|Antidote to Whitesnake
Shop Around Ö part 47
|I got caught out this
week. There was no escape from being sent on a workshop, and I was daft
enough to take very little music with me. I ended being a lot more familiar
with the Nightingalesí In
The Good Old Country Way, and grew to love it. But by and large I was left
to the mercies of the interminable piped music that was played everywhere in
the hotel. And it was intriguing to find how unfamiliar with the sounds I was.
My colleagues were quietly singing along to the very heavily power ballads centric
soundtrack, and I was left wondering where all these songs came from. When someone
said: ďOh is that Whitesnake?Ē I was left totally bemused. I have no knowledge
of ever having heard Whitesnake before.
While I may pride myself on knowing a thing or two about music, itís good to be oblivious sometimes. In the taxi back to the station after the workshop, Radio One was blaring away, and I think the Audio Bullies were on, heavily sampling 'Bang Bang'. One of my colleagues mentioned it was odd for Radio One to be playing such an old song. Someone else then asked if it was Doris Day? And I said that it was Nancy, only to be met with blank looks, which scared the hell out of me. But maybe they thought it as odd when I mentioned never having knowingly heard Whitesnake.
After a worrying silence, Ze records is back in action, with a flood of releases to coincide with Lioís 25 years in pop. I may never have heard of Whitesnake, but I certainly had not known of Lio before either, which worried me much more, thinking I know all about Ze related activities. Lio has seven of her LPs available again, and there is a gorgeous Pop Songs and ballads double CD limited collectors edition, which is a beautiful place to start if like me you havenít been familiar with her work.
Lio is a wonderful amalgam of so many special things, and could easily have been created by Delacorta. One of her records is knowingly called Pop Model, after all. She is at her best up there with Blondie and Kylie, Saint Etienne and Annie, France Gall and Jane B, Cristina Monet and Claudine Longet. She even makes me think of Lori and the Chameleons, or in other words Bill Drummond and Dave Balfeís brief excursion in creating perfect pop. Does anyone know if 'Touch' and 'The Lonely Spy' are available?
Lio emerged from the Parisian punk demi-monde
at the end of the Ď70s,
and fronted such a perfect piece of pop confectionery that it was
too obviously Ze for them
to release, so they passed on Lio just as they passed on the exquisite Antena.
Her first record features titles like 'La Panthere Rose', 'Bebe Vampire',
'Speedy Gonzales', and 'Le Banana Split'. What more would you want?
Well, how about
a version of that LP with English lyrics by Sparks? Which again
begs the question
earth did I miss out on Lio? She did after all have a string of hits in France.
© 2005 John Carney