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CLEARLIGHT

Symphonic Prog • France


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Clearlight biography
CLEARLIGHT is a project of French song-writer and composer Cyrille "CLEARLIGHT" Verdeaux, with a blend of classical romanticism and prog-rock experimentation. CLEARLIGHT was the name of Verdeaux's first 1975 released album, which was the first French progressive rock album signed under a major British label.

During the 1970's, the death of Verdeaux's 4-year-old son forced the composer to travel to India where he studied yoga and meditation which he has acknowledged profoundly influenced his later music. In 1980, CLEARLIGHT SYMPHONY was reborn when Verdeaux released the album NOCTURNE DIGITALIS and later OFFRANDES.

In the mid-80's Cyrille Verdeaux released a succession of similar albums, as well as a cassette-only compilation release known as the KUNDALINI OPERA in 1984.

Cyrille Verdeaux's work is similar to ARJEN LUCASSEN'S AYREON albums because he has incorporated the talents of several other singers, songwriters, and composers such as David Cross of KING CRIMSON, Tim Blake and Steve Hillage of GONG, and jazz violinist Didier Malherbe.

Cyrille Verdeaux's CLEARLIGHT should be considered progressive rock because he conceptualizes meditation and incorporates complex musical ideas with his experiences with meditation and Indian music.

Joey Moore (CalamityDaemon)

Clearlight official website

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Buy CLEARLIGHT Music


Clearlight SymphonyClearlight Symphony
United States Dist 2014
Audio CD$10.77
$10.25 (used)
Impressionist SymphonyImpressionist Symphony
United States Dist 2014
Audio CD$10.76
$12.68 (used)
Les Contes Du Singe FouLes Contes Du Singe Fou
CD Baby 2008
Audio CD$21.16
$9.89 (used)
Forever Blowing BubblesForever Blowing Bubbles
United States Dist 2014
Audio CD$10.93
$19.68 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
CLEARLIGHT-Forever Blowing Bubbles Japan 1st.Press Promo w/OBI King Crimson USD $49.99 Buy It Now 4h 51m
Best Of Rainbow 1975-2000 - Clearlight Cyrille Verdeaux (2012, CD New) USD $12.61 Buy It Now 4h 54m
Clearlight Cyrille Verdeaux - Best Of Rainbow 1975-2000 [CD New] USD $13.49 Buy It Now 16h 59m
CLEARLIGHT - LES CONTE DU SINGE FOU - MINI LP CD + OBI USD $25.39 Buy It Now 19h 43m
CLEARLIGHT-TALES OF THE MAD MONKEY-JAPAN MINI LP CD G88 USD $29.99 Buy It Now 23h 45m
CLEARLIGHT SYMPHONY JAPAN MINI PROMO BOX + 5 CDS + 2 PROMO OBIS. USD $175.00 [0 bids]
23h 58m
Little Loki - Clearlight - Ultra Violet - 1997 #409783 USD $7.85 Buy It Now 1 day
Clearlight Forever Blowing Bubbles Japan CD Cyrille Verdeaux David Cross USD $27.99 Buy It Now 1 day
CLEARLIGHT-VISIONS-JAPAN MINI LP CD F56 USD $25.50 Buy It Now 1 day
Clearlight Symphony 'Clearlight Symphony' 1975 UK Vinyl LP (Steve Hillage) 2029 USD $32.99 [0 bids]
USD $42.89 Buy It Now
2 days
Christian Boulé ?- Photo Musik SEALED 1999 French Musea CD Clearlight Zao Khan USD $43.95 Buy It Now 2 days
Zao Typhareth SEALED 1998 Musea CD Magma Gong Clearlight Perception Abracadabra USD $73.95 Buy It Now 2 days
Steve Hillage BBC Radio 1 Live SEALED 1994 Canafa CD System 7 Clearlight Griffin USD $31.95 Buy It Now 2 days
Steve Hillage Live Herald SEALED Rem 2007 UK CD Bns Trk Gong Clearlight Khan 777 USD $23.95 Buy It Now 2 days
Steve Hillage Open SEALED Rem 2007 UK CD 2 bns trx Clearlight Gong Khan System 7 USD $18.95 Buy It Now 2 days
Clearlight Symphony S/T Rare '75 UK NM LP Steve Hillage Tim Blake Gong Hawkwind! USD $89.00 Buy It Now 2 days
CLEARLIGHT:FOREVER BLOWING BUBBLES USD $10.99 Buy It Now 2 days
Cordrazine-Clearlight-Cd-1997/ Great Aussie Rock USD $0.09 [0 bids]
2 days
CLEARLIGHT - Forever Blowing Bubbles - 1976 - CD - BONUS TRACKS - LIKE NEW USD $7.99 [0 bids]
3 days
NEBULA CLEARLIGHT 7" VERY RARE HTF OOP 1ST PRESSING 1999 FU MANCHU KYUSS QOTSA USD $25.00 [0 bids]
3 days
COCO ROUSSEL - Reaching Beyond (CD 1992) French drummer ex-Heldon/Clearlight/HTM USD $7.77 [0 bids]
3 days
Clearlight - Forever Blowing Bubbles 12" Lp 1975 USD $62.92 Buy It Now 3 days
CLEARLIGHT SYMPHONY JAPAN MINI LP CD W/ STICKER MINT Gong Mike Oldfield USD $24.99 [0 bids]
3 days
CLEARLIGHT FOREVER BLOWING BUBBLES JAPAN MINI LP CD MINT Gong David Cross USD $24.99 [0 bids]
3 days
Clearlight Symphony,Virgin Label,LP USD $9.99 [0 bids]
3 days
Clearlight ,Forever Blowing Bubbles,Virgin Label,LP USD $9.99 [0 bids]
3 days
Atoll: 4 Promo Obi only [no cd japan mini-lp magma clearlight crimson king Q USD $49.50 Buy It Now 4 days
Clearlight- Forever Blowing Bubbles. Prog, psych, France, Japan press, OOP USD $19.98 [0 bids]
4 days
Clearlight - Forever Blowing Bubbles USD $50.00 [0 bids]
5 days
Clearlight Symphony - S/T USD $85.00 [0 bids]
5 days
CLEARLIGHT - TRIBAL HYBRID CONCEPT - HST212CD USD $18.88 Buy It Now 5 days
CLEARLIGHT - IMPRESSIONIST SYMPHONY - HST214CD USD $18.88 Buy It Now 5 days
CLEARLIGHT - SOLAR TRANSFUSION (UK) NEW CD USD $27.06 Buy It Now 5 days
CLEARLIGHT - FOREVER BLOWING BUBBLES - HST209CD USD $18.88 Buy It Now 5 days
Clearlight - Les Contes Du Singe Fou [CD New] USD $16.73 Buy It Now 5 days
Delired Cameleon Family by Clearlight *New CD* USD $17.37 Buy It Now 5 days
CLEARLIGHT: Symphony LP (Spain, reissue) Rock & Pop USD $30.00 Buy It Now 6 days
CLEARLIGHT (FRENCH S - CLEARLIGHT VISIONS - NEW CD USD $12.82 Buy It Now 6 days
CLEARLIGHT SYMPHONY First LP (1975 prog/psych, Gong/Hillage/Blake, space rock!) USD $18.99 Buy It Now 7 days
CLEARLIGHT SYMPHONY LP 180 GRAM VINYL REISSUE NEW SEALED USD $22.01 Buy It Now 8 days
CLEARLIGHT: Les Contes Du Singe Fou LP (France, laminated gatefold cover 'Jem' USD $40.00 Buy It Now 8 days
DELIRED CAMELEON FAMILY-CLEARLIGHT,GONG, Mini LP CD+Obi USD $18.00 Buy It Now 9 days
CLEARLIGHT - FOREVER BLOWING BUBBLES - MINI LP CD + OBI USD $29.87 Buy It Now 9 days
V 1975 UK Virgin 1st *2-LP NM Slapp Happy White Noise Jabula Clearlight Symphony USD $95.00 Buy It Now 10 days
CLEARLIGHT SYMPHONY Virgin UK ORIGINAL LP V-2029 mellotron space prog NM- USD $63.75 Buy It Now 11 days
THE MYSTICK KREWE OF CLEARLIGHT S/T '00 Orig LP DOWN Crowbar EYEHATEGOD Sealed USD $24.99 Buy It Now 11 days
CLEARLIGHT - CLEARLIGHT SYMPHONY - HST207CD USD $21.36 Buy It Now 11 days
CLEARLIGHT (FRENCH S - TRIBAL HYBRID CONCEPT - NEW CD USD $14.76 Buy It Now 11 days
CLEARLIGHT (FRENCH S - CLEARLIGHT SYMPHONY - NEW CD USD $14.76 Buy It Now 11 days
CLEARLIGHT (FRENCH S - BEST OF CLEARLIGHT 1975-2013 - NEW CD USD $15.68 Buy It Now 11 days
GONG & CLEARLIGHT ON TOUR ADVERT - 8 NOV 1975 USD $12.57 Buy It Now 12 days
Best Of Clearlight USD $19.21 Buy It Now 12 days
Poster Size Advert 15x12 Clearlight : Clearlight Symphony Album USD $18.88 Buy It Now 12 days
Poster Size Advert 15x12 Clearlight Symphony by Clearlight (Album; Virgin; V2029 USD $18.88 Buy It Now 12 days
CLEARLIGHT CYRILLE VERDEAUX - BEST OF RAINBOW 1975-2000 NEW CD USD $18.31 Buy It Now 12 days
XIAN GOSPEL CLEARLIGHT LP THANK YOU LORD ARTONICS MINNESOTA VINYL STEREO RECORD USD $30.34 Buy It Now 13 days
Poster Size Advert 15x12 Clearlight : Forever Blowing Bubbles Album USD $18.88 Buy It Now 14 days
Poster Size Advert 15x12 Gong on tour with Clearlight USD $18.88 Buy It Now 14 days
CLEARLIGHT Les Contes du Singe Fou LP USD $37.99 Buy It Now 14 days
CLEARLIGHT MOSAIQUE In Your Hands CD NEW SEALED FRENCH IMPORT PROG ROCK USD $19.99 Buy It Now 14 days
CLEARLIGHT - TRIBAL HYBRID CONCEPT NEW CD USD $22.02 Buy It Now 14 days
CLEARLIGHT "FOREVER BLOWING BUBBLES" ULTRA-RARE ORIGINAL JAPAN PROMO SEALED CD! USD $49.99 Buy It Now 15 days
SPICKLE S/T CD Punk Hardcore Metal Dulac Swade CLEARLIGHT Hawg Jaw SOILENT GREEN USD $9.99 Buy It Now 15 days
Solar Transfusion - Clearlight (2014, CD New) USD $15.53 Buy It Now 15 days
Impressionist Symphony - Clearlight (2014, CD New) USD $17.05 Buy It Now 16 days
SPIRITS BURNING & CLEARLIGHT - HEALTHY MUSIC IN LARGE DOSES - HST117CD USD $21.36 Buy It Now 16 days
Clearlight ?Forever Blowing Bubbles Japan CD David Cross (King Crimson) USD $29.99 Buy It Now 16 days
Clearlight - Best Of Clearlight [CD New] USD $18.66 Buy It Now 16 days
CLEARLIGHT - BEST OF CLEARLIGHT - HST204CD USD $18.88 Buy It Now 16 days
Clearlight - Impressionist Symphony [CD New] USD $16.42 Buy It Now 16 days
CLEARLIGHT - IMPRESSIONIST SYMPHONY NEW CD USD $22.02 Buy It Now 16 days
Clearlight - Forever Blowing Bubbles [CD New] USD $16.48 Buy It Now 16 days
CLEARLIGHT - FOREVER BLOWING BUBBLES NEW CD USD $22.02 Buy It Now 16 days
Clearlight Symphony Clear Light Symphony s/t lp new vinyl reissue USD $34.99 Buy It Now 16 days
CLEARLIGHT - VISIONS - MINI LP CD + OBI USD $22.71 Buy It Now 17 days
Best Of Clearlight - Clearlight (2014, CD New) USD $18.01 Buy It Now 17 days
Forever Blowing Bubbles by Clearlight (French Space Prog)/Cyrille Verdeaux (CD, USD $18.86 Buy It Now 17 days
CLEARLIGHT: Visions LP (France, slight cover wear) rare Rock & Pop USD $40.00 Buy It Now 17 days
CLEARLIGHT Forever Blowing Bubbles CD Virgin Japan USD $12.99 Buy It Now 17 days
Clearlight Tribal Hybrid Concept CD USD $18.86 Buy It Now 18 days
Forever Blowing Bubbles - Clearlight (2014, CD New) USD $17.16 Buy It Now 18 days
CLEARLIGHT - SYMPHONY 75 KEYBOARD LED SYMPHONIC PROG w/ GONG membs REMASTERED CD USD $19.95 Buy It Now 18 days
Clearlight Symphony USD $19.21 Buy It Now 18 days
Best of Clearlight by Clearlight (French Space Prog) (CD, Feb-2014, United USD $18.86 Buy It Now 18 days
CLEARLIGHT (FRENCH S - IMPRESSIONIST SYMPHONY - NEW CD USD $13.41 Buy It Now 19 days
CLEARLIGHT (FRENCH S - FOREVER BLOWING BUBBLES [CLEARLIGHT (FRENCH - NEW CD USD $13.50 Buy It Now 19 days
CLEARLIGHT (FRENCH S - LES CONTES DU SINGE FOU [CLEARLIGHT (FRENCH - NEW CD USD $13.72 Buy It Now 19 days
Clearlight ~ Forever Blowing Bubbles/ Japan LP/ Sheet USD $18.49 Buy It Now 19 days
Clearlight - Solar Transfusion [CD New] USD $19.74 Buy It Now 19 days
Clearlight Symphony LP french prog electronic jazz Heldon RMO Wolfgang Dauner USD $45.00 Buy It Now 20 days
Clearlight Les Contes Du Singe Fou LP French prog jazz Heldon Electronic Synth USD $39.99 Buy It Now 20 days
DELIRED CAMELEON FAMILY / FRENCH PROG LP CLEARLIGHT GONG LARD FREE EMI LABEL USD $30.00 Buy It Now 21 days
DELIRED CAMELEON FAMILY S/T US CD wOBI, CLEARLIGHT still sealed USD $39.99 Buy It Now 21 days
Christian BOULE- Non-Fiction (CLEARLIGHT) USD $18.99 Buy It Now 22 days
Clearlight Forever Blowing Bubbles Virgin Records Prog / Psych LP NM USD $24.99 Buy It Now 22 days
Forever Blowing Bubbles Clearlight vinyl LP album record Japanese VIP-4051 USD $58.12 Buy It Now 22 days
CLEARLIGHT - LES CONTES DU SINGE FOU - HST210CD USD $19.08 Buy It Now 22 days
CLEARLIGHT - SOLAR TRANSFUSION - HST213CD USD $18.88 Buy It Now 22 days
CLEARLIGHT - CLEARLIGHT VISIONS - HST211CD USD $18.88 Buy It Now 22 days
Clearlight Les Contes Du Singe Fou CD USD $10.00 Buy It Now 22 days


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CLEARLIGHT shows & tickets


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CLEARLIGHT discography


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

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

3.90 | 139 ratings
Clearlight Symphony
1973
3.03 | 36 ratings
Delired Cameleon Family
1974
3.81 | 58 ratings
Forever Blowing Bubbles
1975
3.33 | 41 ratings
Les Contes du Singe Fou
1977
2.94 | 32 ratings
Visions
1978
4.00 | 5 ratings
Piano For The Third Ear
1983
3.47 | 10 ratings
Messenger Of The Sun
1984
3.71 | 7 ratings
Journey To Tantraland
1984
4.20 | 5 ratings
Rhapsodie Pour La Planete Bleue
1988
3.79 | 19 ratings
Clearlight Symphony II
1990
3.86 | 7 ratings
Solar Transfusion
1995
4.17 | 6 ratings
Mosaique (In Your Hands)
1996
4.00 | 4 ratings
Tribal Hybrid Concept (with Menestrey)
1998
4.20 | 5 ratings
Ethnicolor's (with Pascal Menestreyl)
1999
4.00 | 8 ratings
Nocturnes Digitales
2001
4.50 | 4 ratings
Flowers From Heaven
2002
4.02 | 48 ratings
Infinite Symphony
2003
4.40 | 5 ratings
Inner Peace Concerto
2003
4.50 | 4 ratings
Shamballa - A Journey To The Crystal World
2007
4.06 | 26 ratings
Impressionist Symphony
2014

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

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

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

4.33 | 3 ratings
Rainbow Music - Best Of 1975 - 2000
2000

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

0.00 | 0 ratings
I Will Remember You
2001

CLEARLIGHT Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Impressionist Symphony by CLEARLIGHT album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.06 | 26 ratings

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Impressionist Symphony
Clearlight Symphonic Prog

Review by DrömmarenAdrian

5 stars I would like an explosion of musical magic, a symphonic masterpiece from 2014. Does that excist somewhere? Yes it does. I have never heard anything from the french symphonic band Clearlight before but now did I listen two times at one time at the band's twentieth studio album "Improssionist Symphony". This album is close to perfection. I didn't thought music like this was being produced nowadys. Such wonderful pretentions and such a lovely result. Clearlight seems to shift between a Cyrille Verdeaux solo project and a full scale rock orchestra. This is an example of the last. Besides Verdeaux who plays piano and synthesizers there is Didier Malherbe (wind instruments), Craig Fry(violin), Vincent Thomas Penny(guitars), Paul Sears(drums & percussion), Linda Cushma(bass), Chris Kovacks(synthesizers), Remy Tran(synthesizers), Steve Hillage(guitars) and Tim Blake(xils synth and theremin). The record they have made must end up as one of (if not the) best albums of 2014. The entire record is instrumental and every track is inspired by impressionist paintors of the early 1900th such as Renoir, Monet, Pissaro, Degas, Van Gogh, Gaughin and Toulouse Lautrec. The music has strong impressionist connection but it is truely romantic too.

Perhaps you could say Clearlight has taken classical music into rock music without playing real classical music but real progressive rock. The cover shows a lot of birds in different sizes, biggest of them is a white swan. It's strange how few have reviewed this record when it is so good comparing with music of today. I have hard to pick the best tracks here for you because the album should be enjoyed as full but I think "Renoir En Coulour", "Pissarro King", "Gaughin Dans L'Autre" and "Lautrec Too Loose" are those I like most. Every aspect here is marvelous: the fantastic instruments, the guitar which sounds like Mike Oldfield at his best moments, the wind instruments, the crazu violin flying around and the massive wall of keyboards. This record is bright shining everywhere and I like you to get to know it you too. This is totally new to me but it reminds me of a lot of great music such as the Spanich group "Los Canarios" or "Harmonium" and some others. To argue about this could be hard but this record stands out. I recommend it warmly and I will return here very soon. Five stars!

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 Forever Blowing Bubbles by CLEARLIGHT album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.81 | 58 ratings

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Forever Blowing Bubbles
Clearlight Symphonic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars After his experimental work on ''Delired Cameleon Family'' Cyrille Verdeaux would regather Clearlight in 1975 for a second album on Virgin, entitled ''Forever blowing bubbles''.By the time the official line-up consisted of Cyrille Verdeaux on piano/keyboards, Bob Boisadan on electric piano/synthesizer, Jean-Claude d'Agostini on guitars/flute/sax, Christos Stapinopoulos on drums and Joël Dugrenot on bass/lead voices.However there are plenty of guest participants in the album like ex-King Crimson's David Cross on violin, Christian Boulé on guitar, Gilbert Artman on drums/percussion and Bruno Verdeaux on synthesizer and congas along with a couple of female singers.

This album is pretty much on par with ''Clearlight symphony'', maybe with a more pronounced jazzy flavor at moments, but still with plenty of Classical influences and intense, spacey soundscapes.What is really different from Clearlight's debut is the heavy amount of chaotic, Fusion-esque workouts, where the complex guitars of d'Agostini meet the electric piano of Boisadan and the heavy Mellotron of Cyrille Verdeaux.Still the music remains pretty much balanced between symphonic references, often colored with soft piano interludes and melodic guitar breaks or even some nice flute work, jazzy interludes with frenetic guitars and impressive executions on the rhythm section and cosmic explorations with synthesizers in evidence.They do sound pretty close to compatriots CARPE DIEM, but Clearlight (maybe along with GONG) were masters on producing somekind of Space Fusion, led by the distortions on guitars and the trully convincing synth drives over the sound of primordial analog keyboards.The odd violin and sax performances of David Cross and Jean-Claude d'Agostini strengthen further this unique flavor, but Cyrille Verdeaux'es orchestral background is still evident in plenty of the contained pieces, much in an early KING CRIMSON style with the Mellotron as the leading instrument.

Solid and at times trully demanding album.The amount of chaotic instrumental battles might be a bit disturbing, but the result is no less than intricate and satisfying.Plenty of reissues with additional material appear in the market.Strongly recommended to fans of Space, Symphonic and Jazz Rock...3.5 stars.

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 Clearlight Symphony by CLEARLIGHT album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.90 | 139 ratings

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Clearlight Symphony
Clearlight Symphonic Prog

Review by ghost_of_morphy
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Long before I heard the terms "art rock" or "progressive rock," if you had asked me what kind of music I liked, I would have told you that I like music with a large, full sound. Lots of instruments, lots of musical voices, lots of differing tones and timbres, lots of notes. And then I would have pointed to seminal prog bands like Yes or Genesis as examples of what I meant.

The Clearlight Symphony project takes what I like and exagerates it to an extreme. There are good musical ideas here, but too often they get hidden behind that large, full - shall we say way too busy? - sound. Too many musical voices, too many melodic lines, too many notes.... It is still a good piece of music but it requires far too much effort in listening for only a mediocre reward.

As I like to point out often, the French have never disappointed me in the relatively select company of albums I have from them. Clearlight Symphony is not a disappointment. It just fails to rise much beyond the mediocre. If you are going to try Clearlight, go for the much better Forever Blowing Bubbles first.

Three stars for this.

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 Delired Cameleon Family   by CLEARLIGHT album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.03 | 36 ratings

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Delired Cameleon Family
Clearlight Symphonic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

2 stars In 1974 the film ''Visa de Censure n# X'' by Pierre Clementi was published.It was supported by a soundtrack entitled ''Delired Cameleon Family'' and released on EMI, behind which we find Clearlight's mastermind Cyrille Verdeaux, who composed the entire filmscore along with guitarist Ivan Coaquette.The album features notable appearances by Ariel Kalman (sax), Joel Dugrenot (vocals), Gilbert Artman (drums),Tim Blake (percussion) and Christian Boule (guitars) among others, all were past and future Clearlight members, thus this soundtrack is considered by many as the second actual Clearlight work.

A really unique, hard and cosmic listening experience, ''Delired Cameleon Family'' explores the world of long spacey synthesizer passages, weird jazzy improvisations, fiery Fusion guitar workouts and trippy, psychedelic soundscapes, almost like a cross between the cosmic Kraut madness of ASH RA TEMPEL and AMON DUUL and the more Fusion side of GONG.From its start to the very end the album swirls around outlandish and loose arrangements, which have a cosmic or jazzy feel, depending on the track, but the result is not very succesful, though the album rather serves the needs of the movie than comes as a typical music effort.From the several spacey parts I definitely give credit to the nice guitar work of Boule, Agostini and Coaquette with some sort of OLDFIELD-ian vibe, though much more jazzy in nature.The sax solos of Francois Jeaneau and Ariel Kalman are also passionate and dynamic, adding another dimension to this unique experience.But the majority of the arrangements are characterized by bizzarre abstract sections and stretched cosmic synths, that at the end prevent these nice parts to be fully appreciated.

This is an album for specific listenings, just when you need something very trippy to relax upon it.Musically though I would only recommend it to fans of GONG and Electronic/Kraut Rock...2.5 stars.

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 Clearlight Symphony by CLEARLIGHT album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.90 | 139 ratings

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Clearlight Symphony
Clearlight Symphonic Prog

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

3 stars Frequently stunning, often chaotic and noisy, but always fascinating, Cyrille Verdeaux's Clearlight project's debut album is a 40-minute instrumental progressive space-rock suite, overloaded with Mellotron, synths and spacey organ. His band never seemed to have many permanent members other than himself, but on this album he enlisted a bunch of familiar Gong members in Steve Hillage, Tim Blake and Didier Malherbe to complete part of his symphony. Although they make excellent contributions, none of the music actually sounds anything like Gong. Members of Lard Free contribute as well. It's a very grand, classical, gothic tinged jazzy symphonic suite, spread over two side-long pieces.

I don't think I've ever heard the Mellotron used so much on one album, and so frequently! There's waves of 'Tron strings and choirs over almost every inch of this album, sometimes it's magical and majestic, other times sinister and menacing. There's also cello, endless discordant piano, ragged guitar solos, complex drumming and shimmering synths. I think this album might have been an influence on similar styled modern bands such as Anglagard and Kotobel.

Side A's `1st Movement' introduces and reprises a somber, haunting piano melody that drifts in and out of the track, usually accompanied by the Mellotron. Baroque and medievil elements are interspersed with jazzy flourishes and spacey synths. However, there's several slightly sinister tones that show up throughout, with tuneless wailing horn instruments (likely from Malherbe!) and haunting voices, like something out of a horror movie. Ghostly off-key piano keys pound away, the chaos and noise reaching breaking point at several moments. Frantic and maddening! Pink Floyd like spacey effects and Blake's electronics purr along intermittently in the background, with Steve Hillage's signature sound on electric guitar wailing away through all the unfocused noise! Extremely unpleasant much of the time, fragile and beautiful the next, but very atmospheric and original!

With guest appearances by some Lard Free members, the first few minutes of `2nd Movement' sounds like a slightly more symphonic Magma, especially their early jazzier work. The Mellotron/piano combo melody gets very disorientating, and there's some definite fusion elements as well. The terrific drumming is extremely busy! About six minutes in the music turns very Canterbury, not unlike something from the two Hatfield and the North albums. The slight zeuhl influence kicks back in with a maddening and frantic guitar solo playing over the top of the insane drumming, chaotic piano and squealing sax. Plenty of that spectral weeping Mellotron again throughout numerous parts of this track too.

Special mention must go to the Jean Claude Michel's stunning painted artwork, a truely mind- blowing prog album cover! Only the vinyl edition will do to really appreciate how good it is! One of the best all-time prog album covers perhaps?

Unfortunately, the album itself is not a particular favourite of mine, there's probably more that I really admire than actually enjoy. I find there's so many individual incredible ideas that seem all thrown together, and the album is frequently cluttered and jarring to me. It's impossibly beautiful one minute, then tuneless and annoying the next. I would rather all the dark and noisy elements perhaps have been confined to one of the Movements, and the symphonic and uplifting ideas to the other. Would have made for a more focused listen, you can then choose which piece suited you best depending on what mood you're in! However, fans of grand symphonic prog, and perhaps gothic darkness tinged prog acts such as Present or even Anglagard may find much to enjoy here.

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 Les Contes du Singe Fou by CLEARLIGHT album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.33 | 41 ratings

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Les Contes du Singe Fou
Clearlight Symphonic Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Don't let the monkey on the cover fool you - Les Contes du Singe Fou is Clearlight's attempt to get serious. A concept album with a nebulous sci-fi theme, the piece is once again dominated by Cyrille Verdeaux, whose piano is prominent to an extent unparalleled on any previous Clearlight album aside from Clearlight Symphony. Ian Bellamy, bless him, simply isn't as nice to listen to as the wonderful vocalists such as Brigitte Roy or (on loan from Hatfield and the North) Amanda Parsons and Ann Rosenthal who featured on Forever Blowing Bubbles, and overall the music loses the unpredictable and whimsical edge that I associate with Clearlight. It's competently performed but I can't see any good reason to own it.

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 Forever Blowing Bubbles by CLEARLIGHT album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.81 | 58 ratings

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Forever Blowing Bubbles
Clearlight Symphonic Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

3 stars The third Clearlight album (if you count Delired Cameleon Family) shows the influence of a range of acts from the Virgin stable, but incorporates their sounds into an intriguing and original vision. Old pals Gong are of course a big influence, with many of the more guitar-dominated heavy sections reminiscent of the tripped-out instrumentals on You, whilst Way opens with a Robert Wyatt-influenced vocal section before developing (as Ergotrip does) into a frenzied crescendo dominated by Zeuhlish rhythms. Meanwhile, gentle songs like Narcisse et Goldmund add a medieval folk twist to proceedings. By the time the concluding synthesiser experiment of Jungle Bubbles is reached, the listener has been taken on a fast-paced tour of the weirder end of the prog world as it existed in 1975, but may be left wondering just where precisely Clearlight's heart lies.

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 Delired Cameleon Family   by CLEARLIGHT album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.03 | 36 ratings

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Delired Cameleon Family
Clearlight Symphonic Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

2 stars An oddity in the Clearlight discography, Delired Camelon Family was originally produced as a movie soundtrack, and this is evident in the multiple personalities the album expresses. Much of the time, the album chugs along in a pleasant mode which resembles a hybrid of New Age music and space rock, with the occasional reference to the band's pals in Gong (such as some female vocals which sound, at points, a lot like the "space whispers" that Gilli Smyth or Miquette Giraudy brought to the Gong sound).

Towards the end of the album this approach is abandoned, with the last two tracks being particular non-sequiteurs. Novavanna degenerates into an overlong hippy rock and roll track, with the vocalist demanding various varieties of drugs which might have been intended as shocking but just comes across as juvenile and stupid. Ananta is some Canterburyish fusion which spends a long time building up to some sort of crescendo but doesn't ultimately go anywhere interesting. Between them, they take up around half the album.

It certainly makes a chance from the debut, but not in a good way. Save this for if you find yourself getting seriously into the Clearlight discography.

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 Clearlight Symphony by CLEARLIGHT album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.90 | 139 ratings

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Clearlight Symphony
Clearlight Symphonic Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Recorded at the Manor and put out on Virgin Records, it's not too hard to see that this was an attempt to replicate the success of Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells. Apparently, the album was recorded through the simple means of recording a couple of 20-minute piano solos from Verdeaux and then overdubbing the rest of the instruments later on, as other musicians jammed using the piano solo as inspiration and Verdeaux added keyboard and synth flourishes. This explains why on one side Verdeaux is backed by a triumvirate of key musicians from Gong, whilst the other side features the core of what would become the Clearlight band.

The extent to which Verdeaux's piano solos dominate both sides means that the album almost slips into the New Age category, but there's enough prog twists added (often with a mild Canterbury flavour, no doubt due to the Gong presence) to keep prog fans satisfied. At the same time, though, the fact that the disc was an unabashed attempt to replicate the Tubular Bells formula is hard to overlook. Three stars - it's a fun listen, but it's a little too derivative and unimaginative to be a great listen.

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 Delired Cameleon Family   by CLEARLIGHT album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.03 | 36 ratings

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Delired Cameleon Family
Clearlight Symphonic Prog

Review by toroddfuglesteg

2 stars Not Clearlight's finest hour, this album.

Written as a movie soundtrack, this album is a huge deviation from the normal material we can expect from them. It is an oddity in the Clearlight discography, no less.

This album reminds me most of all about a Mother Gong or even a Gong album. The same spaced out melodies, solos and vocal lines. Hence, this is space rock with a lot of Canterbury associations too. But where a Mother Gong and/or a Gong album has a meaningful purpose, this album does not. It is a pretty uneventful forty-eight minutes. That's minutes I wish I could had spent on listening to a Gong album instead of this half baked product. In short; I don't like this album.

If you are new to Clearlight or even a casual fan; give this album a wide berth and go for any other albums. Two stars for a couple of good melody lines in the middle of these stinging nettles.

2.5 stars

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