Biography

 

OCEAN was formed in 1974 under the leadership of guitarist Georges BODOSSIAN.

After some line up changes the band takes its final shape form in 1976 with Robert BELMONTE (Lead vocals, percussions), Bernard LEROY (drums), Noël ALBEROLA (Bass, vocals) and George Bodossian (guitars, vocals).

Outstanding musicians, with an immoderate taste for elaborated, sensual and progressive music, members of OCEAN were soon plunge into their first dates and parisian scenes. Hard work in rehearsals and concerts lead them to the creation and production of their first album : "God's Clown". Rock and Heavy Rock riffs in a worthy of the time and its best representatives progressive atmosphere makes this first album a unique piece of work.

The band released this first album in October 1977 under the label CRYPTO. The music was revealed as an innovative blend of LED ZEPPELIN and KING CRIMSON, a strong Heavy Rock with some Jazz Rock and prog’ elements. OCEAN hits the road, appearing on stage increasingly, as headliners or with famous french artists (as ANGE, MAGMA, ATOLL ... )Theaters, Cultural centers, community centers, Festivals, Paris’s OLYMPIA, NEW MORNING in Geneva, GOLF DROUOT, without forgetting the GIBUS CLUB, at the time considered as the French counterpart of London’s MARQUEE. As the quartet excels on stage, it was programmed regularly, which does not fail to attract headhunters from leading records companies. A publisher soon offered the band to step onto the stage of the ROSE BONBON (a famous Parisian concert place) for a successful audition with EMI editions. With this signature, OCEAN entered in a recording studio in order to refine professional demo tapes.At the same time, Jean-Pierre GUICHARD, drummer from the band ANGE replaced Bernard LEROY. Once all titles were recorded, the producer searched to conclude a contract with a record company. CBS first offered to sign OCEAN but the french major BARCLAY finally succès fully got the contract on june 28 ,1979. lthe same day A famous Concert promoter offered OCEAN to play as opening band of the AC/DC tour in France, Alain GOUILLARD (from the Band EDITION SPECIALE) joined the band as new OCEAN’s drummer. The 17th January 1980, the Frenchies joined the famous Australians for the "Highway to Hell Tour". They played in Poitiers, Bordeaux, Nantes, Toulouse, Brest and Le Mans. (Bon SCOTT will die a month later).
A French tour of more than 60 dates followed from march to June 1980.
BARCLAY booked the Rolling Stones Mobile studio One with Mick McKENNA as recording engeener to capture live the band then mastered by Dominique BLANC-FRANCART in the « Family Sound studios » in Paris for the album "LIVE A + B". Among the recorded songs three new tracks : « Qu’est ce que tu dis ? », « Dégage » et « On se Rock de moi ». From gig to gig OCEAN earn a solid reputation of performers and played in famous Parisian concert halls like OLYMPIA, BOBINO or LE PALACE.January 1981, heading to London after its prep work and pre-production, the band reached Battery Studios and Scorpio Sound studios in order to record and mix its fourth album. OCEAN spent two month recording and finalizing eight brand new titles : « Aristo », « A force de gueuler », « Attention contrôle », « Qu’on me laisse le temps », « Rock N' Roll », « Berceuse », « Louise » and « Dégage » with Tim FRIESE-GREEN (QUEEN, TALK TALK) as art director ,Mike SHIPLY & Dennis WEINRICH (TRUST, Jeff BECK) to record and mix .Fin COSTELLO was in charge of the visual.
Once the album finalized, Back from London, OCEAN joined IRON MAIDEN from March 18 to April 23 1981 on the french part of "The Killer World Tour", from Lille to Toulon and Metz, Bordeaux, Reims, Lyon, Nice, Miramas, Montpellier, Strasbourg, Mulhouse, Toulouse and even an opening on the northern border, in Eindhoven. The album, entitled "OCEAN" (like the second one) was released in April 1981 and promoted during a new tour that takes them across France, through the main Festivals and concert Halls of the hexagon ... promo, tv shows, TF1 national TV news, programs on the three french TV channels, interviews, regional broadcasts, Radio France Inter, Radio 7, Radio France ... the shooting of the « captain video » Video clip came along with the band until the end of the year. The last serial of concerts take place in November 1981, the very last show in Rouen December 12th, 1981.
At this moment, French records industry was experiencing a great revolution, POLYGRAM (Universal today) took control of BARCLAY Records and POLYDOR and does not renew all contracts or changed initially signed conditions.OCEAN’s BARCLAY adventure ends in 1982, a double LP « Best Of, 16 Great Success » wasreleased by the company to revive the fans memory, saddened by the band split.In 1983 a new version is formed around Robert BELMONTE and Noel ALBEROLA, with Robert CALFATY (Drums) followed by Farid MEDJANE and Bennie SLOYAN (guitars) some concerts and a two tracks EP « Spécial polar / super machine » was issued by the young label REFLEX Records.
In 1998, MANTRA label reissued "God's Clown", the first OCEAN’s album.The same year, OCEAN is one of the artist featuring the compilation albums « Anthologie du Hard-Rock Français Volume 1 & 2 » with the songs « Menteur » and « A force de gueuler ».In 2000, AXE KILLER Records reissued the last BARCLAY’s album "«Ocean» with live tracks from the album «LIVE A + B».AXE KILLER is still behind the release, in 2001, of the cover album «Tribute to TRUST”» where OCEAN performed «Ton dernier acte», a song paying tribute to Bon SCOTT.In 2004, new titles are being prepared, the band decided to make a new album and a comeback on stage, the adventure unfortunately ends in March 2004 with the death of Robert BELMONTE.
In 1986, Georges BODOSSIAN and Robert BELMONTE revive OCEAN with the 2 tracks maxi EP « Juste au bout du désert / Flash de nuit » recorded at SOLARIS Studios in Paris. Yet some concerts in France, Luxembourg and finally Brussels.« Juste au bout du désert » emerges again in 1997 with a new version recorded for SONY MUSIC at PENNY LANE Studios in Paris.
In 2008 starts an important archive work gathering all the official recorded elements of the band’s career. This memory work allowed in january 2010 the issue of the collector box: OCEAN "Story, Live and More» The Definitive Collection under AXE KILLER’S label. On this occasion Georges BODOSSIAN Announces the come back of the band with the following line up : Alain GOUILLARD (drums), Marcel CHIARUTTINI (bass), Georges BODOSSIAN (guitars) and Stef-REB (vocals).Their comeback on stage took place at the BUS PALLADIUM, September 30th 2010, concert followed by other such concerts as : MONTEREAU CONFLUENCES festival (feat. LOU REED, BLUE OYSTER CULT ...), the first edition of MENNECY METAL PARK, Paris’s DIVAN DU MONDE, and the ultimate edition of PARIS METAL FRANCE FESTIVAL.
Timeless titles such Rock itself will last, despite the passage of time and fashions OCEAN motivation remains the same.With its new album “C’est la fin ...” ("This is the end ...") OCEAN embodies a new chapter in its history, combining modernity and purism, faithful to the live spirit that animates the band since its very beginning.
OCEAN then alternates studio sessions and concerts, pushed by the same creative vein they had in the band early days, the quartet soon gave birth to new songs and the idea of a new album.In April 2015, with the come back of Noel ALBEROLA, this is the instrumental section of the mythical 1981 eponymous album which presents on stage some of the titles that will be in their new album.

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In 1981, MELODY MAKER created the term "New Wave of French Heavy Metal" (NWOFHM) to describe the music of OCEAN, pioneer of this "nouvelle vague".
Sure value of French Rock, OCEAN then shared the stage with other major french bands but also with future worldwide legends such as AC/DC (Highway to Hell Tour) or IRON MAIDEN (The Killers World Tour).
In 4 albums, whose last one remains an absolute reference in French Heavy Rock, and many memorable shows (OLYMPIA, BOBINO, LE PALACE, L'HIPPODROME DE PANTIN...) OCEAN opened the way to a new generation of Rock & Heavy Metal Bands and marked the history of Hexagonal Rock.
The completion in 2009 of the collector box "OCEAN, Story, Live & More", the integral of the band's discography, led the musicians to regain the urge to play together and share again on stage their passion with the public.
Their comeback on stage took place at the BUS PALLADIUM, September 30th 2010, concert followed by other concerts such as : MONTEREAU CONFLUENCES festival (feat. LOU REED, BLUE OYSTER CULT ...), the first edition of MENNECY METAL PARK, Paris’s DIVAN DU MONDE, and the ultimate edition of PARIS METAL
FRANCE FESTIVAL.
OCEAN then alternates studio sessions and concerts, pushed by the same creative vein they had in the band's early days, the quartet soon gave
birth to new songs and the will to record a new album.
In April 2015, this is the instrumental section of the mythical 1981 eponymous
album which presents on stage some of the titles that will be in the new album.
Timeless titles such as Rock itself because finally, despite the erosion of time, the deep motivation of OCEAN remains the same.
With « C'est la fin ... »("This is the end …"), OCEAN embodies a new chapter in its history, combining modernity and purism, faithful to the "live" spirit that animates the band since its very beginnings. The story continues…

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