Friday, November 30, 2007

Deceased Artiste: Fred Chichin of Les Rita Mitsouko

I’m pretty sure the American music press is gonna fuck up and completely ignore the passing of the wonderfully talented Fred Chichin, half of the great French pop-rock duo Les Rita Mitsouko (the other half being the lovely and talented Catherine Ringer). Fred died at 53 of cancer, a sad death, since his duo was a kick-ass musical act whose first few albums were golden, and who continued to create memorable, hook-laden tunes until earlier this year.

As is always the case with musical acts, most of their best work is available on YouTube, but I’ll just note that they hit it big with the super-memorable and goddamn bouncy song “Marcia Baila” in 1985, and went on to become major French music stars, she for her great vocals and sexy style, he for his musicianship… and sleazy moustache. They attempted crossover performances, but wisely never did a complete sell-out LP: two albums were produced by “Main Man” Tony Visconti, they performed songs with Sparks on their third album, their newest album has Catherine dueting with the lead singer of System of a Down, and the pair continued to perform tunes sung in English as well as Français. I thought it interesting that they received the same treatment in Godard’s Soigne Ta Droite (Keep up your right) that the Stones had gotten in One Plus One/Sympathy for the Devil. They certainly deserved the dissection, as their music was wonderfully crafted by Fred and the albums are imminently relistenable.

Get hooked into “Marcia Baila”:

Pure pop for now people from Les Rita:

I get addicted with a few notes:

Dance music with a brain:

And I would be remarkably remiss if I didn’t close out with the best last line Les Rita ever came up with
“Les histoires d’amour finissent mal… en general”
(Love stories end badly… in general)

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