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ALICE

Psychedelic/Space Rock • France


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Alice biography
I guess most of you understood where this band got its name. Alice is one of the first generation of groups to have done progressive rock in France, even if their sound often came close to the blues rock, they mixed in some heavy psychedelic ideas and threw in a couple pinches of prog purée in their music and achieved a very interesting album, recorded in London and released in early 70. Clearly the leader was multi-instrumentalist and singer JP Auffredo and his style on flute was reminiscent of Jethro Tull, Traffic but sometimes the Yardbirds as well.

Their second album Arrêtez Le Monde (stop the world) would be a tad more progressive and be released in two version: the original French version and its English counterpart called All Ice. The group would disband by the mid-70's but most members stayed active some releasing solo albums and others appearing on different project or joining groups (such as Alpes).


::: review written by Hugues Chantraine, Belgium :::



Why this artist must be listed in www.progarchives.com :
one of the first French prog band



Discography:
Alice (70)
Arrêtez Le Monde (72)
All Ice (72)

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ALICE discography


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

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

3.91 | 26 ratings
Alice
1970
3.28 | 13 ratings
Arrêtez Le Monde
1972
3.00 | 5 ratings
All Ice
1972

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ALICE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Arrêtez Le Monde  by ALICE album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.28 | 13 ratings

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Arrêtez Le Monde
Alice Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

3 stars 3.5 stars really!!

Second (and last) album from this early French Psych-prog rock group with one of the best album title ever: Arrêtez Le Monde (stop the planet/world) as in "stop the bus ride, let me out here". Behind this title, Alice's music is still the same despite line-up changes. Still lead by Alain Suzan, the multi-instrumentalist quintet is a triple guitar group with Suzan also chipping in flute and doing bass duties. Uncredited horns (mainly sax, but also a full section) are sprinkled throughout the album. Despite being recorded at the famed (well not yet) Hérouville studio, there are times where you'd swear this is a garage products with some cringey moments, with vocals being the weakest point.

After a small instrumental intro where Suzan's flute dominated over some heavy chords, the album verses into Salina, a good mid-tempo song that evolves constantly and often comes close to perfection. The great 13-mins mini-suite title track is the first time we hear their voices (except for small outbreaks in Salina) and the track is not far from being an end- of-Beatles Harrison track. Byzance returns to the heavy Crimson-ian moods that we'd heard sketches off in the introduction. A very pastoral flute over wind gusts, it could sound like a Crimson track of the first album, but it goes nowhere before the title track returns to end the album's first side.

The flipside opens with the short promising Ouverture (meaning, we're expecting another mini-suite), before letting the savage guitars rampage through les Roseaux (reeds, the plants) one of the weaker track along with "Quelqu'un qui t'aime" (atrocious vocals and ill- advised guitars), but Franky l'Oiseau is definitely not better-inspired with flawed vocals and again bad guitars. The closing two-parts Le Cercle turns 180° and turns out to be a real masterpiece despite an arduous start in the first part, but the second part shows just how majestic the album could've been with some masterful constantly changing prog that often nears perfection, coming with an exciting sax solo and some brass arrangements. Amazing stuff?. Too bad there is not more of it on this album.

Definitely a two-sided story, this album starts out quite fine (despite sounding a bit amateur) but quickly turns catastrophic once you flip it over, with only the last track to tip the balance the right way. Sooooo Alice is a risky business for progheads that want flawless albums, and in this case, they might have to settle for a half album and couple it with the debut album and the singles, to get something damn good.

 Alice by ALICE album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.91 | 26 ratings

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Alice
Alice Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Discographia

4 stars When we listen to This album we say to ourselves, but that's right the true music! The words are really of current events, with a highly-rated young tres prog and tres heavy, tres delicious has the ear. When we think that they said that ' arretez the world and let I come down(fall) ' I saw enough it I do not walk(work) any more I am tired, but it is fantastic, the singer also sings tres indeed I think that one can say that it is an essential album in the international progressive Rock. It is a pity Alice became rather rare, in France has there not has to say the groups suffer from a lack of gratitude(recognition) while they are fabulous.
 Alice by ALICE album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.91 | 26 ratings

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Alice
Alice Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

4 stars Alice is a bit of a UFO in the French sky, as they sounded un-French, even if they sang in French, and considering they were among the very first wave of prog group in the country along with Martin Circus and Ame Son. Not only did they record their debut album in London, but their music was very UK- influenced, drawing many comparisons, most due to JP Auffredo's wide array of wind instruments use, violin, guitars and percussion and piano. With a cute montage of band pictures and clothes tissues artwork, Alice's debut album is one of the cornerstone of the psych prog scene of their country.

Starting on a menacing keyboard and sax line accompanied by a descending bass line, Alice's opening of their debut album is one of the most striking one, the group continuing on its inertia, and set out for a superbly fun eastern-sounding instrumental, especially once Auffredo abandons his sax for a lovely flute. A short pastoral Onurb with seagulls in the backgrounds leads us into the great Nouveau Monde (later drawn out as a single and added as a bonus), where over a metronomic percussion, Auffredo's flute takes on Tull proportions. The vocally affected and effected L'Arbre is a great Yardbird-esque and ends in total chaos: absolutely great ending. The short Valse (waltz) is mostly a flute thing, Auffredo double-tracking himself, and Besse's acoustic guitar pulling some nice chords. L'Enfant is another great track with Auffredo now on the violin, we could imagine Family or String Driven Thing.

The 7-mins Cercle seems to indicate that this was only a part of a longer project, here reduced to a duet of movement. Venez Jouer (come and play) takes on another fun pace, with Auffredo always ready to switch between his many instruments. This track also sandwiches the Mexican Song (but the second part is insignificant), which is a little folk ditty, albeit of a lesser and rawer Santana. Turn The Page is a wild prog instrumental that merits its highlight, especially in the end with its impressive stop & go section. Much too short award. .

Coming as bonus tracks are the first few singles released by the group, the first prior to their debut album: De L'Autre Coté Du Miroir is a very 60's sounding French psych pop track, while its original flipside Viens (come) is a fuzzed-out affair, both likely to please psych collectors around the world, both tracks slightly veering prog. Next is a single version of Nouveau Monde (from the album) and it was coupled with a non-album track called Que Pouvons Nous Faire Ensemble (nearing the 5-mins mark), a dreamy hippy blues with a searing guitar in the forefront. Last up is Je Voudrais Habiter Le Soleil (I wish to live on the sun) recorded in 71 as a single (at least I guess), proof that prog could be sold (or at least marketed) as a single and despite a poor recording sound, it is an excellent song; while Il Viendra (he shall come) is again in the same psych/prog vein, sometimes sounding like The Beatles on a very wiold trip, sometimes like a cool Trower-led Procol Harum.

Even though the bonus tracks don't really match the album's sound, the album proper is not exactly a very focused oeuvre (musically, because lyrically it makes a whole)

Thanks to Sean Trane for the artist addition. and to NotAProghead for the last updates

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