Song of the Day: Les Rita Mitsouko – C’est Comme Ça

Virgin Records America | US | 12" | 1987 | 0-96768

Les Rita Mitsouko: C’est Comme Ça US 12″ [1987]

  1. C’est Comme Ça [ext. ver]
  2. Stupid Anyway

By the time that the UK had crashed and burned musically for me in the mid-80s, I began to finally hear some music from other nations, largely thanks to programming like MTVs International Hour or the good graces of Ron “The Man” Kane, who was concurrently turning his gaze to France after several years of following the New Zealand scene. Today, the song I have in my head was triggered by listening to another French artist, Claudia Philips, yesterday – but Les Rita Mitsouko are in another class entirely!

The group was essentially a duo of singer Catherine Ringer and instrumentalist Fred Chichin. The band’s first album was produced with Conny Plank. Their second was cut with Tony Visconti manning the boards. Obviously, their taste in music was impeccable! This single was from their second album, “The No Comprendo.” Amazingly enough, this album was even released in The States, in spite of it containing music sung in la langue Français! But when the music sounds this good, it really doesn’t matter what language the vocals are in. Be that as it may, at the time only the vinyl got released here, so I ended up mail ordering the CD from abroad. I did, however, partake of the domestic 12″ single!

“C’est Comme Ça” is a rhythmically driving number that is relentlessly paced and features Ringer’s full-bodied singing. She favors husky, lower registers, so this is no girly Europop.  You could dance to this record, but I’d call it rock, definitely. Ringer also played bass with Chichin taking guitar and drum duties. This 12″ version is a good two to three minutes longer than the LP version. It hasn’t been remixed but is a straight extended version. The centerpiece to the song is a vibrant, high-energy guitar solo courtesy of guest artist Sid Smith. The 12″ really gives it room to shine even brighter, and the record fills the room with a solar-like glow when Smith is wailing on that guitar.

For several years, I made sure to buy each Les Rita Mitsouko album, but after 1990’s “Re” album, I completely lost track of them. Sadly, Fred Chichin fell prey to virulent cancer in 2007 just two months after being diagnosed with it. His partner, Catherine Ringer, has carried on alone, and I really need to catch up with this band’s post-1990 output [five albums and various EPs] given the wonders of the internet available to me now. One thing is for certain, I need to go home today and immediately put this song on!

– 30 –

About postpunkmonk

graphic design | software UI design | remastering vinyl • record collector • satire • non-fiction
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2 Responses to Song of the Day: Les Rita Mitsouko – C’est Comme Ça

  1. Ron Kane says:

    Jim-san,

    Pretty much all of their albums are worthy of your attention. Even the live albums “rock”. I am not aware of any specific EP’s by LRM. I had the good fortune to see them play live in Los Angeles – an overheard comment (on that day): “This is like Prince & The Revolution, but these people are real!”.

    Like

    • postpunkmonk says:

      Ron Kane – Re: Prince + The Revolution. Gales of laughter! They had an EP that accompanied the last album with Fred, “The Eye.” See details here. Also, there’s a lot of singles that are not on my racks. I just have a couple of US 12″ers.

      Like

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