Rage against the Bikini Machine

Posted: February 10, 2013 in music, Record reviews
Tags: , , , ,

Bikini Machine joue Dutronc
Bikini Machine

I was looking at Allmusic.com’s lists of recommended songs and albums for 1969 when I hit “Le Responsable” by Jacques Dutronc (from the album Un disque MAXI). Messr. Dutronc is a legend in France but unknown in the USA. He was definitely unknown to any of us here at the Bureau. Unfortunately, Rhapsody didn’t have any of his music, but they did have a cover of “Le Responsable” by fellow Frenchmen Bikini Machine on their masterwork, Bikini Machine joue Dutronc. How did we make these connections before the invention of the World Wide Web? What did I do with my time? Read books? Interact with other humans?

Bikini Machine’s “Le Responsable” is an earth-mover (so’s the original, which I found on YouTube), so I happily gave the rest of this disk a spin. The results: Positive! Here’s a guide to what I heard:

“Sur une nappe de restaurant” (“Sir, that’s my napkin”) begins as if it wanted to live on The B-52s’ Wild Planet but soon surfs into a California-dreamin’/electro wonderland. The horn section gets a moderate workout here.

“Les Cactus” (“All that cactus”) can best be thought of as The Dave Clark Five playing “Boys” on the International Space Station.

“L’idole” (“This song is not about Billy Idol”) could almost be the theme to a spaghetti Western.

“J’ai font lu, tout vu, tout bu” (“I like this typeface, you like it, but the client hates it”) is French rap, which sounds pretty good in French.

“La fille du pere noel” (“My Dad spent Christmas with his girlfriend”) is the French version of Gary Glitter’s “Rock and Roll (Part Two),” complete with musical flourishes à la Alison Goldfrapp, with whom the Bikini Machine boys probably want to pursue activities l’intimate in the name of rock ’n’ roll.

There are enough worthwhile tracks on this CD to rate it a Buy. (I also tried an earlier album, Let’s Party with Bikini Machine, but that wasn’t much of a party.) Bikini Machine c’est formidable! At least they are on Bikini Machine joue Dutronc (“Bikini Machine thinks Dutronc is Jewish”).

Return with me now to the Swinging Sixties, French division.

  1. Michael Eichner says:

    Thanks for the tips. A little electronica, a little dance pop, a little french lesson. Jacques Dutronc sounds like he can’t get no satisfaction, but I did.

    The only pop electronica I’ve enjoyed before came from Future Bible Heroes ‘Eternal Youth’ (2002). Not French, though.

    • Run-DMSteve says:

      I suspect that Messr. Dutronc got plenty of satisfaction back in the Sixties. Ooh la la!

      I actually know one song from ‘Eternal Youth,’ “Losing Your Affection,” which I like a lot. “I’d rather put the make on a rattlesnake/than risk losing your affection.” I’ll have to listen to the rest of the album. Thanks for the tip, mon amis!

      Au revoir,


      • Michael Eichner says:

        Were as YouTube commenters think ‘Le Responsable’ is a Rolling Stones cover, inside Eternal Youth you will find the best original vampire song, ever!

      • Run-DMSteve says:

        I’m not sure about “best,” “original,” and “vampire” all appearing in the same sentence, but I’ll give it a try!

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