Agony Shorthand

Sunday, May 18, 2003
CLOTHILDE “SAPERLIPOPETTE”…..Hey French speakers and ye ye fans, what does the title of this fantastic collection mean: “super little popette”? If so it’d be most apt, as CLOTHILDE, as heralded by one JV in these pages, made some of the most gourmet candy-coated 1960s French pop music you’ll ever hear. “Saperlipopette” collects both of her 1967 4-song EPs into one very short CD, and is produced with just enough bells & whistles (and horns & triangles & keys & other cool effects) to qualify as a gallic OS MUTANTES at their most pop-friendly moments. The “popettemaster” in Clothilde’s closet was one Germinal Tenas, who ought on this work alone to be standing well astride the 60s pop producer pantheon, along with Joe Meek & Phil Spector. From the Ye-Ye Girls website:

(Clothilde was) a protege of renowned producer Germinal Tenas (an alias for Christian Fechner). Germinal worked with punk Antoine et les Problemes, Christine Delroche and he later formed his own band, Chorus Reverendus. He enjoyed mixing traditional pop sounds with weird instruments like the French Horn. The result was a strange and splendid baroque pop, not dissimilar to Shadow Morton's productions for The Shangri-Las, and every one of the eight songs Clothilde and Germinal did together are musts!

I heartily concur. The kick-off track “Fallait Pas Ecraser La Queue Du Chat” may very well be the “Please Don’t Talk To The Lifeguard” of the 1960s French pop genre – pure sunlight and production genius, with enough mile-wide hooks to hide a whole decade’s worth of weapons of mass destruction in. It’s so goddamn great you also get it in Italian at the end of this CD. Here’s where to continue after you’ve tapped out on the compilations.