Atoll was a French symphonic/space-rock band that released the 1974 Eurodisc album Musiciens-Magiciens. With the addition of ex-Komintern violinist Richard Aubert, they released L’araignée-mal in 1975. After further lineup changes, they issued the 1977–79 albums Tertio and Rock Puzzle. Their music is often compared to countrymen Ange and Mona Lisa.

Members: Jean-Luc Thillot (bass, 12-string guitar, 1972-80), Alain Gozzo (drums, 1972-75, 1976), Luc Serra (guitar, 1972-74), Francis Paul (bass, 1972-73), André Balzer (vocals, percussion, 1972-80), Michel Taillet (keyboards, percussion, 1972-80), Richard Aubert (violin, 1974-76), Jean-Claude Monet (guitar, 1975), Bruno Géhin (organ, keyboards, 1975), Christian Beya (guitar, keyboards, 1975-2003), Didier Hofmann (drums, 1975-76), Raoul Leininger (vocals, 1987-2003), Jean-Pierre Klarès (bass, 1987-89), Gilles Bonnabaud (drums, 1987-89), Nathalie Geschier (keyboards, 1987-89)

Atoll formed in February 1972 when three musicians from Metz in the northeast of France — bassist/guitarist Jean-Luc Thillot, guitarist Luc Serra, and drummer Alain Gozzo — bonded on a train ride to Paris, where they were scheduled to meet and work with Italian singer Mike Bazzani. Though the trip was fruitless, the three hopefuls decided to form a band.

Inspired by Californian harmony rock (Crosby, Stills & Nash; America) and English symphonic rock (Yes, Genesis), Thillot and Serra brought out their acoustic guitars and composed their first songs together on their way back to Metz. They chose the name Atoll because it conjures the imagery of palm trees, tropical islands, and bright blue oceans.

Atoll hired singer André Balzer and played their first concert on June 23, 1972, in Forbach as an opening act for Zoo. With keyboardist Michel Taillet and temporary bassist Francis Paul (Thillot focused on 12-string), Atoll debuted as a six-piece with the single “Je T’Aime Quand je te Vois” (b/w “Change ta Vie”), released in October 1973 on Eurodisc Pop. Both sides are credited to Balzer-Serra-Thillot.

With Thillot back on bass, Atoll recorded their second Eurodisc single, “Le Secret du Mage” (b/w “Je Fais un Rêve”), released in February 1974. That May, they entered Studio Antibes to record their first album.



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