Rousseau - China, from "Retreat", their 2nd album, released in 1983. Rousseau, were, in spite of having a decidely French sounding name (as in 'Clousseau', of the "Does your dog bite?/Do you have a license for your minkey?" variety), a German progressive outfit, formed in 1978. (They actually got the idea of their name from Jean-Jacques Rousseau, an enlightened 18th century French philosopher). The line-up underwent one or two changes before the core of bassist Georg Huthmacher, guitarist Jorg Schwarz, flautist/percussionist/guitarist Christoph Huster, drummer Ali Pfeffer and keyboard player Rainer Hofmann signed a deal with Steyrer Records and released their debut album, "Flower in Asphalt" in 1980. This debut album demonstrated their love of classical romanticism, much in the same vein as UK bands, The Enid and early Camel. The follow-up album, 1983's "Retreat", saw the addition of vocalist Herbert Ruppik and the replacement of Jorg Schwarz with Christoph Masbaum, following Schwarz's decision to leave to join a hard rock band. The addition of vocals saw the band's sound mellow a touch, with the accent on songs adding a more neo-progressive feel on this, and their next and final album, "Square the Circle", released in 1987. The band was basically put "on ice" at this stage, although a fourth album was apparently due for release in the mid to late nineties, but, as far as we are aware, it hasn't seen the light of day yet. All of their first three albums have been available on CD (Musea) for a number of years now. 

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Rousseau - 1978 - Flower in Asphalt - 3.5/5

Rousseau - 1980 - Retreat - 3/5

Rousseau - 1986 - Square - 3.5/5



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