December 9, 2009

Plastic Bertrand//Ca Plane Pour Moi

I woke up this morning with this song in my head and thought, "this would be a great song for OSS today. It follows The Monks well and it kicks away the Wednesday blues." The problem? I had no idea what it was.

When it comes to figuring out little puzzles like this, I always assume that the internet will know, provide and generally have my back. However, decoding this song was a formidable challenge. I didn't know much about what it was besides the fact that:

1. it was in a foreign language. I assumed it was Western European and had a hunch it was a French song, although I thought it also might have been German.
2. it sounded kind of 60s, but then again, it could have been a later era copying the 60s.
3. it had a surf feel about it.
4. I had definitely heard it in the company of my friend Cara before, although I couldn't remember who had put it on. Also I had heard it many other places, possibly on a soundtrack. I frequently asked what it was and never remembered the answer.

After sifting through dozens of not-it Serge Gainsbourg tracks on Hype Machine and LastFM, trying that stupid site where you can tap out songs on your keyboard (which doesn't work--they kept telling me this was a Guns and Roses song) and searching "French Surf Hit," French Rock Hit 60s," "German Surf Hit" and "What is this song in my head?!?!" to no avail, I finally turned to a trusty old friend.

All Music Guide, based in Ann Arbor (rep!), might be the best music resource on the entire internet. Although their site is outdated and slow in terms of interface, you absolutely cannot beat the information they have. I went to the International section, then to the Foreign Language Rock section, then to the French Rock section, which spit out a list of top songs. Even though Plastic Bertrand was Belgian, this song was number two on their list.

Of course, AMG also has everything you need to know about it.

And so, I am pleased to present to you, the perfect song for today. I hope you find it as satisfying as I do.

Ca Plane Pour Moi.mp3

Ca plane pour moi!
(This life's for me!)


Frederik said...

I'm not really sure this song is one we Belgians should be proud of, but then again it maybe the most contagious Belgian song ever made :)

oh and btw, you seem to have forgotten to put .mp3 at the end of the link.

.. said...

A fine song. Like it. Sonic Youth covered it before too. I think they failed to mention on those sites that the song was a complete rip of recorded by another artist called Elton Motello. Originally written in English with entirely different lyrics. Supposedly the same musicians playing Motello's version were used for Bertrand's.

g said...

Frederik: It's kind of hilarious to think about this from a Belgian's perspective.

Also--thanks for pointing out the broken link. That's fixed.

..: I had no idea about Elton Motello. Does a recording of that exist anywhere?

g said...


art webb said...

"Betrand" was a hack, and former drummer with Motello. The homophobia back then was so prominent that Motello made a proto-punk song that referenced a homosexual relationship (not blushingly at all I should add) and a producer wanted to adapt the song into french. They ripped the song off, not even a half step or in a different key, put the drummer Jouret, aka Bertrand, singing it. They made the lyrics meaningless, and bastardized an "edgy" song into a bubble gum pop hit. I think that sums up the music industry.

"He gives me head."

g said...

art webb: Having now heard the original version, this sounds like a completely plausible story. The original is way cooler.

remka said...

The Telex cover is nice too :

g said...

Wow, thanks remka. Love that Telex cover. And the Sonic Youth one. This is very informative, by the way: