Ophiucus may be the name of an obscure constellation, but it’s also the name of a French band that recorded an exceptional album in 1972 for the Barclay label. All the members of the band had already enjoyed ample success in music before musician/actor Emmanuel Booz brought them together in 1971: Jean-Pierre Pouret was a well-known session-man for Sylvie Vartan; brothers Alain and Bernard Labacci released albums as Tom & Jerry, and supported Jimi Hendrix for a TV appearance; Michel Bonnecarrere had founded the band Zoo (one of Andy Votel from the B-Music label’s favorites), and was one of the composers, arrangers and musicians for that group’s first two albums.
Apropos of the period, the band members decided to live together as a small family in Flagy, a small town in France, where they lived a happy life, and wrote the tracks which adorn this reissue. This ambitious album somehow manages to blend grungy psychedelic rock, acoustic blues, and densely orchestrated French pop/psych (in an Ilous & Decuyper vein) into an impressive and cohesive whole. Sandy Spencer, cellist and member of Mormos contributed wonderful playing on ‘Ne cherche plus’ and ‘Inachevée.’ This reissue includes the original album plus eight bonus tracks in English meant to be the basis of an international album that was never issued. A fulsome 28-page booklet includes band history and commentaries on the songs written by Ophiucus, photos, lyrics (French and English), and a contemporary review. Not to be missed!