The “Montreal Gazette” declared it “the fastest-selling single in the province this year,” and the song went on to reign for three weeks at No. 1 on the Quebec charts. In total Québécois spent 19 weeks on the charts, and thanks to its catchy tune and populist lyrics, it has remained a favourite in that province.
The three songwriters who wrote Québécois – Angelo Finaldi, François Guy, and Richard Tate – themselves made up La Révolution Française (previously Les Sinners). They recorded Québécois for the Revolution label, with Tony Roman producing; the record was released in French-Canada and France as a pop-rock 45-rpm single (R-2010) with Shoo-Do-Be-Do on the B side. The song was also the title track of the band’s 1969 album (Trans-Canada TSF 769), the cover of which, in classic 1960s design style, displayed a psychedelic stylized map of Canada with – of course – an enlarged Quebec.
The cheery, proud and upbeat Québécois opens with popular references to Montreal’s Mayor Drapeau, Expo ’67, and the Expos baseball team. The lyrics then go on to voice the desire of many Quebeckers to be in charge of their own future. The timing for such a song was ripe, with the new Parti Québécois gaining support throughout the province and Quebec’s future looking bright and prosperous. Indeed, many fans sang Québécois’s chorus as an unofficial provincial anthem and it became popular at political rallies: “Québécois, nous sommes québécois” (“Quebeckers; we are Quebeckers.”)
These factors helped turn Québécois into the top-selling single in Quebec in 1970, with over 100,000 copies sold, and the band made television appearances such as on “Québec A-Go-Go.”
Notably, Québécois was one of the earlier rock songs to deal with the issue of Quebec nationalism; the topic had previously been the preserve of the folk-oriented chansonniers.
Finaldi, Guy and Tate followed up Québécois’s success by releasing a disco version as well as creating a 1977 funk-soul sequel: Le Québec aux Québécois, for Le Nouveau Testament.
The song has been covered by Michèle Richard and Tony Roman, and it is featured on the compilation albums “L'histoire des groupes des années ’60,” “Les meilleures chansons pop rock des groupes des années ’60,” and “Le meilleur de jeunesse.”
La Révolution Française performed together from 1968 to 1971, and opened for The Doors at Montreal’s Forum in 1969. Guitarist Angelo Finaldi (born in Italy 1950) composed songs for Luc Plamandon, Diane Dufresne, Nanette Workman and Mario Pelchat, and released the solo album “Angie” in 1974. Drummer Richard Tate released three solo albums in the 1970s. Lead singer and lyricist François Guy (1947 - ) turned his hand to writing musical comedy, notably “Circociel.”