Saturday, August 30, 2008

Les Sextans

The Quebecois garage scene of the 60’s was ridiculously fertile; bands upon bands upon bands. Bands that recorded one single. Bands that recorded album upon album. Bands made up of future disco kingpins. Bands made up of future car mechanics. Bands whose records are worth hundreds of dollars. Bands whose records are worth 50 cents. It's basically a bottomless trove of music, ranging from terrible to amazing.

“Il Faut” by Les Sextans has been a favorite of mine for a little while. It’s a nice, sharp pop song with a melancholy edge, straddling a strange grey area between a ballad and an uptempo tune. I’d put it on a few mixes, but I was never sure if it was an original tune or a cover of an English or American song. It sounded vaguely familiar, but I could never put my finger on it. Les Sextans recorded a handful of 45's, most of which are fairly easy to locate. They are probably best known for their cover of Creedence Clearwater's (who were big in Montreal) "Down on the Corner" as "Boulevard St. Germain."

Last week, while going thru a stack of 45’s at a record store in Toronto, I stumbled across the original. Turns out it’s “Sorrow” by the McCoys, an American band best known for their Top 10 hit “Hang On Sloopy.” It seems like there were a few regional covers of this song, as in the UK, the Merseys covered it and had a big hit with. Their version is more orchestrated than the McCoys version, with horn charts and whatnot. However, this was the one that David Bowie covered on his “Pin Ups” LP, which is probably the most exposure the song got.

I can say without reservation that Les Sextans is definitely a cover of the McCoys version, as the backing tracks are almost exactly the same. I admit when I heard it, I was almost a little disappointed, as Les Sextans version is so nice, I had hoped it was an original.


Blogger Vente de garage said...

Yea great song!

If you like Les Sextans, be sure to check out their version of Incense & peppermmints, orignally by Strawberry Alarm Clock. It was translated to L'Amitié. (I have a copy for sale... if you're ever interested)

also check out their rarest and most wanted 45: Le désastre, which I think is a cover of Little Girl, orignally by The Syndicate of Sound! I don't have that one, but it was comped on some volume of Ils sont fous ces gaulois. Great garage!

September 3, 2008 at 10:43:00 AM PDT  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home