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Troisième Rive

Prog Folk

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Troisième Rive Banlieues album cover
4.29 | 18 ratings | 5 reviews | 33% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1978

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Banlieues (4:02)
2. Le Petit Jeu (4:52)
3. Amalia (3:46)
4. La Ballade Des Chevaux Noirs (4:45)
5. Legende (10:26):
- C'etait En Ce Temps-La
- C'etait Hier Encore
- Et C'est Maintenant...
6. Chateau (6:15):
- Douves
- Herse
- Machicoulis

Total time: 37:06

Line-up / Musicians

- Paul Bernard / lead vocals, electric & pedal steel guitars
- Maurice Boguet / lead vocals, acoustic & 12-string guitars
- Jean-Christian Spenlé / guitar, mandolin, vocals
- Daniel Martin / piano, accordion
- Jacques-Edmond Gouré / bass, bombard, vocals
- Jacques Martin / drums, percussion, xylophone, vocals

Releases information

Artwork: Jean Pierre Bourgeois-Potage

LP Disques Iris ‎- TR 1010 (1978, France)

Thanks to avestin for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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TROISIÈME RIVE Banlieues ratings distribution

(18 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(33%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(39%)
Good, but non-essential (22%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (6%)

TROISIÈME RIVE Banlieues reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
5 stars An incredible one shot in the world of progressive folk rock, a bit like Ripaille (but more trad than medieval), Troisième Rive's sole album is one hell of a find in its vinyl form, having never received a legit CD re-issue (no matter what Poor House has you out to believe), and this is even more unbelievable the Musea label actually has gone by it without detecting it so far. This sextet, not including lead singer Maurice Boquet, made a very delicate folk rock album that deserves to be rated amongst the best of France and even Europe. Behind a superb but nightmarish artwork, it came out on the ultra-small Iris label and disappeared inn the rear of record shop, like expected given its released date of 78. To give you an idea on how this album is tremendous, even this writer manages to forget his lifelong hatred of accordion and even liking what it actually adds to this album.

Right from the first guitar strums and the great bass, you'd guess that you're not far away from Quebecois Richard Seguin, especially once he hits the suburbs (banlieues) of Vancouver just before hitting Bilbao's. The solid group behind Boquet gives an excellent musically narrative thread on which his lyrics just glide effortlessly over the accordion-lead bass rhythm track that sounds like pure heaven in folk terms, and Boquet's throat scrapping leading in the final guitar solo is marvellous. The very precious Le Petit Jeu is one of the many highlight where Boquet's quivering voice (this reminds of Julien Clerc's early career with his debut in the Haïr musical) over delicate guitar arpeggios is reminiscent of early Genesis' folk roots. The Spanish-sounding Amalia (this writer's main scientific project is also called that) is a great upbeat track that avoids the Flamenco clichés and another great moment. The more ambitious (lyrically anyway) Ballade is not exactly the more enthusiasting track of the album,

The flipside holds only two tracks, both separated in three sections, which indeed augurs for the proggiest of folk. The XX-mins Légende is a spell-binding track starting out on electric guitar arpeggios, loud muffled sounds before segueing into quiet quivering vocals over a clear piano, but as the vocal attacks its second, there are a few bursts, triggering the drama floodgates with harpsichord, Hackettian guitars and the full shebang.. Outstanding and sending chills down your spine, spreading goose bumps all- over. Of course the best Genesis moments are not far away from this, but there is that French dimension that brings a tad more of "je-ne-sais-quoi" to it. The wild third movement of this track gave the name of the group and is a fitting finale to the album's apex. The three-part 6-minutes Chateau has a hard time succeeding to Légende, but somehow manages fairly well. The short and sweet Douves (moats) slowly evolves into a wilder and louder Herse (port-cullis) and finally ends in the

Certainly one of France's best folk album, Troisième Rive remains one of the best kept secret from its country and will likely remain so unless some daring prog label will make the not-so-daring choice to release it. Awesome, beautiful and solemn piece of wax.

Review by avestin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The essence of beauty

This is a beautiful album; splendid melodies, calm and slightly melancholic, fabulous special sounding deep and warm vocals, a great French flavour in the accordion playing and lovely lyrics, by Alex Abouladze and there's more.. This is a great album to play early on a Sunday morning while drinking a cup of coffee (or tea) and staring outside your window at the day coming out of its envelope. The occasional gentle electric guitar gives a nice addition to the smooth and tender sound of this album which is in essence an electro- acoustic sounding bunch of tunes. In essence this is a splendid folk-rock album, with fantastic French flavors.

The ingredients:

The vocals of Jean-Pierre Balland are one of the highlights of this album; they are the power that drives the attractive nature of the music. This would have been a totally different sounding release with another vocalist, a completely different effect and atmosphere. The second important ingredient is the lineup of guitars (electric and electro-acoustic) which are the backbone in here. They provide the core to which are added the "entourage" of the other musical instruments. We then have the accordion, piano, mandolin and electric guitar (which does the soloing). Those are the tone setting instruments. The guitar gives the fantastic topping of the semi-frisky tone, a somewhat cheerful sound and charm. The accordion is one of my favourite instruments and here it is played in a clear French folk style. The mandolin is another good occasional addition and the piano has a fantastic rhythmic part in here (Amalia). The lyrics of Alex Abouladze are the final layer but an essential part; like the vocals, if those had been different and less thought-out and charming, then the album would have not been this good.

The album is not devoid of its intricacies. There is what to appreciate here in terms of musical layering, musicianship, lyricism, style, warmth of music and the ability of the musicians to successfully pass varied emotions onto the listeners. But if I was to remember this album for anything, it would be for its beauty and warmth.

To sum this up:

How can one resist such a magnificent album? I have once said it is not an essential album but I have since learned to think otherwise and now retract my words. It is an essential album for all those who appreciate a very well done folk-rock album; a highly entertaining and most importantly highly gratifying album. The beauty of the music is such that it warms my heart each time I hear the opening guitar playing of Banlieues, the opening song.

Review by Guldbamsen
4 stars Spring soundtrack

Talk about an album that complements the seasonal change. Somehow it's all right here in this little French obscurity: blooming blossoms, the explosion of green, birdsong every morning before you open your eyes. Everything about spring is conveyed beautifully throughout this record´s lifespan of 37 minutes.

Troisième Rive's Banlieues is a mellow affair. It takes the sweetest and most melodic facets of folk rock and glue them together to form this acoustic balladry singer-song writer album with buckets of emotion, frailty and soul. The emphasis is mostly on acoustic guitars, but boy do these sound magnificent. Just on the opening cut, you get a taste of just how effortlessly they flow and sound - seemingly without any real prog aspirations, but that is the thing about this album. I think it is because of these highly skilled musicians, that what maybe sounds like your everyday psychedelically tinged folk rock, is in fact much more complicated and profound in scope than what meets the ear. These guys are brilliant at what they do, and just hearing those sprinkling guitars laying down the melody - it becomes a thing of beauty in itself. On top of that, the way they are recorded adds another dimension to them as well - making them soar, tingle and whistle all on their own without any need of sonic doping. The whole feel and melody laden atmosphere often reminds me of Basque folk rockers Itoiz. There is indeed a similar vibe going on here.

Then you've got the soft almost feminine French vocals on top if this. Unlike what you may think from such a description, it never gets saccharine. The natural timbre of these vocals sound like male siren singing. The singer here delivers gentle French ballads uttered in a whispering delicate fashion that again makes me think of Itoiz. Regardless of what language you speak or understand, my guess is that you'll find the vocals heart wrenchingly beautiful. So gentle and expressive that you'd have no problem in luring Bambi in with this on your stereo.

The fiery spices of this album are the electric guitars. Sometimes singular - other times they launch together as a unit for then to split up - generating this astonishing polyphonic effect that feels like a clean folk-rocking incorporation of what made the end of Freebird legendary. I love these scattered guitar segments, and they truly work like small islands of joy throughout this album.

Final thing making Banlieues stand out is its usage of the accordion. Yes it coats the music in a somewhat French accent, but the rather fascinating thing about it is, that it's played like a synthesizer - meaning that it gets thrown into the mix like a bewildered primate - expected to work like the aforementioned electric instrument - creating yearning drawn out musical surfaces, - and surprise surprise - it actually sounds terrific! Lurking in between the different layers of the melodies, you often get the plaintive emanations of the accordion - crying its heart out gently gently to the beat. Together with the rest of the band, I feel a certain wholeness - or togetherness is achieved. I'm not sure how else to describe it, but somehow all of these individual puzzle pieces put together aspire to an elegant and smooth ride on the gentle sweeps of French melody laden folk rock.

4.5 stars for a record that should please fans of Itoiz, Eden, Carol of Harvest, Harmonium and people who need an appropriate soundtrack for the changing colours of spring. This one is truly a thing of beauty.

Latest members reviews

5 stars This has to be my all-time favorite French progressive album. (I also love Nino Ferrer's Metronomies but it's not on ProgArchives...) Nostalgic melodies, socially-relevant lyrics and very interesting vocals all merge together into an experience that is so overwhelming it's almost unbelievable ... (read more)

Report this review (#138748) | Posted by Nao/Gilles | Monday, September 17, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars 4.5 Stars More than an excellent addition to any prog music collection I don't know why Assaf think that this is not a must have album. I think that Banlieues is brillian melancholic album that will fulfil in maximum your prog folk expectations. The first think that grab your attention is ... (read more)

Report this review (#122471) | Posted by oracus | Thursday, May 17, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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