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Ange (France) - 1987 - "Tome 87 - Live at Zenith"
(57 min, "Musea", 2002)


*****
Tracklist:
1. Anjourd'hni c'est la feste chez l'apparenti sorcier 4:30
2. Exode 4:21
3. Les longues nuits d'Isaac 4:03
4. Ode e Emile 3:28
5. Sur la tracedes fees 4:40
6. Le nain de Stanislas 5:47
7. Fils de lumiere 4:27
8. Le Cimeterie des Arlequins 11:25
9. Tout feu tout flamme 4:38
10. Hymne a la Vie 10:20
+.    Interview Video Christian Decamps

Tracks 1, 3, 4, 7, & 10 by C. & F. Decamps.
Tracks 2, 5, 6, & 11 by C. Decamps & J-M. Brezovar.
Track 8 by C. & F. Decamps & J-C. Pognant.
Track 9 by C. Decamps & Jelsch.

Line-up:

Christian Decamps - vocals; keyboards; acoustic guitar
Francis Decamps - keyboards, backing vocals
Jean-Michel Brezovar - guitars, backing vocals
Daniel Haas - bass 
Jean-Pierre Guichard - drums

Recorded live by Lionel Baillemont
at Zenith Concert Hall, Paris, on October 25, 1987.
Mixed by Jean-Pascal Boffo
at "Amper" studio, France, in December 2001.
Produced by Bernard Gueffier. 

Prologue. I am acquainted with a few albums by Ange, all of which, with the exception of "Fou!" (1984), are from the first half of the 1970s. Certainly, there is a big difference between the latter album and "Le Cimeterie des Arlequins" (1973), for example. You know what difference I mean.

The Album. With the exception of the last three tracks on the album, the 'live' versions of all seven of the other songs, taken from the different studio albums, were constructed within the framework of a unified stylistics. Here, all of them are a bit more heavy and complex than the originals, at the least. So the best definition of the music that is featured on the first seven tracks of the album would probably be a blend of Classic Symphonic Art-Rock and Progressive Hard Rock. The alternation of 'heavy' and symphonic structures, as well as vocal and instrumental parts, is typical for the arrangements of each of these songs. Christian Decamps' vocals are fantastically diverse and expressive (which is usual, though). While the instrumental arrangements are intensive regardless whether he sings or not. All seven of the first tracks on the album are excellent and, in my view, about two thirds of them are better than their original (studio) versions. However, Le Cimeteries des Arlequins (this is the title track of the second Ange album) is the only real masterpiece on "Tome 87". The band's very own, distinctly original and unique, stylistics is present here in all of its beauty. As for the last two tracks on the album, I wonder why Ange have decided to close this show with songs that, from the progressive standpoint of view, are absolutely uninteresting. Fortunately, the first of them, Tout feu tout flamme, is rather short to bother immediately. As for Hymne a la Vie, its optimistically monotonous nature, 'which' lasts 10 minutes, has begun to get on my nerves quickly. Also, I find the dramatic atmosphere, which is typical for most of the band's early works, much more actual for our crazy world than that on Hymne a la Vie.

Summary. Having forgotten of the last two tracks on the album, I perceive the 42-minute "Tome 87" album as a remarkable live document, which once again proves that the mightiness of Ange is by no means limited to the precincts of the studio. Furthermore, the tracks that are featured on most (if not all) of the band's studio albums released after 1978, find a new sense on the live albums by Ange. In this respect, this French band is undoubtedly on par with the other Titans of Prog, such as Genesis, Yes, King Crimson, Pink Floyd, Jethro Tull, etc.

VM. April 24, 2002


Related Links:

Musea Records


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