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VISITORS

Visitors

Eclectic Prog


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Visitors Visitors album cover
3.57 | 24 ratings | 6 reviews | 9% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1974

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Dies Irae (8:10)
2. L'Extra-Aventure de Villas-Boas (4:27)
3. Terre Larbour (3:00)
4. Flatwoods story (3:25)
5. Nous (3:27)
6. Visitors (3:43)
7. Le retour des Dieux (5:00)

Total Time: 31:12

Line-up / Musicians

- Gerard Brent / lead vocals, guitar, backing vocals
- Bobo / backing vocals, acoustic guitar, rhythm guitar
- Marc Attali / lead vocals, backing vocals
- Jean-Pierre Massiera / vocals [deep]
- Marc Rolland / bass, backing vocals
- Andre Guiglion / drums, percussion, backing vocals
- Bernard Torelli / lead guitar
- Yves Revol / keyboards
- Jacky Bemardini / keyboards
- Jean-Claude Tarin / organ, moog
- Jean-Pierre Stretti /keyboards, backing vocals
- Francis Lockwood / electric piano
- Didier Lockwood / violin
- Bernard Baverey / bass, backing vocals
- Alain Berge / bass
- Jeff Castaldi / guitars
- Bernard Beylan / backing vocals
- Jessie Joyce / backing vocals
- Micky / backing vocals

Releases information

- Visitors ‎(LP): Decca 278.049, France 1974

- Visitors ‎(LP): Decca 278.049, Argentina 1975

- Visitors ‎(CD - RE): Musea FGBG 4106.AR, France 1994

- Visitors ‎(LP, RE): Si-Wan Records SRML 3024, South Korea 1994

- Visitors ‎(CD, Album, RE, RM, SHM) Belle Antique BELLE 091560, Japan 2009

Thanks to Trouserpress for the addition
and to Logan for the last updates
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VISITORS Visitors ratings distribution


3.57
(24 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(9%)
9%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(50%)
50%
Good, but non-essential (18%)
18%
Collectors/fans only (18%)
18%
Poor. Only for completionists (5%)
5%

VISITORS Visitors reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by zravkapt
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Visitors was a project of French producer Jean-Pierre Massiera. He hired musicans to play on this album, the most famous of which is violinist Didier Lockwood who played with Magma. There would be one more Visitors album in 1981, but it's more New Wave sounding. The music here is very 70s, but not extremely dated. A mix of different prog styles at the time. Nothing truly original but a good and consistent album. This is a concept album about extraterrestrials visiting Earth. The majority of vocals are in French.

"Dies Irae" is the longest song which you can listen to on PA. Starts with backwards tape effects, then hymnal voices and music. Later goes into some start/stop playing. More hymnal vocals with organ. Then some Emerson-style organ playing. Guitar goes back and forth and then a symphonic rock part. Some harmony singing and then talking. After some cool 70s style hard rock before just cymbals. Then violin and female vocals. A slowed down version of symphonic part. Tempo increases.

"L'extra-Aventure de Villas-Boas" has French hard rock with a cool chorus featuring female vocals. Later acoustic guitar and violin. After some talking and female vocals going "ah-oh". Goes back to hard rock part but chorus is now male vocals. "Terre Larbour" starts with spacey synth and jazzy drumming. Magma-like talking and laughing. Then chanting, which gets louder and louder until there is just screaming. "Flatwoods Story" has lyrics in English. I think Flatwoods is either in the US or UK and was the scene of a famous alien abduction. Maybe not. Starts with storm noises. I like the chorus with narration and back up vocals going "ahhh".

"Nous" is mostly synths, violin and drums before just percussion and some vocals. Whole band then joins in and a violin solo. "Visitors" has ghost-like vocals and spacey effects to start. Then sinister clavinet and some funky Gentle Giant style guitar and violin playing in unison. Some female vocals. Music changes and then a violin solo. After a great part with call and response wordless vocals. Love that part. Goes back to the funky Gentle Giant part. "Le Retour des Dieux" has creepy monster-like whispering before some French hard rock. In the middle is a slow paced bass drum and snare with symphonic synth and violin. Then wordless vocals.

A great album. I would recommend it. Definately not a masterpiece, but a great addition to your collection. 4 stars.

Review by Atavachron
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars A desperate cry from the universe is the legendary Visitors LP and as all distant signals from the cosmos, was outdated before it was ever audible to our ears, even in 1974. But the cognoscenti are right about this one; it is a beaut of progressive psychedelia with tons of character and flavor.

As is so common with the best of the great unwashed, Visitors has a power all its own, an urgent need to document what would undoubtedly be a brief moment of clarity, vision, and friggin great rock music that if left unrecorded would never see any daylight at all. Somehow during the craziness of the industry in '74, singer/composer Jean-Pierre Massiera and friends got it done. There is no doubt the session possesses a muddy, obscured sound the finest techs in the world probably couldn't do much for. Massiera had produced it on the go with little time and a huge roster of twenty+ musicians & vocalists, others not slated but sitting-in, and happenings unplanned but welcomed. But like the dusty-tube atmosphere of a surf band's rehearsal basement in 1959, sometimes what we don't hear is just as important. Heartsick prog requiem 'Dies Irae' is a gorgeous eight-minute rock orchestration heavy with guitars, swirling organs and basses, Didier Lockwood's single fiddle, all walled by the druidic Spaghetti Western vocals six & seven deep. The extraterrestrial theme is apparent for tortured 'Terre-Larbour', odd 'Flatwoods Story' features an orator in English and funny golden age sci-fi sounds, but 'Nous' is rather modern for its time as reflected in the MiniMoog of Jean-Claude Tarin. Wonderful histrionics and some very cool violin/guitar/organ playoffs in the title (with a subtle nod to Brubeck) and the short but satisfying set caps with 'Le retour des dieux' reflecting more of the cinematic Ennio Morricone influence.

Under the circumstances of its production and the tiny window available to implement it, the record is quite an achievement and, it should be no surprise, did not sell. The players all went their separate ways - Lockwood to Magma and later Zao, Massiera producing prog band Atlantide - but fortunately did not squander the time and motivation to leave behind this little rock daydream.

Review by Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars This is an interesting project created by French producer Jean-Pierre Massiera who decided to make his own album for a change instead of helping others do the same. His studio had a carnival-like atmosphere apparently as he invited passing musicians to drop in and play on this. The result is we get a list of 20 musicians who were involved in making this concept album. There seems to be a core of 8 musicians based on the photos in the liner notes. I have the Musea re-issue from 1994. It's about aliens making contact with planet Earth. Cool to see the Lockwood brothers involved, with Francis on Fender Rhodes and Didier on violin. Rather short at under 31 minutes and vocal heavy with the vocal melodies and backing vocals being very prominent making me think this was from 1969 or 1970. So a little dated sounding since this was recorded and released in 1974.

"Dies Irae" is by far the longest tune at over 8 minutes. A dramatic intro gives way to organ and vocal melodies. It kicks in with swirling organ and more before 3 minutes then it settles in after 3 1/2 minutes with vocals and a heavy sound. Spoken words then some ripping guitar 5 minutes in. A calm quickly follows. Violin and vocal melodies before 6 minutes then it's heavy again. "L'extra-Adventure De Villas-Boas" opens with drums and heaviness as vocals join in. The calm with acoustic guitar before 2 minutes is brief as the vocals return quickly with heaviness and violin. Lots of vocal melodies and more acoustic guitar followed by spoken words and laughter.

"Terre-Larbour" opens with growling synths as processed spoken words and active drumming join in. Multi-vocals follow and they get theatrical but stop before 1 1/2 minutes as synths and drums continue. "Flatwoods Story" is the only song with English lyrics. Rain and thunder to start as drums, vocals, bass and relaxed guitar take over. Backing vocals with spoken words just before a minute with spacey synths. It kicks back in but ends with spoken words, drums and guitar. "Nous" opens with sounds that seem to go in circles as drums support. Violin will come and go and vocals arrive 1 1/2 minutes in. It kicks back in after 2 minutes with violin over top.

"Visitors" is the only instrumental. It's haunting to begin with as vocal melodies join in along with bass and synth-like sounds. It kicks in just before a minute. Bass, piano and violin lead around 2 minutes as drums continue. Back to that earlier sound from just before a minute. "Le Retour Des Dieux" ends the album and it begins with some creepy spoken words and a solemn atmosphere. Outbursts of power come and go. Vocals follow and he sounds like a "Metal" singer here singing with passion. Drums only after 2 minutes then the violin joins in then vocal melodies to the end.

A pretty good album actually but for my tastes I can't give this more than 3 stars.

Review by siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
4 stars Jean Pierre Massiera has been considered an unhinged genius of sort for having been not only extremely prolific but also by having thought completely out of the box and tackling a dizzying array of musical genres in his wake. He grew up in Buenos Aires, Argentina but ultimately ended up in Nice, France where he established himself as a producer. While taking his work seriously when taking on the projects of others, Massiera stepped out of his producer's shoes on many occasions in order to craft his own demented musical projects.

It seems there wasn't anything he wasn't willing to try whether it be psychedelic rock in bands like After Life, Les Chats Renaissance or Human Egg to the kitschy space disco of Herman's Rocket and oddball pop of Phantasmes. Equally at home in the world of progressive rock with bands like Atlantide he also cranked out some of the weirdest one shots in the form of the bizarre Horrific Child and one of his best off-kilter projects was released in 1974 under the name VISITORS.

This is sort of what a musical would sound like if it were dedicated to an extraterrestrial invasion of sort with an alien taking over the recording studio and demanding that only fun and improvisation are allowed. This is a playful alien invasion, not that "War Of The Worlds" crap. To keep it lighthearted, Maassiera gathered up a group of nineteen musicians with the most famous being Didier Lockwood who played violin for Magma at several stages in the 70s, most notably on the outstanding 1975 Live album.

Taking a cue from bands like Mahavishnu Orchestra and the solo career of Jean Luc-Ponty, VISITORS is a crazy mix of frenetic Paganini styled violin, psychedelic rock and zeuhl with crazy bombastic progressive rock outbursts. It's made all the stranger by the fact that once this strange assortment consists of freaked out Hammond organ attacks, frantic Crimsonian guitar attacks and unpredictable moshpit dives into outlandish time signature freakouts. The music also offers a highly melodic form of standard rock with flamboyant vocals sung in both French and English but mostly in wordless form.

While the music can be complex, it often sticks to a simple rock formula in standard 4/4 timing with guitar, bass and drums and heavy doses of Hammond organ. The many spoken vocal parts occur in chant, polyphonic complexities, offer call and response, echo effects or spoken word prose. Wordless utterances appear in dramatic operatic supplications by both male and female vocalists. The fact that 19 musicians come and go make this one a quite startling dramatic turn of events for its mere 31 minute run.

While not exactly otherworldly in a completely removed from Earth sort of way, VISITORS does come across as something you've never experienced before even though huge sections are completely dominated by highly melodic vocal dominated accessible psychedelic rock. While vocal melodies are aplenty, the dramatic flair of the violin is never far behind and often adds a secondary call and response to the primary melodies provided by the polyphonic choral vocal effects. Sudden dramatic changes can spontaneous take the musical train of thought into completely new directions. The album was also fortified with healthy doses of sound effects with various field recordings and manufactured sounds to create a more lysergic and alien sounding smorgasbord.

There's a good reason this one has achieved such a significant cult status! It's utterly bizarre beyond belief as it sometimes takes on a Floydian "Saucerful Of Secrets" persona in the most lysergic organ driven ways possible or it can sound like a more cosmic approach to the musical "Hair!" Either way, it's quite the entertaining listen that never gets boring for a second. This is an album i've owned for years but only seem to break it out when i'm reminded of its existence and with each listen i'm continually blown away by its sheer creative genius. This is excellent music for those of us who love dramatic wildly unique music that you can't believe exists! Take it all with a grain of salt for its a touch cheesy, a little camp and all in good fun.

Latest members reviews

4 stars Is always a pleasure to find new prog gems. In Prog field is hard to know all the bands and artists, but certainly French Prog has often gives strange jewels as ETRON FOU LELOUBLAN , ATOLL. So lest go on a 31 minutes journey with some Alien! This Visitors Project comes thank to the eclectic ... (read more)

Report this review (#1111664) | Posted by Utnapishtim | Friday, January 10, 2014 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Visitors was a french project from the producer Jean-Pierre Massiera. After write about their second album (it was a long time ago), I will write something about this debut, a very unique and obscure album. But unfortunattely, is not the kind of "unique" that captivates me. The alien at the ... (read more)

Report this review (#1021925) | Posted by VOTOMS | Thursday, August 22, 2013 | Review Permanlink

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