Friday, 25 September 2015

LOLITAS "SOLO SOLO SOLO SOLO" (1990)


"Solo solo solo solo", front cover

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.


"Solo solo solo solo", insert 1, front

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.


"Solo solo solo solo", inner gatefold, left panel

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.

"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.


"Solo solo solo solo", insert 1, back

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 the 12" EP entitled "Hara Kiri" (...available here...), 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...


"Solo solo solo solo", inner gatefold, right panel

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, which is the subject of this post: 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).


"Solo solo solo solo", insert 2, front

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.


"Solo solo solo solo", back cover

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.


"Solo solo solo solo", insert 2, back


"Solo solo solo solo" contains the following tracks:

01. COCO - Bambino (2:02)
02. FRANÇOISE & DIE DREI KAKTEEN - Ich Tanze (2:08)
03. OLGA LA BASSE - Reite, kleiner Reiter! (2:35)
04. TUTTI FRUTTI - A Bomb Bop (2:28)

All tracks were remastered from the original vinyl in September 2015 and are available in FLAC lossless format, along with scans of the complete original artwork.

Please have a look at the comments section for the download link.

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"Poster for a concert at Düsseldorf Spektakulum, 01.12.1989

"Solo solo solo solo" was released by Vielklang in Germany, with cat. number 04036-04, sometimes in 1990, in the form of a deluxe gatefold 7" double single with two printed inserts housed in a transparent 12" plastic-sleeve together with a folded poster painted by Coco.

Althought credited to Lolitas, the single features four tracks by the individual members (...plus guests...) which were recorded in 1989, a few months before the publication, except Tutti Frutti's contribution, which dates back to October 1988.

The first record is opened by Coco, who presents his own Rock version of "Bambino", a cover of "Guaglione", a 1956 neapolitan song written by Giuseppe Fanciulli and Nicola Salerno that was originally performed by Grazia Gresi (...available here) and Aurelio Fierro (...here). In 1957 the song was given French lyrics by Jacques Larue and was brought to success in France by Dalida at the beginning of her career. You can watch Dalida's stunning performance by scrolling down this page or clicking here.

On Side B we find Françoise Cactus - accompanied by Die Drei Kakteen - performing "Ich Tanze", a German cover (...with lyrics written by Françoise herself...) of the 1964 sophisticated classic "Je Danse Donc Je Suis", a song written by Jean-Claude Massoulier and André Popp which is best known for the original version sung by Brigitte Bardot.

The second record offers Olga La Basse's rendition of "Reite, kleiner Reiter!", a 1940 song written by Ralph Maria Siegel that was originally performed by controversial Swedish singer and actress Zarah Leander, and an original Rockabilly composition by Tutti Frutti who had already left the band when "Solo solo solo solo" was released...


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


Here's the complete credits list of "Solo solo solo solo" as they appear on the two inserts, along with most of the lyrics and a complete preview of the remastered single:

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COCO - Bambino

Written by Giuseppe Fanciulli and Nicola Salerno, French lyrics by Jacques Larue.

Coco: vocals, guitar, bass, backing vocals
Françoise Cactus: drums, backing vocals
Olga: backing vocals

Recorded at Beat Studio, Berlin, 1989.
Sound engineer: Gerd Bluhm

Produced by Coco and Françoise Cactus.

Dedicated to Olga, Françoise, Michele Tutti Frutti, Tex Morton.
For Christiane Suckow with love and affection!

Les yeux battus la mine triste et les joues blêmes
Tu ne dors plus, tu n'es plus que l'ombre de toi-même
Seul dans la rue tu rôdes comme une âme en peine
Et tous les soirs sous sa fenêtre on peut te voir

Je sais bien que tu l'adores et qu'elle a de jolies yeux
Mais tu es trop jeune encore pour jouer les amoureux

Et gratte, gratte sur ta mandoline mon petit Bambino
Ta musique est plus jolie que tout le ciel de l'Italie
Et chante, chante de ta voix câline mon petit Bambino
Tu peux chanter tant que tu veux elle ne te prend pas au sérieux

Tu peux fumer comme un Monsieur des cigarettes
Te déhancher sur le trottoir quand tu la guettes
Tu peux pencher sur ton oreille, ta casquette
Ce n'est pas ça, qui dans son coeur, te vieillira

L'amour et la jalousie ne sont pas des jeux d'enfant
Et tu as toute la vie pour souffrir comme les grands

Et gratte, gratte sur ta mandoline mon petit Bambino
Ta musique est plus jolie que tout le ciel de l'Italie
Et canta, canta de ta voix câline mon petit Bambino
Tu peux chanter tant que tu veux elle ne te prend pas au sérieux




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FRANÇOISE & DIE DREI KAKTEEN - Ich Tanze

Written by Jean-Claude Massoulier and André Popp, German lyrics by Françoise Cactus.

Françoise Cactus: voice
Ted Gaier: guitar
Rudi Freese: bass
Frank Neumeier: drums

Recorded live at Beat Studio, Berlin, 1989.
Sound engineer: Gerd Bluhm

"Dance" picture on inner gatefold by Irina Hoppe.

Ich tanze, also ich bin
Ich tanze und folge Dir
Und folge ich Dir, ist es nicht für das, was Du denkst
Es ist für den Tanz
Nicht fürs Leben

Guck nicht so traurig
und bemühe Dich nicht,
Mir ständig zu sagen, dass Du nur mich liebst
Ich lege mich nicht fest,
Ich verspreche gar nichts
Mich killt man nicht
Mit einem Blick

Ich tanze,...

Du kannst es versuchen,
Vielleicht gefällst Du mir
Ich halte es nicht für ausgeschlossen
Mich nach dem Tanzen
Fangen zu lassen
Von wem? Das weiss ich nicht
Na warum nicht von Dir?

Ich tanze,...



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OLGA LA BASSE - Reite, kleiner Reiter!

Written by Ralph Maria Siegel.

Olga de la Wolga: vocals, bass
Frank Jürgen Krüger: guitar
Ollie Kobold: drums
Andinger Jung: piano
Ralph Droge: trumpet

Recorded by Gerd Bluhm at Beat Studio, Berlin, in November 1989.

Ollie appears courtesy of S.U.M.D., F.-J. Krüger appears with moral support, Droge appears courtesy of himself.

Olga greets Tutti Frutti, Coco, Françoise and Tex Morton.

Auf der Wolga
Fährt die Olga
Mit dem Schiff zum weiten Meer.
Doch der Iwan ein Kossak der sie liebt,
Reitet wild, Tag und Nacht hinter ihr her.

Reite, kleiner Reiter, reite,
Immer weiter, reite,
Dann lacht dir das Glück gleich!
Reite durch die Felder, reite
Durch die Wälder, reite
Bald hast du dein Ziel erreicht.

Doch die schnellen Wolgawellen
Trugen schneller als dein Pferd.
Und das Schiff fuhr drum dem Iwan davon
Der verzweifelt von Ferne den Rufe hört
Reite durch die Felder, reite
durch die Felder, reite
Bald hast du dein Ziel erreicht.

Doch das Ende
Der Legende
Das ist traurig aber wahr,
Denn der Iwan
Springt hinein in das Meer
Und so wurden die zwei
Leider kein Paar

Reite, kleiner Reiter, reite,
Immer weiter, reite
Nicht die Liebe macht dich blind.
Reite, mit dem Schimmel reite,
In den Himmel reite
Weil doch tausend Olgas sind?




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TUTTI FRUTTI - A Bomb Bop

Written by Tutti Frutti.

Mike B. Bordini (Tutti Frutti): vocals, guitar
Nikil Merani: double bass
Mathias Meyer: drums
Klaus: sax

Recorded at Beat Studio, Berlin, in October 1988.
Sound engineer: Gerd Bluhm

Well, deciphering the lyrics of "A Bomb Bop" is way beyond me... If you know the lyrics to this song, please get in touch!




The original version of "Bambino", performed by Dalida in 1957, the original version with French lyrics of "Ich Tanze" entitled "Je Danse Donc Je Suis", performed by Brigitte Bardot in 1964, and Zarah Leander's 1940 rendition of "Reiter kleine Reiter!" are included here below for your listening pleasure courtesy of YouTube...








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.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 "Solo solo solo solo" - 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!

3 comments:

  1. DOWNLOAD LINK

    http://www.mediafire.com/?6dm...

    If you download this file please consider leaving a comment, your feedback is important!

    Please let me know if the link is broken and I'll do my best to quickly fix it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Another great post. I've liked the Lolitas since the 80s but I had never heard that single.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Many thanks for this. I discovered Stereo Total first and have been working my way backwards ever since..

    -Xtm

    ReplyDelete

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