Sunday, December 4, 2011

Les Alexandrins pt I

Today I realized I haven't posted for a long time and I have also never posted anything about Les Alexandrins. Les Alexandrins are a duo consisting of husband and wife, Luc and Lise Cousineau. They started off in the mid 60's as a kinda square folk rock duo, almost like French Canada's answer to Ian and Sylvia. Their first few records are not that great. They mostly contain a mix of folk and more mainstream pop influences, with the type of traditional showbiz string and horn parts that wouldn't be out of place on a Tom Jones or Dionne Warwick record. They basically sound like young people making records for old people (or pretentious college students).

These records are just ok.

I have not heard this record, but I bet it is a little better than the first 2. This song is on it:

However, like Robert Charlebois, when folk rock began to turn into psychedelia, their records got a lot better. I think leaving Capitol Records for Polydor might also have helped. Double Jeu was their breakthrough record in this new sound. Suddenly instead of sounding like they made their record with Sammy Davis Jr.'s horn section riding shotgun, they sound like they recorded in a cold water flat on Mont Royal with a bunch of hippies sitting around rolling jays and discussing the coming revolution. Which is to say, they finally sound cool and like they are making music for people their own age. Like Charlebois, they also enlisted the talents of the Quatuor de jazz libre du Québec in order to help them make the transition from slick folkies to loose rockers. For a free jazz band, the QJLQ were very adept at playing rock.

This record is great!

After this, they only recorded one more single under the name "Les Alexandrins," and instead changed their name to "Luc Et Lise" for their next LP. The last single they released under their old name was "Angela Mon Amour."

This is one of my favorite Les Alexandrins songs. It still has the the sophisticated vocal melodies of their early stuff, but it sounds like genuine rock and roll, as opposed to pop songs that have rock grafted on to them.

Angela Mon Amour- Les Alexandrins


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