Saturday, 6 April 2013

LOLITAS "SÉRIES AMÉRICAINES" (1987)

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:

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 "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!

16 comments:

  1. If it's possible to upload the others LP : My English Sucks, La fiancee du pirate, Hara kiri, Bouche baiser ;;;

    It will be great !!
    Thnaks a lot for this, i 'm waiting for this since a long time
    have a nice day

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi, thanks for your comment. I will not upload the other Lolitas albums on the blog because they are widely and cheaply available on CDs. Anyway, if you're really interested in those albums please drop me a line at my usual address and I'll try to help you, OK?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks for your help, i will do !
    Thanks for all
    bye

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wow, Coco, is that really you?!? Amazing!

    I'm very happy for your approval, THANKS for all the great music!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yes it's me, you're welcome.
      https://www.facebook.com/marquisdecoconut/

      Delete
  5. NEW DOWNLOAD LINKS

    FLAC: https://dfiles.eu/files/grawc1mk4

    MP3: http://www.mediafire.com/?r3uxwzsu8zodu5a

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great - Many thanks

      Delete
  6. Thanks a lot for some LOLITAS. It's seems that their records became hard to come by these days.

    DD

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thank you
    Alex Field from Rome

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi..thanks for all..

    however,could you choose another host
    (zippyshare,mediafire,mega, etc..) for flac file ?

    depositfile don't work for me thanks... :- )

    ReplyDelete
  9. HI...(again...)

    finally, depositfile link works fine !
    sorry for that...
    thanx for your job & keep rockin' alive !!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome, I checked all Depositfiles links and they're working, have fun!

      Delete
  10. Thanks a lot!
    I only have "My English sucks" and allways thought they were some one time thing
    great band

    ReplyDelete

Be nice, keep it clean, stay on topic, no spam, thank you!!!

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