Exposé Online banner

Ange — By the Sons of Mandrin
(Musea FGBG 4541.AR, 1977/2003, CD)

Ange — En Concert: Par les Fils de Mandrin Millésimé 77
(Musea FGBG 4542.AR, 1977/2003, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2004-04-01

By the Sons of Mandrin Cover artEn Concert: Par les Fils de Mandrin Millésimé 77 Cover art

Banco and PFM did it, so why not Ange? The world of rock music has always been dominated by the English language, and many of the bands who sing primarily in another language have seen fit to record English versions of their songs. The degree of success has varied, and most connoisseurs prefer the original versions, whether due to unpleasantly accented English or bad translations. Back in 1977, Ange released an English version of their album Par les fils de Mandrin, but it has been unavailable on CD until now. The good news is that the translations, done by Michael Quartermain, are pretty good. They’re a bit pretentious, surrealistic, and cosmic, but the original French lyrics are all those things as well. The bad news is that Chirstian Décamps’ accent is quite heavy, sometimes mangling the English to the point where you have to read along to know what he’s singing. On the spoken parts however, the accent is rather engaging. Quartermain himself handles some of the spoken bits, and his British accent (though he has a pleasant voice) seems out of place. Still, I find this an enjoyable twist on an old favorite, though your tolerance for accented English will determine your reaction.

And for another twist on the same set of songs, Musea is also providing a full live version recorded when the material was fresh. All the songs are varied from the studio recordings – some longer, some shorter – and both performance and production are first-rate. Two non-Mandrin tracks are included as a bonus: perennial favorite “Exode” from Au-delà du Délire (which was not included on the band’s 1977 live album Tome VI) and the wonderful long track “Le Vieux de la Montagne” which to my knowledge has only been released as a bonus track on the CD of their first album. This live release is an essential addition to the history of France’s foremost symphonic rock band.


Filed under: Reissues, Issue 29, 2003 releases, 1977 recordings

Related artist(s): Ange, Christian Décamps

Latest news

2018-07-31
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more

2018-07-09
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more

2018-07-01
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more

2018-06-25
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more

2018-06-13
Jon Hiseman RIP – One of the great drummers of the rock era has died. Jon Hiseman was a veteran of such ground-breaking groups as Colosseum (I and II), Tempest, John Mayal's Bleusbreakers, and was a founding member of the innovative large band United Jazz + Rock Ensemble. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Bob Drake - The Skull Mailbox – Bob Drake may be a genius, but it is fair to say that, as far as the results of his craft go, he is more than a bit scatterbrained. The Skull Mailbox is chock full of ideas, often more than one for...  (2002) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues