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Ange - Ange En Concert 1970-71 CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

2.55 | 15 ratings

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2 stars This is an early recording of some pre-Ange concerts recorded in 70-71. The band was against its release in 1977. I can understand why. The sound is of an old boot quality (you can imagine) ! Some of the numbers are taken out from "La Fantastique Epopée du Général Machin" a rock opera written by Christian Décamps in 1969.

The first number called "Zup" here will be actually the opening number of their debut album "Caricatures" better known as "Biafra 80".

"Atome" is a long suite (almost thriteen minutes) which is not that bad actually. Rather psychedelic I must say. Not brilliant but some nice vocal part are very welcome. We can hear a rather hesitant Christian in its introduction. He will admit that it was almost the first time they were playing in front of an audience what he will call : an intelligent subject that could be understood by a large number of people but it is not yet a piece of cake ! I bet you !

"Opus 69" is a very short instrumental (2'35") and obviously the last number of a concert. This live album, will be recorded at different venues at one year interval.

"General Machin" is again rather violent and psychedelic. Very much Vanilla Fudge oriented. "Assis Sur L'Univers" is a spacey and short instrumental. But really powerful, even bombastic.

I have the impression that each time the audience is applauding at the end of a track that they are fake, as if one had mixed some studio recordings with audience participation. But it can't be that way when you listen at the poor sound quality.

We'll get back to the old psyche mood of the early live Floyd recordings with "Professeur Flouze". One of the best numbers here. "Messaline" is a pure rock song, completely different than what Ange will produce later on. But remember, this is not yet Ange. The finale sounds more as a jam than anything else.

The psyche mood fully prevails in "Cauchemar". They can hardly hide their source of inspiration. It is amazing how Christian Descamps will switch from full psyche to the most brilliant symphonic music in two years time.

The last piece of this album "Prophétie" will be a very looooooong and dull psyche jam. Almost twenty-two minutes. Nothing essential, believe me. The "track" will evolve to a jazz session folowed by a nice little flute passage which, of course, reminds me of Tull. But it is too short to make this track interesting (actually only the last six minutes are OK).

On some songs, Christian Décamps is not even on the lead vocals in these early days. This role is devoted to Jean-claude Rio.

The rather irreverant, anti-establishment and anti -militarist lyrics of Ange are already well present here. A short example : "Napoleon, during a capricious day converted a whore into a empress. In the army, one is less demanding, out of a bastar d, we'll make an officer" !

During the first live representation, the audience (a packed 1,000 people in their home town of Belfort) could hardly believe what they were seeing. Pysche French music.

They will be so successful that they will be playing their "opera" no less than seven times, always in Belfort where the local press was really praising them a lot.

They will be the winner of an important contest in a Parisian theatre "Le Golf- Drouot" in July 1971 and will be able to record a single. This will be their second one since they have already released "Israël" bw "Cauchemar" from ""La Fantastique Epopée du Général Machin".

The new single "Tout Feu, Tout Flamme" bw "Docteur Man" (available on the remastered edition of "Caricatures" as a bonus track). This secong single will sell more than 25,000 copies in two weeks thanks to the support of a radio programme planner : Jean-Bernard Hébey, producer of an excellent programme called "Poste Restante".

How many evenings did I spent in the early seventies to listen to this programme ! I discovered YesSongs there in November 1973 (it was the album of the week). Thanks a lot Jean-Bernard.

If one excludes the long and boring "Prophétie" this album is not bad at all. It is a pity that the only audio material from these days is so poor in sound quality. But at that time, there were no financial means for Ange to record it in a more professional way and no one could ever imagine at that time how big the band would be (at least in France).

This recording is of course not essential, but it shows how the early Ange sounded in those prehistorical days. I have been rather astonished by the result I must say. Still, this one can only be of interest to die-hard Ange fans. Two stars.

ZowieZiggy | 2/5 |


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