Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography

CLEARLIGHT

Symphonic Prog • France


From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Clearlight picture
Clearlight biography
Founded in Paris, France in 1973 - Hiatus during the 1980's - Still active as of 2014
Cyrille Verdeaux - Born 1949 July 31st (Neuilly sur Seine, France)

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, jazz violinist Didier Lockwood and woodwind player Didier Malherbe on saxophone and flute.

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 forum topics / tours, shows & news


CLEARLIGHT forum topics Create a topic now
CLEARLIGHT tours, shows & news
No topics found for : "clearlight"
Post an entries now

CLEARLIGHT Videos (YouTube and more)


Showing only random 3 | Show all CLEARLIGHT videos (3) | Search and add more videos to CLEARLIGHT

Buy CLEARLIGHT Music



More places to buy CLEARLIGHT music online

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)

3.89 | 211 ratings
Clearlight Symphony
1975
3.81 | 92 ratings
Forever Blowing Bubbles
1975
3.00 | 45 ratings
Delired Cameleon Family [Aka: Visa De Censure NįX (OST)]
1975
3.35 | 62 ratings
Les Contes Du Singe Fou
1977
3.02 | 53 ratings
Visions
1978
3.79 | 40 ratings
Symphony II
1990
4.20 | 15 ratings
Clearlight / Mosaique: In Your Hands
1994
4.03 | 69 ratings
Infinite Symphony
2003
4.11 | 79 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)

4.50 | 4 ratings
Rainbow Music - Best Of 1975 - 2000
2000

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

4.00 | 1 ratings
I Will Remember You
2001

CLEARLIGHT Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Clearlight Symphony by CLEARLIGHT album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.89 | 211 ratings

BUY
Clearlight Symphony
Clearlight Symphonic Prog

Review by DangHeck

2 stars Just as Virgin Records wanted, it is, in the most unfortunate sense, both "Tubular Bells 2.0" and also "the future". As if it were Oxygene (Jean Michel Jarre) a year before, in some regards but also, nowhere near as interesting or listenable. And also a new Tubular Bells, 2 years on and weaker than anyone could have imagined, even, and I can not state this enough here, unfortunately featuring the wonderful talents of Tim Blake AND Steve Hillage AND Didier Malherbe. Somehow. I'm in utter shock and disappointment. I'm sure, for Steve at least, the very real connection to Mr. Oldfield had something to do with it.

It doesn't help, in light of my anticipation of it being Oldfield- esque (an aside: Tubular Bells will always stump me as to why it is still so heralded... took me a long while to find any Oldfield that I liked), that this is indeed a weak, new-agey carbon copy of a style of Prog that I can not be any more bored by. Forgive me. Just listen to Forever Blowing Bubbles and we'll all pretend this never happened. I'm sure Virgin Records may be included in that.

 Les Contes Du Singe Fou by CLEARLIGHT album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.35 | 62 ratings

BUY
Les Contes Du Singe Fou
Clearlight Symphonic Prog

Review by sgtpepper

3 stars Music should not be judged by its cover and this album confirms it. Sitting monkeys shouldn't put you off, enjoy the music scenery and mainly, the violin and keyboard interplay between Didier Lockwood and Cyrille. The immediate weakness of the album are dramatic vocals with unsuitable voice colour so you better focus on the instrumental music which, fortunately, takes up the majority of time. The "Key" composition is quite well composed and progressive for 1977 although weighed down by the disastrous vocals - I can even hear echoes of Mahavishnu violin style, classical music. The second part is the best one with no vocals and piano+violin showing tight interplay. "Soliloque" is a melancholic, slow-paced number without getting commercial. "Time Skater III" is the best part of the three-part suite, pretty dense with violin, only the drummer seems to be staying in the comfortable seat not catching on the prog wagon. Another solid album but you will better ones when looking for the first two and two after millenium albums.
 Forever Blowing Bubbles by CLEARLIGHT album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.81 | 92 ratings

BUY
Forever Blowing Bubbles
Clearlight Symphonic Prog

Review by sgtpepper

4 stars Clearlight and its mastermind, the keyboard all-rounder Cyrille Verdeaux, defined his trademark sound and flavour with the two first albums - textures of keyboards, guitars, sometims strings and brass instruments borrowing from fusion, classical music and progressive rock. From progressive rock, there are nods to psychedelic and classic symphony prog-rock. Music can get pompeous but no aimless soloing or very thought out compositions, which is good for immersing in music with no cheap and commercial parts.

On this second album, we have vocals but of a pretty good quality, listen to "Narcisse et Goldmund" for soothing female vocals. I consider music to be decently varied - strong and slow instrumental pieces with different instrumentation focus, sometimes it's synths, sometimes piano or plenty of guitar soloing like in the dynamic Gong-unsimilar "Without works". A couple of sonically experimental pieces may not work in long term, such as "Sweet Absinthe" or "Jungle Bubbles" nevertheless they aren't fillers. A hidden dark horse among French progressive scene of the 70's with impressive international lineup, not typical for French projects of that time.

 Impressionist Symphony by CLEARLIGHT album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.11 | 79 ratings

BUY
Impressionist Symphony
Clearlight Symphonic Prog

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

5 stars I originally reviewed this album in the bygone Finnish prog magazine Colossus in 2014, and I wonder why I never happened to write the only collab review right here, until now. CLEARLIGHT is a French, mostly instrumental symph act led by keyboardist and composer Cyrille Verdeaux. The debut album Clearlight Symphony (recorded in 1974, released by Virgin Records) remains as his best known work. The later Clearlight albums seem to be too forgotten, as one can see from the lack of reviews for this latest one.

The inspiration for Impressionist Symphony sparkled already in 2004 at the French Embassy where Verdeaux was giving a solo piano concert. The ambassador described his style as impressionistic. "I love Ravel, Debussy, Chopin and Satie, so I thought this impressionist style was part of the 'French touch' cultural heritage, since most of the impressionist painters were also French." Thus came the idea to compose music to glorify that art movement.

The 64-minute instrumental album features several co-musicians such as guitarist Steve Hillage, synth wiz Tim Blake and saxophonist Didier Malherbe, all members of GONG who appeared also on Clearlight Symphony. Graig Fry adds his violin, and on drums is excellent Paul Sears. In the booklet the eight pieces are accompanied by paintings of e.g. Renoir, Monet, Degas and Van Gogh - such a nice idea!

The music flows brightly and dynamically and indeed it captures the sense of mpressionism, the spur of the moment. Some listeners may find the compositions a bit too ambivalent, but all in al this is a fine, gorgeously produced prog album made with pure passion and dedication. The booklet even contains album covers and brief introductions to the Clearlight discography. This pleasant extra makes me round my 4,5 stars upwards. Where are you, Clearlight fans??

 Les Contes Du Singe Fou by CLEARLIGHT album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.35 | 62 ratings

BUY
Les Contes Du Singe Fou
Clearlight Symphonic Prog

Review by GruvanDahlman
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Through the years as a prog lover I have come across Clearlight a few times. I have listened to the first couple of albums, mainly because they've received quite good reviews. However, I have not fallen in love with those albums. And whether or not i has to do with not having listened enough or that it just doesn't appeal to me, I have found one album with Clearlight that I really like. Actually I love it. The ape on the cover might suggest that the music is not prog but rather some french funk disco explosion but it's not. This is serious progressive rock with a very nice and pompous symphonic edge.

One of the things I love is that it is a concept album. The theme is one grand scheme of events. Or something like that. I love concept albums but of course it means nothing if it's musically faulty. In this case it's not. "Les contes du singe fou" is unlike it's predecessors a more "common" prog album in the sense that it has vocals and more structured parts, balancing nicely between complexity and accessibility. There is a wonderful melodic nature to it all, which I like, in that symphonic sort of way. There are hints of Genesis at times but the omnipresent and wonderfully flowing piano gives it a classical feel. The two longer epics, "The key" (13.42 minutes) and "Time skater" (15.29 minutes), are the main performers of the album, not only because of their duration. It is multi-movement affairs that really grabs my attention. I will not go into detail discussing the different sections. I will make do by stating that they are fantastic creations that really gets my blood flowing. The shorter tracks are very good aswell. "Stargazer" is a lovely little piece, as is the instrumental "Soliloque" and the ending "Return to the source".

I like just about everything with this album. The intensity, the beauty, the classical feel, the spacey theme, the vocals and just to keep it short the rest of it. The vocalist Ian Bellamy may not have a powerful voice but a clean and slightly fragile one that fits in well with the music. Clearlight was, in my opinion, never better than on "Les contes du singe fou". This is the album where everything fell into place, at least for me. I was instantly hooked to it's melodic and dramatic majesty, pompous and overblown just the way I like it. Don't let the monkey fool fool you. Do let the ape lead you into the universe of Clearlight and it's opulent beauty and dramatic complexity.

 Clearlight Symphony by CLEARLIGHT album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.89 | 211 ratings

BUY
Clearlight Symphony
Clearlight Symphonic Prog

Review by Modrigue
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Piano classical music meets electronic space rock

First and iconic album of CLEARLIGHT, signed by Virgin, "Clearlight Symphony" merges the piano composition and musicianship talents of classically trained keyboardist Cyril Verdeaux with the arrangements of space rock and early electronic technologies of the mid-70's. Cyril Verdeaux first recorded in 1973 two ambitious 20 minutes long piano suites. Prestigious guest musicians from GONG - Steve Hillage, Didier Malherbe and Tim Blake - and LARD FREE were further invited to overdub the tracks by adding complex instrumentation and soli. However, the music, fully instrumental and piano-driven, do not resemble neither the psychedelic nonsense style of GONG nor the krautrock of LARD FREE.

Featuring the three members from GONG, the first movement is "clearlight-ly" the best. A bombastic and dreamy composition, with gorgeous arrangements. The epic beginning lifts you off from the ground to make you fly through the cosmos. Great! Then the music calms down and become relaxing, and even a little jazzy, in the style of SOFT MACHINE. After this passage, the piano get more nervous. Fasten your seatbelts for whirlwinding guitar and synthesizer wormholes! The track finishes by reusing the beautiful theme from the beginning. Wow! These 20 minutes were just perfect and mindblowing... A must listen for every space rock fan! 5 stars.

The second movement features LARD FREE's leader Gilbert Artman but is more uneven. Softer and lazier the than the first part, it alternates pleasant melancholic and spacey atmospheres with futuristic sounds and trippy guitar interventions, but also contains odd experimental and noisy passages. Lacking a bit of unity, it sometimes feels a little lengthy. As before, it concludes with the beginning theme of the first movement. Nonetheless, although not as impressive as the first one, this movement still remains rather nice. 3 stars.

"Clearlight Symphony" carries well its name. The music truly is an awaken dream, a journey into the magic cosmos. This fusion between piano classical music and space rock is quite unique in the progressive world. Cyrille Verdeaux's first opus already displays his musical identity and talent. Unfortunately, such inspiration won't be recovered in his next compositions...

CLEARLIGHT's best album, clearly essential for space rock lovers! Even classical piano fans can give it a try...

 Clearlight Symphony by CLEARLIGHT album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.89 | 211 ratings

BUY
Clearlight Symphony
Clearlight Symphonic Prog

Review by ALotOfBottle
Prog Reviewer

4 stars To be frank, I had never heard about Clearlight until I was scrolling through some projects Steve Hillage played on a few months ago. Cyril Verdeaux is the mastermind behind this album. It is mainly his project with guest musicians namely from Gong and a few other bands. This music comes close to the stuff that Gong played. The "symphonic" classical factor is mainly absent with jazz methods being put in the first plan. All this with a very spacey feel to it and electronic ambience, very much in vein of Tangerine Dream material of the time. "Clearlight Symphony" is divided into two basic movements. What is a big atribute about the album is that the music takes its time to build up, sort of like "Tubular Bells". Many of the parts include moody synthesizers and mellotron parts. This album will be quite pleasing to Canterbury scene and symphonic prog fans and will provide a unique experience to newcommers. I find this work quite soporific, but it still gets well deserved four stars. Recommended!
 Les Contes Du Singe Fou by CLEARLIGHT album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.35 | 62 ratings

BUY
Les Contes Du Singe Fou
Clearlight Symphonic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars While Clearlight were dropped out of Virgin by mid-70's, there was no intention by Verdeaux to slow his project down.He was signed by the French label Isadora for the next album ''Les contes du singe fou'', which finds him supported by an almost brand new cast.Except bassist JoŽl Dugrenot, who played also previously with Clearlight, Didier Lockwood had replaced David Cross on violin, Yves Chouard (who previously played with Total Issue and Emmanuel Booz) was the new guitarist, Serge Aouzi was the new drummer and Tim Blake returns on synthesizer along with one Francis Mandin.Additionally Verdeaux had recruited last Zoo's singer Ian Bellamy to handle the vocal parts.The album came out in 1976.

The opening cut is a surprising piece by a band like Clearlight, because it sounds a lot like mid-70's GENESIS, especially taking the clean and non-accented vocals of Bellamy into consideration.It's lovely semi-theatrical Symphonic Rock with some beautiful organ parts and inventive melodies, definitely lacking the unique spark of Clearlight, on the other hand beeing extremely well-played and attractive with some superb instrumental work.But the familiar Clearlight will return with ''La cle part two'', which is exactly what the band was known for.Some sort of Symph/Jazz Rock with Lockwood being the main man here and for this reason this sounds a lot like MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA having a Classical-educated pianist, as Verdeaux delivers his known elegant piano lines next to some discreet organ themes.Very good Prog Fusion with some smoky interactions and solos.What's most impressive is the fact that Mandin was given composing rensponsibities in the album and ''Soliloque'' was his introduction, basically another symphonic-inclined instrumental piece with delicate piano work and a developing atmosphere with Lockwood entering at some point with his melancholic violin and the marching drumming making the atmosphere even more dramatic.Mandin's biggest bet though was the 15-min. ''Time skater'', which did not differ much from the structure of the opening side.It's very much GENESIS-influenced in its first minutes with theatrical vocals, Classical-spiced piano themes and some bombastic moments, but its longest part is more of a Jazz Fusion affair with sinister piano/violin battles and pounding bass and drum parts, featuring lots of solos and dark grooves.The closing and quite short ''Stargazer'' and ''Return to the source'' are hardly noticable, coming after the long tracks, but even these cuts present an interesting combination of Progressive Rock and Fusion with a dramatic edge and a light spacey atmosphere.

With the synthesizer dominance being quite reduced, Clearlight have taken a turn towards a more direct affair between Symphonic Rock and Jazz Fusion.It's like GENESIS sharing the stage with MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA piece after piece and the result is charming, demanding and pretty generous.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

 Impressionist Symphony by CLEARLIGHT album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.11 | 79 ratings

BUY
Impressionist Symphony
Clearlight Symphonic Prog

Review by DrŲmmarenAdrian

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!

 Forever Blowing Bubbles by CLEARLIGHT album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.81 | 92 ratings

BUY
Forever Blowing Bubbles
Clearlight Symphonic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

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 JoŽl 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 Boulť 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.

Thanks to Ivan Melgar M for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — jazz music reviews and archives | MetalMusicArchives.com — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.