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Box, The - 1984 The Box



ARTIST: Box, The
ALBUM: The Box
LABEL: Alert
SERIAL: BD1000
YEAR: 1984

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Jean Marc Pisapia - keyboards, lead vocals * Guy Pisapia - keyboards, backing vocals * Jean Pierre Brie - bass, backing vocals * Guy Floret - guitars- backing vocals * Luc Papineau - electronics

TRACK LISTING: 01 Must I Always Remember * 02 Dancing On The Grave * 03 War Going On * 04 Go Down Alone * 05 Week End * 06 Live On TV * 07 Walk Away * 08 The Great Summer Fair * 09 Check Mate/Quand Le Roy * 10 Remnants * 11 Live On TV (radio version

WEBLINKS: www.theboxband.com


Background
One of the more interesting and successful bands to come out of the early 80??s Montreal scene, The Box was formed in 1981 by ex- Men Without Hats member Jean Marc Pisapia. Over the course of four albums, the group charted numerous singles to critical acclaim, yet they never rose to the same commercial zenith on an international level as other Canadian bands of the day. Hard to say what the reasons might have been; the lack of a true top ten hit, the stigma of being from Quebec or maybe they were little too 'arty' for the Prairies and Western Canada. Hard to say, but in retrospect all their records are worth owning and while it's not their best work, The Box debut is as good a place as any to start our coverage of this wonderful band.


The Songs
A product of their time, The Box at this point were not the most original band on the planet. Heavy on synth and new wave rhythms, here they sound like a Canadian version of The Fixx, but there are some progressive elements a la Genesis at play in The Box sound as well. 'Must I Always Remember' and 'Dancing On The Grave' the first two cuts on the record are The Box at their most memorable. Released as singles they didn't fare too well although they remain some of the group's best work. From here on, The Box take a few more chances musically although still derivative. Long time Genesis fan Jean Marc Pisapia's vocal work for 'War Going On' is reminiscent of Peter Gabriel as is 'Go Down Alone' with Gary Numan influenced cold wave synth giving The Box a stark experimental edge. I'm not too keen on 'Walk Away' unfortunately. A little too quirky in the Men Without Hats and Devo school of pop, evidently it was a minor Canadian hit although leaving it off the record would have made for a more cohesive work in my opinion. 'The Great Summertime Fair' and 'Check Mate/Quand Le Roy', the albums last two songs are the record's best, with the latter being a rousing Gaelic influenced number reminding me of long forgotten 80's neo progressives Le Mat and their 'Waltz Of The Fool' opus.


In Summary
From here on The Box worked tirelessly on the road supporting Spoons, Platinum Blonde, Marillion and others while developing a following of their own which was stronger in their native Quebec and the Maritime provinces. Yet, despite these successes, the band couldn't break the American market and with disappointing sales of their album 'The Pleasure And The Pain', The Box split up never to be heard from again, or so we thought. In 2005 out of the blue a new CD from The Box 'Black Dog There' arrived. With Jean Marc Pisapia the only original member, the direction of The Box is now firmly in progressive rock with echoes of Pink Floyd and of course Genesis now filling the sound. A new CD is due in 2009 and all I can say is welcome back!


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Tags: The Box Quebec 
 
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