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Beaugarde - 1978 Solo Mortale

ARTIST: Beaugarde
ALBUM: Solo Mortale
LABEL: Ariola
SERIAL: 26 486 XOT
YEAR: 1978


LINEUP: Ilja Gort - vocals, guitars, bass, keyboards, drums * Hans Hollestelle - vocals, guitars, bass, keyboards, drums * Jan Vennik - sax, clarinet * Benny Behr, Daniel Otten, Jaap Moelker - piano * Jan Hollestelle, Jan Rietman - bass * Iman Soeterman - french horn * Ina Arnold, Martha Hollestelle, Scarlet Hollestelle, Jan Vermeulen - background vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Solo Mortale * 02 I Ain't Got No Leg * 03 Alley Girl * 04 Gimme A Break * 05 Emancipation Blues * 06 Brother * 07 Slow N Easy * 08 Livin' In A Dream

I came across Beaugarde several years ago in a brief blurb in Jerry Lucky's excellent 'Progressive Rock Files' book, a must have for any prog fan by the way. His comparisons to Supertramp and ELO peaked my interest naturally, but even more so after doing some digging and finding out band member Hans Hollestelle spent time in Dutch prog bands Ekseption and Sandy Coast and Ilja Gort in 'Nederpop' legends After Tea. Impressive references indeed but the strange thing is Beaugarde's only album was issued on Ariola/Belgium and a year later via the Quality label in Canada with no Dutch release whatsoever. I wonder how that happened?

The Songs
The comparisons to Supertramp and ELO were dead on, but I also hear traces of Queen and Kayak's 'Phantom Of The Night' album. The title track 'Solo Mortale' is heavily influenced by Queen especially in the guitar parts. The curiously titled 'I Ain't Got No Leg' was released as a single although why I haven't a clue? This song, much like 'Gimme A Break' and the disco swishy of 'Slow 'N' Easy' really isn't the better half of Beaugarde and to be frank all three 'suck'. Ok, not exactly journalistic excellence using that terminology, but it is what it is. Where Beaugarde excelled, and where they should have stuck with it and put their heart and soul into - was prog rock, as on the aforementioned title track, 'Brother' and the Pink Floyd-ish 'Pan's Love Affair'. All three tracks would have made a better EP and might have become a Dutch prog classic, instead of an 'also ran' that lost its way.

In Summary
What happened after the albums release is anyone's guess. No CD reissue for this one, but it's not difficult to imagine why. I am extremely partial to commercial progressive rock as many of you know, but 'Solo Mortale' gets a big two thumbs down from yours truly. Buy it cheap, copy the three best tracks and toss away. You have been warned.

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#1 | tonissive on January 01 1970 01:00:00
supertramp!,kayak!!,elo!,queen! are some of my favorites bands,this record it has to be very good,noy is on my vinyl wantlist
thanks for the review! clap
#2 | Eric on November 08 2007 00:17:17
Some of my favorite bands too tonissive, but as I wrote, this record falls well short of classic status....neutral
#3 | super80boy on August 02 2013 03:30:25
Interesting album with ups and downs. The title song is pretty cool with a nice prog tinge to it and those Queen like guitar sounds. Other notable songs: 'I Ain't Got No Leg' which has a cheesy chorus, but is entertaining, 'Alley Girl' and the mid-tempo prog rhythms of 'Brother'.

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