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Crossover Prog • France

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Francis Décamps picture
Francis Décamps biography
Born 17 Mai 1952 in Héricourt, France

French composer and musician Francis DÉCAMPS is the younger brother of Christian Décamps. The two of them formed semi-legendary band ANGE in 1969, and until 1995 Francis' tenure in that band were his main activities as a musician and composer. He also found the time to compose and release a few solo efforts along the way however. Histoire de Fou in 1979, Vie en Positif in 1991 and Decamps la Joie, Epicer Marchand d'Rock in 1992. In addition he also took part in the Transworld project (using the alias John Diksou), who released the single The Makers of Music in 1979.

Following his departure from Ange in 1995, Francis Decamps devoted himslf to write material for other artists, directing a number of projects and composing music for short movies. A few more solo albums managed to sneak in too, A Vous Mes Voyageurs in 1995 and Hommage a Roger Comte in 1997, the latter the most recent production of his solo career.

In 2006 Francis' activities as a composer for other artists eventually lead to him hooking up with a band again on a permanent basis. The artist in question one Jean-Philippe Suzan. Together they formed Gens de la Lune, a band still active and with two albums to their name at the time of writing.

See also: WiKi

Francis Décamps official website

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

3.41 | 11 ratings
Histoire De Fou
3.00 | 1 ratings
Vie En Positif
0.00 | 0 ratings
Décamps, La Joie - Épicier Marchand D'Rock
4.00 | 1 ratings
A Vous Mes Voyageurs
2.50 | 2 ratings
Hommage À Roger Comte
2.05 | 2 ratings
(Revisite) Caricatures

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

FRANCIS DÉCAMPS Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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

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


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Vie En Positif by DÉCAMPS, FRANCIS album cover Studio Album, 1990
3.00 | 1 ratings

Vie En Positif
Francis Décamps Crossover Prog

Review by daisy1

— First review of this album —
3 stars Francis Decamps delivers an upbeat solo album- which it should be given the title. The first 2 tracks are straight ahead rockers,Magic Day has a memorable hook.The vocals are a bit gruff through the album which does not mean weak,they fit in well with the mood.Track 3 is a sort of Classical Gas track with classical guitar- takes a bit to get anywhere but pleasant enough.Track 5 reminds of Ange's Si J'Etais le Messie. Track 6 is worth the admission with a stirring operatic like keyboard backing and some great hooks,as is the final track which reminds somewhat of a Mike Pinder Moody Blues composition. If you like Ange you will enjoy this..and Magic Day still plays in my head! Recommended!
 (Revisite) Caricatures by DÉCAMPS, FRANCIS album cover Studio Album, 2012
2.05 | 2 ratings

(Revisite) Caricatures
Francis Décamps Crossover Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Prog Team

2 stars Ange was formed in late 1969 by brothers Christian Décamps (vocals) and Francis Décamps (keyboards) who were later joined by guitarist Jean-Michel Brézovar, bassist Daniel Haas and Gérard Jelsh on drums. The band has become recognised as one of the most important ever to come from France, and indeed is still active although Francis parted ways with his brother in 1995. But why so much information on Ange when this is a solo album by Francis? Well the reason for that is quite simple, this is a full re-recording of the 1972 debut Ange album which forty years on finds Francis providing most of the instrumentation as well as the lead vocals. According to PMA the original album is rated at 3.82, but I have never heard it (in fact I don't think I've heard anything by Ange to be honest), so I can't provide any comparison, only what I think of this as it stands.

Probably the biggest issue for me is that I am a typical pom and only understand English, and this album is not only in French, but I also get the impression that the lyrics are extremely important given the focus that is provided on the vocals. That then leads to the next issue, I don't think that Francis is a very good singer although there is no doubting his keyboard skills. There are flashes when this album really works, but for the most part I found this a struggle. No doubt there will be plenty of people who will explain that I don't know I am missing, but while there are some times when I convince myself that this is worth 3 *'s, I know in my hearts that it is only worth 2 as the biggest thing it has going for it is that it is less than 40 minutes long. Not something to which I will be readily returning.

 Histoire De Fou by DÉCAMPS, FRANCIS album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.41 | 11 ratings

Histoire De Fou
Francis Décamps Crossover Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars French composer, songwriter and musician, mostly known for his work with Ange.He had been the band's main keyboardist already at the very early stage of their appearance and for several years to come, supported by his brother singer Christian Decamps.Among his obligations with Ange Francis found sometime to write and record a personal album in 1979, originally released on Philips (the same label as Ange's), under the title ''Histoire de fou''.He was helped by guitarists Michel Moulinie and Jack Pichaud along with Ange fellow members Gerald Renard (on bass) and Jean-Pierre Guichard (on drums).

While Ange's familiar Theatrical Prog style was slowly fading away towards the 80's, Decamps' album is some sort of reedition of the typical French dramatic school of prog akin to ANGE, MONA LISA or SYNOPSIS.''Droit vers le soleil'' is a fantastic opener with superb melodies, plenty of moog solos and nice melodramatic vocals by Francis, very inspiring and retro-sounding.The following ''Malediction'' is more-guitar oriented with a few nice leads and solos, always within the typical ANGE atmosphere, and a good synth performance by Francis at the end.The long ''Canicule'' is an attempt by Decamps on Orchestral Prog with beautiful, cinematic string arrangements and a couple of pure Classical parts thrown in supported by a great rhythm section.One of the nicest examples of this man's composing skills.The 10-min. ''Amedee le mal maudit'' is as closest as it gets to ANGE.Symphonic Rock of pure delight, filled with opening harpsichord, organ waves and great moog solos, with a light Folk vibe here and there, theatrical vocals by Francis Decamps and dramatic sections centered around great guitar and keyboard work.Simply great.The closing ''Apocalypse'' opens in a very calm mood.Acoustic guitars, whispering instead of vocals and light dreamy keyboards.But soon they will leave their place to a grandiose keyboard-based orchestral theme to lead the track along the very end.

Thanks to Musea Records the album has seen a CD reissue and everyone into theatrical Orchestral/Symphonic Rock with plenty of interesting guitar and keyboard moves should simply purchase this one.Nice stuff, highly recommended.

 Histoire De Fou by DÉCAMPS, FRANCIS album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.41 | 11 ratings

Histoire De Fou
Francis Décamps Crossover Prog

Review by Evolver
Special Collaborator Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams

3 stars Ange is one of the 1970's prog bands that I missed back then, most likely because I never found any of their albums in the used record stores that I inhabited, nor did I ever hear them on the college radio stations that I was addicted to at the time. But this album, the first solo venture by Francis DeCamps, one of the founding members, does pique my interest in the band.

The first three of the five tracks are good, but not great. Droit Vers Le Soleil and Canicule are both light symphonic prog pieces, while Malédiction is more of a psychedelic song. On all three of these tracks the music is good, but the entire experience of the songs are lowered by DeCamp's overly emotive, and sometimes off-key vocals.

The final two tracks are where the real value comes in. Amédée Le Mal Maudit is a renaissance period symphonic piece, and reminds me a bit of classic Gryphon. And Amédée Le Mal Maudit is a more modern sounding symphonic piece, with a bit of experimental mixed in.

Three three star and two four star songs averages the album to three stars.

 Histoire De Fou by DÉCAMPS, FRANCIS album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.41 | 11 ratings

Histoire De Fou
Francis Décamps Crossover Prog

Review by toroddfuglesteg

3 stars Francis Decamps was one of the founding members of Ange, the best prog band France has ever produced. And to you howling wolves out there; yes I know Magma too is from France.

The Ange connection is an automatic plus in my books and I was glad when I got this album. An album some regards as a classic album from France. Well, I have heard better and more distinct albums from France than this one. And by the way, this is Francis Decamps debut album.

This being a debut album, but probably the fifth or so album Francis recorded (the others with Ange), it has some typical debut album ills. In short, Francis seems unsure which road to take. Pop ? Rock ? .... or continue the course staked out as a part of Ange ? The result sounds like a compromise. A bit of a muddle. At least; at the three opening songs Droit Vers Le Soleil, Malédiction and Canicule. All of them pretty light hearted. Not that anything from France is light hearted. The music is slightly theatrical pop/rock with a lot of folk music connotations. Fine enough, but hardly good songs. Even though they are pretty long. Canicule clocks in at over nine minutes.

Then the album takes a bit of a turn to the left and goes into more, much more theatrical symphonic prog. Amédée Le Mal Maudit is a ten minutes melodic, theatrical symphonic epic which winds itself into my heart. Well, close to my heart at least. Great song which will make any Ange fan happy. The same goes for the slightly shorter and more compact final track Apocalypse which has a great crescendo aka Keith Emerson. Another great song.

In other words, this is not a classic album by any means. But fans of Ange and/or French prog rock should most definate check out this album.

3.5 stars

Thanks to windhawk for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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