Read the stories behind the songs of The Avenue Music Project

 THE STORIES BEHIND THE SONGS

It’s All Right

This is the very first composition for "Avenue", by Roger and Claude before François joined the band. It has a Kinks sound, based on the energetic verses with a simple two chords harmony, the catchy chorus and the virtuosity of its short and explosive guitar solo, blasted à la "Ray Davies". This song speaks of problems within a couple due to a lack of communication and the mood swings that can affect a relationship. It was revamped recently with a new brass partition by François.

All my Loving

This song contains an Heart influence with its fuzzy guitar bridge remindful of the song "Barracuda". Roger layed its foundations by creating an original suite of harmonic chords that inspired him to write "the short version" and when the band started jamming to this tune, a long version (influenced by Yes and Genesis) was generated, adding notably an elaborate synthesizer partition courtesy of Roger and some new lyrics sang by François in a high pitch. This ode to love, creativity and imagination is a quest for happiness and extasy.

Jungle Gem (now playing)

With a more erotic twist, this song was composed by Roger and if you ask him what the coveted «Jungle Gem» is, he will bluntly answer that the gem is Mildred Miles’clitoris buried in the song heroine’s "bush" (still in vogue in the 80’s), hence the jungle. Mildred represents an ambitious and manipulative seductrice, maybe a prostitute, who uses her feminine wiles to obtain what she wants. This song is remindful of Simple Minds due to the sound of Roger's voice and also of the Rolling Stones because of the guitar riffs. Claude’s guitar solo is a marvel of virtuosity and feeling in which his emotions and guitar chords are as one.

The Rose

This song emits an energy similar to the Rolling Stones and also the Beatles because of its aerial and melodic parts. Some say Roger’s voice reminds them of Billy Idol. The lyrics are an invitation to inner awakening and evolution, symbolized by the rose. «Look for the rose» is also a call for love, hope, joy and passion. Roses have long been used as symbols in a number of societies to represent love and beauty. From an esoteric perspective, we can look at the Tarot, in which the rose is considered a symbol of balance, expressing promise and new beginnings. Rose symbolism is recognized by most people on some level, otherwise it wouldn’t be the most widely offered flower on Valentine’s Day!

The Rise

This is a song that speaks of liberty, brotherhood and communication. It brings back the sound of Midnight Oil with its grandiose and powerful chorus. The vibraphone partition programmed by François adds a lot of color and dimension to it. This song has been digitally reconstructed, in order to achieve it's full potential. «The Rise» can also be a reference to the comeback of the band 25 years later in it's modern bright new concept, Avenue Music Project.

Sonny

Many think that this song is destined for a great success. It's also the only one that has been adapted into French and you can access it by following this link. Aside from the catchy quality of the melody and the general ambiance of the song, you may note the harmonic succession of the chords, a suite of transpositions returning to their origin for the last verse. Although the melody seems lighthearted, the lyrics express worry with regards to the new generation. Sonny is a fictional person who represents the teenagers to whom the song is addressed.

Another Life

When François submitted this piece, the two other members of the band were very impressed. It consisted of a basic musical track, with a good Genesis influence, but without a melody. Roger was soon inspired to compose a melody, adding lyrics about reincarnation, a theme close to his heart (see "What’s Life"). The song begins with the sound of a person dying in the ICU of a hospital, followed by a baby’s cries as the person who just died is reincarnated into a new body. The text also makes humorous reference to how difficult it is for human beings to evolve towards their angelic and divine destiny.

The Party

This is the band’s invitation to party and let loose, with a clearly progressive Yes influence that fans of that super group will appreciate. Furthermore, it is the track that most impresses those who are musicians or have a highly trained musical ear. Although the instrumental parts may sound improvised (that being a genre in which Roger and Claude excelled after practicing together for many years) it was all, in fact, meticulously composed. The basic melody may have certain weaknesses, but this is largely compensated by the evolving structure of the piece and its dynamic harmonic and rythmic lines.

What's life?

This is a song with a Beatles influence melody wise. Contrary to most songs that reach their peak during the chorus, this one attains it during the instrumental sequences in the last part. The text adresses reincarnation and is one of the most profound by the band, expressing thoughts along the lines of spiritual masters such as Aïvanov. The rhythmic partition is one of the band's best and the phrase "When you have a goal in the morning of eternity, death won’t mean the same thing" is a literary gem in itself.

Wild Child

This is one of the first compositions by the band. It has a Beatles influence and it also sounds a bit like the Monkees. There is a rare country touch in the guitar solo and the lyrics have a bit of a poetic feel, as in the title "Wild Child", a two word rhyme. It tells the story of a reckless young man who burns the candle at both ends, which may bring back memories for some of us.

The Way it Was

Here is the only song for which the lyrics were not composed by Roger and furthermore were not written by a member of the group, but by a friend of Claude’s. It is also the only song for which the music was composed entirely by Claude. This track has a definite Moody Blues influence, his favorite band, with a sound similar to "Nights in White Satin", their legendary masterpiece. Roger remembers that when they attended a Moody Blues concert together in the 80’s, Claude was moved to tears during their interpretation of that song. But these days, it is Roger who recalls "The Way it Was" and sheds some tears as he listens to this song written by his deceased friend.