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Garolou Garolou album cover
3.72 | 22 ratings | 4 reviews | 14% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1978

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Aux Illinois (3:42)
2. La complainte du maréchal Biron (5:24)
3. Le départ pour les États (5:32)
5. Je me suis habillé en plumes (3:46)
5. Alouette (2:06)
6. Victoria (2:55)
7. La retraite de Bonaparte (2:44)
8. Wing-tra-la (4:27)
9. Germaine (10:30)

Total Time 41:06

Line-up / Musicians

- Michel Lalonde / guitar, vocals
- Marc Lalonde / vocals, bass
- Reginald Guay / backing vocals, keyboards
- Gilles Beaudoin / backing vocals, lead guitar
- Michel Stan Deguire / drums & percussion

Releases information

LP London LFS-9027
LP Kebec-Disc KD-511

Thanks to ? for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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Buy GAROLOU Garolou Music

GAROLOU Garolou ratings distribution

(22 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(14%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(59%)
Good, but non-essential (14%)
Collectors/fans only (14%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

GAROLOU Garolou reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by kenethlevine
4 stars The late 1970s represented a singular moment in French Canada, particularly the province of Quebec. A government had been elected whose primary purpose was to achieve independent nation status for the province, and a population long suppressed by both the Catholic Church and the English business elite was feeling its oats. The half decade period leading up to and subsequent to the 1976 election victory was also a windfall for the arts. Since we are discussing music here, it was also the golden era for Quebecois popular music, particularly that which unearthed its rich roots and only fortified them in the process. I consider GAROLOU to have been in the forefront of this stampede, even if their two founders were from Ontario, and I'm certainly not alone, for their enthusiastic if unlikely blend of traditional folk music and symphonic progressive rock went gold for this, their second self-titled album (although each had a different name).

The album kicks off with the moody and potent "Aux Illinois", with its theme of lust and deceit. The quiet first verse is accompanied by simple electric piano with a slight jazzy feel, but raucous rhythm guitars quickly join in and turns this into perhaps the heaviest cut on the disc, and one of its best. This juxtaposition of Celtic and rock and roll styles is handled with panache. The most popular track on FM radio was "La complainte du marechal Biron", and its suspenseful tale of the king's right hand man who came to Paris to "play with the queen" continues the theme of lovers and friends turning against each other. Musically this is also a gem, with fine acoustic guitar throughout and string synths, which seemed to be Garolou's keyboard of choice, but not overdone. The band switches to the more blatantly historical for "Le Depart pour les etats", a touching tale of Canadian working families seeking employment and prosperity in the USA during the early Industrial Revolution only to be taken down a notch and become third class citizens. It features a superb lead guitar solo in the break.

Many other highlights include a breakneck version of "Alouette" which bears little resemblance to the cutesy rhyme that all Quebeckers know, Francophone and Anglophone alike, "Wing Tra La", a beautiful a capella number, and of course the overtly progressive 10 minute excursion that is "Germaine", with every device and excess of late 1970s progressive rock in one endearing package, and where the string cheese, I mean synthesizers, come closest to melting all over our heroic lovers. Still, it's an ambitious and highly realized work thanks to the band's melodic instincts and the Lalonde brothers' theatrical background.

I cannot possibly be objective about this indulgence that encapsulates my teenage love affair with home grown, old fashioned, and yet thoroughly contemporary rock, but I wouldn't throw you to the werewolves. This is a priceless snapshot of a time and place that are both gone forever.

Review by Sean Trane
3 stars 3.5 stars really!!!

With the name change Lougarou to Garolou, the group also changed of personnel as Antoniak and Naylor got replaced by more French-sounding Guay and Beaudouin. With a very Republican artwork, something tells me that Garolou now that it was adopted as a Quebecois band, they tried for the French market, and let's face it this album was good enough to crack the market if it had its chance. Musically the album takes over from the progressive folk rock that mixed so well acoustic and electric folk of the debut album and develops it to a mainly progressive rock where folk influences still dominates.

Opening on the electric piano introduction of Aux Illinois, Garolou almost sounds like Focus with added vocals until the Tull-guitar enters and gives it a vigorous shake. Complainte is one of those pure prog rock tracks, where the heavy synth layers give the track a very modern flavour, although the texts are about the French revolution. The following Depart returns to trad folk, depicting southbound immigration from the great whit north. This track featu-ures some violin from another Lalonde, Robert, this time. Interesting but predictable. Habillé En Plumes (dressed in feathers) is really in the realm of Tull's Songs From The Wood, except that it lets its middle section to keyboards, before letting the guitars a short escape, before returning to the verse and chorus. Then comes the ultra-standard Alouette to close up.

The flipside is a bit of a surprise at first, returning with the ultra-cliché Victoria, so unarranged that it ruins the album's cohesiveness, but since the following Bonaparte jig, where the Quebecois settle their count for abandoning them (by selling Louisiana to the Americans for his European campaigns)??Wing-Tra-La is more trad folk, this time close to Malicorne or la Bamboche. But clearly the album was waiting for the closing Germaine and its 10-mins, which starts as a merry song slowly building up to a furious Tull track in its middle section. The track resumes la bit then seems to die, before a series of dramatic bursts bring on a repetitive bur crescedoing synth finale

This second album is probably the one progheads will prefer, and it's easy to see why, despite the middle of the album's folk's folk heart. While I don't consider any of Garolou's album essential, the first three all have arguments and picking this album up, you shouldn't have any trouble enjoying an album like this..

Review by VianaProghead
4 stars Review Nº 713

The progressive rock scene in the Anglophone Canada during the 70's wasn't particularly robust. In spite of Canada's close connection with British music, the progressive scene didn't really take hold. Rush was the most well known band to attempt to apply English prog sensibility to their sound. However, for Francophones, progressive rock was given a huge welcome. Progressive rock was a way of creating contemporary music that gave them more freedom to express themselves without turning to the English language. Furthermore, progressive rock incorporated a lot of jazz and classical influences and for many Québécois musicians with degrees in the classical music or experience with jazz, progressive rock offered them the liberty of composing music as they liked. Several English bands were first welcomed to North America by Quebecers. Prior to the prog trend catching on in the rest of Canada and in the U.S., bands like Gentle Giant, King Crimson, Genesis, Yes, Camel, Supertramp, and Pink Floyd were filling concert halls in Québec, and as the Québec prog scene grew up, local bands opened for their major English counterparts. So, it was during those years that the progressive rock Québécois scene was at its strongest and with the several and varied influences of the English prog scene sewn in the music of many bands, such as, Morse Code, Maneige, Harmonium, Pollen and Garolou.

Garolou was fouded in 1975. It was originally called Lougarou, but had to change its name after being sued by a dance troup named Les Loups-Garous. The group became popular not only in Québec but across Canada, with its rock sound and its lyrics taken from French and French Canadian traditional songs. The group performed at many music festivals all over the Canada. During those years, Garolou released four studio albums, "Lougarou" in 1976, "Garolou" in 1978, "Romancero" in 1980 and "Centre-Ville" in 1982. By the time, the golden era of Québécois prog was in decline and Garolou cessed their activity in 1983. The band returned in the 90's and released in 1995 a live album called "Reunion", which captured Garolou's live experience. In 1999 a new studio album was released under the name of "Mémoire Vive".

So, "Garolou" is the second studio album of Garolou and that was released in 1978. The line up on the album is Michel Lalonde (vocals and guitar), Marc Lalonde (vocals and bass guitar), Gilles Beaudoin (backing vocals and lead guitar), Réginald Guay (backing vocals and keyboards) and Michel "Stan" Deguire (drums and percussion).

An interesting thing about the line up of Garolou is that they aren't properly originary of the French Canada what would to be expected. All five members of the band hailed from Ontario and not from Québec. Originally, the band was formed by the two brothers Marc and Michel Lalonde that started their artistic careers as members of the Prince Edward theatre group. After that, the pair formed a folk duo which then morphed into a full band with the addition of the guitarist George Antoniak, the keyboardist Steven Naylor and also the already mentioned drummer Michel "Stan" Deguire.

Garolou with their second work cling to the progressive rock and the traditional folk fusion. Fans recognize themselves in it and can appreciate it. "Garolou" is probably the best and most sucessful album of the band. The album was more successful than their previous one, even aligning several successes with the various charts. Musically, the band apparently made some major changes. Whereas "Lougarou" supposedly explored their interest in French Canadian folk music, "Garolou" found the band opting for a more conventional and commercial sound. It can be seen on many tracks on the album. "Germaine", "Aux Illinois", "La Complante Du Maréchal Biron" and above all "Victoria" became reference pieces and songs that the bar entertainers keen on the Québec repertoire take up again and again. For instance, "La Complante Du Maréchal Biron" was one of the most popular tracks on the FM radio. The same happened with "Aux Illinois". Both sounded great in the mid 70's FM radio stations and they would sound nice even in our days. Tracks like "Alouette" and the acapella "Wing-Tra- La" were traditional folk music songs that are part of the repertoire of the band.

Conclusion: This is another hidden piece from the Québec prog/folk scene. It may be easy to draw similarities to their more successful compatriots with their French crooning and strong use of acoustic instruments, Garolou do so in a way that is noticeably more light hearted and jovial, conjuring up an atmosphere all of their own, in a modern rock way with a prog rock twist. The references to various Québec folk songs and tales make of it an all the more intriguing and engaging experience. From what I know, this is one of their best and most accomplished prog albums. It's an album that oscilates between the traditional folk, such as, "Alouette", "Victoria" and "La Retraite De Bonaparte", and the prog folk music, like, "La Complainte Du Maréchal Biron", "Le Départ Pour Les États" and especially "Germaine". This is an album with some great musical moments, indeed, especially "Germaine", the great prog highlight on the album. And, above all, there isn't a single bad song on the album. So, I rated it with 4 stars. Garolou deserves more love on this site.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

Latest members reviews

4 stars This is Garolou's best album, and the one that best describes (and thus would be the best introduction to) their sound. Some of the members are new since the debut, and they changed their name (from Lougarou to Garolou), and in doing so became more firmly re-oriented in the Quebec progressive roc ... (read more)

Report this review (#1694736) | Posted by Walkscore | Monday, February 20, 2017 | Review Permanlink

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