L’Orange ‘A Fruitful Past – Vol.1 (The French Demos)’ (2020 Remaster)
90s French pop with lots of twists. (2020 remaster)
(wav & mp3 audio + digital booklet + pics)
1. Si j’étais vous [4:06]
2. N’envoyez plus de roses [3:13]
3. De quoi j’aurais l’air? [3:23]
4. Voir du pays [4:33]
5. Tout en douceur [3:48]
6. C’est pour les autres [4:17]
7. Embrasse-moi Cléopâtre [3:34]
8. Ici devraient être des roses [3:56]
9. Nue [2:59]
10. Louis (tais-toi et siffle) [4:10]
11. Ombre de soie [4:01]
12. Je suis un cactus [3:50]
13. Paris intime [4:19]
14. L’amour est un chien de l’enfer [4:22]
15. Je suis venu te dire que je m’en vais [4:03]
16. De l’or qu’on trouve [3:37]
Véronique ‘Orange’ Joly: vocals
Daniel Biro: keyboards/drum programming
Steve Swift: guitars
Colin & John: saxophones (sorry guys, I forgot your surnames…)
All songs written by Daniel Biro and Véronique ‘Orange’ Joly & performed by L’Orange Recorded mostly at home.
L’Orange started out as a French duo project together with singer/songwriter Véronique Joly (stage name: ‘Orange’) and ended up lasting over 10 years. I had known Véronique since my school days in Menton in the South of France. She was part of my circle of friends and shared many of my teen experiences. Building on her theatrical work and opera training, Véronique became a wonderful vocalist and performer as well as a prolific and original lyric writer, mixing literary and cultural references with playful word juggling. In the late 80s, with Véronique now living n Paris, we decided to work together, encouraged by some early attempts of setting her words to my music.
After an initial prolific period of demo recordings we self-produced the single ‘Si J’étais Vous’ (later re-recorded with English lyrics as ‘If I Were You’) and approached the main French record companies. Nothing came of it and Véronique decided to relocate to London where I had already been living since 1985. She started writing lyrics in English and we put together a proper band with friend guitarist Steve Swift. The line up was an unusual one (voice, keyboards/drum machine, guitar and two saxophones) and we played quite a few good gigs in and around London.
L’Orange’s style was quintessentially French pop but the fact that we mixed languages allowed us to widen the range of the band’s appeal. We signed a couple publishing contracts with the promise of getting a good recording deal but, disappointingly, it was not to be.
We then moved on stylistically and without the other band members into more ‘grown up’ experimental territory. The result was a self-produced first (and last) album on Sargasso in 2002: ‘2 People in a Room’. Shortly after that we both got involved with other projects and L’Orange ceased to exist.
Having been forgotten in the vaults for many years, all the L’Orange demos have now been restored and divided up into two volumes. One with all the French songs (including a cover of Serge Gainsbourg’s ‘Je suis venu te dire que je m’en vais’) and one with the English ones.
It has been a tremendous joy revisiting this considerable body of work despite some obvious ageing of production values (and my unreasonably long hair…). These were great pop songs full of inventiveness and enthusiasm and would have deserved a proper chance to get ‘out there’. So here’s the chance to catch up with L’Orange’s fruitful past.
© Daniel Biro 2020
This is the definitive version edited and remastered by Daniel Biro.