Band members                             Related acts

  line up 1 (1970)

- Jean-Pierre Auffredo -- sax, flute, violin, guitar, piano, percussion, vocals

- Sylvain Duplant -- bass, guitar, percussion, vocals

- Jean Falissard -- drums, percussion

- Claude Olmos -- guitar

- Alain Suzan -- vocals, bass, guitar, keyboards, flute


  line up 1 (1970-72)

- Jean-Pierre Auffredo -- sax, flute, violin, guitar, piano, percussion, vocals

NEW - Bruno Besse -- guitar, vibraphone (replaced Claude Olmos)

- Sylvain Duplant -- bass, guitar, percussion, vocals

- Alain Suzan -- vocals, bass, guitar, keyboards, flute

NEW - Alain "Doudou" Weiss -- drums, percussion (replaced

  Jean Falissard)


  line up 3 (1972-73)

- Luc Bertin -- vocals, keyboards, synthesizers

- Ian Jelfs -- vocals, rhythm guitar

- Paul Semama -- lead guitar

- Alain Suzan -- vocals, bass, guitar, keyboards, flute

- Alain "Doudou" Weiss -- drums, percussion




- Abracadabra (Jean-Pierre Auffredo)

- Alan Jack Civilization (Claude Olmos and Jean Falissard)

- Les Ambiteux ( Claude Olmos)

- Brothers McDaniel

- Carefully Done Patient

- Circus (Ian Jelfs)

- Coeur Magique (Claude Olmos)

- The Darwin's Theory (Claude Olmos)

- Devotion

- Docdail (Claude Olmos)

- Jean Falissard (solo efforts)

- The Five Gentlemen (Claude Olmos)

- The Foxes (Claude Olmos)

- The Godfathers  (Claude Olmos)

- Ian Jelfs (solo efforts)

- Magma (Claude Olmos and Alain "Doudou" Weiss)

- Moby Dick (Alain Weiss)

- M.O.T.U.S. (Ian Jelfs)

- The Mythics (Claude Olmos)

- Open Air (Jean-Pierre Auffredo)

- William Sheller

- Sphinx (Jean-Pierre Auffredo)

- The Stormsville Shakers (Ian Jelfs)

- Alain Suzan (solo efforts)

- Watson ( Claude Olmos)

- We Free

- Well





Genre: progressive

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  Alice

Company: BYG

Catalog: BYG529-16

Country/State: France

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: French pressing; gatefold sleeve

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 30100

Price: $110.00


The French progressive band Alice came together in 1970 (yes, the name was inspired by the Lewis Carroll story) and initially  featured the talents of multi-instrumentalist Jean-Pierre Auffredo, bassist Sylvain Duplant, drummer Jean Falissard, guitarist Claude Olmos, and singer Alain Suzan.   Falissard and Olmos had previously played with blues-rockers The Alan Jacks Civilization.  Signed by Fernand Boruso and Jean-Luc Young's French BYG label, the band made their debut with a 1970 single:






- 'De L'Autre Côté Du Miroir' b/w 'Veins' (BYG catalog number BYG 129 019)






Shortly after the single was released Falissard and Olmos split, with Bruno Besse (guitar) and Alain 'Doudo" Weiss (drums) stepping in as replacements.


Recorded over a nine day period in London's Marquee Studios, 1970's "Alice" was co-produced by Jean Georgakarakos and Jean-Luc Young.   With Auffredo, Besse, Duplant and Suzan sharing song-writing duties, in terms of musical influences the album was all over the map, including medieval ('Onurb'), classical ('L'enfant'), folk ('Valse') and Jethro Tull inspired progressive moves ('Le Nouveau Monde').  It's an album that took me a couple of spins to warm up to.  The initial Jethro Tull comparisons ('Axis' and 'Venez Jouer 1') didn't do all that much for me.  Still, after a couple of spins the band's talent and charms crept through.  Even 'Venez Jouer 1' had stuff going for it - Besse was a talented guitarist; these guys could craft a memorable melody and Auffredo's "snake charmer" sax was always interesting.  While the isolated vocals were in French and the lyrics largely lost on my ears, it really didn't bother me that much since the overall effect was quite pleasant.  While the Tull comparison jumps out at you, there was also a degree of Stevie Winwood and Traffic influence throughout ('Mexican Song').  That made the results much more palatable to my ears..  


Strictly my opinion, but Claud Remain's cover art was sooooooo bad it was actually good.


"Alice" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Axis (instrumental)   (Sylvain Duplant - Jean-Pierre Auffredo) - 5:30   rating: *** stars

Jean-Pierre Auffredo's sax solos gave the opener 'Axis' an exotic feel - I kept expecting a cobra to come slithering around my feet.  And then at about the halfway mark Auffredo flipped over to flute and the song dived into less satisfying Jethro Tull territory.  The final moment sounded like a totally different song - that or I'd slapped a Focus album on by mistake. 

2.) Onurb   (arranged - Bruno Besse) - 0:55  rating: *** stars

Songs starting with wildlife sounds normally spell pretense.  In this case, the instrumental 'Onurb' simply sounded like a Jan Akkerman solo effort.  Showcasing guitarist Besse, 'Onurb' had the same medieval sound.  Very calming and pretty, but not particularly original.

3.) Le Nouveau Monde  (Jean-Pierre Auffredo) - 2:30  rating: *** stars

Yeah, here was another one that opened up with wildlife - a crowing rooster.  I think the title translates as 'the new world' which made sense given the percussion heavy melody.  With Auffredo providing the vocals (he wrote the song so I'm guessing he sang it), 'Le Nouveau' was surprisingly commercial in an early Jethro Tull fashion (lots of flute).  The track was tapped as a French single:




- 1970's 'Le Nouvean Monde' b/w 'Que Pouvons-Nous Faire Ensamble?' (BYG catalog number BYG 129.024)








4.) Valse (instrumental)   (Jean-Pierre Auffredo) - 2:35  rating: **** stars

The flute opening didn't do a great deal for me, but I stuck around long enough for Sylvain Dplant's bass line and the rest of the band to kick in.  Glad I did since 'Valse' ('Waltz') was one of those sweet, calming tunes that it was hard to shake out of your head.

5.) L'enfant   (Alain Suzan - Jean-Pierre Auffredo) - 4:05  rating: **** stars

'The Child' started one of the prettiest classically inspired melodies I've ever heard on a rock album.  The group harmonies were equally sweet.  The song's also unique as one of the few rock tunes sporting a violin solo that I actually enjoyed (courtesy of Auffredo).


(side 2)

1.) Extrait du "Cercle" (Final)   (Alain Suzan) - 3:30  rating: *** stars

2.) Extrait du "Cercle" (Theme)   (Alain Suzan) - 1:40  rating: *** stars

Suzan's 'Extrait du "Cercle" gave guitairst Besse and opportunity to showcase his chops.  Not far behind was Suzan himself on organ.  The second part of the suite was even heavier, recalling something Vanilla Fudge might have concocted on a good day.  The album's most rock oriented tune.  The sound and video quality are poor, but YouTube has a clip of the original band line-up performing the tune on French television: 

3.) Venez Jouer I  (Alain Suzan - Jean-Pierre Auffredo) - 5:35  rating: *** stars

Courtesy of Auffredo's extended flute solo, 'Venez Jouer 1' found us back in Jethro Tull territory.  Not that there was anything wrong with that ...  Things improved after the introductory segment and the tune morphed into something more original.  Auffredo's snake charmer sax briefly reappeared.

4.) Mexican Song (instrumental)  (Jean-Pierre Auffredo) - 2:35  rating: *** stars

Showcasing Besse's acoustic guitar and Auffredo's flute, 'Mexican Song was a pretty, but forgettable tune.  

5.) Venez Jouer II  (Alain Suzan - Jean-Pierre Auffredo) - 1:08   rating: **** stars

Lyrically this wasn't going to win any prizes - the band repeating the title ('come and play') time after time after time ...  Musically it shifted the focus to the Besse's acoustic guitar and the group's overlooked vocal prowess. That made  'Venez Jouer II' the album's sweetest performance.  

6.) Tournez la Page (instrumental)  (Jean-Pierre Auffredo - Alain Besse) - 2:50   rating: **** stars

'Turn the Page' was the album's most overtly progressive performance.  While the tune had a strong melody, Auffredo's discordant sax washes gave the tune a Canterbury flavor.  The abrupt stops and starts and changes in direction were certainly different.  You had to wonder why the song ended on such an abrupt note.

7.)  Fumee Grise et Marrons Chauds (instrumental)  (Sylvain Duplant - Jean-Pierre Auffredo) - 1:12  rating: ** stars

There is a limit to how mucgh flute I can take and the brief closing instrumental 'Fumee Grise et Marrons Chauds' pushed me over the limit.





Genre: progressive

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  Arrêtez le monde

Company: Polydor

Catalog: 393 043

Country/State: France

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: Canadian pressing

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 238

Price: $100.00


Alice came together in 1970 (yes, the name was inspired by the Lewis Carroll story) and initially  featured the talents of multi-instrumentalist Jean-Pierre Auffredo, bassist Sylvain Duplant, drummer Jean Falissard, guitarist Claude Olmos, and singer Alain Suzan.   Falissard and Olmos had previously played with blues-rockers The Alan Jacks Civilization.  Signed by the French BYG label, the band made their debut with a 1970 single:






- 'De L'Autre Côté Du Miroir' b/w 'Veins' (BYG catalog number BYG 129 019)






Shortly after the single was released Falissard and Olmos split, with Bruno Besse (guitar) and Jean-Pierre Villemin (drums) stepping in as replacements.


inner sleeve photo 


Prior to the release of their second studio album, Alice underwent another personnel shake-up.  When things settled down singer/bassist Suzan was only survivor.  Backing him on the new album was an entirely new line-up featuring keyboardist Luc Bertin, former Circus  rhythm guitarist  Ian Jelfs, lead guitarist Paul Semama, and former Magma drummer Alain "Doudou" Weiss.   Originally released in France and Canada with the title "Arrêtez le monde" (I think it translates loosely as "stop the world"), their second studio album was also released in the UK and German with a new title ("All Ice") and a scary new cover (which probably didn't help sales all that much).  Even more interesting was the fact the album featured re-recorded versions of the songs with English lyrics..  I bet it sounds interesting, but good luck finding a copy for less than $300.  At that price I'll stick with the French lyrics.


Suzan was credited with penning all eleven tracks and while the performances were all in French, to my ears a sizable part of the album didn't really sound like your typical early-'70s slice of pretentious French jazz-rock posturing.  Okay, the freak-out instrumental 'Byzance' peeled off in that direction, and the instrumentals 'Introduction' and 'Il est' sounded way too folky for my tastes, but two thirds of these songs sported strong melodies (the title track was a radio-ready ballad), couple with nice vocals, and occasional flashes of rock urgency ('Ouverture' was a great rocker and Semama's guitar solo on 'Salina' was top notch).  As for the reviews that label the album progressive - well I guess so, but don't buy it expecting to hear Pink Floyd's "Meddle" or something out of the Magma catalog.


"All Ice" (Polydor catalog number 2393 043)


"Arrêtez le monde" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Introduction (instrumental)   (Alain Suzan) - 1:13   rating: ** stars

Starting out as a flute propelled instrumental, 'Introduction' had a medieval feel that left me wondering what I'd stumbled into.  Things improved a bit when Luc Bertin's Hammond and Paul Semama's fuzz guitar kicked in, but then the track went back to its folk roots.  

2.) Salina (instrumental)   (Alain Suzan) - 4:55    rating: **** stars

Initially showing kind of a laidback folky feel, 'Salina' took awhile to get into gear, but then Bertin's synthesizers, Alain Suzan's bass, and Semama's blazing lead guitar kicked in giving the track a sound that recalled a weird mash-up of the pied piper pipping and Mike Oldfield (check out the 'bell' effect on Semama's guitar if you want to hear the Oldfield resemblance).    Sound strange ?  It was, but I have to admit I loved it.   

3.) Arrêtez le monde (Parte 1)   (Alain Suzan) - 4:32    rating: **** stars

Wow, totally unexpected ... 'Arrêtez le monde (Parte 1)' was a stunningly beautiful ballad showcasing the band's shimmering harmony vocals and an instantly enticing melody.  Nice, understated lead guitar from Semama only made it even stronger and the fact it was sung in French just didn't matter with a song of this calber.  Easy to see why this one got tapped as a French single.  With English lyrics, this one would have been a massive hit.   One of those songs that simply gets stuck in my head when I hear it.   Polydor tapped it as a French single.   

5.) Byzance   (Alain Suzan) - 2:50   rating: ** stars

'Byzance' opened up with the sound of thunder and lightning and then thanks to Weiss' martial drums,  turned into something that sounded like an aural mash-up between drill practice and a really bad acid trip.  Quite disturbing.  

5.) Il est   (Alain Suzan) - 5:09      rating: *** stars

Complete with wind sound effects and an extended Suzan flute solo, the instrumental 'Il est' sounded like a slice of incidental film music - easy to picture some woman looking out to sea for her long lost sea faring husband.  Mildly pretty, but nothing to get excited about.  

7.) Arrêtez le monde (Parte II) (instrumental)   (Alain Suzan)  0:59      rating: *** stars

Everytime I hear the brief instrumental title track refrain, I check my turntable to make sure it's working ...  I have no idea why, but the end of the song slows down ...   As mentioned, the track was tapped as the leadoff French single:

- 1972's 'Arretez le Monde (et laisser-moi descendre)' b/w 'Le roseau' (Polydor catalog number  2056 173)


(side 2)

1.) Ouverture   (Alain Suzan) - 3:34    rating: **** stars

Kicked along by Semama's roaring guitar and Suzan's fantastic voice, side two's opener 'Ouverture' found the band returning to a more conventional rock sound.  Easily one of the standout performances on the album !!!   

2.) Le Roseau   (Alain Suzan) - 3:49    rating: **** stars

A smooth and catchy acoustic ballad, 'Le Roseau' again underscored what a great voice Suzan had.  Semama also unveiled his impressive slide guitar chops.  Another song with high commercial potential.  

3.) Quelqu´un qui t´aime   (Alain Suzan) -2:49  rating: **** stars
'Quelqu´un qui t´aime' was another pretty acoustic ballad that spotlighted some nice 12 string moves and the band's glistening harmony vocals.  The song's always reminded me of an American band, but for years the exact comparison has evaded me ... 

4.) Franky l´oiseau   (Alain Suzan) - 2:36      rating: *** stars

I wasn't all that keen on Suzan's extended, multi-tracked opening flute solo, but things got a little bit better when the bass kicked in and the band actually started singing.  Another pretty ballad (something to do with a bird?).

5.) Le cercle   (Alain Suzan) - 6:38    rating: **** stars
     i.) Parte I   (Alain Suzan)
     ii.) Parte II   (Alain Suzan)

A two part medley, ' Le cercle' opened up with a nice mix of Bertin's church organ and Suzan's hypnotic bass.  About a minute into the track Semama's screaming lead guitar kicked in and the song never looked back, morphing into what was the album's toughest rocker.  François Debricon's sax gave the tune a mild Pink Floyd-flavor, but when the full horn section kicked in, it started to sound like Fleetwood Mac's "Tusk" where they've got the entire USC marching band kicking along behind them.    I still love it.



Far from perfect, but an album that I play every couple of months.  Well worth lookin' for.