Miserables, Les


Band members                          Related acts

  line up 1 (1962-68)

- Gerry Bribosia -- vocals, lead guitar (1962-69)

- Gregoire Buisson - bass (1962-69)

- Michel Cavouto -- rhythm guitar (1962-69)

- Aldo Marandola -- drums, percussion (1962-69)

- Jean Marc Vanesse -- sax (1962-69)

 

  line up 2 (1968-69)

- Gerry Bribosia -- vocals, lead guitar (1962-69)

- Michel Cavouto -- rhythm guitar (1962-69)

- Aldo Marandola -- drums, percussion (1962-69)

- Jean Marc Vanesse -- sax (1962-69)

NEW - Robert Turbide -- bass (replaced Gregoire Buisson)  (1968-69)

 

 

 

- Gerry Bribosia (solo efforts)

 

 

 


 

Genre: garage

Rating: 4 stars ****

Title:  Les Miserables

Company: Jupiter 

Catalog: JDY 7011

Year: 1966

Country/State: Montreal, Canada

Grade (cover/record): VG / VG+

Comments: small cut out hole lover right corner

Available: SOLD

Catalog ID: 5191

Price: SOLD $150.00

 

I have a deep affection for mid 1960s French Canadian garage rock, but will readily admit that lots of it tends to get kind of sappy.  Montreal's les Miserables are one of the notable exceptions.  Their rare 1966 LP is one of the crown jewels of the genre ...

 

Like many of their contemporaries, Les Miserables started out as a Ventures-styled instrumental combo.  Formed in Montreal in 1962, and originally known as Les Coronets, the line up consisted of high school buddies  Gerry Bribosia on lead guitar, bassist Gregoire Buisson, rhythm guitarist Michel Cavouto drummer Aldo Marandola and sax player Jean Marc Vanesse.  Having attained a rudimentary level of musical proficiency, the group dyed their hair blue (pulling a page out of Les Classels marketing book) and began playing local schools and dances. Graduating to Montreal's club circuit, a stint at Club Yť Yť was broadcast by a local radio station which in turn caught the attention of Jupiter Records owner Yvan Dufresn.  Signed to a recording by Jupiter, the group was forced to change their name when they discovered another set of Coronets had already laid claim to the nameplate.  Inspired by the Victor Hugo novel, the group made their 1965 debut with a cover of Jesse Hill's 'Ooh Poh Pa Doo' b/w 'Pourquoi?' (Jupiter catalog number JP-1029).  The single did little commercially, but following an image change that saw them shift into Rolling Stones bad boys mode, they reappeared with their sophomore release 1965's 'Elle Me Dit' (coincidently a cover of The Stones 'Tell Me') b/w 'Vivre Avec Toi' (Jupiter catalog number JP-1036).  The new image proved magnetic and within a couple of weeks they found themselves on tour opening for better known groups including Les Bel Airs and Jenny Rock.

 

Over the next year the band continued to pump out 45s:

 

- 1966's 'Delaisse' b/w 'Je Vous Salut Madame' (Jupiter catalog number JP-1057)

- 1966's 'Si Jamais' b/w 'Toi Qui Es Jeune' (Jupiter catalog number JP-1069)

- 1967's 'Chemises A Pois, Cravates A Fleur' b/w 'C'este L'ete' (Jupiter catalog number JP-1074)

 

The latter proved their commercial breakthrough at which point Jupiter decided to fund an album.  As was standard marketing procedure, 1967's cleverly-titled "Les Miserables" offered up a mixture of previous singles and new studio material.  Unlike most of their contemporaries, Les Miserables had always placed a premium on recording original material.  That was the case here with the album showcasing eleven Bribosia-penned originals (bassist Buisson co-wrote two tracks).  Exemplified by tracks like 'Rhythm & Blues', the fuzz guitar propelled 'Chemises A Pois, Cravates A Fleur' (translated as 'Polka Dot Shirts and Flowered Ties') and 'Trop Fort ' the collection aptly displayed the band's garage roots while deftly avoiding the usual top-40 pop nods.  As lead singer Bribosia was equally impressive, bringing a nifty snarl to the all-French lyrics.  While the whole album was worth hearing highlights included 'Miserablment Votre', 'Vivre Avec Toi' and 'Ecoute Moi'.   Mind you there wasn't anything particularly original, or earth shattering here, but they played with considerable enthusiasm and the absence of anything gimmicky or saccharine made for one of the genre's stronger releases.  Elsewhere Jupiter tapped the album for a single in the form of 1967's 'Miserablement Votre' b/w 'Une Lettre'  (Jupiter catalog number JP-1109).

 

 

cover 1999 No Tyme CD

 

"Les Miserables" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Miserablment Votre   (Gerry Bribosia) - 2:39

2.) Elle Me Dit   (Mick Jagger - Keith Richards) - 3:59

3.) Trop Fort   (Gerry Bribosia) - 2:35

4.) Rhythm & Blues   (Gerry Bribosia) - 2:42

5.) Le Chameau   (Gerry Bribosia) - 2:06

6.) Chmeises a Pois, Cravates a Fleuars   (Gerry Bribosia) - 2:45

 

(side 2)
1.) Vivre Avec Toi   (Buisson - Gerry Bribosia) - 2:07

2.) Toi Qui es Jeune   (Gerry Bribosia) - 2:43

3.) Ecoute Moi   (Gerry Bribosia) - 2:00

4.) Tu Peux Partir   (Gerry Bribosia) - 2:44

5.) A Quoi ca sert   (Gerry Bribosia) - 1:58

6.) Delisse   (Buisson - Gerry Bribosia) - 2:42

 

One non-LP 45s and the band was history:

- 1967's 'Western Union' b/w 'Tu Peux Partir' (Jupiter catalog number JP-1091)

 

Bribosia enjoyed some 1970s successes as a sessions player and as frontman for Bribosia and Les Red Hots, including the goofy 'Dracula Disco" before turning his attention to production.  He currently owns and operates Studio BL in Deux Montagnes.

 

 

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