In The Land of Free, we still keep on Rockin'

Plain and Fancy

"I hope for nothing, I fear nothing, I am free"

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Les Variations - Nador (1968-71 france, fantastic rough hard rock, 2010 remaster and expanded)

“Nador” maintains a high level of Rock’n’Roll, showing Variations were a unit in sync with their sound and themselves. Joe “O.J.” Leb has a ballistic set of pipes and he’s given to great stressing in verse and freaking out into caterwauling excess to drive the point home. Both un-operatic and hyperactive, he’s intently aware of all the musical flashpoints and underscores them all with great wail, warp and woof. Despite the fact Leb sings all but one track on “Nador” in English, the lyrics aren’t discernable 100% of the time but the constant use of bedrock’n’roll phrases that punctuate throughout communicate everything. 

Guitarist Marc Tobaly is a greatly skilled quarryman of hard rock and hooks up a mighty linking vessel via his roaring Gibson SG between Leb’s vocals and the engine room that is Jacques Grande on bass and Jacky Bitton’s powerhouse drumming. Tobaly wrote practically all of the material on “Nador,” so natch the arrangements allow for ample riffage to smash through consecutive windows of opportunity over and over and over again. Hefty rhythm/lead guitar overdubs sear continuously throughout, scored as they are with Tobaly’s stockpiled riffs and solos which all are recorded and produced to be nowhere but in the forefront at all times. The end result is high definition, robust rock’n’roll played by four Gauls with a whole lotta balls with a fire lit underneath their collective derrières at all times. 

“Nador” is a supremely confident debut album where Variations came, saw, then Rocked. And then Rocked some more. For “Nador” was where they let one go and it was slick, greasy, on fire and yeah: a crystallisation of Rock’n’Roll. 

1. What A Mess Again (J. Leb, M. Tobaly) - 3:14
2. Waiting For The Pope (J. Leb, M. Tobaly) - 3:37
3. Nador - 2:41
4. We Gonna Find The Way - 4:25
5. Generations - 3:07
6. Free Me - 3:41
7. Completely Free (J. Bitton, M. Tobaly) - 5:38
8. Mississipi Woman (M. Fowley) - 3:08
9. But It's Allright (J. Bitton) - 4:27
10.Come Along - 3:29
11.Promises - 2:42
12.What's Happening - 3:22
13.Magda - 3:20
14.Down The Road - 2:56
15.Love Me (J. Bitton, M. Tobaly) - 2:43
16.Come Along (Version Alternative) - 3:55
All songs written by Marc Tobaly except where stated
Bonus Tracks 10-16

Les Variations
*Marc Tobaly - Guitars
*Jacques Grande - Bass
*Jo Leb - Vocals
*Isaac "Jacky" Bitton - Drums, Percussion, Vocals

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Alexandr said...

Thanks, Marios.

kobilica said...

Thank you for expanded version.Trully fine album...

mscmichael said...

Thanks a lot...

No Title said...

les variations were a fantastic french band. Unfortunately unknown in his country. The album "take it or leave it" is my favourite, but Nador is huge too. Patrick, France