ORION Complete Biography 1975-1980


From the origins to the first album


The origin of the group coincides with the holding of a family reunion on February 2, 1974. On this occasion Patrick WYREMBSKI, his cousin Janusz (Jean-Claude) TOKARZ and the cousin of Patrick's wife, Laurent DELENNE, all three members different local groups, realizing their musical affinities, decided to create a new group together.

Originally from Meaux, in the Paris region, Patrick held the bass of the rock n'roll group SAGA, Laurent provided the vocals and the bass of the group RAPACE inspired by GENTLE GIANT, CARAVAN and KING CRIMSON and Janusz (Jean-Claude) officiated at the keyboards from the decadent rock band ORANGE. Patrick learned music in Poland, which he left at the age of 14, Laurent took bass lessons with Mauro SERRI, renowned studio musician and friend of Laurent while Janusz (Jean-Claude) is self-taught. Patrick and Janusz (Jean-Claude) dissatisfied with the music they performed in their respective group and wanted to play together and develop personal progressive music. To complete the training, Laurent called on Franck MAMOSA, guitarist, having also taken guitar lessons with Mauro SERRI, and Michel ROUSSEAUX, drummer, all three members of the group RAPACE.


An original repertoire

The group began to work in a room in Meaux to develop an original repertoire. Even if he confessed his admiration for groups such as GENTLE GIANT, KING CRIMSON or CARAVAN, he wanted to build his music, free from all influence, falling rather in the musical path traced by these fabulous groups, that of a music research-oriented, melodic and instrumental complexity, the finesse of the arrangements and instrumental colors, the beauty of the climates and the developed sounds. With this in mind, the group chooses to adopt a formula with two guitars, keyboards, bass, drums, several voices and played on precious sounds by resorting to original instruments such as recorder, bombarde to give their music a certain richness, an intrumental polyphony, a harmonic, climatic and melodic sophistication. This formula totally corresponded to their musical direction and the type of harmonic expression sought. The group adopted the name of Orion for the image it evoked, that of a gigantic hunter killed by Artemis, the Greek god of the hunt and which he changed into a constallation. He chooses to speak only in French and Laurent, main author of the lyrics, the themes, wrote texts on ecological problems and the protection of nature.

All amateurs, they hoped to be able to become professionals by imposing themselves on the stage. The time was then favorable to progressive groups (ANGE, ATOLL, PULSAR were then in full rise). The group worked hard to develop their own repertoire. The development of the themes was based on a mixture of different ideas, sketches, melodic lines of pieces contributed by each and the theme took shape in common during the rehearsal sessions, each intervening to give the theme its final configuration. Little by little, the themes were born and a repertoire could be set up. Laurent established himself as the artistic leader of the group, advising his musical orientation.

In front of the public

ORION's first concert took place in Meaux, at the end of 1974, in a neighborhood youth hall where ORION received an enthusiastic welcome from the public who already knew its members. The repertoire consisted of about fifteen compositions. Satisfied with this first reception from the public, Patrick started looking for concerts and through the MJC networks, theaters in the Paris region, he managed to get regular concerts. The group looked for a manager, but some disappointing contacts with so-called managers, decided him to manage his career himself. Endowed with good material which grew and improved with the financial contribution of the first concerts, the group acquired a certain maturity and soon gave two concerts per week. Likewise, it began to tour in the provinces and as far as Switzerland. In concert, the group adopted a great visual sobriety, without resorting to a stage game, to costumes or to make-ups, however it sometimes hired a light-show and the technicians ensuring the operation, thus imposing itself only by its music.

Replacement of guitarist-soloist

However, at the end of 1975, Franck MAMOSA following pharmacy studies and lacking availability, could no longer participate regularly in rehearsal sessions, nor provide certain concerts. Also, the group had to replace him and by knowledge, recruited at the end of 1975 the guitarist Philippe BEDOS, son of Guy BEDOS AND Sophie DAUMIER, (future leader of the hard-rock group DUROC). This one rehearsed with the group for 4 months but mainly worked on his compositions. He performed a few concerts with ORION, notably in February 1976.

For a concert scheduled in Etrechy on March 20, 1976, the musicians of Orion preferred to ask Franck to provide this concert. Despite the absence of preparation and rehearsals for several months, he perfectly provided this service. A second guitarist, Patrice BOUDAUT, studio musician, friend of the group and of Jean Michel KAJDAN succeeded Philippe BEDOS but although an excellent musician and technician, did not stay in the group, preferring the blues. The other musicians asked Franck to return to ORION. Having completed his pharmacy studies, Franck joined the training.

Consecration and first album.

In February 1976, ORION performed at the Golden Tremplin du Golf-Drouot and on April 23, he ranked first at the super springboard organized in this temple of French rock. He began to tour outside his region, performing in several regions of France, especially through the MJC circuit.

At the beginning of 1977, ORION having prowled on stage, improving, constantly refining its themes, decided, in order to meet the demand of the public, to record a disc. He came into contact with various record companies, which were reserved and critical of style, length of themes and their lack of commercial appeal. After several failures, André SORIA, an independent producer from Meaux, put them in contact with a small Parisian label. Olivier productions, edited and directed by a friend of Michel SARDOU offered them to record and finance a 45 rpm. The group selected two of their oldest songs, "Folie" and "You must love or die" and recorded these in 24 tracks at the LSB studio in Paris. Laurent DELENNE designed the cover design and the 45 was released in July 1977. It was distributed by Sofrason, a subsidiary of Decca. 5,000 to 6,000 copies were sold.

In September 1977, ORION went to the Fête de l'Humanité. In 1978, the group, going beyond the framework of the Parisian suburbs, began to tour in the provinces and notably performed at the Fête de la Jeunesse Ouvrière Chrétienne on May 14, 1978 in front of an audience of 10,000 people. Satisfied by these stage successes and the good sale of the 45 rpm, the group wanted to record an album but its record company being hesitant, he decided to self-produce. This approach involved a large personal financial investment but gave them complete freedom and musical independence. ORION reserved the LSB studio in Paris and recorded in January 1979 the contents of an album. With a reduced budget, consisting solely of their personal funds and those of their parents, the group could only retain the studio for 6 days. So he intensely rehearsed the chosen themes and perfected them until they were perfectly executed, then he planned the recording program to meet studio deadlines. Recorded in 24 tracks under the direction of sound engineer Charles B. RAUCHER (sound engineer for PINK FLOYD in Pompeii, VANGELIS, FUGAIN, Johny HALLYDAY among others) with sound advice, the group remained cloistered practically day and night in the studio in order to respect the 6-day deadline. He retained his favorite and most mature compositions. The band designed their own cover art, making a montage with an interstellar background and a leaflet imitation with only the lyrics from the album and two photos of the band. He titled his album "Nature lives, man criticizes him ..." in reference to the content of the texts and the themes developed. ORION recorded 10 tracks composed in common but signed by Laurent for Sacem.

Patrick toured record companies to offer their recording but met only refusals, except from an artistic director of Phonogram, who interested, attended one of their rehearsals and signed a 6 month trial contract. However, judging the themes too long, too complex, he wanted to orient the group towards simpler and more commercial music. Also, to release this new album, ORION looked again for a distribution house. The Oxygene label agreed to distribute it and it was released in March 1979. To celebrate this release ORION gave a memorable concert on March 30 in their town of Meaux. That same year, the group continued its tours throughout France, promoting the album.

Well received by the local and regional press but rather passed over in silence by the specialized press, despite some advertising posters paid for by the group in known rock magazines (Rock'n'Folk, Rock'en'Stock), the album was however well distributed by Oxygen and sold 3000 copies. This album presents the music of a group who have developed a personal style with texts in French. It offers music fusing progressive folk (through acoustic sounds) and the progressive sought by arrangements, the richness of the instrumentation and the preciousness of the sounds, thus fitting into this movement of baroque groups, mixing folk, rock and baroque, building a sophisticated music, all in finesse, in breaks and in complex rhythms. A rather unknown record but of great quality. The vinyl album recorded in 1979 has become a much sought after collector. Its rating on the web is between 100 and 500 euros depending on the quality of the vinyl. It was reissued by MUSEA in 1993 with a new cover by Jean-Jacques KILLIAN and as a bonus two titles from their forty-five rounds. You can buy it and download it on all platforms like: AMAZON, FNAC, iTUNES, DEEZER, SPOTIFY ...

Changes in group composition and separation.

In September 1979, arrival of a second keyboard from the group Jean-Philippe MAMOSA (Franck's brother). Michel, the drummer, left the training for professional reasons (moving to the south of France). He was replaced by Pascal VATIER (ex-Lima) who was a drummer without work at the time. This new blood gave new impetus to ORION but for a short time. Despite these upheavals and a busy schedule, practically one or two concerts a week, the musicians of ORION decided to record a new album. In January 1980 the group entered the studio of Chesnay in Versailles. This studio created by Philippe BESOMBES has grown and is called Versailles-Station. The sound engineer was Patrick WOINDRICH bassist at these times: ARACHNOID ... BERURIER NOIR ... sound engineer for: TELEPHONE, MANO-NEGRA ... In February, the group begins the album mixing while all the singing takes no were not completed. Disagreements within the group put a stop to the current project. ORION's last concert took place in June 1980.

BIOGRAPHY ( "Wikipedia" click on the photo)

Michel au Golf Drouot
Janusz TOKARZ Golf Drouot
orion scene4
orionStudioLSB2 3 copy
orionStudioLSB4 copy
orion scene2

© 2021 Groupe ORION site created by Pat Wyrembski for Patjaprog