Montreal, Quebec-based record company GSI Musique announces that the super-deluxe limited-edition vinyl set of the acclaimed double album Histoires sans paroles – Harmonium Symphonique, a symphonic re-interpretation of the music of influential 1970s Montreal-based progressive rock act Harmonium, has sold 5000 units.
This collector’s volume includes the album on four 12-inch 180-gram vinyl LPs, along with a large luxurious hardcover book (illustrated with photos taken during the recording sessions at Montreal’s Maison Symphonique, in the presence of Harmonium mastermind Serge Fiori), the standard 2-CD album set, and a full-album download.
For a deluxe vinyl set to ship 5000 units is notable under any circumstances, but this news is particularly impressive as the album is available exclusively through the website
Legendary 1970s Montreal-based progressive rock act Harmonium, led by musical visionary Serge Fiori, is one of the most influential bands in Quebec music history, and their success reached across North America as the sound of progressive rock came to characterize the 1970s music scene. Over the course of just three years in its 70s run, Harmonium released three distinct albums: the self-titled Harmonium, its follow-up Si On Avait Besoin d’Une Cinquième Saison, and the band’s swan-song L’Heptade. In 2015, Rolling Stone magazine listed the album Si On Avait Besoin d’Une Cinquième Saison at number 36 of the Best 50 Progressive Rock Albums of all time and declared it “the pinnacle of the whole Folk-Prog movement.” In 2007, all three of Harmonium’s studio albums were named among the 100 greatest Canadian albums of all time in Bob Mersereau’s book The Top 100 Canadian Albums.
The new album Histoires sans paroles – Harmonium Symphonique presents the band’s repertoire revisited and orchestrated by talented music arranger Simon Leclerc, who also co-produced the album with Serge Fiori under the artistic direction of GSI Musique President Nicolas Lemieux. A large ensemble featuring 68 musicians of the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal (OSM) performed on the album, conducted by Maestro Leclerc at Montreal’s Maison Symphonique.
The album, within just seven weeks after its December release, was certified platinum in Canada with over 80,000 units sold, and is now surpassing 100,000 units sold. And staggeringly, this album has done the unthinkable: by going platinum the OLD way, sticking to physical units and downloads and not releasing the record to streaming services, and being available only via online orders through the album’s online portal, not being distributed in any brick and mortar stores (a first in Canada for such a major project). The project has maintained its unique momentum for many weeks, with further sales certifications imminent.
Lemieux stated, “We created this deluxe vinyl edition specifically with fans and collectors in mind, and they have responded in an overwhelming fashion. We took a ‘no-expenses-spared’ approach, and the people who hold this music dear knew that this set is an essential part of their collection. This sturdy full-sized box features a beautiful art piece by the Canadian painter Riopelle, and inside you will find four superbly pressed 180-gram LPs, two CDs, a luxurious booklet and other decorative items, all printed in Canada on the best-quality paper and cardboard available. We look forward to the next benchmark as this music continues to resonate with the fans.”
As well, extra steps were taken in the production process to optimize the album for the vinyl listening experience. Lemieux added, “We wanted to achieve the ultimate quality possible in full orchestra recording and production and present the recordings with a ‘cinematographic’ result. Renowned American engineer Rick Winquest and Canadian engineer Charles-Émile Beaudin worked together to create the sound we were looking for from the album’s recording sessions, and noted mastering engineers Gavin Lurssen and Reuben Cohen at Lurssen Mastering in Burbank, California, were able to take extra care in mastering and cutting the album’s vinyl master. Simply put, this is a 100% custom-made set made with the ultimate quality in mind, both in the physical and sonic presentation.”
All formats can be purchased exclusively from https://www.harmoniumsymphonic.com/.