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Machiavel - 1979 Urban Games



ARTIST: Machiavel
ALBUM: Urban Games
LABEL: Harvest
SERIAL: 1A 064-23894
YEAR: 1979
CD REISSUE: 1994, Spalax Music, 14258 (with bonus tracks)

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Mario Guccio - vocals, sax * Marc Ysaye - drums, vocals, percussion * Albert Letecheur - keyboards * Jean-Paul Devaux - guitars * Roland De Greef - bass, bass pedals

TRACK LISTING: 01 The Humans * 02 Over The Hill * 03 Still Alive * 04 City Flowers * 05 Dancing Heroes * 06 I'm Not A Loser * 07 Let Me Live My Life * 08 The Dictators

WEBLINKS: www.machiavel.be


Background
The second and third Machiavel albums 1976's 'Jester' and 'Mechanical Moonbeams' released in 1977 have long been hot commodities among progressive fans. As one of Belgium's higher profile outfits; their Genesis meets Supertramp infused rock was at times dramatic and always melodic but apparently not as commercially successful as the band would have liked. 1979's 'Urban Games' trimmed the fat so to speak and you know the drill; the times were changing and punk rock forced prog bands to suck it up blah, blah, blah. We don't need to go over that again do we?


The Songs
Didn't think so. Trying to catch a proverbial shooting star to hitsville; Machiavel on 'Urban Games' sounded less like Genesis and more like Supertramp with a dash of Queen and 10cc and no more so than on the quirky kick-off 'The Humans'. Did I mention Supertramp? Yup, vocalist Mario Guccio does a pretty good Roger Hogdson and his sax work recalls John Helliwell although these happy Belgian's were nowhere near the tune smiths their idols were. That quibble aside, there's no denying a few great tunes can be found on the record such as the haunting 'Still Alive' that sounds like a shameless lift from 'Even In The Quietest Moments' or the Kayak influenced 'City Flowers' and in particular 'Let Me Live My Life' which for Lake fans will be nothing short of a wet dream.


In Summary
The follow-up 'New Lines' released a year later was a nice pop record but with nary a trace of the 'Urban Games' prog AOR sound. Further albums were interchangeable although not as bad as you might read elsewhere. 1999's 'Virtual Sun' was an interesting comeback with a few proggy elements but as is so often the case with reunion efforts was a far cry from their early work which should be in every collection.


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Comments
#1 | Eric on November 11 2012 14:22:20
YouTube Video:
#2 | tonissive on November 12 2012 20:54:09
still a good record eric! but, my favorite is "jester" his more symphonic album!
in the year 1983, mario guccio and roland de greef formed a project called " beige neige" and released the only album "movement one" oriented to a synth pop sound!
 
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