Band members                             Related acts

- Philippe Bech -- keyboards, flute (1969)

- Eric Clement -- lead guitar (1969-74, 75-78)

- Fernand Durand -- bass (replaced Jean Pierre Legault)


- Jean-Perre Forget -- keyboards, horn, woodwinds 

  (replaced Phillippe Bech) (1975-78)

- Jean Pierre Legault -- bass (1969-74, 75-78)

- Robert Lepage -- drums (1969-74, 75-78)

- Andre Mathieu -- keyboards (1969-74, 75-78)

- Paul Andre Thilbert -- voice, harmonica, flute 

  (1969-74, 75-78)




Paul Andre Thilbert (solo efforts)





Genre: progressive

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  Le Grand Jeu

Company: Jupiter

Catalog: YDS.8032

Country/State: Montreal, Canada

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: gatefold sleeve; ; includes lyric insert

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 5518

Price: $125.00


If you look around my small website you'll see that I'm a big fan of French Canadian garage rock.  That said, this album marked my introduction to French Canadian progressive bands.


Formed in 1967 in the Montreal suburb of Valleyfield (according to Greek mythology Dinoysis was the son of Zeus), the original line up consisted of keyboard player Philippe Bech, lead guitarist Eric Clement, bassist Jean Pierre Legault, drummer Robert Lepage, and lead singer Paul Andre Thilbert.  The group apparently attracted considerable attention as one of  the first rock bands to feature an all-French repertoire.  Playing on the Montreal club circuit with occasional gigs as far south as New York City, their mix of garage and progressive moves captured the attention of Jupiter Records which signed them to a contract, releasing their debut single 'L'Age d'or' in 1970.   More than willing to capitalize on the band's unexpected success Jupiter rushed the group back into the studio to record a supporting LP.  By the time the LP was released keyboardist Bech was apparently gone, replaced by Andre Mathieu.


Co-produced by Michel Belanger and Donald Lautrec, 1970's "Le Grand Jeu" was all over the musical map.  Included on the album the earlier single 'L'age d'or' was a straight ahead slice of blues-rock made a little unsettling by Thilbert's French lyrics.  Elsewhere exemplified by tracks like 'La Cloere' and 'Agneau de Dieu' the majority of the set showcased a mixture of guitar and keyboard propelled rock and progressive moves.  There wasn't anything particularly original or life changing to be found across the six extended tracka (one review I came across unceremoniously compared then to a French version of Uriah Heep), but the performances were all quite professional and Thilbert had a nice raspy voice that was well suited to the material, though it took a little effort to get accustomed to the French lyrics which seemed to address your usual index of early-1970s themes including 'Narcotique' ('Narcotics').  


"Dionysos" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Narcotique   (G.P. Ouelette - Dionysos) - 12:16

2.) Suzie   (Dionysos) - 6:20  rating: ** stars

I'm not trying to be mean, but listening to the pedestrian blues number 'Suzi' was a trying effort.  Paul Andre Thilbert came off like a French version of Bill Murray's SNL Nick the  lounge singer act character.  And the darred tune seemed endless.  As mentioned, thesong had previously served as their debut single:


- 1970's 'Suzi' b/w '' (Jupiter catalog number )

3.) La Colere   (J. Larose - Dionysos) - 5:10   rating: *** stars

After enduring 'Suzi', virtually anything would sound decent and that was certainly the case for 'La Colere' (which I think translates as 'The Anger').  Kicked along by the combination of Eric Clement's fuzz guitar and Andre Mathieu's Hammond B-3, this one ctually had a nice melody and Thilbert's worst tendencies were kept in check - plus there were lots of instrumental breaks.   


(side 2)
1.) L'Age du Chore   (J. Larose - Dionysos) - 8:39

2.) L'age d'or (instrumental)   (Dionysos) - 6:27

- 190's 'L'age d'or' b/w 'L'age d'or' (Jupiter catalog number 1216)

3.) Agneau de Dieu   (J. Larose - Dionysos) - 6:29