Thursday, September 8, 2011

Offenbach - Bulldozer (1973 canada heavy progressive mixed with hard rock and blues rock - 2008 remastered & expanded edition - FLAC)

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).

Track List:
01.Bulldozer (chanté ) (04:40)
02.Hey Boss (04:34)
03.Magie Rouge (04:07)
04.Câline de doux blues (05:02)
05.Solange Tabarnac (00:27)
06.Marche de Peanut (02:08)
07.Bataille (02:46)
08.Bulldozer Thème (sax) (03:03)
09.Qu'est-ce qui te prend (02:47)
10.S.O.S. (03:14)
11.Ah Comme on s'ennuie (03:09)
12.Faut que j'me pousse (02:38)
13.Adios Amor (03:19)
14.S.O.S. (Alternate Take) (03:23)
15.Ah comme on s'ennuie (Long Version) (04:13)

*Gérald Boulet: Vocals, Piano, Organ, Saxophone
*Roger Belval: Drums
*Jean Gravel: Guitar
*Pierre Harel: Vocals, Piano
*Michel Lamothe: Bass, Acoustic guitar
*Mouffe: Vocals (S.O.S)

[ Posted by OldrockerBR ]
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