The Ron Kane Files

Writing About Music

Monday, January 07, 2008

Les Rita Mitsouko


1-7-08 Les Rita Mitsouko

Fred Chichin of Les Rita Mitsouko passed away last November, only in his early 50’s – apparently he had been diagnosed with cancer only two months previously…I’ve been a fan pretty much since the beginning, accidentally seeing them on Music Box – the European pre-MTV music video channel on a European visit in 1985. The video was “Marcia Baila”, and it’s extremely groovy. I saw them live in L.A. in ’87, while they were touring their fine 2nd album, “The No Comprendo”.

CD ACOUSTIQUES DE LABEL FR 724384 2711.2

1996 13 TRKS Live

12" ANDY VIRGIN US DMD 1134

1987 4 TRKS promo

12" ANDY (Jesse Johnson Remix) VIRGIN US DMD 1070

1987 4 TRKS promo

12" ANDY / UN CHIEN, UN SOIR / BAD DAYS VIRGIN DE 608.284

1986 3 TRKS with pic sleeve

12" C'EST COMME CA / ANDY / ANDY (Extended Instrumental) VIRGIN AUS VS 946-12

1987 3 TRKS with pic sleeve

12" C'EST COMME CA / STUPID ANYWAY VIRGIN US 96768-0

1987 2 TRKS with pic sleeve

CD COOL FRENESIE DE LABEL FR 848756.2

2000 14 TRKS

CD5 COOL FRENESIE DE LABEL FR 896596.2

2000 2 TRK CD Single CD5

7" DON'T FORGET THE NIGHT (Remix) VIRGIN FR 90658

1991 2 TRKS with pic sleeve

CD EN CONCERT AVEC L'ORCHESTRE LAMOUREUX VIRGIN FR 577244.2

2004 13 TRKS Live

CD LA FEMME TROMBONE VIRGIN FR 13066.2

2002 13 TRKS

LP LA FEMME TROMBONE VIRGIN FR 72438-13066.1

2002 13 TRKS insert

7" LE PETIT TRAIN VIRGIN FR 90518

1989 2 TRKS with pic sleeve

CD5 LE PETIT TRAIN VIRGIN FR 30238

1989 3 TRK CD Single CD5

7" MANDOLINO CITY VIRGIN FR 90473

1988 2 TRKS with pic sleeve

CD MARC & ROBERT VIRGIN FR 30180

1988 11 TRKS (1 x bonus track)

LP MARC & ROBERT VIRGIN FR 70635

1988 10 TRKS 3rd

12" MARCIA BAILA SIRE US 20448-0

1986 5 TRK EP; with pic sleeve

12" MARCIA BAILA VIRGIN UK VS 889-12

1986 3 TRKS with pic sleeve

7" MARCIA BAILA / JALOUSIE VIRGIN FR 90163

1984 2 TRKS with pic sleeve

12" MARCIA BAILA / JALOUSIE / MARCIA BAILA (Instrumental) VIRGIN DE 601.788

1984 3 TRKS with pic sleeve

12" MARCIA BAILA / JALOUSIE / MARCIA BAILA (Instrumental) VIRGIN FR 80149

1984 3 TRKS with pic sleeve

CD NO COMPRENDO, THE VIRGIN FR 30031

1986 10 TRKS

LP NO COMPRENDO, THE VIRGIN US 90616.1

1987 10 TRKS 2nd

CD5 QU'EST-CE QUE T'ES BELLE (Ringer & M. Lavoine) AVREP FR 870264.2

1988 4 TRK CD Single CD5

7" RESTEZ AVEC MOI / DANS LA STEPPE VIRGIN FR 90133

1984 2 TRKS with pic sleeve, promo

CD RITA (RE)MITSOUKO, LES VIRGIN FR 30328

1990 11 TRKS remixes

CD RITA MITSOUKO, LES VIRGIN FR CDV 30050

1984 14 TRKS 1st (5 x bonus tracks)

LP RITA MITSOUKO, LES VIRGIN DE 206.097

1984 9 TRKS 1st

LP RITA MITSOUKO, LES VIRGIN FR 70238

1984 9 TRKS 1st

12" SINGING IN THE SHOWER VIRGIN FR 80429

1989 3 TRKS with pic sleeve

12" SINGING IN THE SHOWER VIRGIN US 96509-0

1989 3 TRKS no pic sleeve

CD3 SINGING IN THE SHOWER VIRGIN UK VSCD 1163

1989 3 TRK CD Single CD3

CD SYSTEME D DE LABEL FR 39146.2

1993 14 TRKS

CD TATIE DANIELLE (O.S.T.) VIRGIN FR 30761

1990 17 TRKS Catherine Ringer

12" TONGUE DANCE VIRGIN UK VST 1212

1989 3 TRKS with pic sleeve

CD VARIETY WAGRAM FR 2318.2

2007 15 TRKS poster

CD5 Y'A D'LA HAINE DE LABEL FR 92175.2

1993 2 TRK CD Single CD5

I have not fully digested their 2007 album, “Variety” – which was given to me by a friend in L.A. who had recently visited Paris on business. I understand that it was available in both a “French version” and an “English version”.

Les Rita Mitsouko were one of the first French new wave artists that I became interested in – together with Etienne Daho and Charlelie Couture; artists responsible with helping break the stranglehold that English language pop music had on my consciousness.

It will interest some readers to hear that Catherine Ringer did a duet with Iggy Pop on a track called “My Love Is Bad”. And that Les Rita Mitsouko worked with Sparks.

Fred was a snappy guy and he will be greatly missed. He looked very different to me when I finally saw him in person – in the photos I had seen, he looked like he was from Mars – but in person, he resembled many people I had seen in the streets of Paris. I want to say he looked “Typically (Male) French” – and mean it as a compliment.

If you do not know the music of Les Rita Mitsouko, I very much recommend that you check ‘em out. Pretty much any title will do – but I heartily recommend their debut album, their 2nd album “The No Comprendo” and perhaps one of the 90’s albums, such as “Systeme D”. I have an abiding memory that their live album “Acoustiques” had really good sound.

Pictured is their debut 12" Maxi-T; grand merci, JSD!


4 Comments:

Anonymous Jim Donato said...

That single seems so much more at home in that fat list of goodness or yours than it ever did on my stainless steel racks, bookended by my paltry US Marcia Baila and Andy remixes. 'Tis good! 'Tis good indeed!

8:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Been mightily enjoying the formative prog reminiscences. Instead of the great “I Was a Teenage Maltshop” ala FZ, we get “I Was a Teenage Magma Disciple.” Yes, to the coffee fixation. Now for someone who hates Sparks as much as you do (have actually heard Kimono My House?), is the Les Rita collaboration some major abomination in their catalog. I remember one of the Mael Bros. talking about it but never heard it.

JB

2:28 PM  
Blogger Ron Kane said...

JD - many, many thanx. It is most edifying. Love the sleeve, even!

JB - Yes, to the coffee. Heard "Kimono" about 33 years ago, didn't take. Sparks' work with LRM is neither good nor bad - I listen for the Catherine Ringer parts, Maels as b/g. She also dueted with Iggy, someone else I don't do much.

I'll get to more prog memories or other writing of formative social behavior sometime soon.

10:06 PM  
Anonymous Jim Donato said...

JB - I consider the LRM/Sparks collaborations delightful. Singing In The Shower & Live In Las Vegas are true duets but Russell Mael only sings BVs on Hip Kit. If you enjoy Sparks [as I do] Marc Et Robert is a good jumping off point for LRM though you can't go wrong with the albums Ron recommended.

Speaking of Sparks, how about that 21 Albums In 21 Nights series of shows in the UK? I'm sick that I can's attend! Ron probably has not heard but in May-June of 2008, Sparks are playing 20 concerts at Carling Academy, Islington. An album a night, followed by the live debut of their 21st album at Shepherds Bush Empire. Many acts have recently played "classic album" shows but who else has played their entire repertoire in this fashion? Behold the audacity of man!

5:15 AM  

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