Guy lafleur lafleur!


Lafleur, Guy - Lafleur!

Format: LP
Label: Unison Sports Records UNE 2000
Year: 1979
Origin: Thurso, Québec
Genre: disco, Sports - hockey
Keyword:  Hockey, Guy Lafleur, Montreal Canadiens, NHL
Value of Original Title: $40.00
Make Inquiry/purchase: email
Release Type: Albums
Websites:  No
Playlist: 1970's, Quebec, Disco Boogie, Hockey Room


Side 1

Track Name

Side 2

Track Name



Guy Lafleur insert


Guy Lafleur - Lafleur!


Guy Lafleur - Lafleur!

Guy lafleur lafleur!




Lafleur was the ultimate NHL crossover star, and he had a disco album to prove it.

The A-list gathered at Régine, one of the hottest discotheques in Montreal. Art deco style, plexiglass dance floor, waiters in tuxedos, and $4.50 a beer — a small fortune in 1979.

The chic nightclub is where Guy Lafleur launched his eponymous disco album, “Lafleur!“

At the time, everyone — including the musicians who had worked on this peculiar project — was wondering the same thing: “Guy Lafleur sings?”

No, the Canadiens superstar did not sing. “Lafleur!” was conceived as a series of exercises to encourage young players to develop their hockey skills backed by disco music.

This bizarre idea that quickly became a curio and a collector’s item perfectly reflects Lafleur’s impact on popular culture. That’s because Lafleur’s fame extended far beyond Québec’s borders and Montreal Canadiens fans. As the 1970s drew to an end, Lafleur was the best player on the NHL’s best team, he had just won the Stanley Cup four times, and he was hoarding individual honors.

Involved in a host of projects, a spokesman for a thousand brands, Lafleur was the best-selling name in the NHL during the 1970s.

“It was because of hockey that he was what he was off the ice,” recalled Jerry Petrie, who was his agent in 1979. “I mean, let’s face it, if you’re not Guy Lafleur on the ice, you’re not Guy Lafleur off the ice.”

It’s true that if he hadn’t been the NHL’s most flamboyant star at the time, everything else would not have followed. But Lafleur’s magnetism was such that at a certain point his connection with the public became at least as important as what he accomplished on the ice.

Canadiens general manager Sam Pollock’s coveted target as the first overall pick in the 1971 NHL Draft, Lafleur was good without being dominant for three seasons before bursting into the stratosphere of stardom during the 1974-75 season.

That was the year Lafleur forgot his helmet during a morning skate and suddenly felt free to let his long blond mane blow in the wind. A decisive performance that night convinced him to put away his helmet for good. Like Samson, Lafleur began to draw his power from his hair.

Between 1974-75 and 1979-80, Lafleur scored 327 goals and amassed 766 points in 462 games, which was 39 goals and 83 points more than Marcel Dionne, second in those two categories during those six seasons. And his 63 game-winning goals easily exceeded Flyers sharpshooter Reggie Leach, who was next with 41 over the same span. Lafleur’s legend was built within that six-season window when he overtook Bobby Orr as the NHL’s biggest star.

In Montreal, at a time when the Canadiens were toasting with the Stanley Cup on an annual basis, Lafleur was ubiquitous. On the Canadiens, he tried to be just another player. But in the public eye, no star shone brighter than his.

Peter Alves, the “Lafleur!” producer, was composing jingles for an advertising agency when he moved to Montreal around the same time that Lafleur’s career really took off. Alves had never attended a hockey game before the ad agency offered him tickets behind the Canadiens bench. His first game at the Forum made a strong impact.

“There was always something quite magical when he hit the ice,” Alves recalled. “And I don’t think it’s because the people got all ‘Guy! Guy! Guy!’ I don’t know if it’s that or not, because with his flowing hair, and his speed, and his technique, he just lit things up a level over anybody else that I’ve ever seen, even to this day. It sort of lifted everybody’s collective spirits.”

The way Lafleur’s popularity radiated into other NHL markets was also unique. Petrie remembers, for example, attending a Canadiens game at Buffalo Memorial Auditorium and noticing how the Sabres fans ignored where the puck was; instead, their eyes and heads followed every movement Lafleur made on the ice. They were under his spell.

Former Colorado Avalanche star Joe Sakic grew up in British Columbia with a father who was a die-hard Canadiens fan. And even as a child, he knew Lafleur’s popularity rose beyond his team’s.

“He was the one guy who it didn’t matter what team you’re rooting for, you’re rooting for Guy,” Sakic said at the time of Lafleur’s funeral in May 2022. “He had that style, he had that flair, so explosive and skating up and down the wing. … He was just better than everybody.”

Add to his popularity and incomparable charisma the fact that even Hollywood stars wanted to meet him, and you have a larger-than-life athlete. This made Lafleur one of the most popular promotional vehicles in professional sports.

Petrie had set up Guy Lafleur Enterprises to channel all of the Canadiens superstar’s endorsement contracts, from yogurt to luxury cars to soft drinks to department stores. There was Guy Lafleur maple syrup, a Guy Lafleur table hockey game, Guy Lafleur rulers, even a line of No. 10 perfumes.

“In those years, Guy was at his best and, I’m not exaggerating, he must have had around 25 projects in the works,” former teammate Pierre Mondou says. “He had so many endorsements, he was kind of mixed up in it all. He had sponsorships of everything.”

One summer, Lafleur had so many things going that he had to turn down Johnny Carson and an invitation to “The Tonight Show.”

Little wonder that at a time when everyone wanted to associate themselves with Lafleur, a disco album entered the dance.

In 1974, The Hues Corporation saw their song “Rock the Boat” top the Billboard charts. It was the first disco song to hit No. 1 and the beginning of a dazzling period where disco was everywhere in the Western world.

Montreal became a disco hub and possibly its second-largest market in North America after New York. Montreal had its own emerging artists, it had its venues — the Limelight, the 1234, and of course Régine — and an unbridled and uninhibited clientele colored its evenings and attracted international stars.

When you think about it, Lafleur was the perfect sports personality to release a disco album because his career trajectory was identical to that of the genre. His six years of pure NHL-wide dominance aligns perfectly with the birth and death of the disco movement. Because it was in 1974 that Lafleur also started rocking the boat. And while the turn of the decade didn’t completely siphon off Lafleur’s offensive output like it halted disco, Lafleur was never quite the same in the following decade. Whereas in 1979, when he was approached to make the disco album, Lafleur was on top of the world. The Canadiens had just won their fourth straight Stanley Cup and, just before reaching the Final, Lafleur had scored one of his most famous goals by beating Boston Bruins goaltender Gilles Gilbert with a slapshot that allowed the Canadiens to take Game 7 of the series into overtime.

Everything was possible with Lafleur. Including making an album.

Alves had a clear concept in mind with this novelty item that brought together the two things that were all the rage at that time.

“Basically, it was a series of exercises that he would do to encourage young people and players to develop their hockey skills,” described Alves, who had launched the music careers of artists like Boule Noire and Toulouse. “So that was all written as a script. And then, of course, we wrote and produced the music tracks that were designed in such a way that there’d be some rhythmic timing so that people could do the exercises to the timing of the beats on the record. But we left portions open for Guy’s dialogue, and then we recorded them separately and dropped those pieces in.”

The album was produced with overlaid tracks that a range of seasoned musicians had recorded separately. Newspapers of the day reported that Lafleur spent more than 75 hours at Studio Six recording his bilingual narrations. In terms of production, the result is impeccable. And it worked.

Nobody can state with certainty the number of copies sold, but many were, both in English and in French. And to this day, Alves still receives royalties, including from a Swedish TV show that uses an excerpt from one of the songs in its opening.

Martin Lafleur, Guy’s oldest son, has some reservations about “Lafleur!,” a project that was certainly in tune with the times and went hand in hand with the customs of many hockey players, but which had brought his father to perform on a completely different stage.

“It showed how much the agents were trying to monetize just about anything. But it was OK,” Martin Lafleur said. “Being a little more conservative and having had the opportunity to take care of my father’s career for seven or eight years, I wouldn’t have gone down that road, but it was avant-garde to make an album where we explain how to play hockey to disco music.

“My dad is not the most explicit guy. He is a very calm and collected person. It was taking two things that don’t go together and bringing them together … other than the fact that my dad did like disco music.”

In addition to the 12-inch vinyl record itself, the album contained a color poster of Lafleur, who is pictured shirtless in an abstraction of a hockey locker room setting. His gaze is mischievous and filled with confidence. There was also a black and white photo booklet that summarized some of the advice mentioned on the album as well as a coupon to become a member of the Lafleur fan club.

There’s no hiding the fact that “Lafleur!” was primarily a commercial project with an investment of more than $100,000. But given the enthusiasm Lafleur created and the unanimity that there was around him, the monetization of his image was a fact of his public life for more than 40 years.

“Yes, it was a timely product to earn some money, but because it was Guy, and because he was so cool, and because the album was made with a lot of care, it transcended something that was just disposable,” said Howard Forman, who played guitar on the album. “And that’s why, every so often, it’s still remembered 40-odd years later.”

On July 12, 1979, while “Lafleur!” was in the works, one of the most infamous promotional events in sports history took place. The Chicago White Sox hosted “Disco Demolition Night” at old Comiskey Park and fans could buy discounted tickets to the team’s doubleheader that day as long as they brought along a disco record. The mountain of vinyl would then be destroyed in centerfield between the two games.

Steve Dahl, a Chicago disc jockey, hosted the event, which turned riotous, but ultimately tolled the death knell for disco music as the signal was sent that music fans were ready to move on. Less than two years later, punk and new wave had replaced disco as the popular trend.

In a way, Lafleur experienced an event that could also serve as a demarcation between when he was in, and when he wasn’t.

The 1980-81 season had been frustrating for Lafleur, who had been plagued by various injuries. On March 24, 1981, after an evening spent mostly at a downtown Montreal bar Thursday’s with defenseman Robert Picard, Lafleur fell asleep at the wheel of his Cadillac Seville on his way home to Baie d’Urfé, a West Island suburb of Montreal. His car struck a fence not far from the Turcot interchange and a pole smashed through the windshield and right between the spokes of the steering wheel before plunging into the back seat. The post struck Lafleur’s right ear. He came within inches of losing his life.

“I decided to slow down after that,” Lafleur told the defunct UPI news agency in 1985. “I realized that my family was more important to me than downtown nightlife.”

Alves, who was Lafleur’s neighbor in Baie d’Urfé, believes the accident changed him.

“Let’s put it this way, he had the reputation of living the highlife, and so it wasn’t just hockey,” Alves says. “It was the dance clubs and all that sort of stuff. But it came down. I felt it slowed down that whole flash stuff after the accident. That was a wake-up call.”

That said, this car accident can’t be blamed for the fact that Lafleur’s game gradually declined from that point on, because the entire Canadiens team went downhill at the start of the 1980s. There were ill-advised changes in management, several stars left after the 1979 Cup and their style of play changed.

“The team as a whole had gone down a notch,” Mondou said. “And in his case, he would have had to be fully focused on perfect physical conditioning and he had to be rested. I’m not saying that he was overwhelmed, but with so many commitments, it was a lot to handle.”

Lafleur missed only a few games as a result of the accident, then returned to action in time for the start of the playoffs. Facing a young Edmonton Oilers team, Canadiens goaltender Richard Sévigny predicted that Lafleur would put Wayne Gretzky in his back pocket. The opposite happened.

If Guy Lafleur was the NHL’s disco star, Gretzky was the new wave.

Usually, the stuff of legends is seeing how memories and oral histories embellish their exploits over time. But in Lafleur’s case, even if its source is drawn from six years of domination, his legacy was nourished throughout his life by the quality of the bond that united him to his beloved Québec. The fact that he remained so close, so human, so relatable, is what ended up defining him.

“To me, Céline was the same kind of person as Guy Lafleur,” said Forman, who wrote the first song Céline Dion performed in English for the children’s film, “The Dog Who Stopped the War.” “She was from a small town in Québec, she was super talented, and she was a complete sweetheart, and a very down-to-earth person. And I’ve explained to people in the States why Quebecers love Céline so much, that she’s our Céline.

“So to me, it’s the same kind of thing with someone like Guy Lafleur.”

Lafleur was an imperfect hero, but he was adored partly because he was imperfect. People recognized themselves in this humble man, always open and sincere, and extraordinarily endearing.

Sakic, who was Lafleur’s teammate when he returned to the game and ended his career with the Québec Nordiques, remembers a man who did not go through the motions with fans and who had a rare ability to make everyone feel important.

Those who were part of “Lafleur!” felt it, too.

“For the (musicians) and the technicians, engineers, producers who were working on the album, everybody was absolutely enchanted with him,” Forman says. “He had a fabulous presence. He was a total gentleman, and it was nice to see someone with that much fame act in just a completely normal way. And at the same time, understanding that for a lot of the big sports fans, it would really be a thrill to meet him. He was the coolest.

“He was a king who walked side by side with every man.”
-Marc Antoine Godin, Jan 21, 2023

Legendary Canadian ice hockey player Guy Lafleur passed away today at age 70, and along with his achievements in the sport — among them, five Stanley Cups and three NHL scoring titles — his cultural impact is also felt in a way few other players can claim: having his own disco album.

When it comes to hockey-themed records, which are largely either spoken word or laughably novel in nature, 1979's Lafleur! skates in a class of its own. A clear bit of trend-chasing from Lafleur — the Montreal Canadiens star who by this point was the face of team's late-'70s dynasty — resulted in an oddly alluring cultural crossover that the modern game could only dream of replicating.

Lafleur!, which saw release in both English and French language editions, is at once a discothèque dominator and a hockey how-to, with the winger breaking down important game fundamentals over some incredibly slick grooves.

For instance, on a song like "Scoring" ("Marquer un but" on the French edition), Lafleur lets listeners in on his secrets to lighting the lamp when it comes to stick placement, puck carrying and one's own on-ice position, as some incredibly inspirational backing vocalists urge, "Yes you can do it, you know you can do it. Baby, all you gotta do is try."

Produced by Peter Alves and Jack Lenz — the latter of whom co-wrote the Toronto Blue Jays' seventh-inning anthem "OK Blue Jays" — Lafleur! also taught aspiring stars about "Skating," "Checking," the "Face Off" and "Power-Play." The record also came packaged with a booklet with photos of Lafleur in action, corresponding to each of his recorded lessons, and a colour poster of him looking ready to give in to his Saturday Night Fever.

Archival CBC footage shows that the arrival of Lafleur! was even marked with a release party at a Montreal nightclub, featuring a reporter who can't fully hide his disdain for the music. When asked about disco, Lafleur responds, "I like it very much, but I want to say something... I'm not a very good dancer. On the ice, maybe I am a good one, but not outside."

The NHL stars of today are much less concerned with record-making. It's more likely that you'll find them singing at practice (if not at the bar post-game), or teaming with music's biggest for horrendous merch collabs. Their musical ambition is done no favours by a league that remains inept at marketing its top-level talent, leaving celebrity spectators — or, worse yet, who they believe to be culturally relevant — to lead.

On the French edition of Lafleur!, the song titled "Power-Play" is given the much more inspiring title "Y'a Rien Pour M'arrêter," or "Nothing Can Stop Me." It's clear that Lafleur carried that determination within himself — whether on the rink or on record.
-Calum Slingerland, Apr 22, 2022

Record Company – Disques Sports
Recorded At – Studio Six
Recorded At – Unison Studios, Montreal
Recorded At – Experience Studio
Mixed At – Studio Six
Mastered At – Sterling Sound
Produced For – Unison Productions Ltd.
Arranged By [Additional Vocal Arrangements] – Gina Watson, Heather Gauthier
Bass – Brian Smith (9), Jean-Guy Chapados
Concept By – Mark Maron, Ron Rivkin
Drum – Alfred Beasley
Electric Guitar – Howard Forman
Engineer – Gabriel Boucher
Executive-Producer [Producteur Associé] – France Smith, Gino Soccio
Executive-Producer [Producteur Délégué] – Mark Maron, Ron Rivkin, Steve Grossman
Horns – Denis Lagacé, Richard Beaudet, Roger Walls
Keyboards – Jack Lenz
Lyrics By – Smith, Fauteux (tracks: A1, B1)
Mixed By – Gabriel Boucher, Peter Alves
Music By, Arranged By – Jack Lenz, Peter Alves
Organ – Jack Lenz, Peter Alves
Percussion – Peter Alves, Tom Roady
Performer [Guy Lafleur] – Guy Lafleur
Photography By [Booklet] – Michel Ponomareff
Photography By [Sleeve, Poster] – Peter Baumgartner
Producer – Jack Lenz, Peter Alves
Producer [Directeur Artistique] – Alan Shibinsky
Text By – France Smith, Guy Lafleur, Michel Fauteux, Ron Rivkin
Vocals – Gina Watson, Heather Gauthier, Laurie Niedzielski, Ranée Lee
Toutes les chansons sont éditées par Les Editions Carte Blanche (PRO)/Les Editions Tax (CAPAC)

Produit pour Les Disques Unison/Sports par Les Productions Unison Ltée.
Fabriqué par Les Productions Unison Ltée./Les Disques Sports Inc. (back of the jacket)
Fabriqué par / Manufactured by Disques Unison Records (labels)

Released in a gatefold format, and includes a 16-page booklet and a 22" x 11" poster


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