Tuesday, 30 April 2013


Welcome back to the "Candies From a Stranger" series! Compared to the previous installments, this third issue is more firmly rooted in the 90s; it mostly features artists that have been prime-movers in the Trip Hop / Downtempo scene and explores different aspects of Modern Jazz, keeping a groovy and relaxed mood althought sometimes smoky and gloomy, with just a few exceptions.

As usual all tracks are mixed together to create an uninterrupted flow, here's the complete tracklist of "Candies From a Stranger Vol. 3":

01. A SMALL, GOOD THING - Cooling System (6:15)
02. RECOIL - Allelujah (5:23)
03. HOWIE B - How To Suckie (4:07)
04. BARRY ADAMSON - Busted (Michelangelo Version) (5:23)
05. SPACER - It's a Nano World (5:26)
06. SLICK RICK - All Alone (No One To Be With) (3:50)
07. DEADLY AVENGER - The Bayou (4:28)
08. BETH ORTON - Stars All Seem To Weep (4:35)
09. DJ SHADOW - The Number Song (4:30)
10. JOSEPH ARTHUR - Eyes On My Back (3:54)
11. MILES DAVIS - Mystery (3:51)
12. KID LOCO - Relaxin' With Cherry (5:40)
13. PORTISHEAD - Roads (5:03)
14. DJ KRUSH - 3rd Eye (3:17)
15. TRANQUILITY BASS - They Came In Peace (7:52)
16. GLOBAL GOON - Twiggy (5:02)

All selections were compiled and mixed in April 2013, tracks 06-08 are taken from Volume 6 in the excellent "Back To Mine" series and were mixed by Ben Watt of Everything But The Girl.

This compilation is 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 the compilation 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.

01. A SMALL, GOOD THING - Cooling System
original CD issue: Block, Leaf (1997)
Borrowing their name from a story by Raymond Carver, A Small, Good Thing were a U.K.-based project by Andrew Hulme, Mark Sedgewick and Tom Fazzini. "Cooling System", which was also released as a promotional 12" single, is the opening track on their third full-lenght CD release entitled "Block". Compared to their previous calm Ambient output released on Soleilmoon in the U.S., "Block" is notable for its approach to Dub and Hip-Hop from a distinctly Avant-garde / Experimental perspective.

02. RECOIL - Allelujah
original CD issue: subHuman, Mute Records (2007)
Recoil is the solo project of ex-Depeche Mode member Alan Wilder. During the years Recoil's music has incorporated every imaginable musical genre from Trip Hop to Gospel, and gathered on albums of complex sonic imagery and expansive dynamic range. Taken from "subHuman", the latest Recoil studio album at the time of writing, and also released as part of the "Prey / Allelujah" CD-single, the dreamy "Allelujah" was co-written by English singer-songwriter Carla Trevaskis, who also performed vocals on the song speaking in ethereal tongues.

03. HOWIE B - How To Suckie
original CD issue: Music For Babies, Polydor (1996)
London-based, Glasgow-born, disc jockey and producer, Howie Bernstein pioneered the fusion of Dub, Jazz, Ambient and Hip-Hop. His own early productions gained him credentials to work with giants such as U2, Sinead O'Connor, Everything But The Girl, Soul II Soul, Sly and Robbie, Tricky and Björk. The Jazz Fusion "How To Suckie" is taken from his debut album "Music For Babies", a collection of eight instrumental numbers that bestow a spiritual flavor onto the Trip Hop movement.

04. BARRY ADAMSON - Busted (Michelangelo Version)
original CD issue:  The Negro Inside Me, Mute Records (1993)
Before embarking on a solo career, Barry Adamson has been a founding member of the seminal Post-Punk band Magazine in the late '70s and has served as bassist in the first consistent line-up of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds in the first half of the '80s. With his cinematic debut album entitled "Moss Side Story", Adamson has created one of the earliest soundtrack to a non-existent movie. Subsequently he has produced several albums of the highest value, which incorporated Jazz, Electronica, Soul, Funk and Dub styles.

05. SPACER - It's a Nano World
original CD issue: Atlas Earth, Pussifoot Records (1996)
Spacer is an electronic music project by renowned engineer/producer Luke Gordon. Following the usual compilations appearances, 1996 saw the release of Spacer's debut album "Atlas Earth" for Howie B.'s Pussyfoot Records. During the years Gordon had the chance to work with, or remix, the likes of Goldfrapp, The Cure, Red Snapper, Coldcut, Roots Manuva, Juryman and Unkle. He has also composed music for numerous BBC television series and documentaries, including Natural World.

06. SLICK RICK - All Alone (No One To Be With)
original CD issue: Behind Bars, Def Jam Recordings (1994)
Richard Walters a.k.a. Slick Rick began his career in Hip Hop in 1983; he is best known for the use of narrative in his raps and has been called Hip Hop's greatest storyteller. His music has been frequently sampled and interpolated by other artists such as TLC, Black Star, The Notorious B.I.G. and Snoop Doggy Dogg, with many of these songs later becoming hit singles. Among his best known songs we remember "La Di Da Di", "Mona Lisa" and "Children's Story", with the latter being coverered or referenced by a plethora of colleagues.

07. DEADLY AVENGER - The Bayou
original 12" issue: Milo's Theme, D.C. Recordings (1995)
British producer and DJ Damon Baxter is best known for his atmospheric and cinematic work as Deadly Avenger, with whom he has released several 12" EPs and two full-lenght albums. His production skills have led him to remix bands such as Travis, Manic Street Preachers, Elbow, and The Charlatans, which were all seduced by the overly emotional strings, blended with dirty beats and enigmatic arrangements. His music has also been used in many high-profile commercials and in the C.S.I. series.

08. BETH ORTON - Stars All Seem To Weep
original CD issue: Central Reservation, Heavenly (1999)
Beth Orton is an English singer-songwriter, known for her Folktronica sound, which mixes elements of Folk and Electronica. She was initially recognised for her collaborations with William Orbit and the Chemical Brothers in the mid-'90s. "Stars All Seem To Weep" was produced by Ben Watt of Everything But The Girl: «...working off the original guitar-demo, I laid the basic beat and synth chords down one morning before Beth came to the studio. She just got up and sang it straightaway in one take».

09. DJ SHADOW - The Number Song
original CD issue: Endtroducing....., Mo Wax (1996)
Born Joshua Davis, DJ Shadow is an American music producer and DJ. He is considered a prominent figure in the development of instrumental Hip Hop. Shadow's first full-length work, "Endtroducing.....", was released in late 1996 to critical acclaim. The album would go on to make the Guinness World Records book for "First Completely Sampled Album" in 2001. In November 2006 Time magazine named it one of its "All-Time" 100 best albums. "The Number Song" is characterized by its usage of various breakbeats and vocal samples of count-offs.

10. JOSEPH ARTHUR - Eyes On My Back
original CD issue: Come To Where I'm From, Real World Records / Virgin (2000)
Joseph Arthur is an American singer-songwriter and artist from Akron, Ohio. Combining poetic lyrics with a layered sonic palette, Arthur has built his reputation over the years through critically acclaimed releases and constant touring. Arthur was discovered by Peter Gabriel in the mid-'90s, and signed to Gabriel's Real World label as the first North American artist on the label's roster. Arthur is also an acclaimed painter and designer; his artwork has graced the sleeves of his entire discography.

11. MILES DAVIS - Mystery
original CD issue: Doo-Bop, Warner Bros. Records (1992)
"Doo-Bop" was Miles Davis' final studio album; the project stemmed from Davis sitting in his New York apartment in the summer with the windows open, listening to the sound of the streets. He wanted to record an album of music that captured those sounds. However, when Davis died on September 28, 1991, only six pieces for the album had been completed; to finish it off, producer Easy Mo Bee was asked to take some of the unreleased trumpet performances and build tracks that Miles «would have loved» around the recordings. "Mystery" is one of the tracks completed when Davis was still alive.

12. KID LOCO - Relaxin' With Cherry
original CD issue: A Grand Love Story, Yellow Productions / EastWest (1997)
An easy-listening trip-hopster similar in style and intent to his countrymen Air and Dimitri from Paris, Kid Loco has an even stronger kinship with the long tradition of French Pop characterized by Serge Gainsbourg. Born as Jean-Yves Prieur, he played in several Punk groups during the early '80s and moved on to Reggae and Hip Hop by the end of the decade. By 1996, he released the "Blues Project" EP for Yellow Productions. The full-length debut entitled "A Grand Love Story" appeared the next year, earning praise from the Indie-Rock and Electronica communities.

13. PORTISHEAD - Roads
original CD issue: Dummy, Go!Beat (1994)
Portishead are an English band formed in 1991 in Bristol, they consist of Geoff Barrow, Beth Gibbons and Adrian Utley. Taking their cue from the slow, elastic beats that dominated Massive Attack's "Blue Lines" and adding elements of Cool Jazz and soundtrack music, Portishead created an atmospheric, alluringly dark sound. In 1994 their debut album "Dummy" became an unexpected success in Britain, topping most year-end critics polls and spawning legions of imitators.

14. DJ KRUSH - 3rd Eye
original CD issue: Meiso, Sony Music (1995)
Hideaki Ishii (石井 英明), better known as DJ Krush, is an alternative Hip Hop producer and DJ. He is known for his atmospheric instrumental production which incorporates sound elements from nature and extensive use of Jazz and Soul samples. Aside from being considered one of the pioneers of Japanese Hip Hop, Ishii has established himself as one of the most respected artists and producers in the Hip Hop industry, both in Japan and abroad.

15. TRANQUILITY BASS - They Came In Peace
original 12" issue: They Came In Peace, Exist Dance (1991)
One of the original innovators in the Ambient movement of the early '90s, Tranquility Bass' Mike Kandel submerged for most of the decade before finally issuing his debut album "Let the Freak Flag Fly" in 1997. Kandel grew up in Chicago but moved to Los Angeles in the early '90s; inspired by his hometown's Acid-House ideals, he formed the Exist Dance label in 1991 and produced classic tracks like "They Came In Peace" and "Mya Yadana", which were included on many compilations.

16. GLOBAL GOON - Twiggy
original CD issue: Goon, Rephlex (1996)
Jonathan Hawk a.k.a. Global Goon released his first album "Goon" on Richard D. James' label Rephlex. Rumours that Global Goon actually was an alias for Aphex Twin persisted even after the release of his second album "Cradle of History" two years later... «I used to call my music, 'health music': I use special software architecture I developed which channels frequency and pitch information through various software filters. The bag behind this is to produce restful soundscapes which don't overtax the brain or the heart...».

All your inputs are more than welcome, if you want to get in touch please write to stereocandies [at] hotmail [dot] com or leave a comment in the box below, thank you!

Friday, 12 April 2013


Aia Le'ahi, 'uhe'uhene
Kaimana Hila, 'uhe'uhene
Hoku kau 'ale kai a'o Mamala

Malama pono 'oe, uheuhene
I ka poe pele, 'uhe'uhene
'O ili kaua la ilaila
'O ili kaua i ka puko'a

'O ka po'e kaulana, 'uhe'uhene
Kau i ka nuku, 'uhe'uhene
Nana a'o ho'owale nei i ka moana

Ha'awi ke aloha, 'uhe'uhene
Lulu lima, 'uhe'uhene
Me na huapala maka onaona

Kau aku 'oe, 'uhe'uhene
I ke ka'api'o, 'uhe'uhene
Pa ana ka uwepa kiani

Kupaianaha, 'uhe'uhene
Kahi kalaiwa, 'uhe'uhene
Ka lawe no a kiki'i pau

Ha'ina 'ia, 'uhe'uhene
Mai ka puana, 'uhe'uhene
O ka poe kaulana kau i ka nuku

Ha'ina 'ia, 'uhe'uhene
Mai ka puana, 'uhe'uhene
Goodbye kaua e ke aloha

[From the lyrics of "Leahi"]

Dick Jensen was a live musical performer of the Rhythm and Blues, Soul, and Gospel genres; a native Hawaiian athletic song stylist and a prime mover of nightclub shows. For a more detailed biography about him, I suggest that you have a look at this other post available here on Stereo Candies.

Born Richard Hiram Jensen in 1942, he first became interested in music through the numerous luaus his family would attend. When the family was back from the barbecue, his mother would often play the guitar and Dick, along with his five brothers and sisters, would sing, and play along on the ukulele, or a nearby spoon and ladle, or whatever might be handy. His first experience on stage was in the fourth grade when he put together a group for a teacher's show.

Dick continued to sing through his formative years and began to gain a local reputation. While he was at Honolulu's Farrington High School, he entered a local talent contest, winning first place, and adopted the stage name of Lance Curtis at the suggestion of Tom Moffatt and Earl Finch, both active as promoters in the local Hawaii scene; the name was choosen for its illusory Hollywoodian qualities.

The award gained Jensen a spot on one of Hawaii's major television shows and led to his first single recording Bye Bye Baby / Lover's Paradise published by Teen Records in 1959, which was the subject of a previous post.

Sympathy / Leahi, credited to Lance Curtis & The Uniques, was released on the same label the following year.

On side A we find "Leahi", which is reported to be the first Hawaiian song ever recorded with a rock beat. On the label the song is credited to a certain Owens, which I easily guess is Harry Owens, but other Internet sources credit the song to Johnny Noble and Mary Pula'a Robins... A version recorded in the early 70s by Gabby Pahinui was included in the soundtrack of "The Descendants" in 2011. Leahi is a 760-foot tuff crater and one of Hawaii's most famous landmarks. More information about the song and a translation of the lyrics are available here.

The flip side offers "Sympathy", a simple Doo-wop number which was penned by Jensen himself. The song features the usual vocal harmonies that this style implies and unobtrusive musical accompaniment.

The Uniques, exact date unknown, probably taken in 1959-1960

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

01. Leahi (1:56)
02. Sympathy (2:07)

Both tracks were remastered from vinyl in April 2013 and are available in FLAC lossless format or high-quality 320 Kbps MP3 files, both formats include scans of the original item in PDF format. Please have a look at the comments for the download links.

The following video offers a preview of the remastered single; the original vinyl was pretty worn, especially the flip side, it was a particularly difficult task this time so don't expect miracles... Anyway, I hope you will enjoy "Leahi"!

More information about Dick Jensen is available here:





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 weeks, 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!

Saturday, 6 April 2013


Ton visage d'ange est sexy sexy
ta voix est sexy sexy sex
ta bouche aux larges lèvres en forme de coeur
oh toutes mouillées à l'interieur
de tous les garçons de toute la terre
c'est toi qui as le plus de sex-appeal
et dans mes rêves des nuits entières
je t'appelle

Tes jambes sont sexy sexy sexy
tes hanches sont sexy sexy sex
quand tu te balances quand tu te déhanches
quand tu déambules dans le vestibule
je n'entends plus rien quand tu me parles
mon désir est trop fort il me fait mal
je ne vois que ta bouches que ta bouche que ta bouche que ta bouche
je veux que tu me touches yeah yeah yeah

Oh sexy sexy, sexy sex
sexy animal
quand tu le fais mal
tes yeux sont sexy
dans ton miroir
tes mains sont sexy
sur ton sexy sex

[from the lyrics of "Sexy Sex"]

Cover of the German edition of "Séries Américaines" released by What's So Funny About.. in 1987

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 "Séries Américaines" released by New Rose in 1988

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 "Séries Américaines" released by What's So Funny About.. in 1987

"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.

Back cover of the French edition of "Séries Américaines" released by New Rose in 1988

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.

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.

Lyrics sheet included in the German edition of "Séries Américaines" released by What's So Funny About.. in 1987

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.

"Séries Américaines" contains the following tracks:

01. Toute la nuit (1:39)
02. Sexy Sex (3:37)
03. Avec ma valise (3:00)
04. J'ai tué tout ce que j'amais (2:44)
05. La chatte de gouttière (5:04)
06. Le malheur c'est moi (1:04)
07. Séries Américaines (3:20)
08. Fantômes (3:30)
09. Coup de fil (1:20)
10. Canelle (2:29)
11. Jolly Jumper (3:05)

All tracks were remastered from the original vinyl in March 2013, 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 "Séries Américaines" released by What's So Funny About.. in 1987

Muffled street sounds and a police siren introduce the Rock'n'Roll riff of "Toute la nuit"; in this short but effective track chosen to open the first side of "Séries Américaines", Françoise tells the joys and pleasures of a one-night stand with a cute boy... And again she celebrates her object of desire in the following "Sexy Sex", a slower number that was also included as the flip side of the "Canelle" single released the next year by New Rose; this song features a nice harmonica solo by Tutti Frutti.

"Avec ma valise" is a calm piece that slowly builds from a simple guitar riff and features a carefully engineered drums sound which, along with a fat bass, support the sad lyrics: Françoise has packed her bags and she's leaving to start a new life.

"J'ai tué tout ce que j'amais" is the only song on the album that wasn't produced by Tony Cohen, it was recorded in a a basement in Berlin, probably in the band's own rehearsal room. It is a welcome comeback to a more immediate and urgent sound that expresses well the vitality of the band.

With its five minutes, "La chatte de gouttière" is the longest track on the album and, despite maintaining a certain linearity throughout its duration, it shows a more complex interaction between the various instruments and a richer arrangement. In the lyrics Françoise clearly identifies herself in an alley cat as she warns a rich suitor against her free behaviour and the risks he's taking.

Side 2 opens with the very short "Le malheur c'est moi", a simple song where Françoise's voice act the part of a problematic dark lady and is accompanied only by an acoustic guitar, with an electric guitar tiny reinforcement towards the end... The title-track follows and is one of the best and more energetic songs on the album, a little modern rock anthem about winter depression and the passivity and inactiveness that goes with it.

Once again, "Fantômes" deals with the night - a recurring topic on many songs of the album - and offers a melodic reconnaissance through the city's lights and shadows... "Coup de fil" is another very short acoustic number coupled with sad lyrics about a lost love.

Cactus' infatuation for la Chanson Française returns in "Canelle", a cover of "Je l'appelle canelle" a track originally performed by Antoine in 1967. This song was chosen and released as a single by New Rose in 1988; with the help of friends John Boy at the piano and Frank Mandolino on drums, it shows Lolitas' most funny side.

The album closes with "Jolly Jumper", a top instrumental number entitled after the horse character in the Franco-Belgian comics series Lucky Luke. With its twangy guitars, tribal drums and American indian war cries, this song is clearly inspired by the myth of the Far West, one of the many influences in tha band's rich palette.

Labels of the French edition of "Séries Américaines" released by New Rose in 1988

Here's the credits list of "Séries Américaines":

Françoise Cactus: vocals, drums, guitar
Coco: guitar, vocals, piano
Tutti Frutti: guitar, harmonica, bass
Olga: bass

All songs written by Lolitas except "Cannelle" by Antoine.

Frank Mandolino: drums on "Cannelle"
John Boy: piano on "Toute la nuit" and "Cannelle"
Claudia Carey: tambourine on "Coup de fil", backing vocals on "La chatte de gouttière" and "Jolly Jumper"
Michael Scarati and Matzke: voices on "Jolly Jumper"

Photos: Michael Scarati and Tomas Rusch [What's So Funny About.. edition]

Video: Max Müller [What's So Funny About.. edition]

Photos: Françoise Cactus and Michael Scarati [New Rose edition]

Cover idea: Coco [New Rose edition]

Drawings: Coco [What's So Funny About.. edition]

Recorded at Vielklang Studio Berlin, except "J'ai tué tout ce que j'amais", recorded in a Berlin basement.

Mixed at Tritonus Studio Berlin.

Engineered by Tony Cohen.

Produced by Tony Cohen and Lolitas.

Lolitas in 1987 as pictured on the back cover of the French edition of "Séries Américaines"

The following videos offer a preview of the remastered album; here's my favourite tracks: "Sexy Sex", "Avec ma valise", "Séries Américaines", and "Jolly Jumper", enjoy them along with the original version of "Canelle" by Antoine!

A few more information about Lolitas is available here:









If you have any other useful information about Lolitas and "Séries Américaines" - 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!

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