Les Bel Air
Band members Related acts
line up 1 (1964-68)
- Jean Allen -- drums, percussion
"Andre" Roy --
line up 2 (1968-71)
NEW - Benoit Guimod -- drums, percussion (replaced Jean Allen)
- Eddy Roy --
- Canadian Pea Soup (Eddy Roy and Andre Rheaume)
- Eddy Roy (solo efforts)
Rating: *** (3 stars)
Title: Les Bel-Air
Country/State: Quebec City, Canada
Grade (cover/record): VG/VG
Catalog ID: 4853
The band subsequently reappeared as Canadian Pea Soup.
"Les Bel-Air" track listing:
1.) Marchant dan le Plaine (R. Miller - Eddy Roy) -
2.) Le Coin des Amours (Van Dyke - J. Allen) -
3.) Prends le Tems de Sourire (N. Miller - Eddy Roy)
4.) Fa Fa Fa (Otis Redding - Eddy Roy) -
5.) La Fille du Nord (J. Lowe - Jean Allen) -
6.) Merveilleuse Duit d'AMour (Kern - Fields - Eddy Roy) -
2.) 1,000 Danse (Chris Kenner - Eddy Roy) -
3.) Ma Guitare Por un Chevakl Blanc) (M. Robbins - Eddy Roy) -
4.) Blanc sur Noir (Eddy Roy) -
5.) Morgen (N. Sherman - P. Mofser - Eddy Roy) -
6.) L'ecole (Eddy Roy) -
Rating: *** (3 stars)
Title: Pour Faire Changement
Company: Bel Air
Catalog: DBA 10001
Country/State: Quebec City, Canada
Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+
Catalog ID: --
There are three reasons to buy 1969's "Pour Faire Changement" (translated as "To Make a Change") 1.) The totally out-of-place garage rocker 'Les Degonfles.' 2.) The pretty ballad 'Cette Societe: La Notrem La Votre Le Monde Entier.' 3.) You can probably find a cheap copy of the LP.
Looking like they were pretty cool and happenin' guys Les Bel Air's third studio album was a complete mess. Allowed to produced themselves, the resulting mix of originals and cover tunes made for one of the most bizarre album's I've ever come across. Most of the album was consumed by worthless stabs at various genres including country ('Je N'Entrerai pas ce Soir') and MOR pop (a rote cover of The Spiral Staircase's 'More Yesterday Than Tomorrow' - translated as 'Plus Fort Chaque Jour'). The band was blessed with a capable lead singer in Eddy Roy and their performances were professional, but completely forgettable. Unless you had a weird desire to hear Leapy Lee's 'Little Arrows' in French ('Cupidon'). Against that backdrop, side two opened up with a completely out-of-place garage-rocker. 'Les Degonfles' would have sounded right at home on an early Van Morrison and Them album. It was a killer track and left you wondering why they didn't record more material in that vein. 'Cette Societe' was far more commercial, but again demonstrated these guys had some creative talent and were more than a throwaway cover band. Shame ...
When the album tanked the band called it quits with Roy and Andre Rheaume briefly continuing their musical partnership in the band Canadian Pea Soup.
Faire Changement" track listing:
1.) Cuipdon (Albert Hammond - Mike Hazlewood - M. Bertrand) - 2:29 rating: *** stars
'Cupidon' was a rote cover of Leapy Lee's 'Little Arrows.' If you liked the original then their country-tinged rock version (translated as 'Cupid's Arrow) wasn't going to bother you too much. It wasn't any better, or worse than Lee's take and hearing the French lyrics was momentarily entertaining. It was also released as the lead-off single:
- 1969's 'Cupidon' b/w 'Quand le Jour Veindra' (Disco Bel Air catalog number BA 101)
No idea when, or where it was filmed, but YouTube has a black and white clip of the band lip-synching the tune for Canadian television. Their lack of effort is pretty entertaining. Eddy Roy on lead vocals: Les Bel Air - Cupidon - YouTube
2.) Je N'Entrerai pas ce Soir (Bernard Vallee - Benoit Guimond - Andre Rheaume) - 2:03 rating: ** stars
A band original, 'Je N'Entrerai pas ce Soir' was a straight-ahead country tune. Nice acoustic guitar solo, but otherwise totally forgettable. Gawd only knows why it was the first single:
- 1969's 'e N'Entrerai pas ce Soir' b/w 'La Legende De Xanadu' (Bel Air catalog BA.104)
3.) Quand le Jour Veindra (Bernard Vallee - Benoit Guimond - Andre Rheaume - Eddy Roy) - 2:46 rating: ** stars
Talk about bouncing between genres, 'Quand le Jour Veindra' found the group switching over to MOR "love-man" ballad territory. Imagine Tom Jones singing in French.
4.) Plus Fort Chaque Jour (Patrick Upton - Benoit Guimond) - 3:00 rating: *** stars
'Plus Fort Chaque Jour' was a note-for-note remake of The Spiral Staircase's 'More Today Than Yesterday'. Perhaps hoping to hog up some radio airtime given Canadian content requirements, it was tapped as a single:
- 1969's 'Plus Fort Chaque Jour' b/w 'Tant De Chose a Dire' (instrumental) (Bel Air catalog number BA.105)
YouTube has another black and white clip of the band lip-synching the song. Love the neck scarfs: Les Bel Air - Plus fort chaque jour - YouTube
5.) Dong Dong Diki Ki-Ki Dong (M. Gerritsen - Georg Kooyman - Eddy Roy - Benoit Guimond) - 2:11 ratings: ** stars
I'm sure it was meant to be cute and attract AM radio play, but 'Dong Dong Diki Ki-Ki Dong' was one of those tunes that just irritated me no end. I gave it an extra for the nice guitar solo (one of the few highlights across the entire album). It was also released as a single:
- 1969's 'Dong Dong Diki Ki-Ki Dong' b/w 'Caroline' (Bel Air catalog number BA.111)
I think it translates as 'the quitters' ... After sitting through side one, you'll wonder what in the world hit you with the one. Was it possible this was the same band? With Eddy Roy sounding liked he'd rinsed his mouth out with lye, 'Les Degonfles' offered up a roaring, no-hold-barred garage rocker with some melt-down lead guitar. Folks who bought 'Cupidon' could not have been prepared for this one. The track was released as a one-sided promo 45, but apparently scared radio programmers and quickly vanished without a trace:
- 1970's 'Les Degonfles' (Bel Air catalog number BA.112
2.) Le Motad vs. Les Policier (Eddy Roy - Bernard Vallee) - 0:46 rating: ** stars
'Le Motad vs. Les Policier' (The Biker versus the Policeman) featured a brief spoken word interlude over some nice acoustic guitars, but it was just a song fragment.
3.) Cette Societe: La Notrem La Votre Le Monde Entier (Eddy Roy) - 3:35 rating: **** stars
Penned by Roy, 'Cette Societe' offered up a pretty, radio-friendly ballad. Almost pastoral, Roy's vocals reminded me a bit of a French version of The Young Racals. It left me scratching my head trying to understand why the band recorded so much crap when they were capable of so much better.
4.) Le Train de Midi (Eddy Roy) - 3:35 rating: *** stars
'The Midday Train' managed to highly all the band's disconnects in three minutes. The tune randomly shifted between MOR ballad and wild-ass, progressive keyboard moves. What in the world was going on here?
5.) Monsieure L'Sargent (Andre Rheaume - Eddy Roy) - 0:30 rating: ** stars
Another song fragment framing some spoken word lyrics, it was lost on my ears.
6.) Chanson Pep: Si Vous ne l'amimez pas (Benoit Guimond - Andre Rheaume) - 1:44 rating: ** stars
Complete with Jews Harp accompaniment, 'Chanson Pep: Si Vous ne l'amimez pas' went for old-time vibe and missed by a mile.
7.) Avec Eux (Eddy Roy) - 4:17 rating: *** stars
'With Them' has an interesting melody that bounces all over the place and is strong enough to let you overlook the goofy group vocals. Dropping the vocals in favor of some heavy organ moves, it actually ends the album on a musical high note.
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