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23 Nov 2016

Claire Lepage & Compagnie “Claire Lepage & Compagnie” 1970 Canada Psych Pop Rock








Claire Lepage & Compagnie “Claire Lepage & Compagnie” 1970 ultra rare Canada Psych Pop Rock
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Claire Lepage and Compagnie was a french Canadian psychedelic rock band led by Claire LePage’s strong vocals, Germain Gauthier, Bill Lagariuk and Richard Patri, and with the collaboration of Denis Lepage at the organ.

Claire LePage was best known as a Québecois Ye Ye girl, recording mostly French language covers of British Invasion and Motown songs, as well as a few France Gall covers (although her voice and delivery is more reminiscent of Sylvie Vartan). It’s all pretty groovy, but nothing about it really separated her from Jenny Rock and the rest of the French Canadian Ye Ye’s. However, as the 1960’s drew to a close, the Ye Ye girls faded away. Bands like Gidget and the Flying Nun were seen as silly relics of the early 60’s, where the ideal woman was childish, playful, and perky. As the 70’s dawned, musicians were supposed to be serious, weighed down by the ways of the world, and on drugs.

And while the rest of her Ye Ye sisters were hanging up their miniskirts and calling it a day, Claire LePage hooked up with Compagnie, a heavy rock band, and recorded this outstanding album. The music is heavy, funky rock, with squealing lead guitars, groovy cowbells, tambourines, some trippy delay, and nice harmony vocals……..Museum of Canadian Music.. …..
This is the Claire Lepage album everyone wants, due to its hard rock backing and plentiful fuzz guitar leads. The disc has a strong pop sensibility too, thanks to some catchy melodies and Lepage’s unexpectedly dreamy and gentle vocals (exactly the opposite of the raw-throated Janis Joplin-style belter one would expect from the arrangements). On ‘Rendez-Vous Express’ the sound almost approaches glam-rock, while ‘L’Amour Est Là’ is an incongruous French language version of ‘Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes)’ with lots of horns and strings. The latter is by far the low point of a fine LP that straddles genres very effectively, although the commercial aspects might annoy psychedelic purists………….. 
Singer Claire Lapage is all but unknown in the States (not that she’s that well known in Canada outside of her native Quebec), which is unfortunate since she’s got an interesting voice and recorded on of the most surprising 1970s albums to come out of Quebec. In some ways Lepage reminds me a bit of Caroline Hester, though unlike Hester who started out as a folkie before taking an unexpected early 1970s turn into psychedelia, Lepage’s roots were in French pop (think along the lines of Frances Gall, Francois Hardy, Sylvie Vartan, or other mid-1960s mini-skirted Ye-Ye girls). Rather than psychedelia, Lepage dipped her toes into conventional rock. Let me underscore that point - some folks have labeled “Clare Lepage & Comagnie” as a psych classic. It isn’t psych at all … rather conventional, but thoroughly enjoyable pop and rock would be a fairer description.

Discovered by Yoland Guérard, Lepage won first place in Radio Canada’s 1965 Emission Découvertes talent show, signing a contract with the small Canadian Teledisc label. She made her recording debut the following year with the single:

- 1966’s ‘L'amour n'attend pas’ b/w 'Il est a moi’ (Teledisc catalog number TD-13)

That was followed by her Canadian breakout hit - a French language cover of Cher’s 'Bang, Bang’:

- 1966’s 'Bang, Bang’ b/w 'Je Suis Triste’ (Teledisc catalog number TD-21)

The single sold well, leading Teledisc to release a support album: 1966’s cleverly titled “Clare Lepage”.
Over the next four years she released a string of singles - mostly English and US hits redone with French lyrics (Danny Hutton’s 'Roses And Rainbows’ ('L’amour n’attend pas’), Len Barry’s 'Like A Baby’ ('Je suis triste). Ruby and the Romantics 'Our Day Will Come’ ('Le jour viendra’) and Martha and the Vandllas’ “Dancing In the Streets’ ('Dans tous les pays’). I’ve never come across a full Lepage discography, but here’s my stab at it:….BadCatRecords…………..

Claire Lepage – vocals

Compagnie:
- Germain Gauthier – vocals, guitar, keyboards
- Bill Lagariuk (aka Bill Lazariuk) – bass, vocals
- Richard Patri (aka Richard Patry) – vocals, drums, percussion

supporting musicians:
- Serge Blouin - bass
- Louis Laurent – guitar
- Denis Lepage – organ 
Tracklist
Les Chemins De L'Amour 3:01
Demain 3:19
Rendez-vous Express 2:51
L'Amour Est Là 2:36
Depuis Que C'Est Arrivé 2:32
Take It Easy 2:54
Tomorrow 2:43
Quand La Nuit Sera Tombée 5:20
We Can’t Work It Out 2:05
Un Poète, Un Roi, Une Bergère 3:26 

johnkatsmc5, welcome music..

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