Formed in 1977, Marquis de Sade were one of the truly classic French combos of the late '70s and early '80s, leaving a lasting imprint on the Rennes music scene. In three years, Franck Darcel (guitar), Christian Dargelos (keyboards), Philippe Pascal (vocals), and an ever-changing set of additional musicians came up with two major records in French pop/rock history, both containing witty, dark, and exciting music comparable to Howard Devoto's Magazine, mixing post-punk and new wave with a drop of funk to produce an intensely nervous, modern, yet romantic sound, often copied but rarely equaled. After a first EP (Air Tight Cell/Henry), their first album, 1979's Dantzig Twist, was recorded in collaboration with Arnold Turboust (later to collaborate with Etienne Daho) on keyboards and Daniel Paboeuf on saxophone. Their material having made a strong impression and after the release of another EP (Rythmiques) in 1980, Marquis de Sade recorded Rue de Siam at separate sessions in Paris and London, showing signs of strained relations within the band. As a matter of fact, this 1981 release was their last. The band's 1981 breakup led to the formation of half a dozen groups, such as Marc Seberg (including Philippe Pascal, Pierre Thomas, and Anzia) and Les Nus (featuring Christian Dargelos). Among numerous projects, Franck Darcel formed Octobre and went on to produce rising star Etienne Daho. Though Marquis de Sade didn't achieve mass popularity, the band has earned nearly cult status, and has achieved some recognition alongside '80s underground faves like Taxi Girl during the mid-2000s new wave/post-punk revival.
Share this page