New Wave Divas

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Hermine : Torture (Released in 1980, Rating 2+)

A
Torture
 
B
Veiled Women
 
Produced by David Cunningham

I am not sure about who Hermine Demoriane is. At first, I thought she was Belgian because her The World on My Plates (1982) was released from the Crammed Discs, which is the Belgian independent label. But, according to some information on the WEB, She might be French. And her English sounds like she's French. *

She must have been in London in the late 70s and in the early 80s. She was in Derek Jarman's movie Jubilee (1977) as a role of Chaos. (Toyah Willcox, Wayne County,and Adam Ant appear in this movie. And original sound tracks include Brian Eno and Siouxsie & the Banshees etc.) This movie captures the crazy, violent, and anarchic world of punk age in the U.K. In the movie, Queen Elizabeth I sees the future of her kingdom by the magic of Angel Ariel, and she sees the punk age of England and despairs! In the movie, Hermine as Chaos is introduced as French girl living in London. She speaks little in the movie. Though she is living with the crazy punks, she seems to keep some distance from them. In the scene near the end, she sings Je Ne Regrette Rien of Edith Piaf, with walking a tightrope awkwardly.

Between her appearance in the movie and The World on My Plates (1982), she released two singles, Torture and T.V. Lovers. And this is the debut single of Hermine. ( I won this at $3 in ebay. ) This was released by her private label, Salome. According to some information, Hermine bought the pressing machine and she herself pressed singles.**

This was produced by David Cunningham, The master of errors ! Therefore, you expect this sounds like the Flying Lizards. You are right. But the vocal of Hermine is much worse than that of the Flying Lizards. Hermine seems not to be so confident about her bad vocal here; so this single is weaker than the Flying Lizards. I prefer the B-side, the fake Arabic song with Nico-like voice.

(Apr/2003, June/2002)

Hermine : Torture (Released in 1980(?), Rating 3)

A
1. Torture
2. Veiled Women
 
B
1. Foxes Will
2. Born a Woman
 
A side Produced by David Cunningham
B side Produced by Alig, Martin Harrison & Cahrles Bullen

This is another version of "Torture" single. First one was from "Salome Discs", and this one is from "Human Records". This single includes two extra songs in the B side. Foxes Will is with cello and oboe, and it is close to the torch songs in The World On My Plates. And Born a Woman is the pop song which sounds better than Torture. (Rating is for B side)

(Feb/2003)

Hermine : TV Lovers (Released in 1981, Rating 3)

A
TV Lovers
B
Valley of the Dolls
 
Produced by Colin Lay and Hermine Demoriane

The second single of Hermine. The sound gets closer to The Worl On My Plate. Torch songs in Nico-like voice. Cello is impressive in both tracks. And sudden drums in TV Lovers is surprising.

(Apr/2003)

Hermine : The World On My Plates (Released in 1982, Rating 3+)

A
1. Happy Holidays
2. Thrill Is gone
3. Waiting
 
B
1. I Won't Make It Without You
2. Too Men In My Life
3. Blue Angel

This mini-album, released by Crammed Discs in 1982, is my all-time favorite. More correctly saying, this is my all-time favorite album cover. Hermine is washing single records carefully with dish washer! The surface of the paper sleeve is covered with thin film, and film is burnt in polka-dot!

The music is like Nico singing the torch songs in somehow vaudeville style. Yes, the sentiment is very close to "Chelsea Girl", not dark, happy-sad feeling.. Hermine's vocal is much worse than Nico.. .Still, I like the inside vinyl as well as the paper cover. This is the good example, how the girl who cannot sing can make the attractive & charming record. And if Hermine keeps one corner in the history of music, it is by this record.

I guess this record is mainly appreciated in Japan. I know some Japanese people say this is their favorite record. Generally speaking, Japanese people have a special taste for the cute girl singer who can't sing. (If you see Japanese TV, there are a lot of examples.)

(May/2002)

Hermine: Lonely At The Top (Released in 1984, Rating 2+)

A
1. The Story Of A Ridiculous Dummy
2. Un Autre Soir D'ennui
3. Don't smoke In Bed
4.Noir, noir, Noir
5.Sleeping Feeling
 
B
1. Death Of Samantha
2. LaValse De 99 Ans
3. That's The Way It Goes
4. Hollow Hello
5. Anything
 
Produced by Dominic Weeks and Cass Davies

This is the first full album of Hermine.*** This is again from Salome Records.

In this album, the sound is much more avant-garde and serious. Tim Hodgkinson plays sax, and overall image gets closer to Henry Cow related music. But I have to say she is not good enough to sing serious music. Though the cover design is still nice and there are interesting moments, this is not very exciting album as a whole.

There is a cover of Yoko Ono's Death Of Samantha.

So, this is her last album, and her name has seemingly disappeared from the history.**** , ***** But I recently found that she published a book, The Tightrope Walker (1989) ! ****** This book is categorized in biography and performing art. So, this book is likely to be her autobiography. And, guessing from the title, she really may be a tightrope walker as she was walking on the wire in the movie Jubilee (1977). Very interesting. It looks like Der Himmel über Berlin (1987) of Wim Wenders. Solveig Dommartin played a role of a circus acrobat.

(Apr/2003, May/2002)

 

*There is still a possibility that she is Belgian, or her family might have Belgian origin. One reader of this site mailed me the interesting point of view on this:

"Demoriane is sort of a language joke on a real Flemish /Belgian name De Moriaan or also spelt as Demoriaan, which means Blackamoor in English. Sometimes people named pubs like that and were called after their bup or sometimes it was as protest against the French occupation who ordered people to take new family names around 1800 (which also meant to be easier caught when not paying your taxes, something like a barcode for every person nowadays. So the name is Flemish.

I was in Brussels at the time (1978/1980) a lot, but the picture must have been taken in England because of the electrical outlets. I remember some tapes. With new groups often there were only flexidisks made and semi official tapes. I seem to remember a (Dutch) flexidisk of Hermine as an extra bonus to a punk/newwave magazine. (That must have been the real awful Blue Angel.)

I must have seen her in Brussels at the time. Familily fodder rings a bell. I remember busrides to concerts at the place in Brussels called Ancient Belgique. There all the newwave an punk bands played for a short time. There was also a cafe in a rather run down part of Antwerp where all kinds of bands played. It was also the time of the new romantics. Everyone always was dressed up like for a fancy dress party."

(Apr/2003)

** One reader sent me the article about Hermine on THE FACE magazine Vol 1. No. 6, OCTOBER 1980

"'This is Hermine Demoriane, a French singer whose debut 45 has a curious history. The single, a version of an old Everly Brothers song produced by David Cunningham of the Flying Lizards, was recorded for Virgin Records. 21,000 full colour sleeves were printed in readiness for a June release alongside Cunningham's own "Laughing Policeman" 45. But when Virgin stalled over "Laughing Policeman" Cunningham took it to Arista instead. An unfortunate consequence was the cancellation of Hermine's own single. The official explanation was the "recession". As a consolation prize Virgin offered Hermine a release from her contract, and the opportunity to buy the metal pressing work for £59. Thoughroughly disenchanted but nevertheless determined to see her record view daylight, Hermine pressed 2000 copies of "Torture" on her own Salome disc label, distributed by Fresh and Rough Trade. At least, she says, her record is out - and control is in her own hands. "No whim of some young executive is going to shake me this time". As for the 19,000 unused sleeves, they're currently decorating her North London flat."

(June/2003)

*** One reader sent me the article of "City Limits" (Feb/1983). According to this, between The world On My Plates (1982) and this album, Hermine produced the play, "The Knives Besides the Plates", in 1983. It was a new version of Scheherwzade, "a celluloid porno version" of the thousand and one nights.

(Sept/2003)

**** One reader sent me the information about another Hermine's appearance on the movie, I wanna be a Beauty Queen (1985):

"I was looking for info on Hermine and found your site. I haven't got any of her music (yet) but I wondered if you'd seen her in the movie "I wanna be a Beauty Queen" singing '24 Hours from Tulsa' ? (She appears for about 30 seconds!)

Apart from Hermine (who is part of the 'cabaret'), Little Nell and Jenny Runacre from 'Jubilee' also appear. (Nell sings the theme song while Ms. Runacre is one of the contestants - 'Miss Slightly Misanthropic'!) Another new wave diva also appears very briefly - Bette Bright of the band Deaf School (who married Suggs of Madness in 1981)... Oh, what trivia!!!!"

(June/2003)

***** One reader met Hermine recently! Here is the latest news on her:

"I met Hermine last Saturday ! She's fine & living in her family castle (in fact, it's more a big quiet countryhouse with a beautiful park, not Versailles !), welcoming art exhibitions. She still sings from time to time (her last recording was a French version of Absolutely Fabulous's theme song "This Wheel's on Fire"). And yes : She's French ! "

(Sept/2003)

****** I bought the copy of "The Tightrope Walker" from the secondhand book store in the U.K.. Though I haven't read the book yet, it is likely her diary from 1971 to 1975. It ends at the scene of tightrope walking in Jubilee (1977). According to the book, she really was a tightrope walker. She was fascinated with it in 1971, and she writes about her experience with the tightrope walking. She also writes about the history of the tightrope walking as the performing art. There are many beautiful pictures of the tightrope walking. Because the book ends with the diary in 1975, it does not describe about her musical works.

(June/2003)

 


More about Hermine

The author of the website about John D Loudermilk sent me a lot of information about Hermine. (He bought the single "Torture" because it is a song by JD Loudermilk. His site is really amazing! ) According to his internet research:

1. Hermine married the English poet Hugo Williams in 1966, there is 1 daughter, and she has a house in northern France. There are lots more info on the Guardian article about Hugo Williams.

2. Recently she seems to have gone into typographic: she has made a font for an Austrian company. See here
 
3. Her father a Sausages-manufacturer, mother a journalist, etc. See German site on Hermine

4. In the discussion France vs Belgium, most sources and the reliable ones say France. The northern part of France (Roubaix, Dunkerque) use to be Flemish-speaking country, that fits the Demorian explanation.

So, now, we come to know a lot about her! It is a very interesting story.

When I first wrote about her, I didn't know anything about her. I only had two albums of her, and I liked them. Since then, people around the world sent me mails and information about Hermine. I'd like to thank people who helped me to know more about Hermine, and people who are interested in this page. And thanks to the internet technology and thanks to many other sites.

Because I have a lot of information about Hermine now, I may have to rewrite the review all over again. I may do it someday, but it may be better to keep this page as it is to show how information has grown.

After I wrote the reviews, I listened to her music several times and found more charms in her music. And there are some opinions that my rating for Lonely At The Top (1984) is not fair. So, I may have to change my rating of Lonely At The Top (1984) to 3, and the rating for The World On My Plates (1982) to 4. But, please consider that my rating is only for my favorite records. According to my rating system, Sgt. Pepper's will be 4 or something because I don't "love" it though I think it is a great album. As for Hermine's records, I love them, but I don't think they are musically great. Considering the rating for Sgt. Pepper's is 4, the rating of Hermine 2+~3+ is not that bad. Isn't it?

(April/2004)


Cristina: Disco Clone (Released in 1978, Rating 3+)

 
A. Disco Clone
B. Disco 'O'
 
Produced by Michael Zilkha

Cristina! This is my another new wave diva who can't sing. I like her record mainly because of the cover art! So I put the images as many as I can.

Cristina Monet is her name. She was born in 1956, and grew up in NYC. She got IQ 165, and went to Harvard University and studied history and literature. In 1975, she started writing the critics on play on Village Voice. She became the first ZE artist, and released 1st single Disco Clone in 1978. She was said to be the girlfriend of Michael Zilkha, the co-founder of ZE record.

Disco Clone is the fake disco song. It sounds so funny and strange. But it's a catchy song. The refrain repeats again and again in the head. B-side Disco O is the instrumental version of the song.

The song was re-issued later as The Ballad of Immoral Manufacture.

(May/2002, Mar/2003)

Cristina: Is That All There Is? (Released in 1980, Rating 3+)

 
A. Is That All There Is?
B. Jungle Love
 
Produced by August Darnell
Directed by Michael Zilkha

This single was canceled to be released because the writers of the song claimed that this version is completely different from their intention. I don't know original version which Peggy Lee* sang. Thanks to internet, I could get this from NY second hand shop.

Yuji Konno, a Japanese music writer, said long time ago, this is the best of Cristina.

A short intro is same as the outro of Side A of US version Cristina (1980).

(May/2002)

* I have listened to Peggy Lee's version of the song. It was beautifully arranged with strings by Randy Newman. Lee basically sings like speaking and sings a melody when the verse "It that all there is?" comes. It is much more romantic one, compared with Cristina's new wave disco version. But I was rather surprised by finding the similarity of two versions, not by the difference between them.

(Feb/2003)

Cristina: Baby You Can Drive My Car (Released in 1980, Rating 4)

 
A. Baby You Can Drive My Car
B. Don't Be Greedy
 
Produced by August Darnell

Of course, this is the Lennon/McCartney cover. Completely different from original version. So good! You can't imagine how this classic song can be silly. I wonder how John and Paul felt about this version. I think John would laugh a lot. Paul might get angry. (But they are generous enough not to make this draw.)

For me, this is the best record of Cristina.

(May/2002, Mar/2003)

Cristina: Cristina (Released in 1980 Rating 4)

UK Cover 
 A
1. Jungle Love
2. Don't Be Greedy
3. Mama Mia
 
B
1.La Poupee qui Fait Non
2. (Temporarily) Yours
3. Blame It On Disco
 
Written and Produced by August Darnell
Directed by Michael Zilkha

Then, 1980 this LP came. Here is a typical New Wave/ Disco/ Tropical/ ZE sound.

This album was produced by August Darnell. So, the sound is sophisticated disco like Darnell's band, Kid Creole & the Coconuts and Dr. Buzzard's Original Savannah Band. I love Don't Be Greedy and (Temporarily) Yours. They are very smooth fashionable disco song. And La Poupee qui Fait Non is the cute and sexy cover of Michel Polnareff's song.

Upon the sophisticated disco sound, Cristina sings. But actually she cannot sing! Far from the intelligence... that's so great..

The covers of UK and US are different as you see above. And one more difference is that there is a short hidden track in A side of US version which is same as the intro of Is That All There Is?. So, if you like to have this, you should buy US version. If you have enough money, buy both of them.

(May/2002, Mar/2003)

 US Cover & Inside photo

 

 

 

 

Cristina: Things Fall Apart (Released 1981, Rating 3)

 
A. Things Fall Apart
Produced by the Was Bros
 
B. Disco Clone (1978)
Produced by Zilkha/blank/Cristina

A side is from ZE's A Christmas Record. The sound image has changed a lot. It may be because of the producer, the Was Bros. It is a rock sound, closer to the one in Sleep It Off (1984). It doesn't sound Christmas song at all, but it is.

B side is her debut single, which is also the first single of ZE.

There is another version coupled with What's A Girl To Do in Sleep It Off (1984).

(May/2002, Mar/2003)

Cristina: Sleep It Off (Released in 1984, Rating 3)

 
A
1. Don't Mutilate My Mink
2. Ticket To The Tropics
3. She Can't Say That Anymore
4. Quicksand Lovers
5. Rage And Fascination
 
B
1. Ballad Of Immoral Earnings
2. What's A Girl To Do
3. The Lie Of Love
4. Blue Money
5. He Dines Out On Death
 
Produced by Don Was
Executive producer Michael Zilkha

This album was produced by Was. So, the atmosphere is changed a lot from the first one, sounds more 80s pops/rock. And Cristina mainly wrote the lyrics of the original songs. She said:

"The whole album is about coping with sex and money and power plays in the 1980's. In the sixties people survived on political idealism. In the seventies there was this obsession with 'lifestyle' - women's lib or a new religion, sex and drugs and rock 'n' roll, or a macrobiotic diet. Something was always THE ANSWER. In the eighties people are into power and money and narcissism because they don't know what else to believe in. I don't think the album has a cynical take on this. I guess I just believe that whatever's going on, trying to exist is a pretty trying business. Life knocks you down, all you can do is get back up, brush yourself off, cry a little, laugh a little and keep going."

This sounds intellectual, not like the camp diva in Cristina (1980). She is trying to express herself in this album, but her singing is bad as it used to be. That is the good point...

I like A-1 &2, B-1. Don't Mutilate My Mink is very impressive with heavy metal guitar and powerful drum. It is funny that it sounds cool. And Ticket To The Tropics is cathy song, that has a little tropical fragrance of the first album.

She covered the Brecht/Weill song, Ballad Of Immoral Earnings. Despite this cover version, she was not invited to the Weill tribute album, Lost in the Stars(1985) produced by Hal Willner. (Lots of my favorite musicians , Dagmar Krause, Marianne Faithfull, Van Dyke Parks, and Carla Bley etc, appeared in this record.) Ummmm.

While Yuji Konno said this was better than the first one, I love the first one better. Actually, I have rarely heard this record except these three songs.

Cover art is by Jean-Paul Goude. He also made an impressive cover art of Grace Jones.

Anybody knows what she is doing now? Any information? Or anymore photos?

P.S. Today, 30/Mar/2003, I found two CDs of Cristina on ebay! According to the explanation of the seller, they are made from the analog record. (So, they are bootlegs.) They include complete songs of Cristina, and the packages are nicely designed. Who did this job, anyway?

(May/2002, Mar/2003)


Lydia Lunch : Queen Of Siam (Released in 1980, Rating 3+)

1.Mechanical Flattery
2.Gloomy Sunday
3.Tied and Twist
4.Spooky
5.Los Banditos
6.Atomic Bongos
7.Lady Scarface
8.A Cruise to the Moon
9.Carnival Fat Man
10.Knives in the Drain
11.Blood of Tin
 
Produced by Bob Blank and Lydia Lunch
Executive Producer: Michael Zilkha

I remember the day when I found this record in the record shop in 1980. Three new records from ZE records were displayed together in the shop. They were Cristina, Lydia Lunch and Lizzy Mercier Descloux. Because the cover arts of these records were attractive, I bought them... When I bought them, I only knew Lydia Lunch because she was a member of Teen Age Jesus and the Jerks. No New York (1978) was my favorite record then, and Teen Age Jesus and the Jerks was one of the four bands in that compilation.

According to AMG's explanation of tones of Lydia Lunch are "Harsh, Raucous, Intense, Outrageous, Confrontational, Fiery, Nihilistic, Brash, Provocative, Reckless, Acerbic, Theatrical, Visceral, Literate, Cathartic, Angst-Ridden, Bitter, Bleak, Volatile, Angry, Hostile" !!! Oh, Yeah! I can still add Hysteric, Eccentric, Sadistic etc. In short, she is not my type of vocalists.

Still, this first solo album from ZE is worth hearing. She is not so hysteric here, and sound is not very aggressive or harsh. She sings in a sexy, often erotic way. Of course, it is not a pop album. It is a dark, melancholic, gloomy album. But there is a slight sense of humor and somehow stylish. Stylish, in a sense of eroticism. Just like the cover art, in which Lynch wears Leather Jacket with nails in her breasts (!), there is an image of fashionable S&M. The mixture of darkness and fashion may be the work of Michael Zilkha. I guess he stopped Lunch to go too far and keep her in style.

This album includes the cover of Spooky! It is a lazy out-of-tune interpretation, but it sounds "pop" in this downer album. Robert Quine also appears to play guitar solos.

(Apr/2003)


Lizzy Mercier Descloux: Press Color (Released in 1980, Rating 3+)

 
A
1.Fire
2. Torso corso
3. Mission Impossible
4. No Golden Throat
 
B
1.Jim On The Move
2. Wawa
3. Tumour
4. Aya Mood 3,5
 
Produced by Barnes, Mercier Descloux and Elliasson
Executive producer: Michel Esteban

This is another ZE album in 1980, released with Cristina and Lydia Lunch. The cover art is so cool. I could not help buying this. She looks so cute, and her album covers always look great. So, I bought her records though I knew she was not a great artist anyway.

Lizzy Mercier Descloux is a French singer. I don't know much about her. * I guess she was in New York in the late 70s. (She was a member of Rosa Yemen whose record released in 1978 is very rare.) She might have a friendship with Patti Smith maybe because both of them love Arthur Rimbaud. (There is a drawing of Descloux by Patti Smith. )

Descloux is not a great performer, nor a great composer. If there is anything interesting in her music, it is her sense of finding new trend. She might not be the trend-setter, but the early trend-catcher. One of the early concepts of ZE records was the fashionable presentation of New York No Wave artists. Even though they were playing very noisy, aggressive, avant-garde punk music, they also had some kind of fashionable feeling and intelligence. (They are New Yorker anyway. Look at Arto Lindsay of DNA have changed and matured in 20 years.) Lizzy Mercier Descloux may most fit to the concept of ZE. Here is the most typical ZE dance music interpretation of No Wave in the late 70s.

This record starts with catchy Fire, which is the cover of Arthur Brown's song. It has a feeling of electro dance music. But other tracks are mainly played by simple guitar, bass and drum sound, with melody-less singing of Descloux. This record is the most straightforward presentation of Lizzy Mercier Descloux's music.

This includes the cover of the theme song of Mission Impossible. Yes, the cover of cheap catchy theme song like James Bond or Batman was trendy then... And Tumour is the cover of Fever of Peggy Lee.

The executive producer, Michel Esteban, is the French co-founder of ZE records.

(Apr/2003)

This album, along with her second album, will be re-issued on CD in Nov/2003 from ZE, which was re-founded. And it contains Rosa Yemen etc. That's great! (Sept/2003)

 

Lizzy Mercier Descloux : Mambo Nassau (Released in 1981, Rating 3+)

A
1. Lady O K'pele
2. Room Mate
3. Sports Spootnick
4. Payola
5. Milk Sheik
 
B
1. Funky Stuff
2. Slipped Disc
3. It's You Sort of
4. Bim Bam boum
5. Five Troubles Mambo
 
Produced by Steve Stanley and Lizzy Mercier Descloux
Executive producer: Michel Esteban

The second album of Lizzy Mercier Descloux is much produced one than the first one, recorded at Compass Point Studios Nassau, which was the hottest recording studio then.

The sound has changed a lot. It becomes cool, solid, dry, light, funky, compass point sound. So, she changed her style from No Wave to something like Talking Heads or Grace Jones in the early 80s. (Wally Badarou's synth is very cool.) Yes, she kept following the trend very quickly.

This is just a typical, fashionable new wave dance album made in 1980. In spite of this typical-ness, if the name of Lizzy Mercier Descloux should be remembered in music history, it should be by this album. Or more correctly saying, it should be by the first two tracks in this record. They are very funky tunes. Very cool. I cannot help dancing when I hear these tracks. There is a good groove in this album. And her singing style, singing and shouting melody-less short words, fits to the funky groove. Yet, as the record proceeds, it gradually becomes a little monotonous.

There is a cover of Funky Stuff of Kool & the Gang.

Executive producer is Michel Esteban. But this is not from ZE records. It is from Philips.

(Apr/2003)

Lizzy Mercier Descloux : S.T. (Released in 1984, Rating 3+)

A
1. It's All My Imagination
2. Abyssinia
3. Gazelles
4. Dolby Sister Saliva Brothers
5. Eclipse
6. Les Dents De L'Amour
 
B
1. Wakwazuku Kwezizulu rock
2. Momo On My Mind
3. I'm Liquor
4. Queen of Overdub Kisses
5. Sun's Jive
6. All The Same
 
Produced by Adam Kidron
Executive producer: Michel Esteban

The third album is self titled one. This may be showing her pride on this record. This is the best album of Lizzy Mercier Descloux along with Mambo Nassau (1981), though there is no catchy tracks like the first two tracks in the second album.

The theme of the third album is South Africa. Considering the "discovery" of African music since Talking Heads' Remain in Light in 1980 or King sunny Ade's Juju Music in 1982, this album may be a little bit late to catch the trend. But it is 2 years earlier than Paul Simon's Graceland in 1986, which introduced South African music to wider audience of America.

Actually, the first track features the impressive fretless bass which resembles Graceland very much.

Again, executive producer is Michel Esteban. (It may be his sense not hers that keeps tracking the musical trends.) Again, she moved the record company from Phillips to CBS.

(Apr/2003)

Lizzy Mercier Descloux : One For The Soul (Released in 1986, Rating 3)

A
1. One For The Soul
2. Simply Beautiful
3. Fog Horn Blues
4. Women Don't Like Me
5. My Funny Valentine

B
1.Sound Of Leblon Beach
2. Garden of Alas
3. God-Spell Me Wrong
4. Off Off pleasure
5. Long Voodoo Ago
6. Love Streams
 
Produced by Adam Kidron
Project co-ordinator: Michael Esteban

So, what is the theme of this record? Chet Baker (1929-1988) appears on 5 tracks!!!! Of course, he plays on My Funny Valentine. Chet Baker, who was famous for the great "cool jazz" albums in the 50s, including fabulous Chet Baker Sings (1953), was a sub-cultural legend for his heroin addiction and bohemian lifestyle. His trumpet solos are the highlights of this record.

What else? This was recorded in Rio de Janeiro. But this doesn't sound very Brazilian, though there is some moment when funky disco groove and Brazilian percussion mixed well. This album features more melodies than other albums. But the melodies reveal that her singing is weak.

AMG's biography of Chet Baker writes, "Baker's drug addiction caused him to lead a disorganized and peripatetic life, his constant need for cash requiring him to accept many ill-advised recording offers, while his undependability prevented him from making long-term commitments to record labels. As a result, his discography is extensive and wildly uneven. " So, this may be one of the uneven records.

Again, Michel Esteban. Once again, she moved the record company from CBS to Polydor.

(Apr/2003)

Lizzy Mercier Descloux : Suspense (Released in 1988, Rating 2+)

A
1. Gypsy Flame
2. Cape Desire
3. Salome
4. Lucky Strike Drive
5. The Long Goodbye

B
1.Playtime
2. Hurricane
3. Once Upon a Time Out
4. Echec et Mat
5. A Room in New York
 
Produced by John Brand, Mark Cunningham and Lizzy Mercier Descloux

The first album of Lizzy Mercier Descloux which was released from the same record company, Polydor. But this seems to be the last album of Descloux at this moment. (There is a rumor that there is another album, but I am not sure.) There is no Michel Esteban's name in this album. So, this is the exceptional album for Descloux...

This record was recorded in London, and sounds more like the British New Wave sound in the 80s. (Bruce Smith appears, and his drumming is nice.) But there is no catchy theme like other albums of hers. Themes of her other albums might be the ideas of Michel Esteban.

The British New Wave sound might be close to Descloux's original musical style. So, she sounds natural here. That is the good point of this record. But this is not very exciting record for me as a whole. (The cover art is nice.)

(Apr/2003)

* One reader gave me this information about Lizzy:

"In 1976, Lizzy and Michel Esteban used to run a small (but great) french punk-rock magazine called ROCK NEWS. They made at least 6 numbers, from january to july 1976.

I met Lizzy a few months ago. She's quite a nice girl, now living in the center of France, going to New york from times to times. She projects to re-release her full work on CD in the near future."

(Aug/2003)


Lizzy Passed away on 20/Apr/2004. See Life Is the Endless Vacation.

 


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