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Quarteto 1111 - Onde, Quando, Como, Porquê, Cantamos Pessoas Vivas CD (album) cover


Quarteto 1111


Eclectic Prog

4.43 | 80 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars Review Nº 104

Quarteto 1111 is a very special and important Portuguese progressive rock band, and their second and last album "Onde, Quando, Como, Porquê, Cantamos Pessoas Vivas", or third if you also want to consider the album "Bruma Azul Do Desejado" recorded with Frei Hermano Da Câmara in 1973, is, in my humble opinion, a very special album and a truly landmark in the Portuguese progressive rock musical scene. I believe that it's perhaps the best Portuguese progressive rock album of the 70's, even superior to "10.000 Anos Depois Entre Vénus E Marte", the solo work of Cid.

The line up on this album is José Cid, António Moniz Pereira, Mike Sergeant and Vitor Mamede.

As I wrote before, when I reviewed their debut album, Quarteto 1111 was formed in the late of the 60's and included some of the earliest recorded output from Cid. Their music didn't exactly pleased to the Portuguese dictatorships of the time of Salazar and Caetano, and so, a lot of their music was naturally banned by the regime. However, by 1974, the Caetano regime was over and in that year Quarteto 1111 released their final album, "Onde, Quando, Como, Porquê, Cantamos Pessoas Vivas". If you're a fan of Cid's "10.000 Anos Depois Entre Vénus E Marte", you're going to need this album. It's basically the starting point of Cid's exploration of the progressive rock music. Certainly it doesn't have the spacey cosmic overtones of "10.000 Anos Depois Entre Vénus E Marte". This isn't properly a science fiction conceptual album, as the other album is. Anyway, "Onde, Quando, Como, Porquê, Cantamos Pessoas Vivas" is also a conceptual album where the poetic, the musical and the instrumental ideas are totally from Cid. Lyrically, this is essentially an album of poetry. It uses a poem of José Jorge Letria, a Portuguese poet and musician, very well known at the time.

"Onde, Quando, Como, Porquê, Cantamos Pessoas Vivas" is a very different album of their previous eponymous debut, especially in terms of musicality. It tends to more emphasize on symphonic progressive ballads, but not unlike the Moody Blues, with tons of mellotron. And it's the mellotron very much noteworthy on the album. Cid absolutely plasters the entire album with it, more so than on "10.000 Anos Depois Entre Vénus E Marte", tons of mellotron strings and flute. But the mellotron choir so dominate on "10.000 Anos Depois Entre Vénus E Marte" it's not present here. The album is basically one cut that takes up both sides and it goes through several changes, from romantic balladry, to more acoustic passages, and some more rocking passages. The album consists of two short side-long tracks, with side one fading out and the flip fading in at the same point. It would be nice that in the future, on an official CD release, the two sides could be correctly joined. It's precisely the same thing that happened with "Thick As A Brick" of Jethro Tull.

"Onde Quando Como Porquê Cantamos Pessoa Vivas" offers a pretty typical southern symphonic progressive rock music as it was at the same time also produced in Italy and Spain. The album often was compared to Pulsar and other French progressive rock bands of the time, except the vocals which are in Portuguese. Another band that they can be compared with is the German band Eloy, with their similar spacey synthesizers. But the main characteristic of the album is the massive use of the mellotron. Here begins the comparisons with the first phase of King Crimson. Cid goes completely overboard here, with swathes of strings underlain by cellos with considerable quantities of flutes, too. There's a nice moment about a minute into side two, where he suddenly switches from strings to flutes which isn't really a bad moment on the album. The only other keys on the album are an unidentified mono synthesizer which gets used a bit, a smattering of piano on side two, and even less string synthesizers at one point. So, I think it's safe to say, that this is a "mellotron album" in every sense of the word. You really like and want a mellotron? So, you've got it here.

Conclusion: I agree with José Cid when he says that this is an album that represents a rupture and at the same time a leap forward in the work of Quarteto 1111. This is a conceptual album where the poetic, the musical and the instrumental ideas are totally from him. Lyrically, I think this is essentially an album of poetry and musically, it's a symphonic progressive album, essentially "acoustic". Like many, I also think this is probably, in some way, superior to "10.000 Depois Entre Venus E Marte". It's most original, audacious, pure, simple, naïve and poetically superior to that album. I even can see on it, influences from King Crimson, Renaissance and Camel. Anyway, this is mainly an album with Portuguese features. If we could define the Portuguese progressive rock, we could say that their main features are on it. As Erik Neuteboom, I'm also a "tronmaniac". I think that many of us, especially those of my generation, learned to love the sound of the mellotron, especially with the first two albums of King Crimson and even today we are still delighted with the sound of the mellotron, for instance, on the albums of the Swedish band Anekdoten. So, I sincerely think this album is an icon of the mellotron sound and is also one of the best progressive rock albums from the 70's.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

VianaProghead | 5/5 |


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