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MORSE CODE

Symphonic Prog • Canada


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Morse Code biography
This Quebecois band has three phases. First came the psych period under which they were known as MORSE CODE TRANSMISSION and made two psych albums in 71 & 72 sung in English. Highly collectible but somewhat out of the scope of this site. The second phase saw their names shortened and with the Quebec prog explosion under way decided to switch to French singing. The three albums that followed are real gems of progressive music oscillating between GENESIS and BARCLAY JAMES HARVEST but the French texts (sometimes highly impressive) gave them a sound of their own. Of those three albums, 'Procreation" is the better one but badly represented in the compilation - the only CD release so far. They disbanded, as the disco wave became a Tsunami in La Belle Province only to reform in 83 to make a best-forgotten English-sung album and again in 95 for a much better one again in French.

MORSE CODE is really recommended to fans of symphonic rock but the albums are somewhat hard to find (but not too difficult either) in vinyl. Plans are to release the three classic albums in the not-too-distant future.

: : : Hugues Chantraine, BELGIUM : : :

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ProcreationProcreation
Extra tracks · Import
Progquebec 2007
Audio CD$21.96
Code BreakerCode Breaker
Import
Unidisc Records 2000
Audio CD$15.55
$80.14 (used)
Marche Des HommesMarche Des Hommes
Extra tracks · Import
Progquebec 2007
Audio CD$18.13
$28.45 (used)
Je Suis Le TempsJe Suis Le Temps
Import
Progquebec 2007
Audio CD$21.48
Morse Code / Thank GodMorse Code / Thank God
Tone Def
Vinyl$8.34 (used)
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MORSE CODE discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

MORSE CODE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.97 | 12 ratings
Morse Code Transmission
1971
3.37 | 13 ratings
Morse Code Transmission II
1972
3.93 | 48 ratings
La Marche Des Hommes
1975
3.74 | 37 ratings
Procréation
1976
3.33 | 19 ratings
Je Suis le Temps
1977
1.81 | 8 ratings
Code Breaker
1983
2.92 | 11 ratings
D'un Autre Monde
1995

MORSE CODE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

MORSE CODE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

MORSE CODE Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.13 | 10 ratings
Les Grands Succès de Morse Code
1978

MORSE CODE Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

MORSE CODE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Procréation by MORSE CODE album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.74 | 37 ratings

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Procréation
Morse Code Symphonic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

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.

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 La Marche Des Hommes by MORSE CODE album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.93 | 48 ratings

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La Marche Des Hommes
Morse Code Symphonic Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

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.)

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 La Marche Des Hommes by MORSE CODE album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.93 | 48 ratings

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La Marche Des Hommes
Morse Code Symphonic Prog

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

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.

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 La Marche Des Hommes by MORSE CODE album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.93 | 48 ratings

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La Marche Des Hommes
Morse Code Symphonic Prog

Review by toroddfuglesteg

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 space rock, The Nice, ELP, Genesis...... well, symphonic prog. Add some PFM & other vintage RPI influences too and you get this album.

The music is tangents based with some guitars included too. The vocals are pretty good and they are thankfully sung in French. It is always nice with some variations from the usual fare of English vocals.

The quality throughout this album is good throughout. There is no real outstanding pieces of music here though. But I suspect this album is a late bloomer which will only reveal itself after ten listening sessions and some years. Hence, it has been put in my colletion of late bloomer and this review may be altered in five years time. But as it is now, I cannot really say this is a great album. It has a lot of good melody lines and clever hooks though. But not throughout the album. It is a very good album though and somewhere between 3 and 4 stars.

3.5 stars

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 Procréation by MORSE CODE album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.74 | 37 ratings

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Procréation
Morse Code Symphonic Prog

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

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.

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 La Marche Des Hommes by MORSE CODE album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.93 | 48 ratings

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La Marche Des Hommes
Morse Code Symphonic Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

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.

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 Procréation by MORSE CODE album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.74 | 37 ratings

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Procréation
Morse Code Symphonic Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

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.

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 La Marche Des Hommes by MORSE CODE album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.93 | 48 ratings

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La Marche Des Hommes
Morse Code Symphonic Prog

Review by João Paulo

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 are in French. Great singer. Great bass and guitar performances and keiboards give the progressive soud of this band. Nothing is bad in this album and all instruments are necessary to give the context of this work. I have a version of ProgQuebec with 2 bónus tracks, but both are nothing special but give some other face of this band. I like very much La Marche Des Homes and to me, it´s a masterpiese of Progressive made in Canadá and made in seventies. I give 4 stars but 4,5 really.

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 Procréation by MORSE CODE album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.74 | 37 ratings

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Procréation
Morse Code Symphonic Prog

Review by maryes

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 country! I also consider his work more gone back to the progressive symphonic. The first track soon in begin invokes already to strong influences of bands as GENESIS, YES and CAMEL through some beautiful moments of prominence for the flute played by Daniel Lemay and the keyboard is pure inspiration in GENESIS. The second track brings us a heavier sound with vocal that invoke influences of French bands like ANGE and MONALISA. The third track is very short and suggested me influences of bands as it TRACE. The fourth track brings a ballad with a beautiful keyboard work from organ and electric piano. The fifth track comes in a hard rhythm with beautiful bass work and a keyboards solo in Rick Wakeman's vein and at the end it presents a vocal full of laughters that without a doubt healthy influences in the way of singing of the progressive French and his theatrical form of vocalizations. The sixth track brings a t ype of prelude in pastoral climate (you can hear the birds singing) commanded by the acoustic guitar and it concludes in a theme that reminded me "Riplles" of GENESIS. The last track (actually they are three tracks) it is a type of suite that brings the best moments of this excellent disk where is very difficult to detach one moment or an instrumental solo, because it is simply perfect!!! My rate is 5 stars !!!

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 Procréation by MORSE CODE album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.74 | 37 ratings

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Procréation
Morse Code Symphonic Prog

Review by Thierry

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. Imagine a concept album about birth, death and spirituality in French, featuring a gorgeous epic (26') showing an intricate, complex structure with syncopes, bridges, various rhythms and atmospheres, and of course sumptuous keyboards parts! Yes, a dream come true, a French-speaking King Crimson, although I missed Robert Fripp's guitars! ProgQuébec, a young Canadian label, had the good idea of reissuing it with a new remastered sound and two instrumental bonus. Merci les chums for this is a real must. What about reissuing Octobre's "Survivance" now, another masterpiece of Quebec prog? My LP is in a poor condition!

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