The Epic 2017 Project #188: 170707
Nouvelle Vague – If I could be happy (2016)
This transliteration was the starting point for Marc Collin and Olivier Libaux’s unique project, which, by appropriating the punk and post-punk cannon and running it through the Bossa Nova filter, reinvented the cover band genre, revealing new and brilliant talents along the way: Camille, Phoebe Killdeer, Nadeah, Mélanie Pain, and, soon, Liset Alea. The gambit paid off, with sales of over one million records over four albums released between 2004 and 2010, and world tours that included stops at venues such as London’s Royal Albert Hall, L.A.’s Hollywood Bowl and Paris’ Olympia.
Since 2011, Nouvelle Vague had stopped recording, focusing on an innovative live show created in collaboration with the mythical Jean-Charles de Castelbajac (Ceremony and Dawn of innocence,) and branching out into different projects: Olivier’s Uncovered Queen of the Stone Age, and Marc’s Bristol, along with his Kwaidan label.
So 2016 seemed the right time to write a new chapter in the Nouvelle Vague saga: with a new album “I Could Be Happy” and live show, the band and its coterie of female vocalists continue their time travels with a renewed alegria. Nouvelle vague by Nouvelle Vague and Some Friends is thus more of a nexus of forthcoming projects: a new album comprised of punk and post punk standards imbued with the inimitable Nouvelle Vague touch, and, for the first time, a bevy of surprising Collin/Libaux which prove that the two producers are more than prodigious arrangers.
This album is also the opportunity to gather again the pioneer singers of Nouvelle Vague: Élodie Frégé, Mélanie Pain, Liset Alea, Nadeah and to find other guests as Camille or Clara Luciani. A worldwide tour to promote it began in Europe and Asia and continued through South America and the U.S.A. earlier this year.
The Epic 2017 Project #142: 170522
The Killers – Hot Fuss (2004)
The Killers’ debut studio album, released on June 7, 2004 in the United Kingdom and on June 15, 2004 in the USA. Hot Fuss produced several commercially and critically successful singles: “Mr. Brightside”, “Somebody Told Me”, “All These Things That I’ve Done” and “Smile Like You Mean It”.
The album reached number seven on the Billboard 200 chart and number one on the UK Albums Chart. And as of December 2012, had sold more than seven million copies worldwide, including more than three million in the United States and more than two million in the UK, where it has been certified seven-times platinum. It has also been certified platinum or multi-platinum in Australia, Canada, Ireland, and New Zealand.
The album and its first three singles went on to garner five Grammy Award nominations. Rolling Stone ranked Hot Fuss the 43rd of its “100 Best Albums of the Decade”, and it is one of the five most recent recordings listed among the 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. Gigwise readers voted it the number-one “Best Debut Album of All Time” in 2013 and Rolling Stone ranked it the 33rd of its list of “The 100 Greatest Debut Albums of All Time”
The Epic 2017 Project #123: 170503
Joe Jackson – Look Sharp (1979)
Joe Jackson and his band, using money earned by Jackson from touring with the cabaret band Koffee ‘n’ Kream, began recording ‘Look Sharp’ from late 1977 to spring 1978 in a studio in Portsmouth. However, after producer David Kershenbaum heard a demo tape from Jackson, he signed Jackson to A&M Records in 1978, after which Jackson and his band quickly re-recorded the album. This was then followed by a tour to promote it.
“Is She Really Going Out with Him?” was released as a single in the UK prior to the release of Look Sharp!, but it, as well as follow-ups “Sunday Papers” and “One More Time,” failed to make an impact on the charts. Look Sharp! also stalled upon its initial release, but upon the re-release of “Is She Really Going Out with Him?” in Britain (as well as a single release in the US), the album grew in popularity, reaching the top 20 in America. After the performance of the first album, the band quickly recorded a follow-up, I’m the Man, which Jackson describes as “Part Two of Look Sharp!”
Sometime after the album’s release, Jackson put this on website:
What can anyone say about something they did so long ago?! I’m not embarrassed by it, or not by most of it, anyway. It positively reeks of London 1978–79 and, well, it is what it is. I’m glad people liked it, and still like it, though I think some of that is nostalgia and a tendency to romanticise peoples’ first albums, as though later ones must somehow be less ‘authentic’. For a first album, this one’s not bad, but I was only 23 when I made it and it would be pretty weird if I didn’t think I’d done better things since.
The Epic 2017 Project #116: 170426
Billy Idol – Queens of the Underground (2014)
Produced by Trevor Horn, this was Billy Idol’s 7th studio album
The Epic 2017 Project #093: 170403
Gay Dad – Transmission (2001)
Having formed originally in 1994, Gay Dad signed a new recording contract early in 2001 with a new independent record label – B-Unique – set up by their former A&R man at London Records, Mark Lewis, and began work on a new album, Transmission.
Later that year the lead single from Transmission – “Now, Always and Forever” – was released. It fell just short of the Top 40 in the UK Singles Chart. An extensive UK tour was followed by a limited edition single “Harder, Faster, and the third single “Transmission” was released just before the album came out in late 2001.
Rumours of a split started circulating in 2002 and the band finally announced the breakup on the eve of the U.S. release of Transmission, citing the excessive press hype the band had received and the pressures resulting from it, as well as negative reactions to the band’s controversial name.
“Joy” was released two years prior to ‘Transmission’ on the back of the band’s first album – Leisure Noise. There’s some great tracks on Transmission (three of them mentioned above), but ‘Joy’ was their fame-launcher. So here is is.
The Epic 2017 Project #063: 170304
Eight Rounds Rapid – Loss Leader (2014)
Formed in 2010, this is the band’s debut, released in 2014 on the Cadiz label. The second – ‘Objet D’Art’ is released this month – March 2017
The Epic 2017 Project #022: 170122
Bikini Kill – Revolution Style Girl Now (1991)
Bikini Kill was an American punk rock band formed in Olympia, Washington, in October 1990. The group consisted of singer and songwriter Kathleen Hanna, guitarist Billy Karren, bassist Kathi Wilcox, and drummer Tobi Vail. The band is widely considered to be the pioneer of the riot grrrl movement, and was known for its radical feminist lyrics and fiery performances. Their music is characteristically abrasive and hardcore-influenced. After two full-length albums, several EPs and two compilations, they disbanded in 1997.