Monday, 25 June 2012

LOLITAS "LOLITAS" (1986)

Avant tu m'parlais, tu m'parles plus
Avant tu m'voyais, tu m'vois plus
Avant tu m'touchais, tu m'touches plus
Avant tu m'aimais, tu m'aimes plus

Mais un jour
Tu me diras
Mais un jour...

C'est toi l'étoile de mes nuits
C'est toi l'étoile de mes nuits
C'est toi l'étoile de mes nuits
C'est toi l'étoile de mes nuits

Parle-moi quand je suis là
Regarde-moi quand tu me parles
Touche-moi quand tu me regardes
Aime-moi quand tu me touches

Touche-moi
Touche-moi
Oh touche-moi

C'est moi l'étoile de tes nuits
C'est moi l'étoile de tes nuits
C'est moi l'étoile de tes nuits
C'est moi l'étoile de tes nuits


[from the lyrics of "Touche-moi"]


Cover of the German edition of "Lolitas" released by What's So Funny About.. in 1986

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.


Cover of the French edition of "Lolitas" released by New Rose in 1987

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" 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.


Back cover of the German edition of "Lolitas" released by What's So Funny About.. in 1986

"Séries Américaines", the second Lolitas album, 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.

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 a 12" EP entitled "Hara Kiri" 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 these 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.


Back cover of the French edition of "Lolitas" released by New Rose in 1987

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 which, althought credited to Lolitas, featured four tracks by the individual members (...plus guests...) recorded in late 1988 (Tutti Frutti) and 1989 (all the others).

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.

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.

"Lolitas" contains the following tracks:

01. Elle se balance (3:10)
02. Touche-moi (4:17)
03. Ma Morphine (2:15)
04. Blonde oxygénée (2:09)
05. I Need You, Baby (4:14)
06. La fiancée du pirate (1) (2:03)
07. La poupée (2:46)
08. Rio la Balafre (1:38)
09. Harley Davidson (2:25)
10. Les fers de tes bottes (5:10)
11. La fiancée du pirate (2) (1:46)
12. Sous la Lune (3:13)

All tracks were remastered from the original vinyl in June 2012, they are available as a single FLAC lossless format file or high-quality 320 Kbps MP3 file. Both formats include complete printable artwork as PDF files.

Before you burn 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.




Labels of the German edition of "Lolitas" released by What's So Funny About.. in 1986

"Lolitas" opens with the tribal drumming and rich Rock'n'Roll riffs of "Elle se balance". This tracks was chosen as the B-Side for the "Touche-moi" single released in 1987 by New Rose. "Touche-moi" is one of the best song on the album: Françoise's voice sounds both desperate and alluring, the music is simple and sweet. The song is also probably a favourite of Cactus since she reinterpreted it more than ten years later on the third Stereo Total album "Juke-Box Alarm".

"Ma morphine" and "Blonde oxygénée" are two short tracks that struck with their energy, the latter offering a chanson feeling hidden in its innermost DNA. "I Need You, Baby" (...also known as "Mona"...) is a cover of a song written by Ellas McDaniel a.k.a. Bo Diddley; it was also covered by The Rolling Stones on their debut album back in 1964.

The first side closes with a piano version of "La fiancée du pirate" (...arranged by Michael Scarati...), a song supposedly inspired by the homonymus French film of the late 60s about an oppressed and exploited young woman.

Knowing Cactus' infatuation for la Chanson Française, it is very hard to believe that "La poupée" is not directly inspired by "Poupée de cire, poupée de son", the winning entry in the Eurovision Song Contest of 1965 performed by France Gall and written by Serge Gainsbourg... "Rio la Balafre" is another short but effective number with lo-fi drums and prominent Rock'n'Roll guitars with Françoise's voice layered on top.

"Harley Davidson" is a cover of a famous piece that Serge Gainsbourg originally composed for The Brigitte Bardot Show in 1968. The American Myth is filtered by the French provocateur and Lolitas add their something extra to the recipe.

Clocking at over five minutes, "Les fers de tes bottes" is the longest track on the album; a slow piece that builds up with Françoise's onomatopoeias and screams layered on an extended and almost neverending guitar solo.

A full group version of "La fiancée du pirate", complete with harmonica reinforcements by Michele Tutti Frutti, preludes to the end of the album that is carried out by the slow and dreamy "Sous la Lune".




Labels of the French edition of "Lolitas" released by New Rose in 1987

Here's the credits list of "Lolitas":

Françoise Cactus: vocals, drums
Coco: guitar, vocals, bass
Michele: bass, harmonica, guitar

All songs written by Lolitas except "I Need You, Baby" (Eugene McDaniel) and "Harley Davidson" (Serge Gainsbourg).

John Boy plays piano on "La fiancée du pirate (1)" (arrangement: Scarati) and Axel plays guitar on the intro of "Touche-moi".

Photos: Irina Hoppe, Françoise Cactus [What's So Funny About.. edition]

Photos: Arens, M. Scarati [New Rose edition]

Graphics: P. Huart / P. Cholley [New Rose edition]

Recorded at the Building Site Studio, Hamburg, except "Touche-moi", "La fiancée du pirate (1)" and "Rio la Balafre", recorded on 8-tracks in a Berlin basement and at the Frawo Studio, Berlin.

Sound Engineer: Nainz Watts


Françoise Cactus in concert with the Lolitas, this picture was probably taken in 1986


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 - 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!

7 comments:

  1. Hi

    could you re up the others LP s from this band, please ?

    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi it's not Eugne Mc Daniels but Ellias Mc Daniels aka Bo Diddley ...
    See you soon*

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi, thank you so much for the correction, I updated the post right now! I am going to write a post about Lolitas' second album sometimes in the future, but until now this is the only post I dedicated to them. Thanks again!

    ReplyDelete
  4. NEW DOWNLOAD LINKS

    FLAC: https://dfiles.eu/files/n2gds2ao6

    MP3: http://www.mediafire.com/download.php?mmmnz2v92nxaagi

    ReplyDelete
  5. many thanks !

    ReplyDelete

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