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ANGE

Symphonic Prog • France


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Ange biography
Formed in late 1969 by brothers Christian Descamps (vocals) and Francis Descamps (keyboards) and later joined by guitarist Jean-Michel Brézovar, bassist Daniel Haas and Gérard Jelsh on drums, this French symphonic progressive rock band, similar to contemporaries such as Genesis and King Crimson, is undoubtedly France's most important prog band. Marrying prog rock influences with French folk and theatrical vocals à la Jacques Brel (Ange covered Ces Gens-là from Brel, and it turned out to be their first hit in 1970), Ange's music, but mostly their lyrics, are second to none. Thirty years later, after multiple lineup changes, charismatic and theatrical frontman Christian Descamps leads the new Ange generation alongside his son Tristan on keyboards, Hassan Hajdi on guitars, Thierry Sidhoun on bass, Caroline Crozat on vocals and Benoît Cazzulini on drums.

The classic line up (except for the drummer which changed often) recorded many cult classics, such as « Caricatures », « Le Cimetière des Arlequins », and a series of masterpieces like « Au-delà du Délire », « Émile Jacotey », « Par les Fils de Mandrin » and « Guet-Apens ». 10 years after « Guet-Apens », the same lineup would reunite and release two albums, « Sève qui Peut » in 1989 and « Les larmes du Dalaï-Lama » in 1992. While being modern, these albums nevertheless captured the main ingredients unique to Ange. Their latest albums, « Culinaire Lingus » and « ? » see the band as inspired and pertinent as ever, as if Descamps had found the secret of eternal youth.

This band is more than highly recommended, it is mandatory listening for fans of theatrical symphonic progressive rock, especially the period between « Caricatures » and « Guet-Apens ».

Eric Beaudin 2006

Ange official website

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Par Les Fils De MandrinPar Les Fils De Mandrin
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Philips Import 1998
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ANGE shows & tickets


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ANGE discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

ANGE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.79 | 91 ratings
Caricatures
1972
3.46 | 131 ratings
Le Cimetière des Arlequins
1973
3.93 | 226 ratings
Au-Delà Du Délire
1974
3.64 | 120 ratings
Emile Jacotey
1975
3.37 | 100 ratings
Par les Fils de Mandrin
1976
3.96 | 93 ratings
Guet-Apens
1978
2.54 | 29 ratings
Vu d'un Chien
1980
1.67 | 20 ratings
Moteur!
1981
1.78 | 20 ratings
À Propos de...
1982
2.48 | 26 ratings
La Gare de Troyes
1983
1.98 | 19 ratings
Fou !
1984
1.71 | 15 ratings
Egna
1984
2.19 | 12 ratings
Tout Feu Tout Flamme - c'est pour de rire
1987
3.55 | 22 ratings
Sève Qui Peut
1989
2.59 | 28 ratings
Les Larmes du Dalaï Lama
1992
2.29 | 13 ratings
La Voiture À eau
1999
3.62 | 35 ratings
Culinaire Lingus
2001
3.08 | 16 ratings
By the Sons of Mandrin
2003
3.14 | 15 ratings
?
2005
2.73 | 13 ratings
Souffleurs De Vers
2007
3.61 | 44 ratings
Le bois travaille, même le dimanche
2010
3.44 | 34 ratings
Moyen-âge
2012
3.44 | 9 ratings
Emile Jacotey Résurrection
2014

ANGE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.93 | 32 ratings
Live 1977 - Tome VI
1977
2.53 | 9 ratings
Ange En Concert 1970-71
1978
4.79 | 5 ratings
Un P'tit Tour Et Puis S'En Vont
1995
3.32 | 9 ratings
Rideau !
1995
3.98 | 7 ratings
A ... Dieu
1996
2.39 | 5 ratings
Rêves Parties
2000
3.66 | 19 ratings
Tome 87
2002
3.37 | 10 ratings
En Concert - Par les Fils de Mandrin Millésimé 77
2003
4.56 | 8 ratings
Le Tour De La Question
2007
4.87 | 4 ratings
Zènith an II
2007
3.67 | 3 ratings
Souffleurs De Vers Tour
2009
4.67 | 3 ratings
Escale à Ch'tiland (2CD+DVD)
2011

ANGE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Concert Volume Un - Sève Qui Peut
1990
0.00 | 0 ratings
En Concert 1990
1990
0.00 | 0 ratings
Zénith 1985
1993
4.00 | 2 ratings
Concerts 1976/1977
1994
4.33 | 3 ratings
Anthologie - Sève Qui Peut Tour
2003
3.09 | 3 ratings
70's / 80's - Deux Décennies De Concert
2003
4.00 | 1 ratings
Live Tour 2003-2004 Par Les Fils De Mandrin
2006
0.00 | 0 ratings
Un Ange Passe ...
2007

ANGE Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.13 | 5 ratings
Réimpression 72-76
1977
3.43 | 8 ratings
Vagabondages
1989
3.04 | 4 ratings
Mémo
1994
3.38 | 4 ratings
Master Serie Vol. 1
1998
3.09 | 3 ratings
Master Serie Vol. 2
1998
3.00 | 1 ratings
Master Serie Vol.1 & 2
1998
3.91 | 2 ratings
Ad Libitum
1999
4.00 | 1 ratings
Les Talents Du Siècle - Best Of
1999
4.00 | 3 ratings
Au-delà du délire / Émile Jacotey
2009
5.00 | 1 ratings
Les 50 plus belles chansons
2011

ANGE Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

ANGE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Emile Jacotey by ANGE album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.64 | 120 ratings

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Emile Jacotey
Ange Symphonic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars As with the vast amount of 70's bands, Ange had to face a major departure by the middle of the 70's, when drummer Gerard Jelsch left the band and was replaced by the unknown Guenole Biger.The Studio Des Dames in Paris welcomes the French legends for the sessions of their fourth studio album, a concept work around an old man called ''Emil Jacotey'', released in 1975.

Being a concept work, the album is dominated by the voice of Christian Decamps and for the non-French speakers this would be a hard listening, not understanding with what this work deals.Propably a good reason the band never became really succesful in non-French speaking countries.Soundwise it follows the lines the band itself established a few years back, it sounds a bit more aggressive and energetic with even some harder guitar runs at moments, but the overall atmosphere flirts with a fairy-tale, theatrical approach.The limited instrumental parts are pretty great with organ, Mellotron, synthesizers and piano in evidence, retaining Ange's symphonic overtones, with Brezovar's well-adjusted guitar work offering some nice solos and lead parts as well.The grandiose outros and interludes remain a highlight of their sound, such beautiful orchestrations and emotional lines.The acoustic intros and textures are still in the menu, but it appears that the concept had somehow affected the balance of the vocal and instrumental separation.Apart from Decamps' always expressive chords, the voice of an old man, the hero of the story, appears every now and then.Despite the short length of the tracks, Ange manage to offer endless different moods with their music: from melancholic themes to joyful echoes and almost every emotional state inbetween.

No contradiction about the depth of the concept, but this goes more for the French-speaking audience.It just seems that the lyricism had a questionable effect to the album's result.Still, this is pretty nice French Prog from the 70's with some impressive keyboard parts and mellow moods.Recommended.

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 Au-Delà Du Délire by ANGE album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.93 | 226 ratings

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Au-Delà Du Délire
Ange Symphonic Prog

Review by MJAben

4 stars A very intelligent album, well crafted and interesting. Evocative vocals and strong songwriting permeate here and although instrumentally the album isn't overly proficient it is certainly sufficient.

Perhaps I am aided by the fact that I don't speak French because I know many have said that the vocals aren't as intelligent as the vocals may suggest, which is a shame but yet my opinion of the album is unaffected by this. Another common complaint is of the vocals, that they are grating and annoying but I don't see this at all, the vocals are theatrical sure but it fits the music and doesn't feel overblown or out of place.

And talk about ingenuity, there is a strong Crimson influence no doubt, but nevertheless nothing quite sounds like this album, even Ange on other albums doesn't sound like they do here and, in that sense, Ange feels wholly unique.

I won't say that the album is perfect, the longer spoken word fragments do little for me but the music is interesting, evocative and despite what some reviewers would have you believe, beautiful.

4/5 stars, a strong addition to any music library.

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 Egna  by ANGE album cover Studio Album, 1984
1.71 | 15 ratings

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Egna
Ange Symphonic Prog

Review by DrömmarenAdrian

2 stars Egna from 1984 is perhaps a little bit better than Fou! It is Ange's twelfth record and made in the same year as Tou! The cover picture is mostly blue and shows the name of the band as a reflection, which throws around the letters to "Egna". We can se two legs in the air and a woman in the top. Christian Descamps, Francis Descamps, Serge Cuenot, Laurent Sigrist, Francis Meyer and Martine Kesselburg made this record which is far from fantastic.

The sound of these songs is not special at all. The spirit is plastic and uninspired. I miss something unique or more honest. This music is just too bland. Some songs are nice. My favourite is the soft typical eighties song "Coeur de paille coeur de pierre" with great melody, vocals and for sure saxophone(6/10). Also "Tout comme dans un livre" is a nice and melodic track(6/10). I also find something of spirit in "Fais pas la Guele"(5/10) and the vocal work must be acknowledged in "Le cul qui Jazze"(4/10). But otherwise is the record very boring and have not anything particularly of interest. There's no prog to find here and perhaps you will find something else. The music doesn't sound very bad but for existing here at Prog Archives it is quite bad. I recommend the tracks five and eight and give the record two stars.

Listen to: "Coeur de paille coeur de pierre" and "Tout comme dans un livre".

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 Fou ! by ANGE album cover Studio Album, 1984
1.98 | 19 ratings

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Fou !
Ange Symphonic Prog

Review by DrömmarenAdrian

2 stars Ange is one of the best french prog groups I know but their eleventh studio record from 1984, thirty years ago, wasn't good. The record is called "Fou!" and it do contains some great elements and something of its former glory even if it's hard to find it. The cover is quite funny with a hard in the middle which seems to be undergoing an operation with a little Amor shooting with a crossbow. The musicians are Christian and Francis Descamps (vocals, piano; synthesizers), Serge Cuenot(guitar), Laurent Sigrist(bass), Jean-Claude Potin(drums, percussions, drum machine) and Fred Bétin(sequences).

Just the fact that the band had used a drum machine makes me suspicious of the contents but I listened with open mind. As usual I will begin to tell you about the good stuff on this record. Old fans will recognize the dramatical vocals of Christian Descamps which is good even here, although not as dramatic. The title track is actually quite symphonic. The synthesizer in that song, the melody and the vocals work great together and makes "Fou" a (6/10) song. "Les fous demandent un Roi" is also a fine song with a nice melody and good guitar playing(6/10). Beside from these two good songs, one of the other tracks is okey for me: "Piège à Coeur" is an appealing pop(5/10).

Otherwise is it a lot that lacks to make this record "Fou!" interesting. The sound is very ordinar and I don't this this music involved people in its days. The whole spirit of prog is gone. The music isn't bad but just hearable and not far from bad. I lack a lot and the decline of this band really is a fact. Two stars!

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 Moyen-âge by ANGE album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.44 | 34 ratings

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Moyen-âge
Ange Symphonic Prog

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

3 stars Latest opus from Ange that still reunites father & son since the last few albums; and this one comes with a fairly lavish digibook format and an intriguing artwork. The album opens on four relatively shorter tracks, which sound like your average French rock/pop that should leave most non-progheads relatively cold, even among the French-speakers, though Opera-Bouffe could've developed in something good (alas, it could've). Much more interesting is the 50-mins+ suite Moyen-Âge that gives its name to the album, though the cosmic comic artwork seems to be anything medieval, whether musically or lyrically. But right from the first note of Pain Perdu, you just know that Ange's imperfect greatness, with everything oôsitive and negative that this implies. Indeed there are strong moments, where they approach Crimson (often through Hadji's guitar) and other references, but let's face it: Ange is its own reference first and foremost. What will strike the Francophile proghead is that Ange's texts are still fairly interesting with plenty of nods and winks and tackle some serious issues, but generally fails to drive the point home.

I can't remember how many studio albums the new Ange (90's onwards) has released, and can't really remember how many I heard, but the present doesn't better Culinaire Lingus, but it does tops La Voiture à Eau. So the band still has some great remnants, but can only reach roughly 80% of its former self, but sometimes seems to overstretch itself to keep the cruise control from popping out of operation.

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 La Gare de Troyes by ANGE album cover Studio Album, 1983
2.48 | 26 ratings

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La Gare de Troyes
Ange Symphonic Prog

Review by DrömmarenAdrian

3 stars It's the nineteenhoundredeighties and Ange wasn't the same they were in the seventies. Something essential was missing and a part of me is sad they still called themselves Ange. Though is this not a bad record and I still stink it's interesting to follow this band from the stone age to modern tunes. Before this record the band had done four very good records 1972-1975, one less interesting 1976 and them to more very good ones 1978-1981 before they fell down into inferior records. "Moteur!" was very weird and next thing was ok and now we have "La Gare de Troyes" from 1983. It's Ange's tenth record and a decent one, the best in three years. What's back of old Ange here is the magnificent cover I love. It's so strong and artistic. Unfortunately the cover is the far best feature of the record. The musicians are the brothers Decamps: Christian(vocals, keyboards), Francis(keyboards and vocals), Serge Cuenot(guitar), Jean- Claude Potin(drums, percussion) and Laurent Sigrist (bass).

La Gare de Troyes is made up by nine tracks and it's an even disc we hold in our hands. What I missed on the two precursors was the special emotional vocals and I think they are back on this record. Christian Decamps sings very emotional and unique. To hear him is to scent there is something left. Even if I don't understand french it's a pleasure to here him singing and that is the biggest advantage here. The title track "La Gare de Troyes" is a greta example of how the vocals are almost as good as before but the instrumentation is very boring and shows the blandest of the eighties(6/10). I would say that is present in every other track as well. "Va-t'en" (6/10) is sad and calmer and also consists of a saxophone solo and fine guitar in the end, "Shéhérazade" also contains nice saxophone(6/10). The best tracks on this record is "Neuf heures"(7/10) with more power than the others songs and especially "Tout blue!" where some form of progressive rock is left. This song has many nice passages and more interesting instrumentation such as heavy drums and fine guitar(7/10). The least interesting thing on this record is "Les jardins" do I think; it's the most bland track.

I found this listening nice and fully enjoyable and will continue my Ange journey later. What I most missed were the blatant organs of Ange. That heavy and sometimes a little ugly organ sound was what was so special fore Ange. I hope they will come back to that because these 80s keyboards aren't interesting.

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 À Propos de... by ANGE album cover Studio Album, 1982
1.78 | 20 ratings

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À Propos de...
Ange Symphonic Prog

Review by DrömmarenAdrian

3 stars I am continuing my Ange journey and I must say I like À propos de... more than their record from 1981 which I found was so wrong. On this record I see no weird 80s sounds and the songs are nice in their own way.

The cover here is quite boring, black and a round picture of two people. It's not obvious when hearing this to think about Ange. They have changed their music in a very bad way. Though it is not this bad music. I feel Ange here has been some form of soft rock and If I understood the lyrics it perhaps would have been more interesting. But as before we can enjoy the vocals of the Decamps' brothers. As Ange fans there is a lot I miss on this record but as alternation from better prog this could be a nice listening.

The best song is "Le bal des laze" which has more deep than the rest. I also appreciate "Le Moribond" and "Les Copains d'Abord". My three stars wasn't self-evident but as a record that sounds good and music I like listen to sometimes it is worth its stars. Perhaps 2,5 would have been the best. But I must mention that this is not a prog record so if you search for prog you'll be disappointed. You'll be even more disappointed if you search for "Old Ange" - this is another music, but perhaps it's something for you.

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 Moteur! by ANGE album cover Studio Album, 1981
1.67 | 20 ratings

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Moteur!
Ange Symphonic Prog

Review by DrömmarenAdrian

2 stars Moteur! from 1981 was an interesting album and I feel the most fair rating would have been 2,5 but 3 is unfortunately too much. Allready the cover makes us wonder what this is. Earlier Ange's cover's were fascinating and the 1980' record was the same. This album shows some sad member's and my feeling is that it's uncomfortable.

Is there anything left of old Ange? Yes the vocals partially are similar: dramatic and expressional. But without proper instrumentation, without the screaming organs it's not the same. I can recommend two tracks on this record which has some of what was so fantastic with Ange: "Touchez pas amon ciné" and "Moi pas idiot". They have a little mot scenic approach and a darker soundscape.

What's wrong then? They don't play bad but the unpersonal 80s bass for example and the modern keys aren't interesting. I feel very much that I miss old Ange. It's not wrong to change direction. Why do "Cimetière de Arlequins" again when it's allready done"? I feel this is quite lame and insufficient. A disappointment. But I look forward to se what has happened to next record.

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 Le Tour De La Question by ANGE album cover Live, 2007
4.56 | 8 ratings

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Le Tour De La Question
Ange Symphonic Prog

Review by daisy1

5 stars This is a simply stunning album from Ange of the 2000,s. Tracks from the ? Album are interspersed with well loved favourites,and the sound is dynamic and dramatic. Highlights for me are: Histoires d'outres reve,where Christian Decamps voice reaches the heavens in operatic splendour with great backdrop from Tristan Decamps and Hassan Hajdi. Vu D'un Chien is much funkier than the studio version with Hassan doing some Nile Rogers funky guitar interplay with Tristan again providing stunning keys backdrop - this title rocks!! Chien,Poubelle and rose is yet another live extended version of a song missing from Ange studio albums- Caroline Crozat's vocals complement Christian perfectly in this dramatic song. Ange made some seminal prog albums in the 70's,did some straight ahead albums in the 80's ,but this Ange of the current millenium have returned to their classic best.Absolute essential!!!!!

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 La Gare de Troyes by ANGE album cover Studio Album, 1983
2.48 | 26 ratings

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La Gare de Troyes
Ange Symphonic Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Ange is without doubt the most famous and important prog band France ever had similar to british contemporaries such as Genesis, Jethro Tull, Gentle Giant , King Crimson, Yes,etc , they developed right from the start their own sound and manner of composing combining symphonic prog with folk tentencies over theatrical vocal lines. They were really big in the '70's not only in France and Benelux but in Europe in general. Like some bands from old school from Britain like Genesis, Yes, their sound turn dramaticaly in the '80s from lush symphonic prog orchestrations to some pop vagualy melted with progressive moves. This is the case with La gare de Troys issued in 1983. While to my ears is far from a bad record, this album offers a kind of progressive pop is kinda far from what they offered in their glory days. Sythetical keyboards typical for first part of the '80s, but not bad at all composed, just listen to the title track , quite good. Another great pieces are Les moments bizarres with great chorus and mid tempo almost mellow Shéhérazade . The last tune clocking around 9 min named Tout bleu vagualy resemblance the great moments of Au-Dela Du Delire, Par Les Fils De Mandrin or Guet apens. All in all I like this album, is not fantastic , is not groundbreaking but 3-4 pieces from here are great, the title track is one of the Anges's most played pieces in almost every concert since is appeared. 3 stars, I simply love the cover art.

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