ALICE – Alice

Alice are an unusual entity, in that they are the only French rock band in my collection. I have folk and electronic albums from across the water, but Alice took their influences from groups such as Jethro Tull and Traffic, and even came over to London to record their debut album – one of the best French releases of 1970. Many of the band came from a blues-rock background, and they used this experience to their advantage in their songwriting, coming up with music that had an instant appeal to an international audience. ‘Axis’ is a perfect example of their sound, with staccato guitar bursts over organ, woodwind and flute. ‘Onurb’ is a short solo guitar instrument before ‘Le Nouveau Monde’ brings the Tull flutes to the fore on the first vocal track of the album. ‘L’arbre’ is slightly heavier, and has a traditional rock feel to it, while ‘Valse’ is a jazzy flute instrumental. ‘L’enfant’ is a touching ballad, with orchestration used to enhance the verses, and a violin solo which brings to mind Curved Air. ‘Extrait Du Cercle’ is a two part rocker, with some great guitar playing, as has the instrumental ‘Tournez La Page’, which features an outstanding guitar solo. The CD re-issue comes with six bonus tracks, including both sides of their first single with a different line-up and a couple of good heavy rockers, and if you have ever wanted to try some Gallic rock but did not know where to start then Alice will ease you in with some great accessible classic rock sounds.