An iconic Quebec band with nearly 25 years of rock and roll under its belt, The Respectables set themselves apart with their unique sound, incisive lyrics and explosive energy. With more than 25 chart-topping singles to their name, this is a band that has stood the test of time, producing a number of Quebec’s biggest rock and roll hits over the years.
Founded in 1991, The Respectables is a four-member band from Quebec City made up of Sébastien Plante, Stéphane Beaudin, Stéphane Dussault and Pascal Dufour (Jean-Sébastien Chouinard joined the group in 2007 after Pascal Dufour left). They took to the stage right from the start and performed shows all over Canada—in bars, in concert venues or as the opening act for renowned artists.
In 1992, they won the L’Esprit Contest organized by the CHOM-FM radio station, and were finalists in Yamaha Music’s Sunfest held in Manitoba. Their unique style was already on display back then, as was the strong influence of blues and rock bands from Britain and the southern United States like Led Zeppelin, Jimmy Hendrix, les Beatles et les Rolling Stones.
The following year, The Respectables launched their first indie album No Dogs, No Bands. Then followed up in 1996 with the launch of Full Regalia at Le Théâtre Capitole in Quebec City, sparking media interest in the band once again and marking the beginning of a promising career. In 1998, they released a limited edition compilation called The B-Sides: 7 years of sucking in the nineties, inspired by a Rolling Stones compilation.
After three indie albums in English, they signed their first record deal and management contract in 1999. That’s also when they launched their first Francophone record $ = bonheur. The opus had the effect of a bombshell on the Quebec music scene, and the band shot to the top of the charts. It went gold and had more than eight chart toppers, including L’argent fait le bonheur, L’homme 7:00 up, Amalgame, Holà décadence and Cambre tes hanches. Over the years, a number of their songs also got picked up for ad campaigns for well-known brands like Pepsi, TELUS and Wendy’s. In 2001 and 2002, they won a Felix Award for Group of the Year at the ADISQ Gala and took home several SOCAN awards.
At the height of their popularity in the fall of 2002, they launched QuadroSonic, one of their most anticipated albums. The single On fait ce qu’on aime was a huge success and stayed on the charts for 13 weeks, which resulted in The Respectables opening for the mythical Rolling Stones at the Bell Centre on January 8, 2003, as part of the Stones’ Forty Licks tour.
In 2005, the band launched Le monde à l’envers, a politically engaged album that featured, among others, the song Un p’tit geste pour changer l’monde, written especially for the En ville sans ma voiture event for which they served as spokespeople for five years.
The following year, to celebrate their 15th anniversary, The Respectables put on a huge show at the Bell Centre with a number of surprise special guests. The epic event was immortalized with the launch of the Live au Centre Bell DVD set. In 2006, they also had the chance to share the stage with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra during the Weekend Pop de l’OSM.
Right after their Best Of album was released in 2008, the band came out with Sweet Mama the following year, which was recorded in Montréal and Texas in Willie Nelson’s prestigious studio. An international tour followed, with stops in New York, Cuba, Mexico, Belgium, London, Australia and at the famous Go Go in Los Angeles where they were part of the exclusive Musexpo convention.
In 2010, The Respectables released their tenth album, Guacamole. The reggae single La vie c’t’une job was one of the ten most played Francophone songs in Canada in 2011 and ended up winning the Prix de la chanson populaire.
Since then, The Respectables continue to be active on the local and international music scene, doing shows in England, Australia and the southern United States (including at the popular South by Southwest Festival). In 2013, the band started writing again in preparation for a new album.
Last spring, they signed with Groupe Entourage, who manages the band and handles production. At the same time, they were getting ready to release their latest album, produced and co-written by internationally acclaimed Gordie Johnson, which came out in the fall of 2015. The first single from the album, Cette fille, was released in the summer of 2014 as a taste test, and was well received by audiences and radio stations, quickly taking the number one spot for top Francophone song on the BDS chart.
With their distinctive style, authenticity and electric energy, there’s no doubt that The Respectables will be rocking out for years to come, both in their home province of Quebec and on the international stage.