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Heavy Prog • France

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Ocean picture
Ocean biography
French quartet OCEAN was founded in 1974 by guitarist/keyboardist George Bodossian. Their first album, God's Clown was released in 1976 by the renowned French label Barclay. Sung entirely in English, the album blends clear LED ZEPPELIN references(such as the androgynous, Plant-like vocals of singer Robert Belmonte) with KING CRIMSON and other progressive influences.

Further information on the band's activity is hard to come by. However, it seems they released four albums altogether, with the last, self-titled effort released in 1981 (though with a different drummer). The last concerts of this line-up are made in November 1981. Thy released a best of in 1982, and in 1983, Robert CALFATI on drums, Farid MEDJANE and Bennie SLOYAN on guitars joined the band. Some new songs are made including 2 more in 1986 with Robert BELMONTE and Georges BODOSSIAN. More recently, they have made new versions of their catalogue including a box set 0f 4 Cds ; "Story, live and more : the definitive collection" (2010). The band played some new gigs through Europe with a new line-up before the original bass player Noel ALBEROLA joined the band again in 2014. The band is planning to make a comeback in Paris in 2015 with a possible new album.

Raffaella Berry (Raff)
Updates by rdtprog

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OCEAN discography

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

4.30 | 24 ratings
God's Clown
3.25 | 4 ratings
0.00 | 0 ratings
C'est La Fin ...

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

3.00 | 2 ratings
A Live + B

OCEAN Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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

3.00 | 1 ratings
Story, Live and More : The Definitive Collection

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

OCEAN Reviews

Showing last 10 reviews only
 God's Clown by OCEAN album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.30 | 24 ratings

God's Clown
Ocean Heavy Prog

Review by Sagichim
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars One of the best heavy prog jams in PA, so unknown and rated so low, it borders a crime ( below 3 stars ). So here is the first review of the album just to let you in on this very obscure band. Ocean are a 4 piece band from france founded in 1974, but it wasn't until 1976 when they released their debut album, lying heavily on the tasty guitar work of Georges Bodossian, so this may appeal more to hard rock, guitar 70's style playing lovers. The band plays some heavy progressive rock reminiscent of other power trios in style and in sound, but does not hold any french elements like other bands Ange or Mona Lisa do, the music resembles heavy prog from england rather than from france, another element helping that is the english sung vocals by Robert Belmonte, who sometimes manages to sound like Robert Plant or a woman rather than a man. Trying to sing in english to get out of the french boundaries was not a good choice for the band since they didn't have the right marketing to push them out of france. As good as the vocals are maybe they should have been in french rather than in english, an element the band occupied later.

The album is divided into two parts, each part contains 4 songs that flow from one to the next very easily, although moving to other directions the songs are still connected as a whole with that heavy guitar jamming. The music is in hard rock style never going in one direction but keeping the listener on his toes with all kinds of twists and turns, and a lot of fiery guitar solos that will make you air-guitaring for sure. The guitars by Bodossian are tasteful and exciting ranges from clean lines, to rhythmic to hard rocking riffing and of course those frenzy fiery solos, located in the middle with generous volume just to nail your ass to the floor. The rhythm section certainly is keeping up with those guitar runs and add a lot of power to the music, making this release a nuclear bomb.

Said they are reminiscent of Led Zeppelin, i would say maybe the first Zep album comes to mind, but this is more hard rocking sound like other albums by Budgie, Night Sun, T2, Rush and more aggressive Frippian leads. The writing is very good and although this is not 100% progressive stuff, the music is still interesting, fun and always changing, definitely aiming towards progressive rock fans. The songs are mainly upbeat and have a real sense of drive and power, making you think " who the hell needs keys?? " but then again i can not but wonder what would they achieve with a good keyboardist on board?. Not a lot of information is available about the band, but it seems they have released more albums in the 70's not listed in PA. Their 1981 album is totally different pointing to the local french scene. I wish there is a second album like this one, because this is exactly my cup of whiskey.

In conclusion if you are looking for something that will boil your blood, and like any of the bands mentioned, you shouldn't miss out on this masterpiece jam. I was thinking over between 4 or 5 stars, but actualy this is so good and i can not give it 4, this is 4.5 rounded up proudly.

Thanks to raff for the artist addition.

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