Fans of the peculiar charms of French-born songstress and actress Claudine Longet may know the beguiling 'Electric Moon' from her 1971 album, We've Only Just Begun. The song was written by Donovan – whose brilliance and versatility as a songwriter tends to be seriously underrated, in my opinion – and produced and arranged by Nick DeCaro. Assigned by A&M Records to work on Longet's music in 1966, DeCaro was the chief architect behind her brand of lush easy-listening, arranging and/or producing seven of her eight albums (including 1974's Sugar Me, which remained unissued until 1993). Andy Williams, Longet's then-husband, liked DeCaro's work so much, he hired him to work on his own records.
- Claudine Longet - Electric Moon (1971)
- Claudine Longet - Como la luna (1971)
Longet also released a Spanish language cover of 'Electric Moon' as 'Como la luna'. She appeared on a show called Estudio Abertio on Spain's TVE around early October 1971, performing this and the B-side 'Mucho tiempo mas', a cover of Linda Ronstadt's 'Long, Long Time'.
Donovan never released a version himself but, according to this EIL listing, did record a demo acetate for Longet. The only recording of Donovan performing the song to have surfaced is in a 1970 film called There Is An Ocean, which was unreleased until its inclusion in the 2005 box set, To Try For The Sun.
Mordi, of the inimitable BlowUpDoll, has created a blog specially devoted to all things Claudine Longet called Love Claudine. It's a feast of lovely pics and rare songs for both Claudine fans and those wanting to find out more about the 60s French chanteuse and one-time wife of Andy Williams.
Margo Guryan, who wrote two songs performed by Claudine, once described her singing as "rhythmically challenged", but also compared her to such wispy-voiced luminaries as Astrud Gilberto and Jane Birkin. So you get some idea of the kind of offbeat appeal Claudine embodies.
The latest Love Claudine post is the track 'Mucho tiempo más'. Bel Divioleta, one of the lovely voices of Spanish indie girl pop band Las Escarlatinas, included a version of the song on her recent release Espejos (late 2005 in Spain, but this year elsewhere, I believe). Enjoy:
*Update: Alan has a cover of the English version ('Long Long Time') by another Siesta artist, Miss Bosforo, up at La Cancion de Prevert.
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