Ange - Guet-Apens. 1978 France
LP reissues: 1978 Philips (Canada); 1980 Philips (Japan)
CD reissues: 1989 Disques Marianne; 1995 Musea; 2009 Musea (card cover); 2013 Mercury (Japan mini-LP)
Recently I had revisited Ange's debut Caricatures, and by pure chance, I'm now revisiting Guet-Apens, the other bookend of their progressive rock phase. While many of their peers had moved on to vapid pop music, Ange kept up the good fight with one last go at a progressive rock epic. And honestly, this is probably their most fully realized album from an instrumental perspective. Of course Ange had been, and always will be, a theatrical bunch. And that's no different here, as Decamps literally spits his words out at times. Let's put it this way, I wouldn't want to be the "microphone cleaning guy". On the other hand, Guet-Apens is Ange's mellotron album, fully front loaded with strings and choirs all throughout. I have one former colleague who insisted that Guet-Apens is Ange's finest work by a long mile. I won't go that far, as I feel it's not as representative of their sound like Au-Dela du Delire is, but his observations weren't unwarranted either. If your previous experience with Ange is that they're "way too much French", but enjoyed the musical aspect, then Guet-Apens is where you should turn next. Unfortunately after this album, the band finally did give in, and turned to pop slop for the next 20 years. After which, they rediscovered their progressive past, but it was never going to be the same. Guet-Apens is the end of an era for Ange.
The original features a 2 page insert as well as a lyric inner sleeve. I first purchased this LP in the early 90s, and didn't supplement with a CD until 3 years ago, when I bought the 7 CD box set (that wasn't cheap...). The mini replicates the LP release to perfection. In addition, the CD was newly remastered in Japan and is not just a reprint of a former French or Japanese mastering.