Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Day After The Sabbath 45: La Folle Entreprise [France pt.1]

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Volume 45 is a collection of French bands. [2022 EDIT: There is now another French volume, #141 HERE] It has been quite a mission searching for music of this country that fits in to the feel of my comps, but the end results are very satisfying and here we have another inspirational and varied selection. For such a large and prominent European country, the 70's yielded very little heavy psych and hard rock/proto metal albums. Similarly to Italy and Spain, the nation's native rock tastes at the time veered very strongly towards pastoral/symphonic prog and other more 'intellectual' styles. As a result, the large majority of the tracks featured here are from very short-lived bands and obscure singles, often hidden away on B-sides.


01. Docdail - Aere Perennius (1969)
02. Art Zoyd - Something In Love / Sangria (1971)
03. Schizo - Schizo [and the little girl] (1972)
04. Alan Jack Civilization - Shame On You (1969)
05. Amphyrite - Symphonie Pour 3 Oeufs Brouillés (1975)
06. Blues Convention - Fais Ceci, Fais Cela (1973)
07. François Wertheimer - L'automne (1971)
08. Saint-Preux - Le Gouffre Amer (1972)
09. Alice - Il Viendra (1971)
10. Chico Magnetic Band - Phantasm (1971)
11. Cameleon - Le Chemin de la Descente (1971)
12. After Life - Exit (1975)
13. Dynastie Crisis - Schizomania (1973)
14. La Folle Entreprise - Soleil (1973)
15. Tac Poum Systeme - Asmodai (1971)
16. Les Variations - Come Along (1969)  

Most countries boast at least a few successful cornerstone hard-rock bands and it would appear that 'Les Variations' was France's chief flag bearer in this respect. Their 1969 debut 'Nador' is a very accomplished and solid effort in the vein of Led Zep et al and this is shown by the fact that tracks from it have appeared on this blog before, on mine and other's comps. The avant-garde 'Zeuhl' underground (what could be considered as France's equivalent of 'Krautrock') did however nurture some great heavy psych and one such band that features here is Art Zoyd. Similarly to Amon Duul, they are a continuing art collective with a revolving-door lineup and have traversed many styles to create countless works including movie and ballet accompaniments. Schizo are another example of french artists who began recording heavy psych before changing dramatically. One member, Richard Pinhas, went on to band and solo work which concentrated on prog electronica akin to Brian Eno and Jean Michel Jarre. There is a new interview with Art Zoyd member Thierry Zaboitzeff at (link).

Carrying on through the comp we encounter blues rock (Alan Jack Civilization), Sabbathian doom (Chico Magnetic Band), hardened glam (Dynastie Crisis) and the heavy-riffing commercial rock of Blues Convention, Cameleon, Alice and La Folle Entreprise. One final mention must go to the half-time breather track from 'Saint-Preux', a solo artist who generally made classical compositions but on one album in particular "Le piano sous la mer" introduced some electric psych guitar to great effect on a few tracks, for interesting results.

Further listening:
The Day After The Sabbath 61: In Your Room [first Belgium special]
The Day After The Sabbath 39: Bandera Inmortal [first Spanish collection]
The Day After The Sabbath 83: Midnight Garden [first Swiss special]

For a list of all regional comps see the "[Regional Volumes Round-Up]" link at the top of the blog.


Cheers, Rich.

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  1. Been waiting for this one... Thanks A LOT.
    You're making some killer comps.

    Happy midsummer.

  2. Where the fuck Is MagmA?

  3. Beneath the surface of the Earth, especially near volcanos :)

  4. Good call, Rich.. X D

    Besides that, Anon, the best Magma tracks would've been too long for this comp. Can't wait to hear another from Les Variations, and that Chico Magnetic Band's been a long time comin'!

  5. Yeah I dabbled in MagmA, didn't find anything that grabbed me, but they have a LOT of catalogue, please feel free to make constructive magma recommendations anon!

    Cheers Zisch, when's your next one then ;)

  6. I have some outside-the-box ideas, but when it comes to straight up Heavy 70's my resources are about used up!

    Could do a "best of"..

  7. Id love to hear a 'best of', Id also like to see you revisit Aust and NZ, though some of the better stuff isnt necessarily that heavy. Looking forward to this one, no Popera Cosmic though?

  8. I have only just become aware of Popera Cosmic, I will use it later if it's good though! Cheers.

  9. Maybe you should try to listen the band "Rotomagus". they had just three songs. I think the singing is a bit weird, but the guitars are very good. They were from Rouen.


  10. Cheers! I actually visited Rouen this year, it's a lovely town. I considered Rotomagus, I think I may use them in a future compilation.

  11. If you want a magma track pick da futura from udu wudu. It's extremely long but punishingly heavy

  12. Thanks man, awesome blog! I didn't know that France had great bands like these in the 70's, very interesting!

  13. As always, a great compilation and a wonderful way to discover new bands. Bravo, Maestro and many thanx !