Les Sinners


Band members                              Related acts

  line up 1 (1965)

- Francois Guy -- vocals, rhythm guitar, percussion 

- Charles Prevost Linton -- vocals, keyboards 

- Louis Parizeau -- drums, percussion

 

  line up 2 (1965-66)

- Francois Guy -- vocals, rhythm guitar, percussion 

- Charles Prevost Linton -- vocals, keyboards 

NEW - Georges Marchand -- rhythm guitar 

- Louis Parizeau -- drums, percussion

 

  line up 3 (1966)

NEW - Jay Boivin -- lead guitar (replaced Georges Marchand)

- Francois Guy -- vocals, rhythm guitar, percussion 

- Charles Prevost Linton -- vocals, keyboards

- Louis Parizeau -- drums, percussion


  line up 4 (1966)

- Francois Guy -- vocals, rhythm guitar, percussion 

NEW - Ricky Johnson -- lead guitar (replaced Jay Boivin) 

- Charles Prevost Linton -- vocals, keyboards

- Louis Parizeau -- drums, percussion

 

  line up 5 (1966-68)

- Francois Guy -- vocals, rhythm guitar, percussion 

- Charles Prevost Linton -- vocals, keyboards 

NEW - Ernest Rock -- lead guitar (replaced Ricky Johnson)

- Louis Parizeau -- drums, percussion

 

  line up 6 (1970)

NEW - Alain Jodoin -- vocals, bass (replaced Francois Guy)

- Louis Parizeau -- drums, percussion (1970-76)

NEW - Jean-Guy "Arthur" Cossette  -- lead guitar (replaced

  Ernest Rock)

NEW - Daniel Valois -- guitar, flute, vocals

 

  line up 7 (1975-76)

NEW - Serge Blouin -- bass (replaced Alain Jodoin)

NEW - Claude Hetu -- keyboards 

NEW - Serge Locas -- keyboards, synthesizers
NEW - Wally Rossi -- guitar 

NEW - Richard Tate -- drums, percussion 

- Daniel Valois -- guitar, flute, vocals 

NEW - Dennis Violetti -- lead guitar 

 

 

 

- Gilles Boivon (solo efforts)

- Francois Guy (solo efforts)

- Les Jaguars (Jean Guy 'Arthur' Cossette)

- Charles Linton (solo efforts)

- Georges Marchand (solo efforts)

- Les Merseys (Alain Jodoin and George Marchand)

- Les Moonbears (Francois Guy)

- La Révolution Française (Francois Guy, Charles Prevost,

  and  Louis Parizeau)

- Valois / Jodoin (Daniel Valois and Alain Jodoin)

 

 

 


 

Genre: garage

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Title:  Sinerisme

Company: Rusticana

Catalog: CKL-1243

Year: 1966

Country/State: Montreal Quebec, Canada

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: --

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 5134

Price: $100.00

 

 

Most folks don't realize how large and energetic Quebec's 1960s rock scene was.  That's always struck me as a shame since there were hundreds of bands playing the scene, including some exceptionally talented outfits who never managed to break out to a larger (aka English) audience.  Among the most talented were Les Sinners.

 

Originally known as The Silver Spiders (a name tag that last about two months(, singer Francois Guy, keyboard player Charles Prevost Linton, and drummer Louis Parizeau started their musical partnership in 1965.  Within a matter of months they'd opted to change their name to the more daring Les Sinners, as well as expanding the line-up to include rhythm guitarist Georges Marchand.  Marchand was subsequently replaced by Jay Boivin, who was then replaced by Ricky Johnson.  While undergoing various personnel shifts the band's R&B-influenced performances gained them a following on the local dance and club scene.  It also attracted the attention of Canadian country star Roger Miron who signed them to his Rusticana label.

 

Signed to Rusticana the group began cranking out singles:

 

- 1966's 'Elle est Revenue' b/w 'Le Souvenir' (Rusticana catalog number FC 734)

- 1966's 'Sinnerisme' b/w 'L'Hymne a "Zoe"' (Rusticana catalog number FC 743

- 1966's 'La Troisieme Fuite de Mohamed "Zali" ' b/w 'L'Herbe est verte Mais je suis Las' (Rusticana catalog number FC 749).

 

As was standard marketing procedure, Rusticana wasted little time compiling the earlier singles ('A' and 'B' sides) along with a handful of newly recorded studio numbers.  Released as 1966's "Sinerisme", the results made for a first rate collection of Stones-styled R&B rockers.  Propelled by Guy's raspy voice, original material like the title track, '' and '' wasn't fancy (much of the album sported a low-fit, echoy sound), or particularly creative, but was still thoroughly engaging.  Dark, greasy and slightly dis-nerving (just like the album cover), this was near perfect mid-1960s garage rock.  Sure, the French lyrics tended to soften the overall attack (what else would you expect from a romance language), but there was still something fascinating in hearing snarling French vocala.  In contrast to most Quebec-based bands the album was also notable for the fact it included a couple of English lyric performances including the freakout 'Candid Colour Count Down' (complete with reference to Mohammed Ali) and 'Sour As a Sidewalk'.  Personal favorites included the should've been a pop-ht 'Je Suis Las', the pounding rock ' and 'Nice Try' and the goofy 'Cleopatra'.  All told a real find that should get wider exposure among collectors.

 

"Sinerisme" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Sinerisme   (Les Sinners) - 2:27

2.) Candid Colour Count Down   (Les Sinners) - 3:23

3.) L'Hymne a "Zoe"   (Les Sinners) - 2:52

4.) Sour As a Sidewalk   (Les Sinners) - 3:22

5.) Je Suis Las   (Les Sinners) - 1:47

 

(side 2)
1.) La Troisieme Fuite de Mohamed "Zali"   (Les Sinners) - 3:23

2.) Nice Try   (Les Sinners) - 2:11

3.) Elle est Revenue   (Les Sinners) - 2:35

4.) Cleopatra   (Les Sinners) - 2:25

5.) La Souvenir   (Les Sinners) - 2:56

 

Here's a link to a link to a YouTube black and white television promo clip of the band performing 'Elle est Revenue':

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3OM3bjo4Fco




Genre: rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Sinnerismes

Company: Jupiter

Catalog: JDY 7009

Year: 1967

Country/State: Montreal Quebec, Canada

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: small punch out hole top left corner

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 5102

Price: $160.00

 

With a line up featuring singer Francois Guy, keyboardist Charles Prevost Linton, drummer Louis Parizeau, and new lead guitarist Ernest Rock (replacing  Ricky Johnson), in 1966 Pierre Noles signed the band to London Records' Jupiter subsidiary.  

 

The band's choice for their label debut was interesting - a largely rote Francophile version of The Beatles 'Penny Lane' b/w 'Les Greves d'aujourd'hui' (Jupiter catalog number JP 1088).  Musically the song wasn't really different from the original, though there was something fascinating in hearing the song with French lyrics and occasionally ragged group harmonies. The single's ensuing success led Jupiter to rush the band into the studio, resulting in the release of 1967's Pierre Noles produced "Sinnerismes".  (From a marketing standpoint the album title was odd since the debut LP had the same title.  Must have been a Canadian thing ... ).  With the exception of The Beatles cover the album featured all original material largely written by Guy, Linton and Rock.  Exemplified by tracks like 'Notre Etang', 'Les Dentes Grilles' and the snarling 'Les Greves d'aujourd'hui' the results offered up an interesting mix of their earlier garage roots with occasional nods to lite-psych and the outright weird (check out the freaked out 'L.S.D. Ha! Ha!' and the a capella snippet 'Les Ledgende des Nymphes Perdues'). Personal highlights included the jangle rocker 'Les Bouffons' (I guess it translated as the buffoons, or the clowns) and the super strange 'La Petite Souris'.

 

"Sinnerismes" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Penny Lane   (John Lennon - Paul McCartney - S. Veonne) -     rating: *** stars

Complete with the same horn arrangement, musically their cover of 'Penny Lane' was pretty much a rote cover of the original.  That said, hearing the song in French was definitely an interesting experience.  In case anyone cared, their vocals were nowhere near as smooth as The Fab Four.  Here's a link to a  YouTube black and white television promo clip of the band performing  the song:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dwK33G-yOC8 

2.) Notre Etang   (Francois Guy - C.P. Linton) -     rating: *** stars

Even though it sounded like it had been recorded in a restroom stall, 'Notre Etang' offered up a nice slice of jangle, garage rock.  Kudos to Ernest Rock for the nice Byrds-styled guitar. 

3.) Les Ledgende des Nymphes Perdues   (Francois Guy - C.P. Linton) -     rating: ** stars

'Les Ledgende des Nymphes Perdues' was a  harmony rich, folk-ish number.  Pretty, but not exactly a typical slice of garage rock. 

4.) Les Dentes Grilles   (C.P. Linton) -    rating: **** stars 

Opening up with some tasty fuzz guitar from Rock, 'Les Dentes Grilles' showed the band could convincingly pull off a slice of greasy blues-rock.   Nothing particularly original, but Canned Heat would have been proud of this one.    

5.) L.S.D. Ha! Ha!   (Francois Guy - C.P. Linton) -     rating: * star

Well, in case you couldn't guess, the title pretty much told you want to expect with respect to this one.  Basically three minutes of spaced out weirdness, 'L.S.D. Ha! Ha!' had little or no musical merit, though I guess it would have served as a nice reminder that illicit drugs did not necessarily improve one's creative.  This is your brain fried on acid ...  Pretty dreadful and hard to imagine it's something they look back on with any degree of pride.  

6.) L'hymne a Ti-Pop   (Francois Guy - C.P. Linton) -     rating: *** stars

'L'hymne a Ti-Pop' found the band returning to a more conventional pop sound.  A bit on the goofy side, it was still preferable to the previous outing.   

 

(side 2)
1.) Les Greves d'aujourd'hui   (Francois Guy - C.P. Linton) -     rating: *** stars

'Les Greves d'aujourd'hui' started side two with a nice mid-1960s rocker that sounded a bit like The Beach Boys recording a true rocker (albeit in French).  Once again Rock turned in a nice guitar solo.   

2.) Je Reve a Toi   (Francois Guy - Ernest Rock) -    rating: *** stars

A pretty ballad, 'Je Reve a Toi' (translated as 'I Dream of You), sported a great bass line and some cool Who-styled backing vocals.   

3.) Les Bouffons   (Francois Guy - Ernest Rock) -   rating: **** stars 

Complete with a great melody and plenty of jangle guitars, 'Les Bouffons' (I think it translates as the clowns), was easily the album's best garage-rocker.    

4.) Versailles 1667   (Francois Guy - C.P. Linton) -     rating: *** stars

Opening up with some nice harpsichord from Charles Prevost Linton, 'Versailles 1667' was a mildly interesting slice of soft pop - imagine a French version of The Left Banke and you wouldn't be all that far off the mark.   'Course if you didn't like The Left Banke you were gonna hate this one ...     

5.) La Petite Souris    (Francois Guy - C.P. Linton - Ernest Rock) -    rating: ** stars

'La Petite Souris' (I think it translates as 'the little mouse') was another slice of out-and-out weirdness.  This time the results sounded like a mixture of backward tapes, American Indian chants, and freak-out guitar ...  It was certainly lysergic, but really didn't do much for my ears.   

6.) Les Disc-Jockeys   (Francois Guy) -    rating: **** stars 

With a great beat and more Rock fuzz guitar, 'Les Disc-Jockeys' was easily the album's best rocker.    

 

Not my favorite Sinners album, but all told, worth hearing.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Genre: rock

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Title:  Vox Populi

Company: Jupiter

Catalog: JDY 7009

Year: 1968

Country/State: Montreal Quebec, Canada

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: minor wear on cover and edges; plays with some noise, but no skips

Available: SOLD

Catalog ID: SOLD 5264

Price: SOLD $120.00

 

In the wake of “Sgt Pepper” every band in the world seems to have rushed into the studio to write and record their ‘big statement’ concept album.  Les Sinners were no different – their contribution to the musical archives being “Vox Populi” (Latin which roughly translates as ‘voice of the people’).  Cloaked in an intriguing pseudo-religious themed cover, the concept was somewhat vague (made all the more difficult to follow by the fact all of the performances were in French), but apparently dealt with everyday life for the ‘little people’.  Anyone expecting another set of garage-oriented rockers was probably disappointed by this outing. Largely written by vocalist Francois Guy and bassist Charles P. Linton, it was clear the band had been listening to lots of ‘happening’ bands (as well as possibly ingesting some popular illicit substances).  Odd time signatures, treated vocals, Indian influences, in-between song spoken word segments, cool production effects, you’ll find it all here, along with some first rate pop-rock songs (‘Tard, Il Se Fait Tard’, ‘Kid Sentiment’ and ‘Devoir Partir’).  In fact this is one of those albums where it’s simply fun to sit back with a beer or two and simply play ‘spot the influences’.  Without wasting time going through the entire set, enough to say that ‘Depuis Longtemps Deja’ sounded like Byrds-styled jangle-rock, ‘Fou Fu Roi’ bore a remarkable resemblance to “Sell Out”-era The Who, ‘Monsieur Ding Ding’ could have easily been mistaken for a Monkees outtake, while the lysergenic-tinged ‘Aujourd’Hui Et Demain’ and ‘Je Ne Sais Pas’ recalled the Fab Four.  To be honest, with the exception of the aimless ‘Pourquoi Croire Oublier le Temps’ every one of the eleven tracks had at least something going for it.  You can’t say that about most big name releases.  While it may not have been the year’s most original collection, you had to admit being able to draw comparisons to the cream of 1967 rock groups was an impressive accomplishment.  The fact of the matter was that the band deserved considerable credit, turning in what’s probably the best French-Canadian concept album ever recorded.  Okay, that’s a little bit like being a big fish in a small pond, but the album remains a lost classic.  

 

"Vox Populi" track listing:

(side 1)

1.) Vox Populi    (Francois Guy) – 1:05  

Starting out with a strumming sitar (or a guitar tuned to sound like a sitar), 'Vox Populi' sported a nifty, slightly lysegenic aura with Francois Guy sounding quite stoned, though I don't have a clue what he was actually going on about.   rating: **** stars

2.) Le Fou Du Roi   (Francois Guy – E. Rock) – 2:19  

In spite of the acid soaked opening segment, 'Le Fou Du Roi' found the band switching to a pop song that sounded like a hybrid of The Who-styled melody with glorious Beach Boys harmonies slapped on top of it.  Really interesting and enjoyable.   rating: **** stars  

3.) Tard, Il Se Fait Tard   (Francois Guy – Charles P. Linton) – 2:50  

'Another breezy pop number, Tard, Il Se Fait Tard' was kicked along by a simple, but catchy Earnest Rock guitar figure and some beautiful harmony vocals.   rating: **** stars  

4.) Aujourd’Hui Et Demain   (Francois Guy) – 2:56  

A stark ballad (Guy and a piano), 'Aujourd’Hui Et Demain' started out as a stark ballad, but got increasingly interesting as it went along and the arrangement became more complex.   rating: *** stars    

5.) Kid Sentiment   (Francois Guy – Charles P. Linton) –1:42  

'Kid Sentiment' started out with some tasty 12 string jangle rock guitar from Rock, but then took a turn into country-rock territory.  It wasn't bad; the chorus was catchy, but it just sounded kind of out of place surrounded by the rest of the album.  That may have something to do with the fact it was recorded for a film with the same title.   rating: ** stars 

6.) Devoir Partir   (Francois Guy – Charles P. Linton) – 2:30  

With its echoy vocal and Who styled drumming, 'Devoir Partir' reminded me of another song which for years I simply couldn't  peg - I just remembered it as a mid-1970s singer/songwriter who had a hit with one of those sappy 'misery' songs ...  Anyhow, riding home on the subway one evening I was listening to this one on my iPod and it finally dawned on - me Terry Jacks and 'Seaons In the Sun'.  That's not to say the song sounded like a sentimental slice of top-40 pap.  It didn't.  Great trippy ballad with a nice Rock meltdown guitar solo midway through.   rating: *** stars

 

(side 2) 

1.) Je Ne Sais Pas   (Francois Guy – Charles P. Linton) – 2:39  

Side two started with what was probably the album's most commercial track 'Je Ne Sais Pas‘.  Kicked along by another nice performance from Rock, this one had a great beat and a melody that was easy on the ears.  Didn't take a lot of thought to see why Jupiter tapped it as a single.   rating: **** stars

2.) Depuis Longtemps Deja  (Francois Guy – Arthur Cossette – F. Guy) – 2:44  

Imagine what Roger McGuinn and the Byrds would have soundd like had they been from Quebec and you'll have a feel for what the jangle rocker 'Depuis Longtemps Deja' sounded like.  One of my favoritte performances on the album.   rating: **** stars

3.) Monsieur Ding Ding   (Francois Guy – Georges Marchand – F Guy) – 1:39  

Hum, what to make of 'Monsieur Ding Ding' ...  Les Sinners decide to go bubblegum?  Beats me.   rating: *** stars

4.) Marie-Jeanne   (Francois Guy – Charles P. Linton) – 2:09  

Most of 'Marie-Jeanne' was a bland ballad, but the refrain had a nice up tempo melody.  Shame the song wasn't built around that characteristic.   rating: ** stars

5.) Pourquoi Croire Oublier le Temps   (Francois Guy – P Noles – Ernest Rock – F Guy) – 3:10  

The strangest song on the album 'Pourquoi Croire Oublier le Temps' was a highly orchestrated piece that bounced across a couple of genres and sounded as if Guy and company had been listening to lots of British pop-psych materials such as The Small Faces.   rating: *** stars  

6.) Vox Populi   (Francois Guy) – 1:29  

'Vox Populi' ended the album with a weird sound collage and a spoken word segment (with some haunted house organ as backing) - wish I understood enough French to know what the hell they were saying.   rating: ** stars

 

The album was also tapped for a couple of singles:  

 

 

- 1967’s ‘Je Ne Sais Pas‘ b/w ‘Tard, Il Se Fait Tard’ (Jupiter catalog number JP-1117

- 1967’s ‘Aujourd’Hui Et Demain’ b/w Monsieur Ding Ding’ (Jupiter catalog number JP-1132)

 

The band actually recorded an English version of the LP, though it didn’t see the light of day until 1993.  The release is  hard to find (I'm still looking for a copy - anyone got one?), but is worth the effort and leaves you to wonder what might have happened with the right marketing.

 

And that spelled the end of the group for a couple of years.  Guy, Prevost, and  Parizeau reappeared as members of La Révolution Française.

 

 

 

 

Genre: rock

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Title:  Chantent 24 Succes

Company: Jupiter

Catalog: JDY 11002

Year: 1968

Country/State: Montreal Quebec, Canada

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: --

Available:1

Catalog ID: 520

Price: $120.00

 

This one's a marketing mystery to me.  1968's "Chantent 24 Succes" would have you believe this was a compilation of Les Sinners  24 biggest hits.  Instead it pulled together their two earlier studio albums for the Jupiter label- 1867's "Sinnerismes" and 1968's classic concept album "Vox Populi".   For your money you got both studio sets in their entirity - one album per side.

 

 

Given originals of both studio sets will set you back over $100 a pop, finding this two-fer was actually a real deal.  Anyone interested in learning more about the twooriginal  albums can read the reviews separately.

 

"Chantent 24 Succes" track listing:

(side 1)

1.) Penny Lane   (John Lennon - Paul McCartney - S. Veonne) - 

2.) Notre Etang   (Francois Guy - C.P. Linton) - 

3.) Les Ledgende des Nymphes Perdues   (Francois Guy - C.P. Linton) - 

4.) Les Dentes Grilles   (C.P. Linton) -

5.) L.S.D. Ha! Ha!   (Francois Guy - C.P. Linton) - 

6.) L'hymne a Ti-Pop   (Francois Guy - C.P. Linton) - 

7.) Les Greves d'aujourd'hui   (Francois Guy - C.P. Linton) - 

8.) Je Reve a Toi   (Francois Guy - Ernest Rock) -

9.) Les Bouffons   (Francois Guy - Ernest Rock) -

10.) Versailles 1667   (Francois Guy - C.P. Linton) - 

11.) La Petite Souris    (Francois Guy - C.P. Linton - Ernest Rock) -  

12.) Les Disc-Jockeys   (Francois Guy) - 

 

(side 2)

1.) Vox Populi    (Francois Guy) – 1:05

2.) Le Fou Du Roi   (Francois Guy – E. Rock) – 2:19

3.) Tard, Il Se Fait Tard   (Francois Guy – Charles P. Linton) – 2:50

4.) Aujourd’Hui Et Demain   (Francois Guy) – 2:56

5.) Kid Sentiment   (Francois Guy – Charles P. Linton) –1:42

6.) Devoir Partir   (Francois Guy – Charles P. Linton) – 2:30

7.) Je Ne Sais Pas   (Francois Guy – Charles P. Linton) – 2:39

8.) Depuis Longtemps Deja  (Francois Guy – Arthur Cossette – F. Guy) – 2:44

9.) Monsieur Ding Ding   (Francois Guy – Georges Marchand – F Guy) – 1:39

10.) Marie-Jeanne   (Francois Guy – Charles P. Linton) – 2:09

11.) Pourquoi Croire Oublier le Temps   (Francois Guy – P Noles – Ernest Rock – F Guy) – 3:10

12.) Vox Populi   (Francois Guy) – 1:29  

 

 


Genre: rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Sinners

Company: Trans World

Catalog: TW 6801

Year: 1971

Country/State: Montreal Quebec, Canada

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: small punch out hole top right corner

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 6369

Price: $110.00

 

I'll readily admit that Les Sinners online discographies are a mess (and mine isn't perfect).  There are plenty of online references, but precious few of them are available in English and both the French and English versions seem to be full of errors and disconnects, including a couple of references that indicate the band that recorded the 1971 'monster' album was a different outfit than recorded the other Sinners LPs.  I'm pretty sure there was only one Sinners, though by the time 1971's "Sinners" was released lead singer Guy Francois had left in order to pursue Quebec independence and other musical interests via the band La Révolution Française.  With the exception of drummer Louis Parizeau, Francois and the rest of the original Sinners lineup seem to have headed for the door leaving the Sinners nameplate in the hands of drummer Louis Parizeau and new lead singer/bassist Alain Jodoin.  The pair quickly recruited lead guitarist Arthur Cossette and rhythm guitarist Daniel Valois to continue the group.  

 

Signed to the Trans-World label, 1970's "Sinners" marked a departure from recent stabs at concept pieces and a return to a more streamlined pop and rock oriented sound.  Jodoin wasn't as gifted a singer as Francois, but his raspy voice was actually well suited for the band's return to a more basic sound.  Mind you, this wasn't the garage rock found on their debut, rather featured a diverse collection of tracks including stabs at political activism 'Quebec Nous T'aimons' (echoing Francois' solo agenda), a bluesy-psych workout 'Petite Filles T'es Down'' early stabs at afrobeat 'Jungle (Afriqu'out)', the brief instrumental 'Funerailles D'un wa wa Rond', and even an extended raga instrumental 'Aux Petits Oiseaux (Raga)'.  The album also showcased a strange penchant for adding Daniel Valois' flutes to many of their arrangements (check out the opening rocker O.K. 'L'chien').  It certainly wasn't the most focused effort you'll ever hear leaving you with the impression these guys were trying to figure out where they might fit in the buying public demography.  Still, the band's rock oriented material made for some nice highlights, including the bluesy 'Charogne', 'Heavy' and 'Groovy' (the latter which included a rare English vocal performance and could have been a top-40 hit.

 

"Sinners" track listing:

(side 1)

1.) O.K. L'chien   (Jean Gerard - Alain Jodoin) - 2:38

Yeah, the flute-powered opening sounded like something off a Herbie Mann album, but when Jodoin's snarling vocal kicked in (not sure what he was singing about - I think the word 'chien' translates as 'dog', but he sounded quite pissed off), 'O.K. L'chien' suddenly became quite interesting.   rating: **** stars

2.) Jungle (Afriqu'out)   (Alain Jodoin - Jocelyne Berthiaume) - 3:15

So what are you to make of a band from Quebec singing a song entiled 'Jungle (Afriqu'out)' ?   Well, Daniel Valois' flute was a major irritant to my ears and the jungle sound effects and fake African dialog would get you banned in today's politically sensitive environment.  The first half of the song was a decent pop song which is probably why it got tapped as the second single, but overall this was one you could pass on.   rating: ** stars

3.) Quebec Nous T'aimons   (Alain Jodoin - Jocelyne Berthiaume) - 3:27

Opening up with some melodic Jean-Guy Cossette lead guitar, 'Quebec Nous T'aimons' (I think it translated as 'Quebec we love you'), was one of those bouncy stadium anthems in support of Quebec independence from the rest of Canada.   Think along the lines of Queen's 'We Will Rock You' with political overtones.   Great song which was tapped as a single.   rating: **** stars

4.) Groovy   (Alain Jodoin) - 2:47

Ever seen one of those throwaway American International 1960sexploitation flicks ?  Well, 'Groovy' sounded like something from one of those flicks ...  actually Jodoin turned in what sounded like a really good Eric Burdon and the Animals performance.  It was also one of those rarities - namely a French Canadian band willing to sing in English.  Great hook and had quite a bit of commercial potential with Cossette turning in another nice lead guitar segment.   Oh yeah, the end sounded like something out of a Muppets flick.   rating: **** stars

5.) Funerailles D'un wa wa Rond (instrumental)  (Jean Gerard) - 0:55

A brief instrumental, 'Funerailles D'un wa wa Ron' sounded like a bunch of frogs auditioning for one of those Budweiser commercials.  Pass.   rating: ** stars

6.) Petite Filles T'es Down   (Alain Jodoin - Louis Parizeau - Jean Gerard) - 4:48

Starting out with some blazing feedback guitar, 'Petite Filles T'es Down' (little girls are depressed ?), was a cool, slightly acid-tinged rocker.   Once again Jodoin sounded a bit like a Quebec version of Eric Burdon.   Not sure what the spoken word segment was all about, but with the studio sounded effects it sounded like a bad acid trip ...   rating: *** stars

 

(side 2) 

1.) Charogne   (Jean Gerard) - 2:52

'Charogne' (I think it translates roughly as a 'rotting corpse'), was a take-no-prisoner slice of bluesy garage rock.  Again, I had no idea what Jodoin was going on about, but backed by a neat wah-wah guitar from Cossette and some nice harmonica, this was one of the album's standout performances.   rating: **** stars

2.) Chicoutimi   (Alain Jodoin - Louis Parizeau) - 2:40

Bouncy and quite radio friendly, 'Chicoutimi' found the band returning to more of a pop sound.   In part due to Cossette's prominent fuzz guitar, I liked this one quite a bit.   rating: **** stars

3.) Heavy    (Alain Jodoin - Louis Parizeau - Jean Gerard) - 2:50

Well, initially the flute gave 'Heavy' kind of a Focus-like vibe, but after awhile you could overlook it and concentrate on the guitars and Jodoin's snarling vocals.   rating: **** stars

4.) Ben Gele   (Alain Jodoin - Louis Parizeau) - 2:12

A bouncy, almost blue-eyed soul number 'Ben Gele' was one of the album's most commercial numbers.  Nice keyboards, though I wish the song had been a bit longer.   rating: *** stars

5.) Aux Petits Oiseaux (Raga) (instrumental)   (Daniel Valois - Louis Valois - Michel Papineau) - 5:12

The album's longest and strangest tune, 'Aux Petits Oiseaux (Raga)' was an Eastern flavored raga number.   Funny, but I bet even in 1971 it sounded somewhat dated ...   French Quebec playing Indian ragas.  An dyou thought you'd heard it all.   rating: *** stars 

 

Trans World also tapped the album for a pair of singles:

 

- 1971's 'Quebec Nous T'aimons' b/w 'Chicoutimi' (Trans World catalog number TWF 69)

- 1971's 'Jungle' b/w 'Heavy' ((Trans World catalog number TWF 77)

 

Maybe not their creative zenith, but still thoroughly enjoyable and well worth looking for.

 

 

Dropped by Trans World over the next three years the line up recorded a series of singles for various small labels including:

 

- 1972's 'Messieurs les Jures' b/w 'Tranquillment' (SS catalog number SS-000)

- 1972's 'Les Gens "Ben Correct"' b/w 'Le Flip Side' (Campus catalog number CS-6013)

- 1972's 'On Sera Bien Chez Nous' b/w 'On est Toujours Seul' (Campus catalog number CS-6023)

- 1973's 'Sha Na Na' b/w 'Viens Avec Moi' (Union catalog number UN 3502)

- 1973's 'Ca Finit Toujours par L'amour' b/w 'Ca Finit Toujours par L'amou' (Union catalog number UN 3511)

- 1973's 'Douce Folie' b/w 'Attention' (Union catalog number UN 3515)

 

 

 

 


Genre: rock

Rating: ** (2 stars)

Title:  ?

Company: Chelsea

Catalog: CHL-511

Year: 1975

Country/State: Quebec, Canada

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: minor ring and edge wear

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 256

Price: $20.00

 

 

By 1975 the band had undergone another extensive personnel line up that left drummer Louis Parizeau as the only holdover.  Backed by bassist Serge Blouin, keyboardist Claude Hetu, synthesizer player Serge Locas, and guitarist Daniel Valois and Denis Violetti the group recorded a string of three singles for the Celebration label:

 

- 1975's 'Qual Epouvantail' b/w 'L'Interview' (Celebration catalog number 2131)

- 1975's 'Anges Sorel' b/w 'Doctuear' (Celebration catalog number 2137)

- 1976's 'Springbed Boogie' b/w 'You're My Woman' (Celebration catalog number 2138)

 

The band also scored an American contract with the Chelsea label.  1975's "?" may have been more interesting from a marketing perspective than for its music.  In what looked like a late inning effort to attract a wider audience, French and English versions of the album were simultaneously released.  Unfortunately, at least to my ears the album was kind of disappointing with the band all but abandoning their long standing garage and psych roots in favor of a rather conventional and plodding set of pop-rock.  Probably the best song on the LP, 'Lies' was really the only track that even came close to recalled their earlier catalog. The fact that lead singer Alain Jodoin sounded uncomfortable handling the English lyrics didn't exactly help matters, nor did the occasionally clumsy translations courtesy of C. McDernott - if that sounded like a snotty comment then check out 'Sad Boy Lamb').  Still, if you gave the set a chance it kind of grew on you.  Original material like 'Live My Life Today', 'Happy' and 'Please Don't Go' was quite commercial, recalling something that UK popsters like Pilot or The Sweet might have recorded.  Certainly not on a par with their earlier releases, but not a total wipeout either ... 

 

 "?" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Live My Life Today   (Alain Jodoin - J Berthiaume) - 2:37

2.) Rat City   (Alain Jodoin) - 2:12

3.) Happy   (Daniel Valois - J. Berthiaume) - 2:28

4.) Please Don't Go   (Alain Jodoin - J Berthiaume) - 2:30

5.) You're Fine You're Fine   (Alain Jodoin - Daniel Valois - J Berthiaume) - 2:08

 

(side 2)
1.) Sad Boy Lamb   (Alain Jodoin - Daniel Valois - J Berthiaume) - 3:12

2.) Stripper   (Alain Jodoin - J Berthiaume) - 2:58

3.) Lies   (Alain Jodoin - J Berthiaume) - 2:39

4.) Spring Bed Boogie   (Richard Tate - A. Finaldi) - 2:36

5.) You're My Woman   (Alain Jodoin -  J Berthiaume) - 2:36

 


Genre: rock

Rating: ** (2 stars)

Title:  Le Chemin de Croix De Jos Roy

Company: CBS

Catalog: PFS 90383

Year: 1976

Country/State: Quebec, Canada

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: minor ring and edge wear; name on cover; includes original lyric inner sleeve

Available: 1

Catalog ID: --

Price: $40.00

 

Best time to play:  I'm thinkin' about it

 

I've got to admit that this Sinners LP remains a complete mystery to me.    I didn't even know it existed for years, having been under the impression 1975's "?" was their final studio release and when I happened to stumble across this album at a yard sale, I wasn't even sure it was the same band (none of the original members were still in this line-up).  The odd, pseudo-religious cover art even had me wondering it this was some sort of religious album by an outfit that had nicked the Les Sinners nameplate - after all it would be a great name for a Christian band.   Which gets you to the curious line-up.  "Le Chemin de Croix De Jos Roy"  was produced by longtime Sinners drummer Louis Parizeau with former Sinners singer/bassist Alain Jodoin handling the arrangements. And from there on it was apparently a brand new band showcasing bassist Serge Blouin, keyboardist Claude Hetu, synthesizer player Serge Locas, guiatrist Wally Rossi, singer/drummer Richard Tate, rhythm guitarist Daniel Valois, and lead guitarist Dennis Violetti

 

My French is poor, but I think "Le Chemin de Croix De Jos Roy" translates as something along the lines of "The Way of the Cross for Jos Roy".  And here's where it gets really vague. The truth of the matter is  I don't have a clue Jos Roy is and since I've never seen a review of this album, everything from here on is essentially wild-eyed speculation on my part.  I'm guessing this was another Sinners concept piece ...  Rebirth?  Redemption?  Quebec independence?  The rise and falla of a small time crook ?   Beats me.  .Unfortunately the concept (if there was one), was completely lost on my American ears.  So that limits me to commenting on the music which was surprisingly hard rocking and enjoyable - certainly better than "?".

 

 "Le Chemin de Croix De Jos Roy" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) La sentence   (Alain Jodoin - J. Berthiaume) - 0:50

'La sentence' opened the album with a brief, mildly jazzy-influenced keyboard piece.  Nice enough, witht a gritty vocal that was really good, but it simply wasn't long enough to make a lasting impression.   rating: *** stars

2.) J'suis pas un Pepsi   (Alain Jodoin - J. Berthiaume) - 2:20

Was ' J'suis pas un Pepsi' (which seemed to translate as 'I'm not a Pepsi'), some sort of slam against American commercialism ?  A plea against conformance ?  Beats me, but the song rocked out with considerable energy, singer/drummer Richard Tate turning in a nice R&B flavored vocal on the track.   rating: **** stars

3.) Sans alibi   (Alain Jodoin - Daniel Valois - J. Berthiaume) - 2:23

'Sans alibi' ('No Alibi') was an even harder rocker, with Tate's performance recalling a French version of Joe Cocker.  Nice squealing lead guitar from Dennis Violetti, though I could have done without Daniel Valois' flute.  rating: **** stars

4.) Deux mois en automne   (Alain Jodoin - J. Berthiaume) - 2:40

I'd love to know what the lyrics were about, but 'Deux mois en automne' was a pretty mid-tempo ballad.  Maybe a tad MOR, but still very pretty.  rating: *** stars

5.) Une vie normale   (Alain Jodoin - Daniel Valois - J. Berthiaume) - 3:21

'Une vie normale' (I'm guessing it translated as A Normal Life'), was a slinky, jazz-tinged ballad.  Unlike the earlier track, this time around Valois flute added a nice edge to the song.   rating: **** stars

6.) Le bost   (Claude Hetu - Serge Blouin - J. Berthiaume) - 2:20

'Le bost' found the band returning to a more conventional rock sound with good results.  Another one that I'd love to see a translation for since it seems to be a major part of the plot narrative.   rating: *** stars

 

(side 2)
1.) Y'a toujours Huguette   (Alain Jodoin - J. Berthiaume) - 2:20

Nothing particularly original, or mesmerizing, but 'Y'a toujours Huguette' was a pretty, almost folky ballad.    rating: *** stars

2.) Rockland Road   (Alain Jodoin - J. Berthiaume)  - 2:12

'Rockland Road' was an okay slice of bar-band rock that sounded like it had borrowed bits and pieces from a broad spectrum of top-40 songs.  In spite of the title, the lyrics were in French.  The first couple of times I heard the song, I could have sworn the title was 'Rock and Roll'.   rating: *** stars

3.) L'impasse  (Daniel Valois - J. Berthiaume) - 3:10

Probably the album's prettiest composition, 'L'impasse' bounced between sweet pop ballad, rock flourishes, and even a bit of acid tinged melody.   Another one that would have been nice to understand, though I'm guessing the siren sound effects were intended to lead in to 'A l'hôpital'.  rating: **** stars

4,) A l'hôpital   (Daniel Valois - J. Berthiaume) - 2:20

With a guitar riff that sounded like it had been borrowed from 10 C.C., 'A l'hôpital' was a slinky rocker.  a cool, ragged Tate vocal made it even better.  rating: **** stars

5,) Terminus (Jos Roy descend)   (Daniel Valois - J. Berthiaume) - 3:02

'Terminus (Jos Roy descend)' opened up with what sounded like a spoken word police statement; the lyrics indicating Jos Roy may not have been an upstanding citizen since he was seemingly involved in "haschich et de marijuana".   Pretty melody and apparently answered a lot of the questions surrounding the plotline.   rating: *** stars

6.) Condamné à vivre   (Alain Jodoin - J. Berthiaume)  - 2:12

Another modestly funky rock number, 'Condamné à vivre' (I think it translates as 'Condemned To Live'), found Tate switching back to his best Joe Cocker-choking-on-a-microphone stance.   That wasn't meant as a slam since I really liked his voice.    rating: *** stars

 

Even though the album was quite enjoyable, the complete lack of promotion (I don't think CBS even bothered releasing a single), coupled with the odd concept (a concept album released in an era of disco madness and punk aggression !!!), and the singularly unattractive album cover, ensured instant obscurity.  Personnaly I probably would have given it an even higher grade if I could understand the lyrics and plotline.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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