The French Revolution
Listen – The French Revolution – Americas – MP3
I hope everyone has had a most excellent week.
Things hereabouts are going fairly well, with Spring easing in, bringing with it opportunities to head down to the beach for some fresh air. Not that the air here isn’t “fresh” per se, but once augmented by crashing waves and seagulls the hwole enterprise takes on another caste entirely.
The tune I bring you today is something that I bought years ago (probably pre-interwebs), which languished – like so many others – in a stack of records until I took the time to give it a listen.
Once I took care of that, I decided I wanted to blog it, but then it proved itself all but un-Google-able (for a while anyway).
Then I took a closer look at the label and saw the name Tony Roman. A little while back, over at Funky16Corners I wrote about a nifty cover of ‘Lady Marmalade’ by a singer named Nanette Workman.
Though she was born in the US, Workman made her career recording and performing in French Canada, working with the aforementioned Mr. Roman.
Once I saw his name, I cast my net a little wider and discovered that the French Revolution had initially recorded as Le Revolution Francaise, in Quebec.
The band had its roots in a beat band called Les Sinners who had quite a successful career north of the border, having a hit with a French language version of the Beatles’ ‘Penny Lane’.
At least two of Les Sinners, guitarist Francois Guy and drummer Louis Parizeau broke off in the late 60s and formed Le Revolution Francaise, having a hit with a song calle ‘Quebecois’, which as far as I’ve been able to tell was something of a nationalist anthem (at least with the younger crowd).
‘Americas’ was issued on Tower in 1969, with a flip side ‘Shoo-Bee-Doo’ which had been previously issued in Canada on the Revolution label. ‘Americas’ is a poppy ode to both North and South American continents (the lyrics are just this side of bizarre) with bits of freakbeat and psyche popping in here and there over the group’s heavily accented English. The grooviest thing of all is that right about 2:20, following what sounds like an air raid siren, the song turns into an oddly funky (entirely loop-able) bass and drum breakdown, before morphing into a march tempo, and then back into the song about a minute later.
It’s a great little record (not to mention that crazy, candy striped Tower label), and a tiny peek into the French Canadian musical scene.
I hope you dig it, and I’ll be back on Monday.