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.
- Eva - Moon River (1974)
- Eddie Lee Mattison - El río de la luna (1972)
A joyous, uptempo pair of covers of the Henry Mancini and Johnny Mercer classic, 'Moon River'. Eddie Lee Mattison's version is a pop reggae take (similar to Greyhound's version, as someone at 45cat notes) sung in Spanish, which I've ripped from the vinyl single.
Eva's funk cover comes from a CD reissue of her 1974 self-titled album. Born Eva Correia José Maria, Eva was usually known as Evinha. At just seven years old, she formed the vocal group Trio Esperança with her brother and sister. The trio, whose recordings mostly fit the Jovem Guarda style, scored a number of hits throughout the sixties. Evinha left them in 1968 and went onto a successful solo career. The group continued without her – replacing her with another sister – until the 90s, when she rejoined them.
Links: Evinha on AllMusic.
An intriguing, Egyptian-themed slice of French psych-pop from, presumably, the late 60s by the mysterious Milord. The title question asks, "Besides the Sphinx, what is there?" I have no idea what he is on about, but it sounds like an expression of wonder or philosophical rumination. French speakers, feel free to enlighten me.
I can't find any lead on who Milord was. The songwriting credit for every song is Milord Godefroy de Zaer, which sounds distinctly made up. The record was released on Disques R, whose only output appears to be this EP (it's the only release listed on both Discogs and Encyclopédisque).
Record sleeve (click to enlarge):
If you like this song, you may be interested in a mix I made a few years ago called Polychromé, which features this track and other French psych-ish stuff from the 60s and 70s. There's also a part two, Névrose.
This is the first time I'm trying the html5 music player as the default player, with flash as fallback. Please let me know if there are any issues with it. I'd like to get rid of the flash player at some point, so let me know if you need me to keep it.
Sorry, everyone, not to have blogged for a long time and to have neglected to let you know that I'm on (unintended) hiatus. I kept hoping I would get back to blogging at any moment, but I just have not been up to it. I will return when I feel like I can blog without it taking too much out of me. I also want to take some time to rethink/redesign/relaunch the blog just as I'd like it.
Apologies also to my Last.fm friends and group members. I'll catch up when I can, but need to continue having a total break for now. Socialising online with everyone has been really fun, but it snowballed into something I couldn't keep up with.
You may also have noticed my Youtube account is once again gone, and I won't be setting up another, as it's too much of a gamble that hours of work will be wiped out at their whim. Instead, I'm migrating to
Imeem, where many videos are allowed, since Imeem has deals with labels and pay royalties. And if a copyright holder wants to exercise their right to keep everyone from ever seeing obscure videos, as they are wont to do on Youtube, the video gets cut but I get to keep my account. Hooray! So far I've uploaded one of my faves and my most popular video on Youtube, Marianne Faithfull singing 'Hier ou demain ' in Anna:
Before I bring you Part Deux of Swinging Mademoiselle, I'm going to briefly interrupt with my Halloween special, to ensure these tasty, eerie delights reach your goodie bags in time. We certainly can't miss Halloween! After all, Spiked Candy owes its name to those scary tales of unsuspecting trick-or-treaters receiving a dose of deadly poison in their sweet treats. Apparently these are nothing more than tales: "The number of kids confirmed to have been critically injured by spiked Halloween candy is ... zero" (The Halloween Scare). So while thankfully the grisly act of spiking candy is only a myth, fear not: Spiked Candy, the blog, is very real. Don't believe me? Blast these spook-themed tunes until your ears tingle, just to be sure. Ladies first:
Once again a huge thank you to Carl for sending this one my way! 'Mon joli vampire' is the B-side to 'Herald Tribune', posted here. This seems to be it for all the Jany L. songs ever released, so now you have the complete ultra-rare set! It's in a similar vein to her other tracks, with her rather sensuous voice offset by sweet, tinkly instrumentation. Listen to that catchy toy piano riff that owes more than a little to the Velvet Underground's 'Sunday Morning'.
Also in the waaay-too-cute-to-be-at-all-scary category:
Kind reader Carl read my mind by sending me this song a while back, as I was going to post about missing out repeatedly on getting the Jany L single. The story: I saw the single on Ebay a few times for 1 or 2 dollars/euros and though it looked alluring, I was always too short of funds to risk forking out international postage for a record I hadn't heard. Eventually, a copy came up for the same price, with a sound file that let me hear its brilliance, so I bid. It went for £25 - well out of the budget of a shallow-pocketed collector from a country with a weak dollar! (That would have been about $60 Australian, plus up to $20 postage). The next copy went for about the same and since then, any I've seen always reach an inhibitory final price. Elsewhere was even worse, with copies ranging from 50€ (e.g.
here and here) up to 243€ ( here)! Needless to say, I was kicking myself for not taking a risk and getting it cheap before I'd heard it.
But there's a happy ending: I finally nabbed a copy - settling for one with writing on the sleeve - for a decent price. The scribbling is right over her face, but I restored her untainted beauty in the scan above. (The white glare under her nose and on her chin is how the sleeve actually looks; the writing was on her cheek and nose).
Considering April March's version of 'Caribou' is a standout among her French 60s covers on Chick Habit, it's surprising the original has not yet made it onto a CD compilation. I think 'Notre prof' d'anglais' is the only song of Chantal Kelly's to show up on CD so far (on both Pop A Paris, Vol. 1 and the bootleg Ultra Chicks, Vol. 6), but correct me if I'm wrong.
'Caribou' is certainly a notable absence from the world of French 60s comps. It's the best song from Chantal, whose too-cute-for-words look, complete with perfectly-placed bow in every picture, likely has many French pop fans dying to hear more from her. Not only is the song a highlight of her short career, it's also a fine moment in 60s French pop that deserves to be heard. A wonderful example of the experimentalism present in the music of the time, it's an exhilarating marriage of pop and exotic elements. Listen to those incredible pounding tribal drums and eerie backing vocals.
out of print
- February 19 2017
- February 2 2017
- December 24 2016
- December 23 2016
- November 25 2016
- November 19 2016
- November 11 2016
- October 29 2016
- October 7 2016
- September 1 2016
- August 29 2016
- July 30 2016
- July 19 2016
- July 14 2016
- Sun, Sep 11 2005
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