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6 May 2017

Offenbach “Bulldozer” 1973 Canada Prog Rock third album

Offenbach “Bulldozer” 1973 Canada Prog Rock third album


Offenbach by Jerry Boulet…. 
Jerry Boulet 
Although their third release, this album can be considered their debut album/ indeed they started the music for the Bulldozer film soundtrack in 71, before their first album (Offenbach Soap opera) was released, but the project got into a tangled mess and when it was finally settled, the group had released two albums. So the group was touring France when the Film was finally ready for its opening upon Valentine's day in 74, the album being released the same day. It didn't really get promoted, because only singer/pianist Harel had made the trip (for budget reasons) from across the Atlantic?. And he didn't rejoin the rest of the troops. So Offenbach was a double singing-keyboardist fronted group since Pierre Harel (mostly piano) joined them, his alter-ego being Gerry Boulet (organ & sax). Gerry's brother Dennis had given up the drum stool and was replaced by the frightening-looking Belval. 

Opening the A-side is the movie and title track (sung version), and you'd think you're almost in a rocker Spaghetti-Western with Moricone writing on acid. The organ-dominated track feature choirs, underlining Harel's distinctive Joual-French vocals. A good start, even if the overall sound is not the greatest. Hey Boss is a great double piano piece with the same background choirs and is a small tour-de-force in itself. Magie Rouge is a great instrumental, sometimes reminiscent of the Yardbirds line-up of Renaissance, but with a great guitarist. The piano provides a solemn touch that Gravel's guitar rips iconoclastically to shreds. Great stuff. Next is a remake of Caline de Blues, their first hit in Quebec, and it overstays its welcome. The Peanut track and its Tabarnac intro is another example of how deadly the group was. Bataille starts shakily (difficult pick up-point from the film's soundtrack, I guess) with Boulet wailing on sax, but it doesn't go anywhere. 

The same movie theme opens the flipside of its soundtrack, but this time it is the instrumental version without choirs or scats, but sax dubbing, followed by a fast drum solo and later in SOS, the group clams down to a mid-tempo guitar/piano fronted piece over Mouffe (the actress from the film) scats and sings. Harel comes back, overpowering the group with his over-done vocals in Comme On S'Ennuie. Faut que J'me Pousse is another Harel treack where he overpowers the group, but then again it was his film?. Whether this was on the film or not, the closing Adios Amor, subtitled Famille Savard is an awful- sounding and cheesy tune that is sticking out from an uneven album. There are two bonus tracks at the end, both alternate takes from the original soundtrack, but they're not really adding much to the album's overall value, except that it won't close on the dreaded Adios track anymore. 

I suppose that seeing the movie would actually help understanding the album, even if the most brilliant moments have no need of picture. I doubt that this is the kind of movie you'll find easily, and certainly not easier than the other Offenbach film that Faraldo was realizing around the band in its French tour. It would be nice if both could one day be committed onto one DVD. Despite many moments of brilliance, this album is just too uneve,n to claim its essential and 4 stars Sean Trane ..............

BULLDOZER may be one of Offenbach's most obscure albums, however it is an important one from a historical perspective since the music composed for it helped launch Offenbach's career and defined the group's sound for years to come. 

By 1970, keyboardist and vocalist Gerry Boulet, his brother and drummer Denis Boulet, guitarist Johnny Gravel, and bassist Michel Lamothe had grown tired of playing cover songs as Les Gants Blancs. 

They changed the group's name to Offenbach Soap Opera, and began writing original songs in English. 

In early 1971, their new manager, Lucien Ménard, introduced the group to poet, musician and director Pierre Harel, with whom he was working on a new film entitled Bulldozer. 

The band needed money, so Harel hired them to help write a soundtrack for the movie. Harel also encouraged the band to compose rock songs in French rather than in English, an idea Gerry Boulet found preposterous. 

Harel's talents as a songwriter were soon evident, as within no time he helped compose 'Câline de blues' and 'Faut que j'me pousse', which would later become two of Quebec's most popular rock songs. 

By the spring of 1972, Harel's film was still not finished, however the band had enough original music and decided to record its first album, Offenbach Soap Opera which featured some music from the Bulldozer soundtrack. 

The album was released that summer and received little airplay as rock music sung in French was something new. To pay the bills, the band, which had now shortened its name to Offenbach, was relegated to playing English cover songs again in hotel clubs throughout Québec, lugging around a Hammond B-3 organ and Davoli sound system. 

A disenchanted Denis Boulet quit music and was replaced by Roger Belval who had played with Gravel in the groups Les Venthols and Les Héritiers. After a gig in La Sarre, Harel had an epiphany in which he visualized the band playing the Mass for the Dead at St-Joseph's Oratory in Montreal. 

His vision soon came true, and on November 30, 1972, Offenbach performed a show sung in Latin before 3,000 people, yielding a live album entitled St-Chrone de Néant which was released in early 1973. 

Meanwhile the group continued to compose music for Harel's movie, and finally that spring the soundtrack to Bulldozer was recorded. Work then began on editing the film and synchronizing the music. 

In the summer of 1973, while Offenbach was performing on the Plaines of Abraham in Quebec City, a French cinematographer named Claude Faraldo became enthralled with the band. 

By fall, Faraldo had lured the group to France to star in a film and record a new album. Then finally, after nearly more than three years in the making, Harel returned to Montreal to launch the film Bulldozer on Valentine's day 1974, starring Donald Pilon, Mouffe, Pauline Julien and Yvan Ducharme among others. 

Offenbach's album of the same name was released simultaneously with little fanfare while the rest of the group was still in France unable to afford plane tickets for the return trip to Montreal. 

Harel decided not to go back to France where the band was leading a life of debauchery which was being filmed by Faraldo. 

However, many new songs had already been written by Harel, which would be featured on Offenbach's next three albums: Tabarnac (1975), Never Too Tender (1976), and the eponymous Offenbach (1977). 

Harel continue to collaborate with Offenbach, writing more big hits for the group until he formed Corbeau with Lamothe and Belval in 1977 (from CD notes).........

"Who in 1973 would have thought that the recordings on the just-released soundtrack was the genesis of one of Quebec's favorite bands as we know it? In fact, this album (one of the least promoted of Offenbach's discography, with none of its tracks available on CD until now) dates back to 1970, when band manager Lucien MÈnard orchestrates their fateful meeting with poet/musician/songwriter Pierre Harel, who was also working with MÈnard on a new film: "Bulldozer". Harel proposes that the group records the film's soundtrack, and writes the band's first French lyrics. The result is an album that often demonstrates the young Offenbach's progressive tendencies, with completely different versions of the classic songs "Bulldozer", "C‚line de doux blues" and "Faut que j'me pousse". Essential for dyed-in-the-wool Offenbach fans!"...................

In a hard and arid country, the Abitibi, in the midst of a landscape of desolation, is tragic destiny where violence springs from everyday life. This is the universe of the Galarneau, poor beings who live on the margins of society, far from the established order, in a sort of parallel world.

"A film of" bum "and abitibian dump, underground and marginality, love and freedom. An imperfect and provocative film that could only be seen at ACPAV by the insolent camera of a filmmaker "rocker" unique in our cinema. Bulldozer is an important film. He is surely the one who comes closest to the film, the great Quebec film to be made. This film is the most faithful expression of the Québécois soul, the soul of this people of nothing, of little, this submissive, colonized people. (Robert Levesque, 1974)...........

Line-up / Musicians
-Gérry Boulet / keyboard, saxophone, vocals
-Pierre Harel / keyboard, vocals
-Jean Gravel / guitars
-Michel Lamothe / bass
-Roger Belval / drums
-Mouffe / vocals (10,14)
-La Famille Savard / vocals (13)

A1 Bulldozer (Chanté) 4:39
A2 Hey Boss 4:40
A3 Magie Rouge 4:09
A4 Câline De Doux Blues 5:04
A5 Adios Amor (La Famille Savard) 3:17
B1 Bulldozer Thème (Sax) 3:03
B2 Solange Tabarnac 0:31
B3 Marche De Peanut 2:10
B4 Bataille 2:49
B5 Qu'est-Ce Qui Te Prend 2:43
B6 S.o.s 3:18
B7 Ah Comme On S'ennuie 3:14
B8 Faut Que J'me Pousse 2:37


1972 Québec Rock b/w Ma patrie est à terre (Deram) DF-571
1973 Caline de doux blues/Faut que j'me pousse (Barclay - France) 61821
1976 Never Too Tender/Running Away (A & M) AM-434
1976 High Down/Running Away (A & M) AM-438
1977 Chu un Rocker/La Jeune Lune (A & M) AM-444
1977 Sad Song/Running Away (A & M) AM-449
1977 La Voix que J'ai/La Jeune Lune (A & M) AM-451
1979 Ayoye/Bye Bye (Kebec-Disc)
1979 Je Chante Comme Un Coyote/Mes Blues Passent Pu Dans’ Porte (Kebec-Disc)
1980 Ride Ride Ride/Someone On The Line (Spectra-Scene - France)
1980 Le Blues Me Guette/Caline De Blues (Spectra-Scene - France)
1980 Strange Time/Georgia On My Mind (Spectra-Scene - France) AZ-1-802
1981 Le Bar Salon Des Deux Toxons/Palace Des Glaces (Spectra-Scene)
1984 Pourquoi Mourir D'amour/Rock De V'lours (CBS) SS-6005
1985 Coeur En Frimas/Seulement Qu'une Aventure (CBS) C5-7078
1985 La Louve/Diable Vert (CBS) C5-7107
1972 Offenbach Soap Opera (Barclay) 80137
1973 Saint-Chrone de Neant (Barclay) 80153
1973 Bulldozer [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack] (Barclay - France) 80182
1974 Les grands succès Barclay - Volume 20: Offenbach (Barclay - France) 75020
1975 Tabarnac [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack] (Deram) ADEF-1178
1976 Never Too Tender (A & M) SP-9025
1977 Offenbach (A & M) SP-9027
1979 Traversion (Kebec-Disc) KD-L963
1979 Offenbach En Fusion avec le Vic Vogel Big Band (Spectra-Scene) SS-1701
1980 Rock Bottom (Spectra-Scene) SS-1702
1981 Coup De Foudre (Spectra-Scene) SS-1704
1983 Tonnedebrick (Kebec-Disc/CBS) PFC-80077
1984 Offenbach et Plume: Live A Fond d'Train (Kebec-Disc/CBS) GFC-80086
1985 Rockorama (Kebec-Disc/CBS) PFC-80103
1986 Le Dernier Show (Kebec-Disc/CBS) GFC-80109
1989 C'était plus qu'une aventure, 1972 - 1985
1990 Offenbach [re-issue] (A & M)
1992 1-3-5 [Box Set] (BMG Québec) 74321-10293-2
1992 2-4-6 [Box Set] (BMG Québec) 74321-10247-2
1995 Les incontournables: Rock de v'lours (BMG Québec) 74321-32565-2
1996 Les incontournables: Blues (BMG Québec) 74321-38040-2
1997 Les incontournables: Rock (BMG Québec) 74321-45380-2
1998 Les incontournables: En fusion avec Vic Vogel (BMG Québec) 74321-56569-2
1999 Les 20 Plus Grands Succes
2002 Les Grandes Succes, Volume 2
2005 Nature
2007 L'ultime Offenbach 

johnkatsmc5, welcome music..





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