Ange — A Propos De...
(Musea FGBG 4205.AR, 1982/1995, CD)
Ange — Caricatures
(Musea FGBG 2112, 1972/2009, CD)
Ange — Guet-Apens
(Musea FGBG 4202.AR, 1978/1995, CD)
Ange — Moteur!
(Musea FGBG 4204.AR, 1981/1995, CD)
Ange — Tome IV
(Musea FGBG 4200.AR, 1977/1995, CD)
Ange — Vu d'un Chien
(Musea FGBG 4203.AR, 1980/1995, CD)
Ange — La Gare des Troyes
(Musea FGBG 4206.AR, 1983/1995, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 1995-11-01
These seven titles by the legendary Ange represent part of Musea's big score from absorbing the Baillemont label late last year. Although most of these have been released on CD before — not once, not twice, but three times on the Marianne, Melodie, and Baillemont labels, only the Baillemont editions of Caricatures and Tome VI have been generally available in the States.
Mike McLatchey covered Caricatures, Tome VI, and Guet-Apens in his artist profile of Ange in the Seventies in issue No.5, so I won't go into great length covering those three titles again, except to add that the live album Tome VI (double LP on 1CD) is probably as good an introduction as any to Ange's earlier work from the 70s, albeit presented in a different light than one would find on the studio albums of the same vintage. I recommend it highly as a starting point for those not familiar with the band.
The four titles from the 80s show the band attempting — and succeeding — in adapting to a changing musical climate, moving away from the high powered symphonic rock and theatrical stylings they embraced in the 70s into a more streamlined, hard-edged sound. Much like Genesis had to change and adapt in the post And Then There Were Three period. Commercial ? Definitely more so than before, but not to the point of selling out their respectability as a band (though they come close at a couple points on Moteur). Thus, fans who liked the 'old' Ange will still find Christian Décamps voice in fine form, the band tight as ever (although featuring several new members), but clearly moving in some new directions. There are still a few of the 'classic style' songs scattered about on the three Ange-composed albums ("Pour Un Rien" from Vu d'un Chien, "Rien n'est Trop Beau Pour Toi" from Moteur, and "Neuf Heures" from La Gare de Troyes are three that come to mind) but the main thrust is clearly away from the older sound.
A Propos De... is a special case, an album of Ange-ified standard French pop covers, and for this writer's taste at least, it's the least satisfying album of the bunch. I'm sure that a person who's spent their life immersed in French culture might see things differently, though. However, the eleven minute "Le Bal des Laze" at the end of the album is a powerful closer and gives the band a lot of room to stretch out instrumentally — and redeems this disc somewhat. All of the discs have extensive historical liner notes (no English translation, though, probably figuring that there would be little interest outside of France). Anyway, these are good rock/pop albums but the progressive purist should proceed with caution.
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santan, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more
Shindig Festival Goes Lock-Down – Here's what they're saying: It's A Happening Thing! The Shindig! Magazine Lockdown Festival. In our days of no large gatherings of people, maybe it's still possible to have a music festival. Shindig! Magazine is giving it a go with a multi-artist streaming extravaganza on Saturday April 25. » Read more
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more
Joy of Cooking - Joy of Cooking, Closer to the Ground, & Castles – Those looking for a 'good ole time' need look no further — funky West Coast psychedelia flavored country-rock to be found here. Equally rooted in the blues, this stuff is steeped in the tradition of... (2007) » Read more