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ALAIN GORAGUER

Psychedelic/Space Rock • France


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Alain Goraguer biography
Alain Yves Réginald Goraguer - Born on August 20, 1931 (Rosny-sous-Bois, France)

French arranger who did movie soundtracks, worked for french variety singers and is mostly known for his work as Serge Gainsbourg's arranger, he signed the soundtrack of the 1973 René Laloux cosmic cartoon, "La planète sauvage" (The fantastic planet), his more progressive and ambitious work.



Why this artist must be listed in www.progarchives.com :
A French 70's progressive rarity.

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ALAIN GORAGUER discography


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ALAIN GORAGUER top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.67 | 3 ratings
Go-Go-Goraguer
1956
3.80 | 26 ratings
La Planète Sauvage (OST)
1973

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ALAIN GORAGUER Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 La Planète Sauvage (OST) by GORAGUER, ALAIN album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.80 | 26 ratings

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La Planète Sauvage (OST)
Alain Goraguer Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

4 stars LA PLANÉTE SAUVAGE (released as FANTASTIC PLANET in English speaking countries) was quite the hit back in 1973 when this animated cult science fiction film written and directed by Ren' Laloux and co-written by Roland Topor was awarded the Grand Prix special jury prize at the 1973 Cannes Film Festival. This strange story was about humans living on a different planet where they were under the subjugation of giant humanoid aliens who deemed them mere animals which was based on the 1957 novel 'Oms En Série' (Oms Linked Together) by French writer Stefan Wul. The film imagery is instantly recognizable by its posters of giant blue aliens in some sort of contact with humans with the most famous shot being the one where an alien is holding a human in its hand.

The film was fairly innovative and like any unique movie that wishes to express some sort of overall mood, LA PLANÉTE SAUVAGE required a soundtrack that would evoke the proper emotional responses. Better known for his work as the arranger for Serge Gainsbourg, ALAIN GORAGUER was chosen to adapt a musical experience of 25 short vignettes that each connected to create a larger experience. A strange choice for Laloux considering that GORAGUER had only one jazz album under his belt in the form of 1956's 'Go-Go-Goraguer' and another soundtrack for the children's show 'Un Enfant Nomm' Michel' in 1972. However perhaps he had the right idea to have a relative unknown to craft this unique alien world's soundtrack as to create a more mysterious vibe.

Despite the exotic theme of the film, the soundtrack is more grounded in the era it was crafted and very much sounds like it is based on Pink Floyd's 'Atom Heart Mother Suite,' which finds cool chilled out tempos, lots of mellotron and harpsichord and a whole bunch of wah-wah that evokes a funk flair that was also all the rage in the 70s. Like any good soundtrack, it was designed to accompany the film and not steal its thunder, therefore it is fairly repetitive but offers the subtle ingredients of jazz and progressive rock that fuel the variations of an overall theme. Given this was the 70s, the expected audience participation was that of those who could relate to a drug fueled hypnotic state that worked in tandem with the visuals.

The soundtrack itself has been released with no less than five album covers which found the original and each subsequent reissuing finding a new artistic representation the film, but personally mine is the first version which depicts a mottled blue alien looking down on a human holding him in its hand and provides the allegory of many of the occupations of humans against other humans throughout history as well as the pondering of whether humanity itself is herded by invisible forces from somewhere way beyond our atmospheric jurisdiction. Musically this soundtrack flows rather predictably with a mix of space rock fueled funk on chill out mode alongside circus themed waltzes that fit into the overall soundtrack trends that were popular in France and Italy during this period of time.

This mood bending mix of psychedelia, jazz and funk has been sampled by many hip hop artists of the new millennium as it has the same repetitive characteristic and subtle subliminal changes that the genre has excelled in. The original packaging was quite lavash as it included a 16-page booklet that described the entire story and included imagery from the film but found no credits for the musicians and as far as i know still remains a mystery with most sources giving credit to GORAGUER as sole creator and Roland Topor responsible for artwork, illustration and cover art. Despite engaging in rather lengthy careers, LA PLAN'TE PLANÉTE remains the most lauded creative peak of both director Laloux as well as musical achievement of GORAGUER and both film and soundtrack remain popular in the modern day era.

For my liking, a soundtrack rated on its own has to stand up on its own independently outside the context of the visuals that was designed to represent and in the case of LA PLANÉTE SAUVAGE, the music does succeed in evoking the period piece Euro soundtrack sound that makes me think of the space rock meets funk jazz musical projects of the day. While this is less dramatic than soundtrack bands like Goblin and despite the connection is not even remotely connected to the Serge Gainsbourg sound, it does however provide a super chilled-out drifting through the musical variations in a futuristic loungey electronic jazz scenario. Perhaps if this was made today, the music would be much more esoteric and alien sounding and would match the extraterrestrial imagery more suitably but given the era it was released, this must've fit in quite well with all the new freaky music that sounds pretty tame by today's standards.

 La Planète Sauvage (OST) by GORAGUER, ALAIN album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.80 | 26 ratings

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La Planète Sauvage (OST)
Alain Goraguer Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Guldbamsen
Special Collaborator Retired Admin

4 stars Soundtrack for the mind

Having never seen this French cult cartoon, I hold onto the images the imaginative, yet incredibly harnessed music paints within me - like a sailor to a mast - a regular tree-hugger constricting an elderly oak.

It is easy to dream yourself far away to this album, and if anything - this has got to be one of the most panoramic and visual musical affairs I've ever come across. You can just imagine huge rainbow coloured images flashing before your eyes - brightly exploding greens upon reds and yellows in one giant feast of sonic lead brush-strokes.

No wonder since Alain Goraguer is mostly known for his work as a music conductor for French television. Though my guess is that this album, The Fantastic Planet, remains his most elaborate venture; in a time where music and art went together like tomatoes and salt, and who can really fault him for trying to widen his horizon during a cataclysmic year for music, where the walls between genres and styles literally came tumbling down... Sure, it was a gradual thing that didn't happen over night, but when you start listening to a lot of the movie soundtracks that were being made around the same time, you'll spot an openness to music and possibilities that quite elegantly mirrored what our great prog rock heroes were hinting at as well.

La Planète Sauvage is actually one long piece divided up in some 25 distinguishable titles. A strong charismatic theme runs through the heart of it like a beautiful red velvety string - emerging from the depths of the tunes like a sweet tender melodic touch. It's theatrical and grand as only the French can make it, but boy is it memorable, and before you know it, you'll be humming the main theme in the back of your mind like a long lost ditty from your school-days.

Connecting everything on here is a deep powerful psychedelic funk drive. Much of it comes from the hapsichord and wah wah guitar - together driving this thing forth with a propulsive energy that reminds this listener of George Clinton and the whole Funkadelic sound. What sets Goraguer apart though, is his natural soundtrack heritage - the power to wield a symphony orchestra that very delicately and softly applies velvet and corduroy to a funk-based album that otherwise would come off dirty and gritty - making your head bob and your pelvis shake. -And even if Clinton went on to do the same sort of thing, you can't really compare it to what is happening here. Maybe it's a French thing, because I hear a lot of the same qualities in Vannier's L'Enfant Assassin des Mouche, only this record is much less eclectic and experimental, - but there's something quite original at play. A musical trade that while funky at heart, never really wanders from that unique French vibe.

Imagine a smooth, psychedelic, velvety, panoramic, symphonic gulp of funk laden Shaft music, and you effectively get La Planète Sauvage. Every single time I put this album on, I get transported to a place behind my eyelids, where all sorts of creatures emerge. Much like those commercials Animal Planet do for themselves, I find myself seeing bizarre shapes of neon sea slugs writhing, lime green mantas on the prowl and soaring majestic jellyfish looking like strange flying see through muscles. All of this and much much more awaits the humble listener, when approaching this wonderful soundtrack. I, for one, don't need a cartoon to add colours to the mix, that's for damn sure...

 La Planète Sauvage (OST) by GORAGUER, ALAIN album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.80 | 26 ratings

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La Planète Sauvage (OST)
Alain Goraguer Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by oliverstoned
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars 3,5 stars

Soundtrack from the cosmic poetic René Laloux 1973 cartoon, "La planète sauvage" (The fantastic planet), is Alain gorager's most progressive and ambitious work. Made of 25 short pieces with several recurrent melodic themes, the music perfectly illustrates the movie strangeness. The instrumentation is typically 70's and progressive with the use of beautiful psychedelic guitar soli (track 22 "générique", main theme), mellotron, harpsichord, a funky feel thanks to a lot of wah-wah guitar and a hint of jazz with some saxophone and flute on the beautiful "Strip Tease". Female chorus contribute to that supernatural feeling. A bewitching album.

Thanks to oliverstoned for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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