Friday, 8 August 2014

BRIAN BENNETT "VOYAGE - A JOURNEY INTO DISCOID FUNK" (1978)



Brian Lawrence Bennett was born in Palmers Green, North London, in 1940. His interest in music dated from an early age; he left school at sixteen to play drums in a Ramsgate skiffle group performing for holiday makers, and by the late '50s he was one of the most sought-after percussionists around.

A teenage prodigy, he was the house drummer at the legendary 2Is Club - now known as the birthplace of British Rock'n'Roll - in London's Soho, backing artists like Tony Sheridan, Terry Dene, Vince Eager and Vince Taylor, and from there he earned a regular spot on the Jack Good's legendary TV music showcase Oh Boy!

By 1959, Bennett was regarded as one of the top Rock & Roll drummers in England, and part of a growing number of young drummers capable of playing the music well. That year he joined The Wildcats, the backing band of Rock & Roll singer Marty Wilde.

He remained with Wilde for two years, also playing outside live gigs with stars such as Tommy Steele, and he was also featured on a Wildcats instrumental release of "Trambone" recorded as the Krew Kats. In those days he also had the chance to back Eddie Cochran and Gene Vincent during their 1960 U.K. tour.



In October of 1961, lightning struck for Bennett's career when Tony Meehan - then regarded as the top drummer in England - quit The Shadows, who were then the top Rock & Roll British band as well as the backing group for Cliff Richard, the top singer in the field.

The opening was one of the most coveted in the country - The Shadows were regularly topping the charts in their own right, and their concerts with Richard were riotous affairs, huge sell-outs in front of hordes of screaming fans across England - Bennett was offered the spot. He accepted and was with the group across a string of hit singles and albums, lasting through their intended official breakup in 1968, on the occasion of the group's tenth anniversary as a professional band.

He also showed himself a highly talented songwriter, earning his first Ivor Novello Award for composing the title theme to the movie "Summer Holiday", which starred Richard and the band - he also contributed songs to their subsequent movies, up through "Finder's Keepers".

A favourite feature for the audience at any Shadows' concert was always his drum solo, with "Little B" - a must showcase for every Beat-Drummer in the pre-Beatles era - perhaps being the best known and highly regarded piece which has inspired countless drummers over the years and is still performed now by budding young drummers at Shadows' music clubs throughout the UK.

Many drummers back then considered each new Shadows' record as a drum lesson - learning how to play the fills in classic tunes such as "The Rise and Fall of Flingel Bunt" and "Foot Tapper".


"Voyage - A Journey Into Discoid Funk", inner gatefold

In 1967 Bennett released his first solo LP exploring Jazz and Easy Listening territories with the aptly entitled "Change of Direction", which was followed in 1969 by "The Illustrated London Noise", a return to Rock and Funky music.

Following the 1968 "farewell" Shadows concert, he participated along with lead guitarist Hank Marvin and bassist John Rostill in the band's brief 1969 reunion for a tour of Japan.

By the early '70s Brian was a highly successful and much sought after session drummer working with a vast array of different artists including Ella Fitzgerald, Olivia Newton-John, Engelbert Humperdinck, Richard Harris, The Walker Brothers and many more.

With The Shadows on extended hiatus, Bennett turned to other areas of music. He'd already developed some insights into the mechanics of music through his work as a songwriter, and he took a correspondence course in arranging and orchestration that, when added to his natural ability as a composer, ended up reshaping his whole career. He'd always provided vocals on the Shadows' own recordings, and now he re-established his performing credentials on the piano as well as the vibraphone.

He became Cliff Richard's musical director and formed The Brian Bennett Orchestra touring the world including the first Western rock concerts performed in Russia. Even more important, amid the string of hit albums with Richard that followed, he also started writing music for movies / television and part of this huge load of work was published on many library records by specialized labels like KPM Music and Bruton.

In 1977 he published his third proper solo album, "Rock Dreams", credited to the Brian Bennett Band, which was followed the next year by the Disco/Funk opus "Voyage - A Journey Into Discoid Funk", the subject of this post.


Brian Bennett, DJM promotional picture, circa 1977-78


"Voyage - A Journey Into Discoid Funk" contains the following tracks:

01. Voyage (6:25)
02. Solstice (6:21)
03. Chain Reaction (6:41)
04. Pendulum Force (6:24)
05. Air Quake (4:15)
06. Ocean Glide (6:41)

All tracks were remastered from the original vinyl in July 2014, they are available as a FLAC lossless format file or as a high-quality 320 Kbps MP3 file. Both formats offer complete printable PDF artwork.

Before burning this album on CD-R using the provided CUE file you will need to convert the original files to WAV format using an appropriate software. Here's an option for FLAC to WAV conversion and one for MP3 to WAV conversion.

As usual, please have a look at the comments for the download links.





Here's the complete credits and personnel list of "Voyage - A Journey Into Discoid Funk":

Keyboards: Francis Monkman
Bass Guitar: Alan Jones
Percussion: Brian Bennett

Recorded and Engineered by Dick Plant.
Assistant Engineer: Barry Kidd

Synthesizers programmed and realized by Francis Monkman.

Recorded at the Music Centre, Wembley.

Written, Arranged and Produced by Brian Bennett.

Aphex processed

Sleeve Design: Roy Simpson Ltd.


Brian Bennett, circa late '70s / early '80s


The following videos offer a preview of the remastered album; here's "Solstice", "Pendulum Force", "Voyage" and "Ocean Glide", enjoy!










More information about "Voyage - A Journey Into Discoid Funk", Brian Bennett and Francis Monkman is available here:

http://www.discogs.com/master/view/54371

http://monobrow73.blogspot.com/2011/06/hidden-gem-voyager-jouney-into-discoid.html

http://funkyfrolic.blogspot.com/2011/02/brian-bennett-voyage-journey-into.html

http://rateyourmusic.com/release/album/brian_bennett/voyage__a_journey_into_discoid_funk_f1/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brian_Bennett_%28musician%29

http://www.brianbennettmusic.co.uk/

http://zildjian.com/Artists/B/Brian-Bennett

http://www.brianbennettmusic.co.uk/art_rhythm.php

http://www.mikedolbear.co.uk/story.asp?StoryID=1449

http://www.drummerworld.com/drummers/Brian_Bennett.html

http://www.allmusic.com/artist/brian-bennett-mn0000621102

http://www.whosampled.com/Brian-Bennett/sampled/?sp=1

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_Monkman

http://www.discogs.com/artist/180121-Francis-Monkman

http://www.allmusic.com/artist/francis-monkman-mn0000861892

http://musiciansolympus.blogspot.com/2011/12/francismonkman-keyboards.html

http://calyx.perso.neuf.fr/interviews/fmonkman.html


If you have any other useful information about Brian Bennett, Francis Monkman and "Voyage - A Journey Into Discoid Funk" - especially corrections and improvements to this post - or if you spot any dead links, please get in touch with me at stereocandies [at] hotmail [dot] com or leave a comment in the box below, thank you!

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

DOB "DOB MEETS EUROPE" (1996)


'Dob Meets Europe', 7" single, front cover


'Dob Meets Europe', 7" single, back cover

Dob, originally called Date of Birth, were formed in 1984 by the three brothers Shigeto in Fukuoka, a small town in the south of Japan; most of their musical output was released by Kitty Records.

They were very successful in their native Country: in 1992 their single "You Are My Secret", the theme song from the classic Japanese TV drama "あなただけ見えない" (Only You Can't See It), sold the unbelievable amount of 400.000 copies.

According to the liner notes of "Sushi 3003", Dob "are not just a band, they are a family obsessed with music as much as they are with graphics"... "La Lu La Roo", their album released by Bungalow in 1996, came as a Enhanced CD with an interactive track for Macintosh users.

The visual side of Dob was also widely explored on "Planet Dob", their own game for the Sony Playstation released in late 1999.


'Dob Meets Europe', CD Single, booklet (outer side)



'Dob Meets Europe', CD Single, booklet (inner side)

It seems like Dob ceased to exist sometimes in the early '00s, traces of their beautiful website are still around courtesy of the Internet Wayback Machine... Here's the full list of the band members:

Isao Shigeto: guitars, keyboards, composing, computer programming, engineering, etc.

Susumu Shigeto: drums, composing, lyrics, computer programming, engineering, etc.

Ken-1 (Kenichi Shigeto): computer programming, art, visuals, etc.

Norico: voice, lyrics


A rare picture of Dob, circa mid '90s


"Dob Meets Europe" was released in 1996, the CD Single version contains the following tracks:

01. Au Revoir (5:12)
02. Waxx (4:10)
03. Mold (5:21)

All tracks are available in FLAC lossless format or high-quality 320 Kbps MP3 files; both formats include scans of the complete original artworks.

Please have a look at the comments for the download links.

   
'Dob Meets Europe', 7" single, Side A and Side B


'Dob Meets Europe', CD Single, Disc

The three tracks that appear on "Dob Meets Europe" were meant to be an anticipation of their "La Lo La Roo" album, which was released by Bungalow just a few months later.

The opening "Au revoir" is also the opening track of the album, while "Waxx" is nothing more than a remixed version of "Wax".

Being a completely different version of "Au revoir" - offering English lyrics and a more relaxed mood - "Mold" is by far the most interesting number included on this release and surely my favourite. The song appears only on the CD Single version and is omitted from the 7" vinyl.

The following videos offer a preview of the single, enjoy "Mold" and "Waxx"!






More information about Dob is available here:

http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/...

http://web.archive.org/web/19990221062919/...

http://date-of-birth.blogspot.com

http://www.geocities.jp/soundtracks1111/artists_dateofbirth.html

http://ks23364.kimsufi.com/psxdata/databasepsx/games/J/P/SLPS-02111.html


If you have any other useful information concerning this post, or if you spot any dead links, please get in touch with me at stereocandies [at] hotmail [dot] com or leave a comment in the box below, thank you!

Thursday, 31 July 2014

TIMIKO "IS IT A SIN / THE BOY FOR ME" (1963)



Barbara Tamiko Ferguson was born in 1945, one of ten children, in Kyle, West Virginia, USA. Her father was an African-American and her maternal grandmother was partly of Japanese descent.

«My mother married a white man of Scotch-Irish ancestry, and on my maternal grandfather's side there is Cherokee Indian blood. So, racially at least I'm really mixed up. Like the rest of my family I consider myself a Negro



The extreme versatility of Tamiko's singing is readily appreciated in considering her own musical background. She was raised in Detroit and, while working as a secretary, she auditioned for a talent agency and made her professional debut in 1961 at the Flame Show Bar in Detroit, a room that earlier showcased such talents as Johnnie Ray and Della Reese:

«I got that job strictly on nerve, I decided one day I wanted to be a singer. Though my repertoire consisted of only one song, "Goody, Goody", I got an audition through an agent with Maurice King, who led the orchestra at the Flame Show Bar. I was hired on the spot for a one-week engagement, but stayed six months.»

During that first six-month engagement, she expanded her repertoire considerably under Maurice King's guidance and improved her showmanship. She developed a style of her own, though she never learned to read music. She describes such style as "jazz-bop", which is a unique styling compounded of pop songs on a jazz base:

«I depend on my ear, I think God gave me a gift for music which I express through my voice. When I first started out, I used to get so scared my knees would knock. The more I sing the more confident I feel, but I still get a little nervous on an opening night.»


Tamiko Jones as pictured on the cover of a French 7" split EP shared with Angela Martin, circa 1963-64

Tamiko began her recording career as Timiko on the Checker label in 1963; her first release - the subject of this short post - was the happy-go-lucky song "Is It a Sin?" written by Richard "Popcorn" Wylie backed with "The Boy For Me" written by Robert Bateman on the flip side.

Soulfuldetroit.com interestingly reports that «Robert Bateman was dating Timiko Jones and wrote "The Boy For Me", which she recorded around March 1963. The song was sold to the Chess brothers in Chicago, who put it out on their subsidiary label, Checker. It might have become a hit if they had opted to switch the A-side to "Is It A Sin", which is a much catchier tune - courtesy of Popcorn Wylie. As it is, the disc seems not to have made it beyond the DJ-copy stage.»

Despite what is mentioned above, the record was officially released in stereo and here you can see a picture of it showcasing brown labels. The record in my possession is a monoaural promo version which sadly came with no cover when I purchased it; here you can see the same record in a Chess Group company sleeve. As far as I know, "Is It a Sin" is placed on Side A and "The Boy For Me" fills Side B.

All Tamiko Jones' quotes in this post are taken from a feature/interview published on "Jet" magazine in March 1967. A more detailed biography is available in this other post of mine.


Here's the track list for this 7" single:

01. Is it a Sin (2:36)
02. The Boy For Me (2:38)

Both tracks were remastered in July 2014 and are available in FLAC lossless format or high-quality 320 Kbps MP3 files; both formats include scans of the complete original artwork.

Please have a look at the comments for the download links.


...I'm not sure if this picture belongs to the time when the single was released, but anyway, the original image is available here...


The following videos offer a preview of the remastered single, enjoy "Is It a Sin" and "The Boy For Me"!






More information about Tamiko Jones is available here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tamiko_Jones

http://www.soulwalking.co.uk/Tamiko%20Jones.html

http://supersoulsisters.blogspot.com/2009/11/tamiko-jones-collection-1963-1986.html

http://www.discogs.com/artist/8483-Tamiko-Jones


If you have any other useful information concerning this post, or if you spot any dead links, please get in touch with me at stereocandies [at] hotmail [dot] com or leave a comment in the box below, thank you!

Saturday, 26 July 2014

DICK JENSEN "GOING UP ON THE MOUNTAIN / THREE CHEERS TO LOVE" (1971)



Dick Jensen was one of the first artists to sign with the now-legendary Philadelphia International Records label in 1971. Nowadays it seems that he had little in common with the other artists which made the label famous later on, but at the time - once you heard the power and soul in his vocal delivery - it all made perfect sense. And with the label main men Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff behind the scenes, it seemed as if Dick Jensen had finally found the perfect home for his energetic style of Soul.

Like many of the label's acts, Jensen received musical assistance from PIR's house band, the illustrious MFSB. The band on the recording sessions for his self-titled album featured Ronnie Baker (bass), Larry Washington (congas, bongos), Earl Young (drums), Lenny Pakula (organ), Leon Huff (piano), Vincent Montana (vibraphone) and guitarists Bobby Eli, Norman Harris, Roland Chambers and TJ Tindall. Backing vocals were provided by Barbara Ingram, Carla Benson and Evette Benton.

Along with arrangements by Bobby Martin and Norman Harris and production by Bunny Sigler, Thom Bell and Gamble & Huff themselves (who also handled a majority of the songwriting) "Dick Jensen", released in February 1973, was as smooth and slick as anything else the label had released but was far more Pop-oriented.

Unfortunately, upon release, critics and Soul fans didn't know what to make of it. Jensen's talent was undeniable, but the album was not what they expected from the house that Gamble & Huff had built and the project itself was lost in the confusion. More information about the album are available here and here, now let's go back to May 1971 when "Going Up On the Mountain / Three Cheers For Love" was released...


An autographed Dick Jensen picture taken during a 1970 live performance


Here's the track list for this 7" single:

01. Going Up On the Mountain (Mono Version) (2:53)
02. Three Cheers For Love (Mono Version) (3:28)

Both tracks were remastered in July 2014 and are available in FLAC lossless format or high-quality 320 Kbps MP3 files; both formats include scans of the complete original artwork.

Please have a look at the comments for the download links.





"Going Up On the Mountain / Three Cheers To Love" was released by Philadelphia International Records as one of their fourth single, with catalogue number ZS7 3504. The copy I own is a promotional item for radio stations and contains mono versions of the tracks; I guess that the official release was stereo, but I'm not sure about it...

The single came in a PIR company sleeve and was re-released later by Epic in the Netherlands sometimes in 1973 with a proper cover (see here for more details); both the tracks included were written by Gamble & Huff.

The Gospel groove of "Going Up On the Mountain" is infectious and Jensen really gets into the performance, which could be an early indication of the faith he would pursue later in life. The horns and backing vocals take the song up a notch, but his fiery vocals take it to a fevered level.

"Three Cheers To Love" may fall in the Easy Listening category, but the strings and horns (arranged by Bobby Martin) and understated guitar work are definitely soulful. Jensen's vocals recall the R&B-infected side of David Clayton-Thomas and Gary Puckett mixed with the smooth delivery of Lou Rawls: he sounds comfortable, laid back and confident.

Most of the text on this page was sourced from the "Dick Jensen" reissue liner notes written by Stephen SPAZ Schnee. The CD was released by Big Break Records in 2013 and is currently the only available Jensen album, I strongly encourage you to buy a copy of this great long forgotten masterpiece!


More information about Dick Jensen is available here:

http://archives.starbulletin.com/2006/06/22/news/story02.html

http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2006/Jun/22/il/FP606220304.html

http://www.oahuislandnews.com/May05/Home.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dick_Jensen

I'm currently compiling a Dick Jensen biography, the first part of this work-in-progress covers the period 1942-1972 and is available here.

I'm also trying to compile a Dick Jensen exhaustive discography, my work-in-progress is available here.

Last but not least, I'm also trying to build a collection of Dick Jensen pictures and memorabilia, my work-in-progress is available here.

All my posts dedicated to Dick Jensen on this blog are available here.


I will post more Dick Jensen stuff in the next months, if you have any other useful information about him and his releases or if you spot any dead links, just get in touch with me at stereocandies [at] hotmail [dot] com or leave a comment in the box below, thank you!

Monday, 30 June 2014

LOLITAS "HARA KIRI" (1989)

Je hais le jour je déteste Ia nuit
Qui ne veut pas finir
Je me tourne me tourne dans mon lit
Je ne peux pas dormir

Tout ça me donne des envies de meurtre
De suicide de terreur
De tout casser de foutre le feu
De me tirer une balle dans le coeur

Envie de tout casser
De tout démolir
Envie de tout casser
D’en finir

Je ne supporte plus ce film
Je change de cinéma
Je dis salut et je me tire
Je t’écrirai de Nulle-Part

Ca me donne des envies de meurtre
De suicide de terreur
De tout casser de foutre le feu
De me tirer une balle dans le coeur

Envie de tout casser
De tout démolir
Envie de tout casser
De tout détruire

Et chaque jour et chaque nuit
Je me débats contre l’ennui
Parfois il perd parfois il gagne
C’est une lutte sans merci

Tout ça me donne des envies de meurtre
De suicide de terreur
De tout casser de foutre le feu
De me tirer une balle dans le coeur

Envie de tout casser
De tout démolir
Envie de tout casser
Envie d’en tinir


[from the lyrics of "Hara Kiri"]



Lolitas were a French-German rock band influenced by Punk, Rockabilly, U.S. Garage, French 60s Ye-Ye Music and Pop. Founded by Françoise Cactus and Coco Neubauer, they were active since the mid 80s for about eight years.

Their name was inspired by the famous Stanley Kubrick's movie "Lolita". The group mainly used the French language in their own music, reserving English mostly for covers of famous songs they regularly included on their albums.

Françoise Van Hove was born in Villeneuve-l'Archevêque, a small village in Burgundy, France. She earned the nickname "Cactus" for her habit of spending her spare time hanging around in the greenhouse behind her parents' house.

During the first half of the 80s she started writing songs and moved to West Berlin; here she joined the Geniale Dilettanten (Ingenious Dilettantes) movement, a merger of the New Wave and Post-Punk scene. During those days she used to make a living by giving French lessons.

Guitarist Coco Neubauer, also known as Coco Nut, was born in southwest France and then used to live in Paris for many years. At age 9 he was fascinated by an early Rolling Stones record played for him by his cousin and fell in love with the Rhythm & Blues genre.



Françoise and Coco met in Berlin, they soon became friends and decided to form a band. Their common interest were focused on American music, from Gospel to Hardcore via Rock'nRoll, Country, etc. Morevoer, having spent her youth listening to the radio, Françoise has always had a soft spot for la Chanson Française, some of her idols were Sylvie Vartan, Christophe, Antoine, Françoise Hardy, Jacques Dutronc, Johnny Halliday...

In early 1986, with the complicity of an unnamed Irish girl on the bass, they founded Lolitas and began to play live in Berlin. Since the original bassist soon returned to Ireland, Italian guitarist/bassist Michele "Tutti Frutti" Bordini (...described as "a mixture of Adriano Celentano and Sid Vicious"...) was chosen as a replacement.

With this new and more stable line-up, Lolitas expanded their sphere of activity playing in other venues across Germany. Despite their French lyrics (...or perhaps exactly because of them...)  the band fascinated the audience exuding a naïve atmosphere, sexy, kitsch and slightly perverse.

In October 1986, What's So Funny About.. - an independent label from Hamburg - released their homonymus first album which was highly welcomed by the German press. "Lolitas" (...available here...) catched the attention of New Rose who re-released it with a completely different cover in early 1987 for the French market: althought they have never played live in France, the band has made a mark with the Rock'n'Roll aficionados.

New Rose was THE french indie label of the 80s. Created by Patrick Mathé and Louis Thevenon, the label knew ten years (1981/1992) of magnificence and fame; during its existence it was one of the most important independent labels worldwide.

At that point the trio expanded with bassist Olga La Basse - a German girl from the Black Forest region - allowing Tutti Frutti to dedicate himself to the guitar, his preferred instrument.


Françoise Cactus as she appears on the back cover of "Hara Kiri", 1989

"Séries Américaines", the second Lolitas album (...available here...), was mostly recorded during Summer 1987 at Vielklang Studio in Berlin with the help of acclaimed Australian record producer and sound engineer Tony Cohen, best known for his work with The Birthday Party and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. The album was released later the same year by What's So Funny About.. in Germany and in 1988 by New Rose in France, once again with two completely different sleeves.

As their relation with New Rose intensified, Alex Chilton - who was already collaborating with the label and was a fan of the band - accepted to produce their third album. Chilton was a famous American songwriter, guitarist and singer known for his work with the Box Tops in the late 60s.

"Fusée d'amour" was recorded in Memphis in August 1988. Lolitas discovered the U.S. and had a very good time: not only they lived the big adventure of recording with the legendary Chilton (...who also produced The Cramps and Tav Falco's Panther Burns...) in the city of Sun Studios and Stax, and with the participation of Jim Dickinson at the piano in a few songs, but also made the most of their trip playing some shows in New York, Baltimore, Memphis and down to New Orleans.

The album was released in early 1989 by Vielklang in Germany and by New Rose in France and... Can you guess it? Yes, the two editions featured a completely different artwork! This was also the first Lolitas release available in CD format. Once, again, the album was well received by the press.


Tutti Frutti as he appears on the back cover of "Hara Kiri", 1989

New songs were recorded under the supervision of German producer Andy Young in May 1989, and five of them appeared later the same year on the 12" EP entitled "Hara Kiri", which is the subject of this post, released by Vielklang in Germany and by New Rose in France and... Can you guess it again? No, you're wrong, this time the cover artwork was exactly the same...

Compared to the band's previous output, the five cuts on the EP were unusually melancholic... What could be the reason for this? Maybe it is just pure coincidence, but exactly at this time Tutti Frutti decided to quit the band and returned in Italy to devote himself to a more traditional form of Rockabilly music with his new band, the A-Bombers; sadly I wasn't able to find traces of this activity of him...

Tex Morton - born Peter Hajunga - former guitarist of the German Psychobilly band Mad Sin and the Hard-Rockers Lüde & Die Astros, joined Lolitas in late 1989. According to Coco, he was the only one who could replace Tutti Frutti.

During the previous years Lolitas had already released a few singles, but most of them contained tracks from the albums with no exclusive material. In 1990 Vielklang published a very special item: a gatefold 7" double single with two printed inlays housed in a transparent 12" plastic-sleeve together with a folded poster painted by Coco. Althought credited to Lolitas, the single featured four tracks by the individual members (...plus guests...) recorded months before, when Tutti Frutti was still part of the group.

But let's go back to 1989: in October Lolitas shared the stage with Chris Spedding at a New Rose party during the Berlin Independent Days festival. Spedding is one of the UK's most versatile session guitarists, and has had a long career that saw him tackle nearly every style of Rock'n'Roll as well as sporadically attempting a solo career. Charmed by the freshness of their Rock sung in French, which for once didn't sound at all like a bad copy of American Rock, Chris confirmed he was ready to produce their fourth album in his adopted new hometown of New York.


Coco as he appears on the back cover of "Hara Kiri", 1989

In April 1990 Lolitas made their second trip to the USA, excited by the collaboration with Spedding, who gifted them with his warmth, charisma and immense creativity producing the songs and also playing piano, organ, cello, squeeze box (accordion) and backing vocals for them. In May the group toured across the U.S. for the second - and last - time.

"Bouche-baiser", the result of the sessions at Baby Monster Studio in N.Y.C., was released in September by Vielklang in Germany and New Rose in France, it was highly praised by the French and German rock medias.

During Autumn 1990 Lolitas extensively toured across Europe and recorded their performances directly to DAT; the best of these recordings were released in 1991 by Vielklang on "La fiancée du pirate", a sort of official bootleg whose audio quality sits somewhere in between an audience tape and a soundboard recording.

A new album was recorded in July 1991 at the group's rehearsal room in Berlin. "My English Sucks" was released by Vielklang in 1992. All the songs on this release are sung in English, it includes brand new songs and new versions of old songs that already apparead on Lolitas' previous albums.

In 1992 New Rose was sold to Fnac and quickly disappeared. Coco moved away to Guadeloupe to start a new life and the group disbanded. In 1995 Françoise Cactus met Brezel Göring at a local supermarket and founded Stereo Total, but this is a completely different story...

A selection of tracks taken from "Fusée d'amour" and "Bouche-baiser" was released in 1998 as "New York - Memphis" by Last Call Records, a label created in 1994 by Patrick Mathé, one of the original founders of New Rose.


Olga as she appears on the back cover of "Hara Kiri", 1989


"Hara Kiri" contains the following tracks:

01. Hara Kiri (3:53)
02. Julie (3:12)
03. Dans le train (3:23)
04. Johnny Guitar (2:50)
05. D'Yer Mak'er (4:41)

All tracks were remastered from the original vinyl in June 2014 and are available in FLAC lossless format or high-quality 320 Kbps MP3 files; both formats include scans of the complete original artwork.

Please have a look at the comments for the download links.



Side A opens with the title-track, a slow number about suicide and destruction, which features excruciating guitar solos and desperate lyrics.

The melancholiac "Julie" seems to deal with the point of view of someone who is forced to stay at home because of a disability, or with someone who is, once again, about to commit suicide...

"Dans le train" is about a long journey by train where the protagonist (...Françoise?) sees her whole life passing by just like the trees and the landscape out of the window; the song ends with a positive aim for the future...



On Side B we find two covers. The first one is "Johnny Guitar", the famous song written by Peggy Lee (lyrics) and Victor Young (music) which was the title track of the 1954 movie of the same name directed by Nicholas Ray and starring Joan Crawford. The original Peggy Lee version is available here; Lolitas' version features effective accordion parts in its arrangement.

The second cover, and last song of this 12" EP, is "D'yer Mak'er", a Led Zeppelin original that was featured on "Houses of the Holy", their fifth album. The song is quite unusual in their repertoire because is mainly a Reggae number... The whole story of this song is available here, you can listen to the original version here. Lolitas' version is pretty faithful and it flows quickly without leaving a big impression on the listener...


Here's the credits list of "Hara Kiri":

Françoise Cactus: vocals, drums, percussion
Olga: bass, vocals
Tutti Frutti: eletric guitar, acoustic guitar, slide guitar
Coco: eletric guitar, acoustic guitar, slide guitar, percussion

Karin Jung: accordion

All songs written by Lolitas except "Johnny Guitar" by Victor Young and Peggy Lee, and "D'Yer Mak'er" by John Bonham, John Paul Jones, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant (Led Zeppelin).

Recorded and mixed at Vielklang Studio, Berlin, 26-31 May 1989.

Produced by Andy Jung.

Front cover painting by Sabina Van der Linden (S.M.V.D.L.).


Lolitas as they appear on the CD booklet of "Fusée d'amour" (Vielklang edition), 1989


The following videos offer a preview of the remastered EP, here's my favourite tracks: "Hara Kiri", "Julie", and "Johnny Guitar", enjoy!








A few more information about Lolitas is available here:

http://www.lastcallrecords.com/frenchbiogs/lolitaf.html

http://pirate.family.free.fr/pages/Lolitas.html

http://www.myspace.com/leslolitas/

http://www.45toursderockfrancais.net/rockfrancais/lolitas45t.htm

http://www.rockmadeinfrance.com/encyclo/lolitas/

http://euthanasie.records.free.fr/discographie/Zgroupe-L/Lolitas.htm

http://namaste-baba.blogspot.com/2011/04/des-lolitas-stereo-total-mettez-une.html

http://www.discogs.com/artist/Lolitas


If you have any other useful information about Lolitas and "Hara Kiri" - especially corrections and improvements to this post - or if you spot any dead links, please get in touch with me at stereocandies [at] hotmail [dot] com or leave a comment in the box below, thank you!