Serge Fiori / Richard Séguin

Deux cents nuits à l'heure

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Feeling that Harmonium had released in L'Heptade (1976) the best album it could possibly make, its leader, Serge Fiori, disbanded the group in early 1978. At the same time, Richard Séguin also saw his folk group, les Séguins, fold after the release of its peak album, Récolte de Rêves. Fiori had a few songs that the Harmonium musicians had already begun to work on; Séguin also had a few left in his files. The two teamed up, writing three more pieces together and recording them with the last Harmonium lineup. The resulting album is indeed weaker than L'Heptade, but it is not the casual one-time collaboration one could expect. Conceived as a group effort (all the players were involved in the arrangements), it has a strong personality, the identities of both singer/songwriters melding gracefully. More accessible than L'Heptade and also more down to earth, Deux Cents Nuits à l'Heure (Two Hundred Nights Per Hour) relies on vocal harmonies, plenty of acoustic guitars, and occasional progressive rock developments. "Viens Danser" became an FM radio staple in Francophone countries, but the strongest tracks are "La Guitare des Pays d'en Haut" and Séguin's "Illusion," the latter hinting strongly at the influences of Genesis and Ange. More than an addendum to Harmonium's discography, this album brings to a gentle close the heyday of art rock in Québec.

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