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3 May 2017

Offenbach "Shoap Opera"1972 Canada Prog Psych Blues Rock

Offenbach  "Shoap Opera" 1972 Canada Prog Psych Blues Rock debut album highly recommended..!

Offenbach’s landmark debut LP, released under their original full group name (“Offenbach Soap Opera”)…..a monster progressive rock and blues-psych that defined the band’s sound in the 70’s. This is the first of Offenbach’s early “prog-blues-psych-era” recordings (along with “Tabarnac”, “Saint-Chrone de Neant” and “Bulldozer”)….all scarce and highly coveted by collectors ! ......

Offenbach were formed in Quebec in 1969 by Gerry Boulet, Michael Lamonthe, Jr., and Wezo. The band signed with the independent Barclay label in 1972 and released the French album Offenbach Soap Opera. Four years later, A&M provided a record deal and released the band’s self-titled album in 1977. Also released that year was Never Too Tender and another self-titled LP. Lamonthe and Wezo left around that time and were replaced by Pierre Lavoie and Norman Kerr (though Kerr left soon after). In 1979, Offenbach recorded Traversion and added more new members, Breen LeBoeuf and John McVale. Four more studio albums followed – En Fusion (1980), Tonnedebrick (1983), Live a Fond d'Train (1984), and Rockorama (1985) – before the band split up in 1986. Recorded live in Montreal, Offenbach’s last album, Le Dernier Show, appeared in 1986. Gerry Boulet recorded two solo albums, Presque 40s in 1984 and Rendezvous Doux in 1988. ~ John Bush ………………
.Offenbach was originally called Les Gants Blancs and was formed by Boulet, Lamothe Jr. and Belval in 1969. After “Sainte-Chrone de Neant” during its ‘Mass For The Dead’ was recorded November 30, 1972 at St. Joseph’s Oratory, Montreal, Barclay Records showed interest and released an album in 1972 called 'Offenbach Soap Opera’ followed by the Mass recording a year later.Lamothe and Belval quit in 1977 and Kerr and Millaire left in 1978. The 1979 line-up consisted of Boulet, Gravel, McGale, LeBoeuf, and Harrison. 1980 saw a break from touring as the band spent time recording two albums for Spectra-Scene.By 1982 they returned to touring their hard rocking progressive rock in Quebec. At this time Harrison left and was replaced by MartelOffenbach disbanded in 1985 which was followed by Kebec-Disc’s release of their live album 'Le Dernier Show’ recorded at the Montreal Forum. Boulet went solo and his material was more introspective than the hard driving rock of Offenbach.After a 4-year battle with cancer, Gerry Boulet died July 16, 1990; McGale formed McGale’s Navy and along with bassist Breen Lebeouf and April Wine drummer Jerry Mercer also played in a group called The Buzz Band…from Pascal Vallieres, Serge Bellerose and Mike Turner…………Canoe Jam …..Canadian Pop Engyclopedia……

Offenbach is first and foremost a great novel of love with the Quebecois which lasts for more than 30 years! The adventure began in 1969 when Gérald Boulet and his brother Denis joined Michel Lamothe and Jean Gravel to form the “Offenbach Pop Opera” which in 1971 became “Offenbach Soap Opera” and finally “Offenbach” in 1972. At the beginning, Group targeted the English-language market and attempted to obtain certain record-keeping contracts, but without success. A filmmaker, Pierre Harel, hears of them and approaches them to make the music of his film “Bulldozer”. They get along so well that Harel becomes the singer and lyricist of the band! In 1971, Stéphane Venne, then director of programming at the Barclay Records, allows them to record their first album which contains “Câline de blues” and “Faut que m'me pousse”. In 1973, Pierre Harel, thirsty for thrills, had the idea to perform a Gregorian performance at St-Joseph’s Oratory in Montreal. From this show is born the album “St-Chrone-de-Neant”, an experimental album and whose group will use to open some doors in Europe. Claude Faraldo hears this album and offers to the group to make a tour through France and to film everything. The film will be released in 1974 under the title “Tabarnac” and will never see the light of day in Quebec. When the group returned to Quebec in 1975, fashion was a musical bandsuit. The reception is better, the group remains in Quebec and produces a new album in 1977 containing “Chu a rocker” and “The blues me guette”. That same year, a split took place within the band … Michel Lamothe and Roger Belval leave to join Corbeau. Breen Leboeuf and John McGale replaced them in 1978. In 1979, to torpedo the monotony, Gerry mounts a project of fusion of big band and rock and roll. This one will concretize with Vig Vogel and will be born the album “En fusion” which is in a way a album “Greatest hits” revised and corrected of Offenbach. From 1980 to 1985, the band produced three more albums, toured across Quebec, one with Plume Latraverse in 1981, a trip to France with Bernard Lavilliers, a show with the legendary Chuck Berry, and three Montreal (Unusual thing for a Quebec band!). The band separated in 1985 to be reborn in 1998 without great luster…………
Offenbach is an incomparable group in the history of popular music in Quebec. As the most worthy representative of an uncompromising rock, a fusion of flayed music and the rebellious message of a few poets of urbanity, he is also honored to have established a first bridge between music Yé-yé and French-speaking rock, characteristic of the 1970s. Offenbach derives its creative vitality from the musical talents that developed in the Montérégie during the 1960s. For if 17 men participated at one time or another in The saga of this exceptional group, it was around 5 of them, originating in Saint-Jean, Granby and Saint-Hyacinthe, and lyricist Pierre Harel that his first identity was defined.
The adventure began somewhat in 1962, when Denis Boulet invited his brother Gérald (Gerry) to join the Double Tones, a group of factory employees from Saint-Jean who became the White Gloves two years later. Like the Hou-lops and the Sultans, the White Gloves emerged from their local confinement when they became, in 1966, the regular musicians of the program Bonsoir copains, broadcast by CHLT (Sherbrooke). A year ago, they recorded their first single; Several more will follow until the formation takes the name Offenbach Pop Opera, in 1969, then that of Offenbach Soap Opera two years later.
In Granby, again in 1962, two future members of Offenbach, Roger Belval and Johnny Gravel, together with André Thibodeau and Réal Perrault, founded the Rockets and began to animate parish vigils and school evenings. In 1964, the Rockets traded their names for Venthols and recruited Michel Déragon. From that group, in 1965, the Heirs continued until 1968. That year, Johnny Gravel, who had abandoned the Heirs for the Caïds, joined the White Gloves of the Boulet brothers. As for Roger “Wézo” Belval, it was not until 1972, after having been drummer for Aimless since his departure from the Heirs, in 1967, that he joined Offenbach, which has just adopted its definitive name.
On the Saint-Hyacinthe side, Michel “Willie” Lamothe, son of the famous western singer, joined the White Gloves in 1967, after being a bassist for the Maskoutian bands Jaguars, Sphynxes, Odd Penitents since 1963.
At the time of Offenbach’s “official” training in 1972, the group’s success was still uncertain, despite the release of a debut album in the previous year, Offenbach Soap Opera, containing anthology pieces Célline de blues and Must I grow, and in spite of, also, the memorable holding of a mass rock at the oratory Saint Joseph of Montreal, from which was pulled the second album of the group, Saint-Chrome of nothing. In the spring of 1975, after a European tour that confirmed the departure of Pierre Harel, Offenbach took advantage of the enthusiasm that has taken over Quebec for less aggressive sounds, such as Beau Dommage and Harmonium, At the Place des Arts. The album Offenbach, published in 1977, receives an enthusiastic reception, the titles The voice I have, Promenade on March (1974), Chu a rocker, Ayoye (1978) and The blues me watches becoming great successes. However, disagreements soon led two other founders of Offenbach, Michel Lamothe and Roger Belval, to leave to join Pierre Harel who is actively forming Corbeau. New musicians replace them immediately, but the formation certainly loses some of its Montérégie identity. Offenbach ended his experience in 1985, following a farewell show held at the Montreal Forum; In 1986, Adisq made a final tribute to the group by awarding him the Félix of the rock show of the year for this stage performance. If we include the albums in English and the compilations, Offenbach leaves in legacy a score of single discs and 15 albums…

Offenbach evolved from a number of rock bands and name changes in the late ’60s. Like many outfits in the ’70s, they went through a number of personnel changes; Boulet and Gravel are the two that remained with the group through the span of their career. They released their debut album, Offenbach Soap Opéra in 1971, which consisted of contemporary standards, blues, and original material in French and English. Their sophomore effort, Saint-Chrone de Néant, was a recording of a late-1972 performance of its “Mass for the Dead“ at Saint Joseph’s Oratory in Montréal. 

The following two years, the band, based out of Paris, toured around Europe. After returning to Montreal in 1975, Offenbach moved to the forefront of Quebec rock groups. Albums in both English and French followed. But their biggest was 1979′s Transversion which spawned four major hits and the Rock Album of the Year Félix Award. 

The group toured the Province that year and a live album was released garnering for them further Félix Awards in 1980, including Group of the Year. They became the first Québécois rock act to headline at the Montreal Forum. With their great success, Offenbach returned to France on tour. They disbanded in 1985, and the members all became involved in solo projects as well as working with other acts. After some hits as a soloist in the late-80s, including “Un beau grand bateau”, the Felix Song of the Year for 1989, Gerry Boulet died in 1990 having battled for four years with cancer. Offenbach reunited in 1996 for a reunion tour…

Progressive rock band of the 70’s, formed by composer, keyboardist and performer Pierre Flynn, including bassist Mario Légaré, guitarist Jean Dorais and drummer Pierre Hébert.It was in 1969 that the story begins, Pierre plays with his cousin (Jean Dorais) and Mario in a group called Gladstone, who mainly performed English songs (Beatles, Dylan, Santana, etc.).In 1971, Gladstone no longer exists but Pierre and Mario meet the drummer Pierre Hébert with whom they found the group Maelstrom which will become October when Jean leaves his group of the moment, Jude 3 and will join them.A first album is recorded at the end of 1972 with the means of the board and a first extract, “If one leaves” begins to play on the radio. They are making Youth Today and undertake a tour through Quebec that will take them to the same stages as the Vigneault, Séguin, Leclerc, VEBB, before making the first part of one of the leading groups of British rock, King Crimson.During the next 6 years, they will release 4 albums all more original than the others, will be of all the major events, St-Jean Festivals, Chant'Août, Jardin des Etoiles, etc. In the early 1980s, like several groups, October bows out. Pierre Flynn will continue solo, Mario Légaré and Pierre Hébert will work as musicians with the Rivard, Piché and others, Jean Dorais, meanwhile, will launch a solo album in 1985 and then retire from the world of music.Recently, Pierre Flynn was back on the road for his solo show, always accompanied by Mario Légaré, his friend of nearly 25 years, and offered us some October songs installed in his instrument of choice, his organ B3 with the characteristic sound .A very great band in the history of music in Quebec!……
The band was founded in the sixties playing covers of pop anglo acts translating them to french, they called themselves Les Gants Blancs, then L’ Opera Pop D'Offenbach then Offenbach Pop Opera then Offenbach Soap Opera in 1970. That year, poet-songwriter-lyricist-singer Pierre Harel joined them and gave them the necessary boost the band needed, convincing them that they should sing in Quebec’s street french.
Under Harel’s guidance the band recorded a string of innovative albums including Saint-Chrone de Neant, a live album recorded in a church, with choir, church organist and a priest giving a mass in latin! The band themselves sang the lyrics in latin making for a unique experiance. The style of music on that album could be described as a cross between Pink Floyd and Deep Purple, very original and innovative.
The rest of the albums up to 77’s eponymous LP are more in the early 70’s organ driven prog/hard rock similar to Uriah Heep, Atomic Rooster and some german bands like Birth Control, Jane etc. … maybe a tad blusier. After many personal change-ups the band re-settled in '79 for a more boogie oriented sound. They did record a fine album with a big band in '79 (En Fusion). Even though Harel was long gone (he left in '74), they were very popular in French Canada, filling 17,000 seaters under the [aegis] of co-founder Gerry Boulet who died in 1990. Nowadays the band frequently re-unites for small scale gigs and festivals, events etc., but not permanently. I would suggest trying to find the two boxed sets released in the early 90’s as they contain most of recorded output of the band, even some unreleased songs. – Alain Mallette…

Photos by Jerry Boulet.. 

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 

Line-up / Musicians 
-Gerry Boulet / vocals, keyboards 
-Jean Gravel / guitars 
-Pierre Harel / vocals, congas 
-Michel Lamothe / bass, vocals 
-Denis Boulet / drums 
-Marcel Beauchamp / piano 
-Stéphane Venne / piano 

A1 Bulldozer 6:41 
A2 Caline De Blues 5:37 
A3 Kadrill 1:46 
A4 High But…Low 3:00 
B1 Mourir D'amour 3:56 
B2 Moody Calvaire 3:36 
B3 No Money No Candy 3:53 
B4 Faut Que J'me Pousse 4:15 

johnkatsmc5, welcome music..





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