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Musiciens - Magiciens

Artist: Atoll
Label: Eurodisc
Catalog#: 87 008
Format: Vinyl
Country: France
Released: 1974
Tracklist
A1 L'Hymne Medieval 3:10
A2a 1: L'Arpège Philosophal 3:00
A2b 2: L'incube 5:10
A2c 3: L'Arpège Philosophal 3:13
A3 Musiciens-Magiciens 3:45
B1 Au-Dela Des Ecrans De Cristal 5:29
B2 Le Secret Du Mage 2:55
B3 Le Berger 3:50
B4 Je Suis D'Ailleurs 8:15
Credits

Bass, Vocals, Twelve-String Guitar – Jean-Luc Thillot
Drums, Percussion – Alain Gozzo
Guest, Tenor Saxophone, Flute, Soprano Saxophone, Flute, Piccolo Flute, Vocals – Laurent Gianez
Guitar, Synthesizer, Vocals, Percussion – Luc Serra
Synthesizer [Eminent], Clavinet, Vibraphone, Organ, Percussion, Vocals – Michel Taillet
Vocals – André Balzer
Recorded At – Studio Antibes

Strawberry Bricks Entry: 
Forming in 1972, Atoll hailed from Metz, France, and was built around the trio of guitarist Luc Serra, bassist Jean-Luc Thillot and drummer Alain Gozzo. One of France's early proponents of rock progressif, Atoll's debut single from late 1973, "Je T'Aime Quand Je Te Vois" b/w "Change Ta Vie" sold quite well; and after a few changes in personnel, they released Musiciens-Magiciens in late 1974. With André Balzer on vocals, Michel Taillet on keyboards and Laurent Gianesini guesting on sax and flute, Atoll present a fully-realized progressive rock album, albeit one influenced by their British counterparts—still, quite an achievement for their debut. The harmonies on the opening "L'Hymne Medieval" shine, and also reveal a strong French-language vocalist in Balzer. "Le Baladin du Temps" highlights the songwriting skills of the band, as the track shifts from theme to theme with relative ease and continuity. The short title track hosts a great solo from Taillet, while "Au-Delà Des Ecrans De Cristal" rocks under Serra's guitar work. The closer, "Je Suis D'Ailleurs," begins with an amazing groove, dives for a fortunately quick and rather uninspired drum solo, and then recovers, reprising some main themes from the album. Released in 1974 on the Ariola imprint Eurodisc, the album saw release in Canada on Gamma Records; lest we forget, Quebec is a French-speaking province! A second album, L'Araignée-Mal, came out the following year, again on the Eurodisc label—with Christian Béya replacing Serra on guitar, and the additions of Richard Aubert on violin and Bruno Géhin, a second keyboardist. To wit, it's one of Atoll's finest records. By their third album, Tertio, in 1977, a back-to-a-five-piece Atoll had caught the fusion bug; or, at least, far slicker production. The album even saw some vocal contributions from Stella Vander and Lisa Deluxe. But the oddest twist to the Atoll story came in 1980, after their fourth and final album, when journeyman John Wetton recorded with the band shortly before he formed Asia.
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