Robert Charlebois

J'ai Vu le Loup, le Renard, le Lion

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The context: In August 1974, Quebec City was the host of the Superfrancofête, a multidisciplinary event bringing together francophones from around the world. The musical wing was to become the ancestor of the Montreal Francofolies festival and included a big free outdoor opening concert. The three-star singer/songwriters of Quebec shared the scene: Gilles Vigneault, Félix Leclerc, and Robert Charlebois represented three generations, three different approaches to songwriting, and were all loved by Quebecers and respected in Europe. The album: A two-LP set was culled from the concert (reissued in 1989 as a double CD). The three performers' sets are intermingled. The classic acoustic guitar-and-voice French chansonnier approach of Leclerc is very different from Charlebois' rock, but the whole thing stands together rather well, even though rock fans may have a hard time going through Vigneault's over-emphasized declamatory style. Each artist throws in his most-loved songs, but they have all been recorded better elsewhere (the enthusiastic crowd of 100,000 can get quite noisy). Highlights include Leclerc's classics "Le P'tit Bonheur" and "L'Alouette en Colère" and Vigneault's "La Manikoutai," particularly strong, but Charlebois' songs, more suited for an outdoor show, stand out. "Lindberg," "Ordinaire," and "Mon Pays" all get a nice treatment, but the spine-tingling moment comes when Vigneault joins him for a never-equalled performance of "La Marche du Président." The three singers unite their voices for Raymond Lévesque's humanitarian anthem's "Quand les Hommes Vivront d'Amour." An important document in the history of Quebec rock (and the nationalist movement, as most songs have a political dimension), J'Ai Vu le Loup, le Renard, le Lion is not an essential item for the common music fan.

Track Listing

Title/Composer Performer Time
1 1:53
2 3:42
3 2:09
4 3:00
5 1:52
6 4:44
7 4:07
8 4:36
9 3:34
10 1:10
11 1:44
12 2:41
13 3:15
14 2:21
15 3:31
16 5:05
17 3:55
18 2:55
19 2:40
20 2:45
21 3:25
22 1:45
23 4:06
24 4:35
26 2:20
blue highlight denotes track pick