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Le Cimetière des Arlequins

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Album Review

With Le Cimetière des Arlequins, Ange got noticed in France (their home country), in the European progressive rock circles, and in Quebec. Not that this LP is particularly stronger than their debut Caricatures, but it's lead track, a completely rewritten and very theatrical rendition of Jacques Brel's "Ces Gens-Là," brought them immediate attention. Christian Decamps' exaggerated pronunciation and theatrical characterizations, backed by Francis Decamps' extended use of the Mellotron and a strong rhythm section, lifted the band to prog rock stardom, even though artistically speaking, Ange would record better albums in the few years to come. Poor sound quality and questionable artistic decisions wore down the strength of the songs. The very rocky number "Aujourd'hui C'est la Fête Chez L'Apprenti Sorcier" ("Today There's a Party at the Sorcerer's Apprentice's") doesn't sound crisp enough to deliver its full demented energy. The beautifully pompous ballad "De Temps en Temps" ("From Time to Time") ends on an horrible sped-up-tape effect that destroys the mood. Still, Le Cimetière des Arlequins contains some great moments: the aforementioned "Ces Gens-Là" and "Aujourd'hui C'est la Fête Chez L'Apprenti Sorcier" (one of their rockiest, most energized numbers, foretelling Au-Delà du Délire's "Les Longues Nuits D'Isaac"), the folk ballad "La Route Aux Cyprès" ("The Cypress Road"), and the title track, although this one is a little bit overstretched. In short, at the time of Le Cimetière des Arlequins the band was getting stronger, but lacked good means of recording and better artistic direction. It would come very shortly — just see Au-Delà du Délire. ~ François Couture, Rovi

Biography

Genre: French Pop

Years Active: '70s, '80s

Considered the French equivalent of Genesis due to their heavy theatrical version of progressive rock, Ange released 14 albums from the '70s to the mid-'80s. The group was led by vocalists Christian and Francis Decamps and included guitarist Jean-Michel Brezovar, bassist Daniel Haas, and drummer Gerard Jelsch. Though Caricatures was the group's first album, the double LP In Concert was compiled from live shows before...
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Le Cimetière des Arlequins, Ange
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