by request: in the heart of the sea (ron howard, 2015)
film fatales #24: fat girl (catherine breillat, 2001)

music friday: plastic bertrand

On this date in 1954, Roger Jouret was born in Brussels. According to Wikipedia, where much of this information can be found, Jouret was already in a band when he was nine years old (they covered Rolling Stones songs). When he got older, he studied music theory and then, influenced by punk, he joined a band called Hubble Bubble. The timing is questionable ... while they released their first album in 1978, they formed in 1974-5, which seems a bit early to have been influenced by punk.

Hubble Bubble broke up, and the band’s manager introduced Jouret to Lou Deprijck, a singer and producer who had some minor success in the mid-70s. Deprijck had recorded two sides of a single with a studio band ... both tracks were written by Yvan Lacomblez. It took only two hours to record both tracks.

Jouret, now going by the name Plastic Bertrand, is said to have looked more like a punk than Deprijck, so the tracks was released as a single under the name Plastic Bertrand. The hit side was called “Ça plane pour moi”, and it was, and is, one of the stupidest songs ever recorded, with nonsense lyrics, mostly in French. (This was not a completely new idea. Elton John, at the peak of his popularity in the mid-70s, stuck a song on 1974’s Caribou, “Solar Prestige a Gammon”, with nonsense lyrics that he happily sang with just as much feeling as he usually put into Bernie Taupin’s material.)

Stupid, yes. Catchy, very much so. In fact, when you hear it, no matter how much you think you hate it, you are caught up in it. It made Plastic Bertrand something of a star, and several albums were released under his name.

Here is the hit version:

No one at the time knew that the singer on this, and all of those first albums, was not Roger Jouret but rather Lou Deprijck. In fact, it took until 2010 before the truth came out, after voice analysis revealed Deprijck’s role.

There are many cover versions. One early one isn’t really a cover ... Alan Ward, under the name Elton Motello, recorded “Jet Boy Jet Girl” with English lyrics that were not a direct translation (to say the least), but the backing track was exactly the same as the “original”:

Here is Sonic Youth’s version:

Finally, here is Lou Deprijck, in a video from 2010 ... I don’t know when the track was recorded:

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