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Ange By The Sons Of Mandrin album cover
3.09 | 27 ratings | 4 reviews | 8% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 2003

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. By The Sons Of Mandrin (4:49)
2. At The "Café Of Colibri" (4:06)
3. And So The Rain Will Go Away (6:07)
4. Around The Fireside (3:05)
5. Tumblers (4:00)
6. Child-colored Eyes (4:21)
7. Atlantis (5:21)
8. Hymn To Life: Cantique/Procession/Hymn (9:48)

Total time 41:37

Line-up / Musicians

- Christian Décamps / lead vocals, piano, accordion, acoustic guitar
- Jean-Michel Brézovar / guitar, flute
- Francis Décamps / organ, synth, Mellotron
- Daniel Haas / bass, acoustic guitar
- Jean-Pierre Guichard / drums, percussion, harmonica

- Michael Quartermain / vocals (7,8)

Releases information

English lyrics version of the 1976 album 'Par les Fils de Mandrin'

Artwork: Philippe Huart with Phil Umbdenstock

CD Musea - FGBG 4541.AR (2003, France)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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ANGE By The Sons Of Mandrin ratings distribution

(27 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(8%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(27%)
Good, but non-essential (58%)
Collectors/fans only (8%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

ANGE By The Sons Of Mandrin reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by lor68
3 stars Well an unlucky choice it was!!By following the path already traced by PFM (when these latter recorded the English version of some successful albums of theirs), Ange demonstrated their effort to be appreciated within the English market or also far away from Europe, in a similar, even though more forced manner, in comparison to the Italian band...don't get me wrong, the major presence of lush keyboards and the remarkable contribution of the other musicians too, thinking of the original "Par les fils de Mandrin", make this new English version an interesting album anyway; nevertheless the vocal parts by Christian Decamps (unlike Bernardo Lanzetti inside for instance "Chocolate Kings") are not convincing at all, lacking his usual evocative melodic lines and such a sweet harshness of his theatrical vocal passages as well: the reason for which Christian Decamps was in a big trouble is due to such a different language like that English one, cause he has not been in the habit with this diverse style of singing, for a long time!!The present new experience is anyway funny and quite satisfying for all their old fans and moreover you could rediscover the classics of an "immortal" album, despite of changing the French original version a lot interesting even though not essential stuff, which is worth checking out at least!
Review by erik neuteboom
3 stars In order to reach a wider audience, the pivotal French progrock band Ange decided to make an album with English lyrics in '76. Unfortunately record company Universal never released it but thanks to Musea it has been saved from the vaults. "By the sons of Mandrin" is a wonderful album but it's obvious that Ange sounds more accessible and less theatrical and expressive. It's also a rather strange experience to hear Christian Decamps singing English. It's up to you to decide what you prefer. The album concludes eight fine compositions with the usual alternating sound (from dreamy to propulsive), loaded with organ, string-ensemble, Mellotron and some fiery electric guitar, a folky track ("Tumblers") with flute and a beautiful song titled "And so the rain will go away" with melancholic vocals, fine Mellotron drops, accordion, halfway a sensitive electric guitar solo and finally a fading syntehsizer solo. The known stage favorite "Hymn a la vie" is now called "Hymn to life" and sound less compelling than the later French version. If you are not familiar with Ange and you listen to this album without knowing how they are doing their progrock in French, you will be more delighted than this author, a fan of the French Ange.
Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars Ange's success is incredible in France. The band is willing to penetrate the British market with an English version of the album : "Par Les Fils De Mandrin".

I believe that their management (or the band, or both) did a serious mistake. Not by releasing an album in English, but willing to release one in 1976/1977.

This was not really the time any longer to attract the fans across the channel with prog rock. UK was invaded by the punk movement and the greatest and well established prog-rock bands had a very hard time, so what could expect Ange from this adventure ? Therefore probably, the project was abandoned untill... 2003.

I do not belong to the ones who believe necessarily that a band should only sing in its mother tongue. Since some reviewers have mentioned PFM, I just want to say that I discovered this great Italian band thanks to their albums sung in English ("The World..." and "Chocolate Kings" back in '74 or so).

At least it gave them more exposure and I am not sure that I would have discovered this band should they have decided to produce records in Italian only. But we'll never know for Ange. ..

My feeling is that Ange should have started as soon as 1972 to do such an experience, when prog-rock was at its peak. Then, maybe, Ange could have known even greater days.

The album "Par Les Fils De Mandrin" has had four lives :

the original record sung in French, a live version "En Concert Par Les Fils De Mandrin Millésimé 77" but only released in 2003, this English version, and finally a DVD called : "Live Tour 2003-2004 Par Les Fils De Mandrin".

Ange has received the help from the lyricist Micheal Quartermain to "transform" the complex French texts from Christian Descamps. I have to say that it is properly done. The lyrics appear on the leaflet as well as the story of the "tumblers". You will learn that each of the band member had a special role in the gang. Rather interesting.

This English version is well sung, IMO. I can only recomend it to the PA progheads for which the French language has been a barrier to discover this very high profile symphonic band. Three stars.

Review by Sean Trane
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.

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