I´m sorry but I must disagree with the promotional sheet sent by Musea where it´s written that the only masterpiece of 70´s French progressive rock was Sandrose´s debut album (1972 if my memory doesn´t fail)... but.. my God!, you forget Ange, the best French progressive band!. Well, let´s forget this little detail. Two years before the release of Sandrose´s debut album, another band named Eden Rose released “On the way to Eden”. This band was the root of Sandrose, with the same musicians, the legendary (but not as legendary as Ange´s Christian Decamps) Jean-Pierre Alarcen (guitars), Henri Garella (keyboards), Michel Jullien (drums), &Christian Clairefond (bass). In any case, thanks to Musea we can discover this little pearl of french progressive music.
Anyway we can´t say this is a real progressive rock album. Yes, the album is entirely instrumental, so keyboards –lots of Hammond's- and guitars are the leading instruments, but we´re before a progressive rock a bit rudimentary and embryonic before the genre´s burst. In fact, Alarcen´s guitar is very influenced by the style already created by Robin Trower with Procol Harum, a band that was in fashion those years. The sound of the Hammond's sometimes remind to Matthew Fisher, Jack Stein and other, but sometimes remind to less fortunate names like Joey de Francesco.
Little winks to classic music a la The Nice (“Sad Dream” (4:09), “On the way to Eden” (5:09)), some bits that point out the arrival of a new genre (“Obsession” (4:24), “Travelling” (3:26)), and a colorful and sometimes excessive vintage feeling, a sort of “Jet Set party in the french Blue Coast during the early seventies”; there are tracks that have to be listened with a Dry Martini or Bloody Mary (shaked, not mixed)... an example is “Walking in the sea” (5:29), the longest track. As bonus track there is “Under the sun” (2:30), B side of “Travelling” single, and that is a nice rehash of Aphrodite Child´s “Rain and Tears” and Procol Harum´s “Repent Walpurgis”.
You´ll commit a big mistake if you listen this album under the point of view of 2004, after more than 30 years of progressive rock music.. but if we place the album within its historical context, it´s an attractive document for those who want to know the origins and roots of our favorite genre.