Sunday, August 28, 2005
Les Sauterelles: Janet /I Love How You Love Me (IT. Columbia/EMI SCMQ 7001)
Can you say FREAKBEAT MAYHEM?!? I bet you can. Especially when you lay "Janet" on your ears! But we'll get to that in a minute.
Les Sauterelles were a Swiss group (or were they German? Their offical website was written in German, but the English translation implied that they were Swiss) that put out this as their third single in 1966. And you already knew I was going to say it's a winner, didn't you? You're smarter than I think you are.
You'll note, though, that the A-side is a cover of a song made famous in America by Bobby Vinton and The Paris Sisters, called "I Love How You Love Me." Before you think this is going to be schmaltzy pop, try playing it first. You'll discover a Beatles-meets-Byrds-all-covered-with-fuzz version that moves along quite nicely, despite some cheesy harpsichord and keyboard bits. You know how the saying goes about judging a book by its cover, so give it a chance, folks.
Even with that, "Janet" is still where the real action is. It opens with a jerky bass line that soon gets plowed over by pounding drums, sneering fuzz guitar, wailing harmonica and punky vocals that tell is it's once again girfriend putdown time.
The band goes all out on this one, cranking the volume up to bone-crushing level and leaving you feeling like a cat in the headlights of an oncoming truck. Now we're really talking, kids!
"Janet" is truly an explosive piece great teen rock 'n' roll madness. Call it freakbeat if you want, but don't forget to call it great!
NOTE: The copy I have is an Italian pressing with an EMI company sleeve. A picture sleeve exists of this also. You can see for yourself at the group's official website at www.sauterelles.ch/. I'd advise you to do a Google search for Les Sauterelles first, as they have links to translate the site from German to English. But if you can stand broken English, the story's all there, along with lots of great photos and pciture sleeves, plus info on what the band's doing now. It's definitely worth a look.