Superb cover art again for Paradia, reminding me a lot of Matisse crossed with the French artist Sempe, and how beautiful to see it's by Bocquet himself.
I guess this artist needs no introduction, certainly for me the 1977 record Paradia is a masterpiece of expressive Gallic progressive music, perfect in its smooth and well-executed professionalism, and thus leaving his old Catharsis band far behind. Long ago I was excited to find out he made those two other Robot library records, but they proved disappointing to me in comparison to his chef d' oeuvre, particularly since he recycled some of the Paradia compositions for them. To complete his discography I bought this soundtrack he wrote for a movie, which I remember well from my art film days in university, called La Balance, with Natalie Baye. From imdb:
Nicole is a Parisian streetwalker and Dede is her racketeer boyfriend, on the outs with his mob bosses because of a dispute over Nicole. When a police informant ("la balance") is murdered, the cops have to scramble for a replacement. Deciding on Dede, they begin to put a nasty squeeze on him and Nicole.
Despite the briefness of the above I do remember it was a great movie from the twilight of the golden age of French police movies. (If you understand French you can, as usual, see the whole thing for free on youtube. I guess the nostalgia of the art video rental stores is something only us old guys can indulge in and soon it will be a totally forgotten memory too.)
Ultimately, Bocquet only contributed a little to the soundtrack, but what he did do is astonishing:
This being A2's rendition of La Chanson de Nicole. (Another appears with vocals on the b side.) How many times have I made the same comment: no music this beautiful is ever written anymore. Just check out how effectively the simple electric guitar solo adds punch to the ostinato rhodes piano and string arrangement weaving in and out of the synthesizer melody like birds in the sky. Then towards the end, the guitarist dialogues on his own with the rhodes, like a suitor pleading with a beautiful woman. Such artistry!
Sadly there is a lot of filler on this record, explaining why it has been forgotten by time. In particular, the last tracks on each side-- and I will be polite about it-- are absolutely stinking piles of shit.
But the Chanson of Nicole should never have been forgotten...