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Laurent Thibault


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Laurent Thibault Mais on ne peut pas rêver tout le temps album cover
4.30 | 91 ratings | 9 reviews | 37% 5 stars

Essential: a masterpiece of
progressive rock music

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Studio Album, released in 1979

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Orée (11:30)
2. Aquadingen (4:29)
3. La caravane de l'oubli (7:07)
4. Mais on ne peut pas rêver tout le temps (8:19)

Total Time 31:25

Line-up / Musicians

- Laurent Thibault / bass, guitars, noises, producing & mixing

- Lisa Bois / voice
- Jean-Claude Delaplace / voice
- Amanda Parsons / soprano vocals
- Lionel Ledissez / Indian vocals
- "Le Muezzin Mystérieux" / Arabic vocals
- Serge Derrien / chorus vocals, flute
- Jacqueline Thibault / keyboards
- Anne-Sophie / toy piano
- David Rose / violin
- Richard Raux / tenor saxophone, reita (Indian flute)
- Guy Renaudin / soprano saxophone
- Francis Moze / fretless bass, whil, tumbas
- Dominique Bouvier / drums

Releases information

Artwork: "La charmeuse de serpents", painting by Henri Rousseau (1844-1910)

LP Ballon Noir ‎- BAL 13009 (1978, France)

CD Musea Records - FGBG 4054.AR (1992, France)

Thanks to Sean Trane for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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LAURENT THIBAULT Mais on ne peut pas rêver tout le temps ratings distribution

(91 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(37%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(43%)
Good, but non-essential (18%)
Collectors/fans only (1%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

LAURENT THIBAULT Mais on ne peut pas rêver tout le temps reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
4 stars Sole solo album from bassist Laurent Thibault, and coming rather late in his career, since he was in the studio business by this time. Indeed one of the pioneers of French prog/Zeuhl (via Magma and MGP) in the late 60's and early 70's, he had become heavily involved into producing, than managing studios and none the least the famous Hérouville studios, where the entire world music industry fought to get in. Based on a concept of interpreting musically the paintings of Douanier Rousseau (the inventor of the naïve movement, who never used models for his paintings, but only his memory). This almost instrumental album is made of 24 pieces assembled into four suites (two per side) and graced with two of Rouseau's paintings as artwork, and released on the small Ballon Noir label (also releasing Ripaille) became one of the best album from France in any decade.

Starting relatively slowly in Oree, we are charmed by the ex-Northette Amanda Parsons' celestial vocalizings, accompanying a slow crescendo-ing track where Thibault's bass is gradually taking the calm reflective music into Zeuhl territory then climaxing to resume to its start again and end quietly. Starting on wind noises, Aquadingen picks up speed with a Pastorius-like fretless bass (played by Moze) slowly Zeuhl-ing away under jungle animal noises, obviously hinting at the front cover artwork.

The flipside is just as enchanting and the magic works much the same way, but the start of Caravane De L'Oubli will remind you of Genesis' Unquiet Slumber, but this is temporary as Arabic ambiances and Oldfield-ian influences creep in and Islamic prayer-type of scat vocals intervene over layers of guitars, keyboards, violin and ending with the only spoken vocals mentioning the album's title. The final title track explodes out of the spoken line with Thibault's bass starting, soon relayed by Moze's fretless bass, then Thibault's guitar grinds appears, launching some wordless chants and some blood-curdling screams, machine gun firing, madcap laughing all over Moze's fretless Pastorius-ian basslines.

A rather short album (barely clocking in over the half hour), but certainly one of the better to come from the later 70's, MONPRTLT is definitely worthy of attention by all progheads.

Review by Mellotron Storm
5 stars 4.5 stars. After producing MAGMA's "Attahk" album Laurent Thibault decided to make his own solo album. He got help from Lisa Bois who sang on the MAGMA album he had just produced, as well as former MAGMA members Francis Moze and Richard Raux. Interesting that Laurent was the original bass player for MAGMA prior to their first album release, and was replaced on bass by Francis Moze. Lionel Ledissez helps on vocal melodies, he was the singer for ERGO SUM who were the first band Laurent signed to his then record label. Interesting that Lionel helped out on vocals with UNIVERSIA ZEKT who also put out an album on Laurent's label back then. That band of course was pretty much MAGMA under a different name in order that they could release on Laurent's label(see my review for that album for full explanation). Amanda Parsons lends her beautiful vocal melodies to the first track. She of course sang with HATFIELD AND THE NORTH and NATIONAL HEALTH. Laurent met her through Francis Moze who in turn had met her in the UK when he was with GONG. The music itself does not have an obvious Zeuhl flavour, but we do get a taste of it along with Arabic, Indian, African, Folk and Jazz all blended together. I have to say that the music here far surpassed my expectations.

"Oree" opens with a pastoral setting as gentle guitar and Amanda's soprano vocal melodies create paradise for the ears. Cymbals then light drums and keys are added to the melody. Laurent's wife Jacqueline plays the keys. Lisa adds her vocal melodies to Amandas' and violin comes in. Flute after 5 minutes. The tempo picks up a minute later with drums outfront. This is a beautiful passage. Lionel, Amanda and Lisa sing together in this Indian inspired passage that follows. The bass is fat and the music is uptempo. Suddenly it calms right down to the original melody with flute, gentle guitar, keys and violin all eventually taking part. Liquid keys after 10 minutes. The song ends with Laurent's 8 year old daughter playing a toy piano(can you say dissonant). That was actually the same toy piano David Bowie played on the original version of "China Girl" by IGGY POP on his "The Idiot" album that was recorded at Laurent's studio.

"Aquadingen" starts so calmly and builds with drums and bass leading the way. A full sound 2 minutes in with crazy vocals from Serge Derrien. It settles back down a minute later as we get sax, odd metered drumming, violin and animal sounds. This sounds amazing by the way. "La Caravane De L'Oubli" has a strong Arabic flavour. It opens with a catchy melody with drums leading the way. The sound is building until we get female vocals taken from a religious record of Laurent's of a muezzin calling for evening prayer. "Mais On Ne Peut Pas Tout Le Temps" opens with a dark mood as drums beat away. It calms down as female vocal melodies and the sound of water can be heard. Children are heard playing before the pace picks up. Check out the fretless bass of Moze ! Drums lead the way as the dark mood returns with vocal melodies. Sax comes in as the melody temporarily stops then returns just as fast. Derrien comes in yelling and laughing as that fantastic dark melody continues. Incredible song. The first and the last songs are truly genius.

This is a spellbinding release that I can't say enough good things about. A must have.

Review by Guldbamsen
5 stars Jungle euphoria

If you know of the Zeuhl genre through the likes of Magma and Ruins, you might expect music from these waters to be chanting like a druid´s convention - teutonic and staccato like an aggressive basketball player wearing a military uniform. This album though by Laurent Thibault, who in fact was the producer of Magma´s Attahk album and a bunch of other French curiosities, does successfully prove that there is more to this style of music than what meets the ear. Far more.

The beautiful artwork here is a painting called The Snake Charmer done by Henri le Douanier Rousseau, who happens to be one of my favourite painters. The parallels between the green lush and rather peaceful image and the magical music inside of Mais On Ne Peut Pas Rëver Tout Le Temps are more than anything, striking - in that intangible and dare I say esoteric manner, in which all musicians should strive their artworks and music to accomplish in unison. A connection beyond words.

I´ve always had a thing for Eastern philosophy and that good old phrase about the middle path. A path of moderation away from the extremes of self-indulgence and self-mortification, which in this particular case - I feel is strongly represented in how the music comes across. Don´t get me wrong, I´m all for extremes and putting the pedal to the metal, but somehow restraint and the power of interplay does seem to reach some form of other level on here.

This album is almost instrumental, but nowhere near it. Haha! What I mean to say, is that we are not treated to any words or philosophical phrases, but there are moments of extreme beauty hiding in this album, which are set free by two different female singers. In keeping with the Eastern images, think of these female voices as a couple of Wushu practising monks - shifting through alternating stances fluently like ch´i seeking ballet dancers doing pirouettes in front of a red sun rising. I´d like to think that these two women singing resemble the most beautiful orgasming mermaids, - or if you have trouble picturing such an event, then imagine those ethereal lingering vocals from The Lord of the Rings - that every now and again speak of impending magic and sorcery. They feel like vocal frostbites delivered in the freezing winds. At other times they seem to be yodelling together with some backing masculine ones - and together they lure the music into unknown heights, that fuse the Zeuhl brand with some pretty astonishing folk snippets expressed through spiralling acoustic guitars.

Balancing these serene and crystal clear voices out and infusing warmth into the mix - is what the music is all about, and if I can redirect your focus towards the artwork once again and take in the freshness of the jungle - and the explosions of green, - then try imagining this image being expressed through acoustic guitars, bass, various wind instruments, drums and the occasional keys. When the vocals run out, it is as if a tree had died, but just like in nature - this macabre event leads to new possibilities and other structures - turning the forest floor into a hot bed of new seedlings and tiny plants. The music answers similarly, with those acoustic guitars sprinkling away like flocks of birds all flapping together simultaneously. The bass chimes in too, and shows who really is the boss here. It is front and centre, but as I explained earlier - it is never taken to any extremes - even when it unfolds itself in some rather sensuous fretless playing - kindly provided by Francis Moze. The bass is omnipresent, and works much like a musical leach - continuously jumping from elbow to knee - guitars to drums - leaving behind a small mark: The bass leach was here! Funny how some musicians are able to colour everything around them...

There is some kind of earthiness to these instruments, and yet quite the opposite. Listening to the combination of the guitars and the rhythm section genuinely makes me think of that artwork again. Those gatherings of green appearing like a thousand small brightly coloured mini cosmos, - the music is rather like that! There are so many facets to each of these instruments involved, that very similar to the subtracting chromatophors of the forest chameleon - shift colours all according to the overall feel of the music. The guitars are a perfect example of this, and although I sound completely loopy and ready for hospitalisation - they feel like they are made of light - even when the music turns Arabic in nature, where music often can turn quite muddy - they illuminate the ambiance and textures like burning torches in the night. Every time a chord is struck - be that a single string - it´s like the lights going on in a miniature L.A. in the middle of the jungle.

I´d recommend this little gem to folks with an interest in Zeuhl that incorporates everything from folk to psych - and takes you deep within the jungle where everything is greener than any form of green you´ve ever experienced before. What a trip! 4.5 stars.

Review by BrufordFreak
5 stars A recent discovery that has quickly climbed into my Top 5 All-time favorite Zeuhl albums. There are such great riffs, melodies and oddities throughout the brief album's four songs. Plus, there is a milder, subtler, more delicate side to this music than is common to most Zeuhl music--at times almost dreamy or bucolic--and yet the tapestries of each song are quite full, mature and fascinating. And with its excellent recording and production this one stands up incredibly well with the passage of time--better than most other albums from its era. Learning that Laurent was MAGMA's original bass player and later member and songwriter for MOVING GELATINE PLATES makes complete sense. The bass playing is so sublime! And the bold use of recording samples and world voices/vocals to accompany the music is breathtaking if not revolutionary. And I can't help but mention the always wonderful presence of "Northette" Amanda Parsons!

Five star songs: All four: the RENAISSANCE/ANNIE HASLEM-guests-JACO PASTORIUS-era- WEATHER REPORT-like "Orée" (11:28) (10/10); the Crosby, Stills, Nash &Young meets early PAT METHENY GROUP "Aquadingen" (4:30) (10/10); "La caravane de l'oubli" (7:08) (10/10) has an awesome kind of STEVE HACKETT and STEVE HILLAGE feel to it--even moreso with the Arabic influences, and; the experimental marriage of driving jazz funk and pastoral folk sounds on "Mais on ne peut pas rêver tout le temps" (8:21) (10/10).

Undoubtedly a masterpiece of cross-multiple-subgenres music. ESSENTIAL!

Review by Warthur
4 stars Evidence that zeuhl doesn't necessarily have to be sinister martial ranting in a nonsense language, Laurent Thibault's only solo album focuses on the jazzier side of zeuhl as expressed on Magma's debut - perhaps appropriately enough, considering that Thibault was Magma's first bassist and left them before their full on "Klingon Opera" style was fully in place. Still, his bass work here demonstrates just how important a good bass line is to the zeuhl style, whilst offering a more gentle take on the whole thing - a bit like a lovechild between Christian Vander and Mike Oldfield. Though not typical of the genre, it's still worth a look.
Review by siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
4 stars Despite experimenting with multiple types of instruments growing up, LAURENT THIBAULT picked up the bass as his primary instrument and played in a multitude of cover bands in the 60s as well as as a few originals such as the Zorgones. After that band imploded he met none other than Christian Vander in his native France and succeeded in becoming the very first bass player of Magma. Although he was one of the original members he soon parted ways at least as a band member and took the role of producer instead putting the studio magic touches on Magma's "Kobaia" debut, Vander's solo "Tristan et Yseult" as well as "Attack." While he managed to get involved in the production world with a huge impressive list of well known artists all throughout the 70s and 80s, THIBAULT left only this sole album in his wake of as his own original material under his own moniker where he not only engaged in production and mixing but handled the bass, guitar and some of the vocals as well.

MAIS ON PEUT PAS RÉVER TOUT LE TEMPS (But One Can't Dream All The Time) may be a short little blip on THIBAULT's lengthy and diverse resume consisting of only four tracks that barely clock over the thirty minute mark, but what he left behind as his sole album is somewhat of a testament to all his musical influences with none other than fellow countrymen Magma themselves providing some of the primary inspiration. Yes, MAIS ON PEUT... is chock full of zeuhl-istic rhythms enriched with fretless bass, tom fueled percussion and heavenly siren vocals from none other than Hatfield & The North's own Amanda Parsons ( as well as Lisa Bois and Le Muezzin Mystérieux) but most of all this album is chock full of surprises with a roller coaster of changes that keep each track with a distinct flavor and occupying its own niche in the sonic jungle sprawled about in its short playing time.

The mainly instrumental music itself is a construct inspired by the paintings of Douanier Rousseau and as every bit as rich and diverse as Rosseau's cover art depicts. While vocals are heard by no less than seven individuals on the album, they are implemented as an extension of the melodies and therefore used as instruments and wordless (minus the short spoken narration towards the end). While paintings may have provided the inspiration behind MAIN ON PEUT... it is the percussive framework of Transit Express drummer Dominique Bouvier that provides the musical backbone around which the entire album was constructed. Bouvier in fact recorded the entire album's percussive parts completely alone and all the other instruments and vocalizations were added afterwards and were deftly woven around the percussive spine.

While the zeuhl tag can immediately bring the pomp and awe of hypnotic Teutonic marches to mind, THIBAULT delivers one of the most placidly serene examples in the entire progressive rock subgenere utilizing ample doses of folky violin, arpeggiated acoustic guitar and ethereal vocals styles with only a very few spoken word sections. The conscious decision to eschew the overweening assembly of keyboard parts ensures that MAIS ON PEUT PAS RÉVER TOUT LE TEMPS exudes an earthly organic and comfortably warm touch as it touches upon Canterbury infused jazzy touches, Arabic vocal phrasing and contemporary folk touches. A total of thirteen guests includes a few members from Magma who ensure the zeuhl rhythmic drive never gets buried too deep beneath the parade of instrumentation that only occasional goes fully electric with heavy distortion on the guitars all for the sake of the contrasting crescendoes.

MAIS ON PEUT PAS RÉVER TOUT LE TEMPS is both hypnotic and seductive as it provides the nice warm and atmospheric touches to reel the listener in fairly quickly and then ratchets up the tension ever so gradually with the mellower tracks incrementally ceding into the climactic final stages of the title track. In addition to the lush verdant sonic pastures upon which the musicians graze and regurgitate in glee, THIBAULT busts out his best production skills with a well balanced and mixed assortment of musical instruments and disparate accoutrements such as flame throwers, rockets, machine guns and mad cantarices. This is also an example of how horrible an album sounds on YouTube as opposed to the actual album as i have been listening to the actual album but comparing notes as i write this. By all means, get the real thing as the internet version is woefully compressed and monotonic in comparison. Unfortunately for the prog loving world, THIBAULT to date has never released another musical gem under his own moniker but has continued in the production world, but this is not one to be missed for those who can't get enough of those bubbly addictive zeuhl rhythmic fixes in a free form psychedelic jazz folk way.

Latest members reviews

3 stars ¡What a nice album! "Orée" is the beginning and gives a divine spiritual vibe from a common beautiful female scat vocal accompanied by an instrumentation that could easily be part of a Genesis song due to its prolonged up and down chords (especially the drummer reminds me a lot of Phil Collins). A ... (read more)

Report this review (#2636624) | Posted by Argentinfonico | Wednesday, November 24, 2021 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Laurent Thibault produced Magma's "Attahk", but here under his own name shows a much softer more melodic side to derivatives of the Zeuhl genre. Amanda Parsons, who sang with the likes of National Health, offers soothing soprano vocals which are a highlight on this album. Oree begins with these v ... (read more)

Report this review (#2457359) | Posted by bartymj | Monday, October 19, 2020 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This album is a flat out classic in any genre of any era. The best thing about it is the offering of proof zeuhl does not have to sound hostile and malicious. On the contrary, this is beauty personified that only progressive rock can deliver. Unlike well known zeuhl the reach does not exceed ... (read more)

Report this review (#2039019) | Posted by WFV | Thursday, September 27, 2018 | Review Permanlink

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