Sultans, Les

Band members                         Related acts

- Pierre Bélanger -- drums (replaced Michel Dufault)


- Roger Beaudet -- guitar (1965)

- André Dion -- guitar (1962-63)

Ghislain Dufault -- bass (-68)

- Michel Dufault -- drums (1962-1966)
- Denis Forcier -- guitar, keyboards, backing vocals


- Gilles Henry -- guitar (1962-64)

- Bruce Huard -- vocals (1963-)

- Claud Reid -- guitar, harmonica (1962-)
- Marcel Richard -- guitar (1962-1963)



- Bruce Huard (solo efforts)





Genre: garage

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Title:  Les Sultans

Company: Teledisc

Catalog: TD-356

Year: 1966

Country/State: St-Hyacinthe, Quebec Canada

Grade (cover/record): VG+ / VG+

Comments: gatefold sleeve

Available: 2

Catalog ID: 4903

Price: $120.00




Let me mention that there's quite a bit of web-based material on Les Sultans, but almost all of it is in French and if you run a translation program on the material you end up with gibberish.  Since my French is pretty lame (sorry mom), you'll have to take my comments with more than the usual grain of salt.


Formed in St-Hyacinthe, Quebec Les Sultans evolved out of an early 1960s instrumental quintet known as The Dowries.  The original 1962 line up consisted of guitarists Andre Dion, Giles Henry, Claude Reid and Marcel Richard, but by 1963 the group had expanded to include former Les Majestics singer Bruce Huard.  Like thousands of other groups, by 1964 the group had fallen under the spell of The Beatles.  Dropping their old name and instrumental catalog, they reworked their catalog into a more-rock oriented focus and reappeared as Les Sultans.


Over the next couple of years the band released a series of singles for a string of small Quebec-based labels:


- 1964's 'Toujours Devant Moi' b/w 'Cielito Lindo' (Fontaine catalog number F-1606)

- 1964's 'La Bamba' b/w 'Oh Lady' (Fontaine catalog number F-1621)

- 1965's 'Vivre Sa Vie' b/w 'La Bohmeme' (Laniel catalog 3001)

- 1965's 'Sois Mienne' b/w 'Le Pere Jean' (J. Franco catalog number JF-4019)

- 1965's 'On Est Trop Jeune' b/w 'Va T'en'  (J. Franco catalog number JF-4040)

- 1966's 'Dis-Lui' b/w 'Je T'aimes Bien'  (J. Franco catalog number JF-4046)


Signed by Teledisc Records, 1966 found the group finally given a chance to record an album.  Produced by Denis Pantis, in spite of the fact all twelve songs were sung in French, the cleverly titled 'Les Sultans" was nothing short of spectacular.  Showcasing a largely original set, the album featured a great mix of radio-friendly pop ('La Poupée Que Fait Non' and ''Je T'aime Bien') and tougher fuzz-propelled rockers ('Tu es Impossible' and ''C'est promis).  Huard had a fantastic voice that was more than capable of handling the entire spectrum of material in their diverse repetoire and the rest of the band played with an intensity that you simply don't hear very often. Highlights included their two Zombies covers 'Je T'aime Bien' ('You Make Me Feel Good') and 'Dis-lui' ('Leave Me Be')  Curiously both tracks are credited as Sultans compositions, as is a Kinks cover 'Il N'ya Rien au Monde que Je Ne Ferais Pas Pour Cette Fille' ('Nothin' In The World Can Stop Me Worryin' 'Bout The Girl').  Other highlights included the two singles pulled from the album:


- 1966's 'Tu Es Impossible' b/w 'Paronnes-Moi' (Teledisc catalog number 22)

- 1966's Le Poupee Qui Fait Non' b/w ''  (Teledisc catalog number 24)


Easily one of the best albums to come out of a Quebec garage band, tad these guys released an English version of the album they would have been superstars.


"Les Sultans" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) La Poupée Que Fait Non   (Michael Polnareff - F. Gerald) - 

2.) Tu es Impossible   (Bruce Huard - Les Sultans) - 

3.) Pardonne-moi   (Bruce Huard - Les Sultans) - 

4.) Apprends a Vivre   (Les Sultans) - 

5.) Je T'aime Bien   (Les Sultans) - 

6.) Tout Le Monde me Dit qu'elle est Belle   (Les Sultans) - 


(side 2)
Va t'en   (Roger Beaudey - Ghislain Dufault) - 

2.) Angelique   (Michael Orso) - 

3.) C'est promis   (Berns - Bruce Huard) - 

4.) Dis-lui   (White - Huard) - 

5.) Il N'y a Rien au Monde que Je Ne Ferais Pas Pour Cette Fille   (Bruce Huard) - 

6.) Le Douzieme (instrumental)   (Bruce Huard - Les Sultans) - 



Genre: garage

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Title:  Express

Company: DSP

Catalog: DSP-16003

Year: 1967

Country/State: St-Hyacinthe, Quebec Canada

Grade (cover/record): VG+ / VG+

Comments: --

Available: 2

Catalog ID: 4904

Price: $120.00



The band's second studio set, 1967's "Express" displayed immense creative growth.  Showcasing a mixture of originals and popular covers (this time crediting the original writers), the album made it clear these guys had been listening to lots of Byrds ('Pour Qui Pourquoi') and English bands such as The Kinks and The Zombies ('Les Filles'). Unlike many of their contemporaries, these guys managed to do more than merely be imitative.  Take a song like the original 'To Say You're Sorry'.  A great song, it's also one of the earliest slices of country-rock I'm aware of.  Simply put, every ingredient required for a massive hit was here including great songs, fantastic performances and a willingness to experiment (check out the 'Eleanor Rigby'-styled strings on 'Tout Ira'). Elsewhere, while most Quebec-based bands were reluctant to record anything in English, The Sultans broke with that tradition including several English performances on the album. It's simply a crime that they didn't enjoy a massive American hit with something like 'Bring Her Back' or their raunchy cover of Ray Charles' 'Sticks and Stones'.  Elsewhere DSP tapped the album for three singles:


- 1966's 'L'amout s'en Va' b/w 'Les Filles' (Teledisc catalog number TD-40)

- 1967's 'Tout Ira' b/w 'Pour Qui, Pourquoi' (DSP catalog number DSP-8602)

- 1967's 'A Toi que Je Pense' b/w 'Si Soudain Je T'aimais' (DSP catalog number DSP-8608)


"Express" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Pour Qui Pourquoi   (Bruce Huard - Denis Forcier - Claud Reid) - 

2.) Par Amoir, Par Pitie   (G. Thinault - G. Renard) - 

3.) To Say You're Sorry   (Bruce Huard - Denis Forcier) - 

4.) Tout Ira   (Colin Blunsone - Bruce Huard) - 

5.) Bring Her Back   (Bruce Huard - Denis Forcier) - 

6.) Les Filles   (Bruce Huard - Denis Forcier) - 


(side 2)
1.) A Toi que Je Pense   (Tommy Bouce - Bruce Huard) - 

2.) Si Soudain Je T'aimais   (Bruce Huard - Denis Forcier) - 

3.) Sticks and Stones   (Ray Charles) - 

4.) L'amour sen Va   (Bruce Huard - Denis Forcier) - 

5.) Looking Through You   (Bruce Huard - Denis Forcier) - 

6.) Fade Out (instrumental)   (Claud Reid - Denis Forcier) - 





Genre: garage

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Title:  Les Sultans en Personne a Starovan

Company: DSP

Catalog: DSP-16028

Year: 1968

Country/State: St-Hyacinthe, Quebec Canada

Grade (cover/record): VG / VG

Comments: small piece of tape over small punch out hole

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 4851

Price: $100.00



I've grown into a huge fan of 1960s French Canadian rock and this 1968 concert set is among my favorite genre discoveries.


Released in 1968, "Les Sultans en Personne a Starovan" (subtitled 'their spectacular goodbye', chronicled the group's final concert before some 6,000 fans at Montreal's Starovan Club. From a technical standpoint the collection isn't exactly state of the art.  The screeching fans (must have been quite a concert) and the echo laden sound recall something from 1964 rather than 1968. To be perfectly honest the album occasionally sounds like it was recorded in a large bathroom.  Overlooking those technical limitations the performances pack a bigger kick than 90% of mega-selling in-concert sets.  In terms of musical selection the collection features a mixture of popular hits and originals.  Besides the strong performances, the set's unique in that it shows the band performing in both French and English (quite rare for Quebec-based outfits).  The covers (Beatles, Them, Motown), are energetic if predictable.   Okay, be sure to check out their hyperactive cover of 'Can I Get a Witness'.  In contrast the original numbers are largely killer.  Standout performances include the near perfect pop track ''Pour qui Pourquoi, the fuzz-propelled rocker ''Tu est Impossible' and the pretty ballad 'Pardonne-Moi.  They also turn in a nice jangle-rock cover of Michel Ponareff's 'Le Poupee Qui Fait Non'.  Simply a great album that I keep coming back to and one of the few live albums I'd give a four star rating to ...


"Les Sultans en Personne a Storovan" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Carol  (Chuck Berry)

2.) The Letter   (Wayne Carson - Vline Buggy) - 

3.) Pour qui Pourquoi   (Bruce Huard - Denis Forcier - Claud Reid) - 

4.) Angelique   (Michel Orso) - 

5.) Brown Eyed Girl   (Van Morrisson) - 

6.) Si Soudain Je T'amais   (Bruce Huard - Denis Forcier) - 

7.) Love Lights   (Gerald Rosli - McCoy - Rosem) - 


(side 2)
1.) Tout le Monde me dit Qu'Elle est Belle   (Les Sultans) - 

2.) Tu est Impossible   (Bruce Huard - Denis Forcier) - 

3.) Can I Get a Witness   (Eddie Holland - Lamont Dozoer - Brian Holland) - 

4.) Va-t-en   (Roger Beaudet - Ghislain Dufault) - 

5.) Act Naturally   (John Lennon - Paul McCartney) - 

6.) Pardonne-Moi (Pardon Me)  (Bruce Huard - Les Sultans) - 

7.) Le Poupee Qui Fait Non   (Michel Polnareff - F. Gerald) - 

8.) A Toi Que Je Pense (I'm Thinking of You)  (T. Boyce - Bruce Huard) -