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TRACK LIST: 1. Par les Fils de Mandrin 6:08 2. Au Cafe du Colibri 3:46 3. Ainsi s'en Ira la Pluie 10:03 4. Autour de Feu 3:54 5. Saltimbanques 4:27 6. Des Yeux Couleur d'Enfant 4:07 7. Atlantis 8:09 8. Hymne a la Vie 12:27 Bonus tracks: 9. Exode 4:43 10. Le Vieux de la Montagne 11:40 All tracks: by C & F Decamps, except 1 & 8: (C Decamps & Brezovar), 2 & 3: (C Decamps & Guichard), 4 & 5: (C Decamps & Haas). LINE-UP: Christian "Destin" Decamps - - lead vocals; piano & string ensemble; - acoustic guitar; accordion Francis "Hugues" Decamps - - Organ, Mellotron, synthesizers; backing vocals Jean-Michel "Dorian" Brezovar - - electric & acoustic guitars; flute; backing vocals Jean-Pierre "Joli Faon" Guichard - - drums & percussion; harmonica; backing vocals Daniel "Fier a Bras" Haas - - bass & acoustic guitar Recorded live at Palais des Sports, Paris. Engineered by A. Perkins via "The Manor Mobile Unit". Mixed & mastered by J-P. Boffo at "Amper".
Prolusion. The full title of this output is "Par les Fils de Mandrin en Concert". In short, this is the 'live' version of ANGE's fifth and most commercially successful album "Par les Fils de Mandrin" (1976). Two bonus tracks available on this CD are taken from the band's third and first studio albums respectively: "Au-dela du Delire" (1974) and "Caricatures" (1972).
Synopsis. It's enough to read the review of >"By the Sons of Mandrin", which is the English-language version of "Par les Fils de Mandrin", to get an idea of what this recording is on the whole about. The point is that the first eight tracks here are just the same as those on both of the said albums and are little different from the originals. As for bonus tracks, I will describe them since there aren't reviews of "Caricatures" nor "Au-dela du Delire" on Progressor. Exode (9) is quite an accessible anthem-like song and is probably the least interesting track on the CD. No, I don't want to say this is a bad song, by no means! But it features very few of the purely instrumental arrangements and, instead, a lot of repetitions. However, Exode would have looked better if it would've been placed at the very end of the album. Whereas another bonus track: Le Vieux de la Montagne is a masterpiece. The music is a classic symphonic Art-Rock in Ange's best traditions with diverse, complex and, often, harsh arrangements and excellent theatrically dramatic vocals.
Conclusion. I believe everyone knows that the atmosphere of live recordings is quite specific and is in many ways different from that of studio ones. In my view, it is essential to have at least one 'live' album by each of the best bands in the history of Progressive, including Ange, of course. This live performance is as outstandingly impressive as any other ever done by the band.
VM: January 4, 2004
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