Various Artists Undercover

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A compilation of Classic Covers by ZE original artists. "All the artists that record for ZE Records have made at least one cover version. It was a natural step forward to bring them together on this compilation. Coati Mundi has adapted Tropical Hot Dog Night, one of the most joyous songs ever written by Don Van Vliet for his band Captain Beefheart. Rueben Blades is present as a Latino guest star. Alan Vega pays a tribute to Gene Vincent with his version of Be Bop a Lua. Cristina revives her French roots and offers us a highly personal, Latin version of La Poupée qui fait Non produced by August Darnell from Michel Polnareff's first success.

Casino Music, whose leader Gilles Riberolles parodies the French Lover on the previous track by Cristina offers an excellent cover of The Beat Goes On, written by Salvatore Bono & Cherilyn LaPiere, better known as Sonny & Cher. Their Frenchy compatriots Suicide Romeo have lent their influence to Needle in a Camel's Eye by Brian Eno, in a version that is cleverly close to the original. James White took up the challenge with a version of (Tropical) Heatwave by Irving Berlin (with Anya Phillips as the platinum blond) made popular by Marilyn Monroe in the film There's No Business Like Show Business. Lili Marlene by Marlene Dietrich is reviewed and adopted by Kid Creole & the Coconuts, sung in German by Adriana, accompanied on the piano by Stony Browder Jr., August Darnell's brother and co-founders of Dr Buzzard's Original Savannha Band.

Aural Exciters, Bob Blank's After Hours Party Band offer their version of 'My Boy Lollipop', originally created by Jamaican teenager Millie Small, who brought the first N°1 in the British charts (N°2 in the USA) to a young producer called Chris Blackwell on his then new label, Island Records. 'My Boy Lollipop' is still today one of the top selling Reggae singles in the world.

Lizzy Mercier Descloux gives her offbeat version of Marvin Gaye's 'Let's Get it On', recorded in Rio de Janeiro during sessions for her One for the Soul album. Sweet Pea Atkinson in a duo with Caroll Hall, supported by Was (Not Was), cover Anyone who had a Heart by Burt Bacharach, originally made famous by Dionne Warwick. In 1980 LIO recorded Gillespie and Coots' You go to my Head, also interpreted famously by Billie Holiday, her version though remains fresh and visionary even. The newcomers to ZE in 2004 also rose to the challenge with pleasure.

Miss OD backed by Gentleman's League pour out a very smooth version of Dindi by Jobim, originally interpreted by Astrud Gilberto and also sung magnificently by Sinatra. Bohemians Vs Cow Boys featuring Miss OD and Shuuko electrify Money, the Tamla Motown classic by Barret Strong. Finally LISI, a daughter of Cuban exiles in Miami rips into (with great class and style) Johnny Mercer and Harold Harlen's American classic 'Come Rain or Come Shine', made popular by numerous artists including Judy Garland, Sinatra and Billie Holiday. The difficulty in adapting a song lies in the capacity of breaking with its past history, its origins in order to take a hold of it, breathe a different life into it, reinvent it, even revolutionize it…injecting new emotion to a song that has already made its mark: what a challenge!!

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01 • Miss OD • GENTLEMEN LEAGUE • Dindi • 3:05
(Antonio Carlos Jobim / Aloysio de Oliveira) Published by Rondor
Originally popularised by Astrud Gilberto
Recorded at South Factory Studio, 2004
All instruments, Arrangements & Mix by Michel Bassignani
Produced by M & M
Original sound recording made by ZE records © 2004

02 • JAMES WHITE & THE BLACKS • (Tropical) Heatwave • 3:50
(Irving Berlin) Published by Warner Chappell
Originally popularised by Marilyn Monroe
Recorded at Blank Tapes, NYC 1978. Produced by James Chance
Original sound recording made by ZE records © 19790

3 • LIO • You Go to My Head • 2:35
(Coots / Gillespie) Published by Warner Chappell
Origally popularised by Billie Holiday
Recorded in Bruxelles 1980. Produced by Marc Moulin & Dan Lacksman
Original sound recording made by OVERSEAS UNLIMITED © 19800

4 • LISI • Come Rain or Come Shine • 2:40
(Johnny Mercer / Harold Harlen) Published byWarner Chappell
Originally popularised by Judy Garland & Frank Sinatra
Recorded in Miami, 2004. Overdub & Mix by Michel Bassignani
Produced by Lisi and M & M
Original sound recording made by ZE records © 2004

05 • CASINO MUSIC • The Beat Goes On • 3:53
(Sony Bono) Published by PECF
Originally popularised by Sony & Cher
Recorded in Paris 1981
Produced by Casino Music & Michel Esteban
Original sound recording made by ZE records © 1981

06 • SUICIDE ROMEO • Needle in a Camel Eye • 4:18
(Brian Eno) Published byEG Music
Originally popularised by Brian Eno
Recorded at Compass point Studios, Nassau - Bahamas 1981
Produced by Alex Sadkin & Michel Esteban
Original sound recording made by ZE records © 1981

07 • ALAN VEGA • Be Bop a Lua • 2:21(Gene Vincent / Sheriff Tex Davis) Published by Hill & Range Songs Inc.
Originally popularised by Gene Vincent
Recorded at Skyline Studio, NYC 1980
Produced by Alan Vega
Original sound recording made by ZE records © 1980

08 • AURAL EXCITERS • My Boy Lollipop • 5:09
(Johnny Roberts / Morris Levy) Published by Nom Music Inc.
Originally popularised by Millie Small
Recorded at Blank Tapes, NYC 1979.
Produced by Bob Blank.
Original sound recording made by ZE records © 1979

09 • BOHEMIANS VS COW BOYS • Money • 3:53 • Feat. SHUUKO & Miss OD  
(Berry Gordy / Janie Bradford) Published by EMI Music Publishing
Originally popularised by Barrett Strong & The Flying Lizart
Recorded at South Factory Studio. All instruments by Albin de la Simone &
Michel Bassignani. Mixed 2004 by Michel Bassignani
Produced by M & M
Original sound recording made by ZE records © 2004

10 • CRISTINA • La Poupée Qui Fait Non • 5:10
(Michel Polnareff / F. Gerald) 
Published Ma music Inc Semi
Originally popularised by Michel Polnareff
Recorded at Blank Tapes, NYC 1980
Produced by August Darnell
Original sound recording made by ZE records © 1980

11 • COATI MUNDI • Tropical Hot Dog Night • 5:46
(Don Van Vliet) Published by Singing Ink Music B.M.I
Originally popularised by Captain Beefheart
Recorded at Planet Sound NYC  1983
Special Cameo Appearance Ruben Blades
Produced by “Sugar-Coated” Andy Hernandez
Original sound recording made by Coati Mundi Productions © 1983

12 • LIZZY MERCIER DESCLOUX • Let’s Get It On • 4:57
(Marvin Gaye/ Ed Thownsend) Published byJobete Music
Originally popularised by Marvin Gaye
Recorded at Polygram Studios, RIO de Janeiro, 1985
Remixed 2004 at South Factory Studio by Michel Bassignani
Produced by Michel Esteban
Original sound recording made by Polydor © 1985

13 • KID CREOLE & THE COCONUTS • Lili Marlene • 3:54
(Norbert Scultze /HansLeip) Published by EMI Music Publishing
Originally popularised by Marlene Dietrich
Recorded at Blank Tapes, NYC 1980. Produced by August Darnell
Mixed by August Darnell & Bob Blank
Original sound recording made by ZE records © 1980

14 • SWEAT PEA ATKINSON & CAROL HALL • Anyone Who Had a Heart • 3:05
(Burt Bacharach / H. David) Published by MCA Music LTD
Originally popularised by Dione Warwick
Recorded in Detroit 1982. Produced by Don Was, David Was & Jack Tann
Mixed by Michael H. Bauer
Original sound recording made by ZE records © 1982


THIS 2004 COMPILATION SELECTED AND PRODUCED BY MICHEL ESTEBAN
P © ZE Records Mundo Ltda 2004
Remastered by Charlus de la Salle at Sounth Factory Studio,
DESIGNArt cover & Booklet & Desing by Michel Esteban 

UNDERCOVER

Adapting someone else’s composition is a heady challenge and an almost obligatory step in an artist’s career but one which is not without risk in certain cases. The stimulation may come from a sort of gauntlet of style being thrown down or from the great pleasure of reworking, reviewing a work that one has loved. Whatever the trigger, adaptation is always a test of an artist’s taste and the limits of his or her creativity and talent even. Certain new versions become even more famous than their originals, pushing the initial artist into obscurity. A recent example of this is the adaptation of Torn by NATALIE IMBRUGLIA which immediately became an international hit. But who remembers the original version by EDNASWAP on their “Wacko Magneto” album?

Covering is often an opportunity to play with the style of a composition, which proves that the original was a good song and that with the injection of different talent, it can be adapted to any given style. A famous example of this is the exceptional adventure of « My Way ». It was written by French man Jacques Revaux under the title « For Me », it was then presented to Claude François who adapted it with Gilles Thibaut to produce « Comme d’Habitude ». The song was relatively successful in France in 1967 but then PAUL ANKA heard it and adapted it into English two years later under the title of « My Way ». He offered the song to « THE VOICE », Mister FRANK SINATRA himself. This was the start of the song’s fabulous international career. Over one thousand versions of « My Way » have since been recorded, the best known being those by ELVIS PRESLEY, EDDIE COCHRAN, TOM JONES, THE PLATTERS, LUCIANO PAVAROTTI, RAY CHARLES, NINA HAGEN… the version by NINA SIMONE is, in my opinion, one of the best covers while SID VICIOUS’ atomic production perfectly illustrates the theory of a good song being adaptable to any style.

All the artists that record for ZE Records have made at least one cover version. It was a natural step forward to bring them together on this compilation. COATI MUNDI has adapted Tropical Hot Dog Night, one of the most joyous songs ever written by Don Van Vliet for his band CAPTAIN BEEFHEART. RUEBEN BLADES is present as a Latino guest star. ALAN VEGA pays a tribute to GENE VINCENT with his version of Be Bop a Lua. CRISTINA revives her French roots and offers us a highly personal, Latin version of La Poupée qui fait Non produced by August Darnell from Michel Polnareff’s first success. CASINO MUSIC, whose leader GILLES RIBEROLLES parodies the French Lover on the previous track by CRISTINA offers an excellent cover of The Beat Goes On, written by Salvatore Bono & Cherilyn LaPiere, better known as Sonny & Cher. Their Frenchy compatriots SUICIDE ROMEO have lent their influence to Needle in a Camel’s Eye by Brian Eno, in a version that is cleverly close to the original.

James White took up the challenge with a version of (Tropical) Heatwave by Irving Berlin (with Anya Phillips as the platinum blond) made popular by Marilyn Monroe in the film « There’s No Business Like Show Business ». Lili Marlene by Marlene Dietrich is reviewed and adopted by Kid Creole & the Coconuts, sung in German by Adriana, accompanied on the piano by Stony Browder Jr., August Darnell’s brother and co-founders of Dr Buzzard’s Original Savannha Band. AURAL EXCITERS, Bob Blank’s After Hours Party Band offer their version of My Boy Lollipop, originally created by Jamaican teenager Millie Small, who brought the first N°1 in the British charts (N°2 in the USA) to a young producer called Chris Blackwell on his then new label, Island Records. My Boy Lollipop is still today one of the top selling Reggae singles in the world.

Lizzy Mercier Descloux gives her offbeat version of Marvin Gaye’s Let’s Get it On, recorded in Rio de Janeiro during sessions for her « One for the Soul » album. Sweet Pea Atkinson in a duo with Caroll Hall, supported by WAS (NOT WAS), cover Anyone who had a Heart by Burt Bacharach, originally made famous by Dionne Warwick. In 1980 LIO recorded Gillespie and Coots’ You go to my Head, also interpreted famously by Billie Holiday, her version though remains fresh and visionary even. The newcomers to ZE in 2004 also rose to the challenge with pleasure. Miss OD backed by Gentleman’s League pour out a very smooth version of Dindi by Jobim, originally interpreted by Astrud Gilberto and also sung magnificently by Sinatra. BOHEMIANS Vs COW BOYS featuring Miss OD and Shuuko electrify Money, the Tamla Motown classic by Barret Strong. Finally LISI, a daughter of Cuban exiles in Miami rips into (with great class and style) Johnny Mercer and Harold Harlen’s American classic Come Rain or Come Shine, made popular by numerous artists including Judy Garland, Sinatra and Billie Holiday.

The difficulty in adapting a song lies in the capacity of breaking with its past history, its origins in order to take a hold of it, breathe a different life into it, reinvent it, even revolutionize it…injecting new emotion to a song that has already made its mark: what a challenge!!

Michel Esteban Paris, October 2004

Track List
  • 1
    Dindi - Miss OD
    03:42
  • 2
    (Tropical) Heat Wave - James White & The Blacks
    03:52
  • 3
    You Go to My Head - Lio
    02:35
  • 4
    Come Rain or Come Shine - Lisi
    02:40
  • 5
    The Beat Goes On - Casino Music
    03:53
  • 6
    Needle in a Camel Eye - Suicide Romeo
    04:18
  • 7
    Be Bop a Lua - Alan Vega
    02:21
  • 8
    My Boy Lollipop - Aural Exciters
    05:09
  • 9
    Money - Bohemians vs Cow Boys
    03:53
  • 10
    La Poupée Qui Fait Non - Cristina
    05:10
  • 11
    Tropical Hot Dog Night - Coati Mundi
    05:46
  • 12
    Let's Get it On - Lizzy Mercier Descloux
    04:57
  • 13
    Lili Marlene - Kid Creole & the Coconuts
    03:54
  • 14
    Anyone Who Had a Heart - Sweet Pea Atkinson
    03:05