." McBurnie has a good voice, warmer than a lot of the synthesizer clones (Peter Schilling, Dolby, etc.), and Moraz again makes sound choices with his synthesizers. If you found Bankstatement an unprofitable exercise, then Timecode might be a waste of it. The only progressive moment is the instrumental "Black Brains of Positronic Africa," which sounds uncannily like Chick Corea. The rest of the album is less catchy than The Fugitive, more catchy than Dolby's The Flat Earth, and otherwise a pretty good example of what happens when progressive keyboard players try to cross over into the global pop market. The lyrics are ESeLementary, and a theme of love over the airwaves seems to run through the album, but I don't believe this is a concept album. (The absence of a two-page insert with mad notes and drawings squeezed into the margins would confirm that belief.) I don't believe this is a one-star album either, but rather an average album of synthesizer pop from a fertile mind. And my world feels a little larger for it.

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