Laurence Vanay - Evening Colours. 1975 France

Laurence Vanay (Gateway) - Evening Colours. 1975 Galloway. Also released on the CAM label (Italy)

CD reissue: 2013 Lion (USA mini-LP)

LP reissue: 2014 Lion (USA)

Packaging: The original on Galloway, with the profile of the easy-on-the-eyes Ms Thibault, is nearly extinct, as very few copies were pressed. The library label CAM is actually the hero in this case (see below), and is far more common. Unfortunately, it features one of their generic covers. As with Galaxies, this album has been screaming for a reissue for many years. Lion stepped up and provided a wonderful Japanese styled mini-LP, as well as a full blown LP that replicates the single sleeve original (fortunately utilizing the original Galloway cover). Both feature (the same) copious liner notes. The CD also contains a multitude of bonus tracks. Essential pickups for both LP and CD collectors! More detail here in regards to my personal history with these albums.

Notes: After the stunning "Galaxies", Ms. Thibault comes back with "Evening Colours", which can only be categorized as a triumph of will. The same beauty she brought forth on her debut, is also present here, perhaps with a bit more instrumental oomph. However, there are no song based tracks with lyrics (though plenty of wordless voices). Despite finding its way onto the Italian CAM label, "Evening Colours" is no film library album. These are fully realized compositions with wonderful analog keyboards, fuzz guitar, bass, and drums. As we learn via the excellent Lion CD (2013), Jacqueline originally was presented as the artist "Gateway", so as to not reduce sales, since the norm of the day was that only male artists were to be treated with respect in the marketplace. This album, intended to be issued on the Galloway label, ended up as a very small press and is extremely rare nowadays. The more common aforementioned CAM issue happened via a friend and ensured everyone was compensated for their efforts.

Hearing this album once again reaffirms my position that females are far too unrepresented in progressive rock circles. Their inherent knack for melody and subtlety is much needed in this most testosterone fueled genre, where technical show-off chops are often placed in favor of thoughtful composition and form. Unfortunately even today, females continue to be stage singers, directed behind the curtain by those looking to profit from their talent (of course I mean in general, not progressive rock. Nobody makes money in progressive rock...). Hear the defiant and fiercely independent Jacqueline Thibault - compare - and judge for yourself. Brilliant and beautiful.

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