(Guerssen is fast becoming the Best European reissue label for all things Psych', rare Beat and Freakbeat, occasional Garage-rock, lost Acid-Folk, Turkish Delights and the best in Cosmic Prog'... so even though this French cult Progressive album already saw a couple previous reissues, they've been deleted for some time, quite hard to find and none were as accomplished as this new one from this Spanish label; since I had something to do with the liners of that deluxe gatefold reissue on fine 180grm vinyl, I thought I might give it a plug on Bedazzled by reproducing my writing here... and hope it'll incite you to purchase that revaluated milestone of 70's French Underground rock : )
Everybody knows where now lies the Sahara desert, once was the garden of Eden. So it should come as no surprise that from Eden Rose comes Sandrose, one of the best French post-Psych Progressive bands, and simply one of the Best progressive Pop bands ever ...Brewed in and born from the ashes of Le Système Crapoutchik (and a host of other incestuous bands and backing bands, a real hard to track mish-mash of old Rock Twist and later Beat groups, as is usually the case on the French scene! ), it was the brainchild of French guitar wiz', Jean-Pierre Alarcen, the local genius of his time : the late sixties in France. Eden Rose started with three members out of Les Gardians (sic.) : Henri Garella on keyboards, Christian Clairefond on bass and Henry Castello on drums, who went on tour opening and backing YeYe idol Claude François in 1965 (... Les Gardians would also open the show and back other popular singers like Hervé Vilard and Michèle Torr). After the recording of four singles, the trio joined ranks with the orchestra backing popular MC of the time, Albert Raisner, on his cult Yeye TV program "Âge Tendre et Tête de Bois". While in Massilia, the southern French city they originated from, they'd play with dance orchestra Les Golden... until the Art Director of Katema records (a tiny label run by an appliances industrial who was a great music lover! ) advised them to change their name with the times. Drummer Henry Castello came up with the name : Eden Rose. When Eden Rose split after a criss-crossing tour of France ending at a club in the city of Oran (Algeria ) - following the recording of their cult album : "On the Way to Eden" (1970 on Katema, distr. Sonopresse ) which went nowhere - and drummer Henry Castello decided to join Jacques Dutronc's backing band on tour... remaining bassist Christian Clairefond and organist Henri Garella came in contact with another drummer, Michel Jullien, also from Massilia. Thru the Dutronc connection, they had already met notorious guitarist Jean Pierre Alarcen who also contributed in the recording of their LP. Alarcen when not backing Dutronc had previously recorded with Le Système Crapoutchick - the name of Dutronc's backing band sans Dutronc - two Eps, a single and an LP (« Aussi loin que je me souvienne »; 1969 on Flamophone ). With Jean-Pierre Alarcen in toe, they decided to hire a young girl singer of Polish origins by the name of Rose Podwojny (... a likely first name! ) and rename themselves : Sandrose. Flashback to 1966, Alarcen had cofounded les Mods with Alain Legovic (future huge M.O.R. singer of the mid 1970's and 1980's going by the name "Alain Chamfort", who was also a Claude François protegee... and was once part of Nicolas Nils' backing band Les Murators which famously covered the Seeds!,). Backing around the same time Jacques Dutronc along with Legovic, was Michel Palay and Gérard Kawczinsky (whose unpronouncable Polish name gave way to "Krapoutchick" and "Crapou" which sobriquet Dutronc liked to fool around with, and which of course gave the name to "Le Système Crapoutchick"... ) with whom Alarcen and Legovic would create Le Système. After the Eden Rose project failed, the members of that group, led by guitar virtuoso Jean-Pierre Alarcen opted for a new approach by adding a girl singer, following the mode of then current Progressive rock like Curved Air in the UK, Michaelangelo, Ill Wind, Ultimate Spinach, Fantasy and countless others in the States where the lead came from, Reign Ghost in Canada, Earth and Fire in Holland, Savage Rose in Denmark, and Circus 2000 in Italy... In fact they even sound like Circus 2000 on several songs ("Vision", "Summer is Yonder", "Underground Session" ) with Rose Podwojny's witchy quality in her voice and the dark features of the music itself!