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Ange - Par les Fils de Mandrin CD (album) cover

PAR LES FILS DE MANDRIN

Ange

 

Symphonic Prog

3.37 | 100 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars I'll review the English version (called Son) of the Cd, but I had this album in its French vinyl (called Fils) version back then?. But it is now a long forgotten story?.. and since my library system has only this one? With Délire and Jacotay, Ange was reaching a European level (touring as far as Finland) and Christian was Napoleon and dreaming of conquering the British Isles. So the group decided to record their next album both Fils (French) and Son (English), like some Italians chose to do the same (Banco & PFM), but this would proof useless in the face or the British snobbery of anything non-British. The group was still in its prime when they got in the studio in July 77 to record this circus fantasy-filled concept album, illustrated by the front and back artwork, while the group members taking on a role and name in the story, a bit like GonG has done for the RGI trilogy.

I have no remembrance if the Fils version had a Descamps text explaining their new musical deliria, but the Musea Cd reissue certainly gives it four pages (and forgetting the usual liner notes) dedicated to the history, which might be a bit too much considering that most fluent English auditors will probably have a difficult time concentrating on the abundant English lyrics, sung approximately by Christian. The concept revolves around a Circus theme, which in itself was hardly new since The Beatles' Magical Mystery Tour or Procol's In Twas Held In I, both already dating ten years. Just like I remembered the Fils version I owned as a vinyl in the late 70's, Mandrin is way too wordy and overly dramatic and simply too theatrical as well, and this goes for the Son version as well. It's all starting with a cuckoo call, echoed by footsteps and a distant kb & bass that gradually grow into a growling guitar and electronica weirdness (courtesy of brother Francis), but Christian's vocals are embedded, his pronunciation clear but still filled with an accent and the lyrics are not always well translated.

So in some ways, one could justify the UK snobbery against anything not properly sung in English, and if the Son version is (IMHO) not convincing enough, then they should dare the Fils version, provided they like the album enough to buy. I understand that PFM's Manticore albums are selling enough to warrant reissues of the non-original versions, but hopefully the progheads are able to overpass the language barrier.

Sean Trane | 3/5 |

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