Thursday, December 24, 2009

Disco Delivery #63: Je te tiens, tu me tiens par la barbichette (Bande originale du film de Jean Yanne) (1979, Barclay)



The Ritchie Family - Forever Dancing (Te Deum)
Mimi Coutelier - Boogie Lady
The Ritchie Family - La Barbichette (You Make Me Feel It)
Village People - Hot Cop
Mimi Coutelier - Boogie Lady (Instrumental)
The Ritchie Family - La Barbichette (You Make Me Feel It) (Instrumental)

Unfortunately I don't have anything especially seasonal for this year, but I figure something colourful, cheesy and fun like this would do for the time being..

Produced by Jacques Morali (who, for those who may not know, was the late mastermind behind The Village People and The Richie Family etc..); the soundtrack to the late French writer, director, actor and satirist Jean Yanne's 1979 film "Je Te Tiens, Tu Me Tiens Par La Barbichette" (based on the French nursery rhyme, which apparently translates into "I've Got You, You've Got Me by the Chin Hairs" or "I've Got You, You've Got Me By the Hairs of My Chinny Chin Chin") seems to be, at least on these shores, one of Morali's lesser known releases. A full-on disco soundtrack featuring exclusive originals by The Richie Family and one of the film's stars Mimi Coutelier (also Jean Yanne's paramour, it seems), along with one recycled Village People tune ("Hot Cop," from 1978's "Cruisin'" LP), it's not an especially long LP by any stretch. Filled however, with big, effusive vocals and the sort of Philly-on-steroids production bombast one would expect from Morali, anyone (like me) who has a soft spot for his work will likely find more than enough to love here anyway.

While, as far as I know, none of the soundtrack exclusives have been made available digitally as of yet, the film itself is currently available on DVD. I had actually ordered the DVD recently, but since I haven't been able to get the damn Region 2 thing to work on on my PC's DVD yet, I still have yet to see the film (not that I'd understand a whole lot with my severely limited French anyway, but still..). That being said, from what I've gathered through stilted Babelfish translations of the DVD synopsis and various viewer reviews out there (someone correct me if I've got any of this wrong), the film is apparently a big send-up of the French television business, revolving around the kidnapping of a famous TV presenter by anti-TV terrorists (how quaint) and the subsequent staging of a big disco TV special in order to generate the ransom revenue. Jean Yanne and Mimi Coutelier play two of the inspectors, with Coutelier's character eventually getting a part in the actual special itself (as seen below). Naturally, all of this along with Morali's soundtrack also make perfect excuses for The Ritchie Family and the Village People to make notable musical cameo appearances.

Aside from Morali and business partner Henri Belolo, notably the film's writer/director and star Jean Yanne and regular Morali collaborator Beauris Whitehead (AKA Peter Whitehead) are all given writing credits on the soundtrack exclusives. Two of those originals "La Barbichette (You Make Me Feel It)" and "Boogie Lady" are also included on the soundtrack album in their instrumental versions. A hat-tip to DJ's or perhaps just something to fill space, they're worthy additions, since they're just about as enjoyable as their vocal versions.

The Ritchie Family's "Forever Dancing" would have to be, at least in my opinion, one of the soundtrack's showpieces. Stumbling across that song's YouTube clip (and subsequently having that tune and those images burned and looped in my head) practically compelled me to go track the whole album down.

A disco adaptation of Marc-Antoine Charpentier's "Te Deum" (also known as the Eurovision theme song) I think this one has to be both heard and seen to be appreciated in its full colourful campy glory. With the bright, spandex costumes, stare-down dance routines and neon lights in the clip, I dare anyone to not have this running in their head for a good week or so thereafter.



One of my other favourites here is Mimi Coutelier's "Boogie Lady." Granted, her voice is practically weightless, with the Ritchie Family (I'm assuming) on background doing most of the heavy lifting, but it's so damn sweet and catchy, it hardly matters. The clip of Mimi's dance sequence (choreography courtesy of Marilyn Corwin) looks like yet another one of THE disco glamour moments here (which, it appears Madonna was quite taken with, also). With that high kicking, arm twirling solo dance routine, blinking projections in the back surrounded by every other manner of disco variety show glitz; for what was probably supposed to be a stinging parody, it looks so damn fabulous it might as well have been a tribute..



The Ritchie Family perform the title theme for the closing disco sequence, but you can see almost everyone, including a couple of the Village People and Jacques Morali himself (2.52-2.54 in the glasses and red shirt), as well..



Running just over thirty minutes and with only three original/exclusive tracks (not including the two instrumental versions), it may be somewhat short, but still a whole lot of fun and well worth tracking down for fans of Morali's work. Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas everyone.

PREVIOUS RELATED ENTRIES:
LOOK FOR AN ASCOT, A BIG CIGAR.. (WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 31, 2008)
DISCO DELIVERY #11: PHYLICIA ALLEN - JOSEPHINE SUPERSTAR (1978, CASABLANCA) (FRIDAY MARCH 17, 2006)
THE FUGITIVE COP (WEDNESDAY MARCH 8, 2006)

PURCHASE:
JE TE TIENS, TU ME TIENS PAR LA BARBICHETTE (REGION 2 DVD)
AMAZON.FR

LINKS:
DISCOGS: VARIOUS - LA BARBICHETTE - BANDE ORIGINALE DU FILM DE JEAN YANNE
DISCOGS: THE RITCHIE FAMILY - LA BARBICHETTE/FOREVER DANCING (7" SINGLE)
DISCOGS: JACQUES MORALI
DISCO-DISCO: HENRI BELOLO & JACQUES MORALI
IMDB: JE TE TIENS, TU ME TIENS PAR LA BARBICHETTE (1979)
ALL MOVIE GUIDE: JE TE TIENS, TU ME TIENS PAR LA BARBICHETTE (1979)
NEW YORK TIMES - MOVIES: JE TE TIENS, TU ME TIENS PAR LA BARBICHETTE
WIKIPÉDIA: JE TE TIENS, TU ME TIENS PAR LA BARBICHETTE
IMDB: JEAN YANNE
THE INDEPENDENT - OBITUARIES: JEAN YANNE (BY PIERRE PERRONE) (MONDAY MAY 26, 2003)
ALL MOVIE GUIDE: JEAN YANNE
THE TELEGRAPH - OBITUARIES: JEAN YANNE (MAY 31, 2003)
IMDB: MIMI COUTELIER
WIKIPÉDIA: MIMI COUTELIER
IMDB: MARILYN CORWIN

CATEGORIES: DISCO DELIVERIES, VISUAL DISCO

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