Le Petit Violon De Mr Grégoire

Artist: Mona Lisa
Label: Crypto
Catalog#: ZAC 6402
Format: Vinyl
Country: France
Released: 1976
A1 Le Chant Des Glaces 4:30
A2 Allons Z'Enfants 6:15
A3 Le Publiphobe 2:27
A4 Solaris 2:50
B1 La Folie 5:37
B2 De Toute Ma Haine 5:56
B3 Plus Loin Vers Le Ciel 9:00

Bass, Vocals – Jean-Luc Martin
Drums, Percussion, Vocals – Francis Poulet
Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar – Pascal Jardon
Lead Vocals, Flute, Synthesizer – Dominique Le Guennec
Piano, Organ, Synthesizer – Jean-Paul Pierson
Producer – Jean-Claude Pognant

Strawberry Bricks Entry: 
Mona Lisa came from Orléans, France, and followed in the footsteps of countrymate Ange with their so-called "rock theatre:" a uniquely French style of progressive rock inspired by Genesis. A debut album L'Escapade, produced by Ange guitarist Jean-Michel Brézovar, was released by the Arcane label in 1974; but the following year's Grimaces showed progress. By their third album, the band had coalesced into a lineup of guitarist Pascal Jardon, keyboardist Jean-Paul Pierson, bassist Jean-Luc Martin, drummer Francis Poulet and vocalist Dominique Le Guennec. Le Petit Violon De Mr Grégoire saw release on Jean-Claude Pognant's Crypto label in 1976, and is generally regarded as not only the band's masterpiece, but also one of the premier examples of rock progressif. "Le Chant des Glaces" is propelled by a sturdy bass and blistering lead guitar, while the following "Allons Z'enfants" offers a more typically French symphonic vocal number, with Le Guennec's powerful voice to the fore. Jardon's guitar has a heavy tone similar to Steve Hackett's, but the arrangements here are fresh as well as accomplished. The second side presents the dark, dramatic title suite in three parts. "La folie" ("Madness") opens with organ and spoken word, then quickly unfolds to a brisk tempo, punctuated by Pierson's synth. "De toute ma haine" ("Of all my hatred") follows, expertly and spiritedly spinning together disparate musical chunks. "Plus loin vers la Ciel" ("Further near Heaven") continues, highlighting the bracing, marching tempo of the band's compositions. Though perhaps appearing late in the game, the album is one of the finest in the French canon. A final (and again, excellent) album with Le Guennec, Avant Qu'il Ne Soit Trop Tard, appeared in 1977. However, disillusioned with the band's lack of commercial success, Le Guennec departed. A final album with Poulet (successfully) performing vocals appeared in 1979.
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