Morse Code

La Marche des Hommes

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La Marche des Hommes was released after a three-year hiatus and presented a completely revamped Morse Code. All lyrics are in French and the music is firmly anchored to the British progressive rock bandwagon. Leader Christian Simard wrote most of the music and the group relied on poet Chantal Dussault for words. The topics were kept universal and humanitarian ("La Marche des Hommes" translates to The Walk of Men). The title track stands out: complex like a premium Yes suite, it attempted (and succeeded in) summarizing all the possibilities and talents of the group into one 11-minute song. The utopian "Le Pays d'Or" (The Land of Gold) is strongly influenced by French group Ange, Simard finding the right emotive inflections in Christian Décamps' register. "Qu'est-Ce T'as Compris?" (What Did You Understand?) and "La Cérémonie de Minuit" (The Midnight Ceremony), the latter a variation on the literary theme of Faust, constitute the other highlights. The short instrumental "Cocktail," simpler and more lively, made the perfect radio single and became a minor local hit. Incidentally, it pointed at the direction the group Maneige would soon take to reach wider audiences. The lush, inventive, and strongly cohesive writing of the group, paired with their inspiring musicianship (bassist Michel Vallee could match Chris Squire any day) and Simard's dramatic but not over-theatrical vocals, turned La Marche des Hommes into a classic prog rock album, enjoyable to non-French speakers. [The 2007 reissue featured bonus tracks.]

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