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I am the king of the divan!
July 27, 2010 2:11 PM   Subscribe

Belgian proto-punk Plastic Bertrand fires back over allegations that he did not actually sing on his 1977 hit single Ça plane pour moi.
posted by grounded (47 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
Sing or no, he is still the King of the divan. Ooo-ooo-ooo...
posted by jonp72 at 2:15 PM on July 27, 2010 [8 favorites]


"Boosted by the findings of the linguist, who spent three months in a studio analysing the voices on the original track... "

Three months?!? That song is a bit tedious midway through the second listen. And I can't get through the whole album version of "Jet Boy, Jet Girl".
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 2:15 PM on July 27, 2010


He didn't write the music, either; he stole it from Elton Motello.
posted by infinitywaltz at 2:20 PM on July 27, 2010


I'm irate that his website doesn't have a Flemish option.
posted by chavenet at 2:20 PM on July 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


Wow. Andy Schleck looks rough.
posted by maudlin at 2:26 PM on July 27, 2010


I'd seen that 'official' video, but when I hear this song the pictures in my mind look more like this.
posted by mintcake! at 2:26 PM on July 27, 2010


from article: “According to a linguistician commissioned by a Belgian judge to examine the original recording...”

Er... 'linguistician'? I'm sure there's something interesting behind that one, but... still, linguistician?
posted by koeselitz at 2:36 PM on July 27, 2010


Then again, I'm no expertizer.
posted by koeselitz at 2:37 PM on July 27, 2010 [3 favorites]


"Ask this linguistician!"

"Uh..."
posted by mhoye at 2:39 PM on July 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


Ah, actually it makes more sense when you think of it in French.
posted by koeselitz at 2:39 PM on July 27, 2010


Er... 'linguistician'? I'm sure there's something interesting behind that one, but... still, linguistician?

Linguistician
Linguistician

Reminds me of when I found out "poetical" is actually a valid alternative form of "poetic" and not just an intentionally funny way of saying "poetic".

Of course, all this is moot anyway if you're not a prescriptivistician.
posted by kmz at 2:43 PM on July 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


Langoustine
posted by Lanark at 2:43 PM on July 27, 2010


Linguistician

Yes, but is he a cunning Linguistician?
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:45 PM on July 27, 2010


This is the scandal that could finally finish off Belgium.
posted by quarsan at 2:45 PM on July 27, 2010 [3 favorites]


This is the scandal that could finally finish off B******.

I know this is Metafilter and we're all adults, blah blah, but honestly, some words just shouldn't be thrown around so cavalierly.
posted by kmz at 2:47 PM on July 27, 2010 [7 favorites]


"Linguistician" is real? Next you'll be telling me that Peter Schickele is a real musicolologist.
posted by bovious at 2:49 PM on July 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yipes! Dude looks eerily like I did in high school. Totally not what I'd imagined.

I guess I figured he looked like a crazier Harry Nillson, or something.

Sappho was right: people with squeamish stomachs shouldn't prod the beach rubble.
posted by darkstar at 2:52 PM on July 27, 2010


kmz, Please accept my apologies.

This is the scandal that could finally finish off Le Plat Pays (SLYT)
posted by quarsan at 2:55 PM on July 27, 2010


I'm beginning to think Culture really is dead and has been for some time. We are moving now from the Rehash Phase into the Dissolution Phase, which is when all previously published creative works are debunked, all artists from the past are pilloried as frauds, and Criticism replaces all other pursuits as the only legitimate Art.

Alternatively, I might need a nap, and then juice and cookies after.
posted by Celsius1414 at 2:57 PM on July 27, 2010


all artists from the past are pilloried as frauds

I think that was the general theme of the entire 20th century.
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:01 PM on July 27, 2010


Thus setting the stage for a next level linguistician to reveal his findings that T-Pain did not, in fact, sing a single note on Thr33 Ringz.

Further research to unearth that Thr33 Ringz is one of the dumbest album titles, ever.
posted by Chichibio at 3:26 PM on July 27, 2010


I don't care. I love that silly song. When I worked at Canal Jeans in NYC anytime that song came on we all dropped what we were doing and danced like freaks. Sure the large amount of speed we were all doing at the time might have something to do with it...

But still.
posted by Splunge at 3:35 PM on July 27, 2010


Someone should get Henry Higgins on the case.
posted by cjovalle at 3:45 PM on July 27, 2010


Reminds me of when I found out "poetical" is actually a valid alternative form of "poetic" and not just an intentionally funny way of saying "poetic".

You're being ironical here, right?
posted by Rangeboy at 3:57 PM on July 27, 2010


This "linguistician" alleges that only someone with a Picardy accent could've possibly sung that song with that accent. But what if P B decided to just mock or mimic a Picardy accent? The British Mick Jagger did a halfway decent so-called American "redneck" accent on this song. The French Captain of the USS Enterprise, Jean-Luc Picard speaks English like a native! Next people will be telling me he's a Brit.
posted by xetere at 4:05 PM on July 27, 2010


Yes, I'm going to call bullshit on this analysis too. This is like Oxfordians claiming that there's no way the son of a glove maker from Warwickshire could have learned London dialect, let alone all the various registers represented in Shakespeare's plays.

People can learn new languages, and employ their knowledge in interesting ways. Some people have a particular faculty for this. Picardy isn't even that far from Wallonia, geographically or linguistically. There is also accident- the "lingustician" may also have misinterpreted Plastic Bertrand's attempts to imitate a more standard French accent as the speech of someone from Picardy. God knows, anytime I try to deploy Parisian linguistic features in Paris, people think I'm German (actually Anglophone Canadian of Belgeo-Hibernian-American descent).

Damn you xetere for bringing the Jean-Luc Picard before me. I was ready to say something like if Patrick Stewart had claimed to be the singer, I might have believed the analysis.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 4:36 PM on July 27, 2010


Did you know Sonic Youth covered 'Ca Plane Pour Moi'?

Well, they did.
posted by box at 4:41 PM on July 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


Quote from the article:
"Ça Plane Pour Moi, the hit that made it to No. 8 in the UK single's charts despite being performed in largely unintelligible French."

Largely unintelligible French? What!? I understood the lyrics the first time I heard the song, what the heck are they on about?
posted by Vindaloo at 4:57 PM on July 27, 2010


And the wiki has already been edited to add the "fact" that he hasn't sung it.
posted by Vindaloo at 5:00 PM on July 27, 2010


...that he *did not sing* it.

Ugh, reading make my english speaking good.
posted by Vindaloo at 5:01 PM on July 27, 2010


Well hopefully soon we'll be able to put this thirty-three-year-old mystery to rest. It's been KILLING me all these years!
posted by Spatch at 5:26 PM on July 27, 2010


Whoever sang on it, it's still a cool record, even though I like Jet Boy, jet Girl better.
posted by jonmc at 5:36 PM on July 27, 2010


Largely unintelligible French

I think they must mean nonsensical. Bit like the whole thing really.
posted by jontyjago at 5:42 PM on July 27, 2010


largely unintelligible French

Plastic (as we called him in school) is Belgian. 'Largely unintelligible French' = Walloon French. Just ask any real French person. Or study up on Belgian jokes to get a better feel for this much-maligned Eurominority.
posted by grounded at 6:28 PM on July 27, 2010


It's still on my playlist.

Every time I hear it I want to go surfing.
posted by bwg at 6:31 PM on July 27, 2010


xetere: “The British Mick Jagger did a halfway decent so-called American "redneck" accent on this song.”

I know you're only being facetious, but that's only true if you've never met an actual redneck in your entire life.
posted by koeselitz at 6:58 PM on July 27, 2010 [3 favorites]


I'm sorry, but Ch'ti dialect? Picard? Is this Belgium or Star Trek?
posted by chinston at 7:05 PM on July 27, 2010


Er... 'linguistician'? I'm sure there's something interesting behind that one, but... still, linguistician?

No, no! Wait a minute! I -- I -- I'm sorry, I meant a linguist! I'm sorry.
posted by dhartung at 7:20 PM on July 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


Seen on a t-shirt in northern France:

"J'suis Ch'ti et j'suis en fier!"
posted by darkstar at 7:44 PM on July 27, 2010


Man... Shirts with zippers. Net shirts. Vinyl pants. The first extasy pills. The newest MDMA knockoffs. Cheap wine and dressing for the Tunnel. Meeting Tiny Tim at a club and having him introduce me to Liz Eden. And her introducing me to Doggy, the real short guy that they based Dog Day Afternoon after.

Cocaine in the video/sound booth.

Long days of sleeping off designer drugs that were experimental. "Hey, you can have these dots for free, the dosage is wrong, the dots are different sized. Don't take the big ones."

Doing the big dots and tripping for a week and then the sex. And then the sex.

And then waking up surrounded by Winston cig butts and a gay roommate pounding on the door. Thinking that we were being evicted.

And there was a bunch of friends, let in by the South African roommate who made a Mimosa brunch for us and the applause. Not because of anything but that we survived a week long trip on drugs that would NEVER be released to the world.

Mimosas with a bear called Brother who thought we should be married.

Taking a crap in the water closet of a tiny apartment on 75th Street while the party was INCHES away. Then saying fuck it and taking the cover off of the bathtub, which was next to the tiny sink in the tiny apartment. And taking a damn bath no matter who saw me. With one of those hoses that clasp the the spigot like an old crusty vagina, and the other end has a rusted metal plate with holes. But it isn't the holes, its the little rubber teeth/fingers.

And i stood up, not even clean. My hair was not washed, but my body was wet. And i was thrown a towel that smelled of mildew. And I was applauded like I had a huge penis, or had done someting of importance. Which I don't and had not. But I was handed a warm mimosa. And i hadn't died. And my love was there. And i was amongst friends.

There were cigarettes and friends. And alcohol. And orange juice. And fun to be had in the future.

And the song came on again. What song? The right one.

And it was good.
posted by Splunge at 7:52 PM on July 27, 2010 [15 favorites]


The Telex cover of "Ça plane pour moi" was always more my speed in my robotic youth, and I was actually facile and innocent enough to believe that Plastic Bertrand was covering Telex back then.

At least the vocals of the Telex version will never be assailed, because all sounds were generated electronically, except for the voices, which are sometimes real.

Ah, to be slow, electronic, bearded, and Belgian again, if only in my dreams.
posted by sonascope at 3:34 AM on July 28, 2010


Coluche used to joke : "People say that Plastic bertrand isn't the one who sings on that tune... You know what ? Plastic Bertrand, he isn't the one who dances either".
posted by nicolin at 3:41 AM on July 28, 2010


Plastic Bertrand's solo stuff is a bit too flimsy, saccharine and boppy IMO. Now that HUBBLE BUBBLE (where Plastic B played drums from 1974 - 1978 before their bass player went out like Cliff Burton) was noteworthy as one of the truly great, totally weird non-UK European 1st wave punk bands...with flagrant Nazi imagery appropriation. The whistle-hook on that single will churn your butter for days.
posted by electricsandwich138 at 6:42 AM on July 28, 2010


Bertrand confesses??

*is all confused*
posted by marienbad at 12:00 PM on July 28, 2010


Yep, Bertrand confessed.
posted by myopicman at 12:05 PM on July 28, 2010


De Pryck also claims he sang Plastic Bertrand’s first four albums, released from 1977 to 1981, and that the record company preferred to have a punk figure perform them.


Wow.
posted by darkstar at 3:57 PM on July 28, 2010


So, I'm now trying to get my head around the idea that Plastique Bertrand may have nothing significant to do with some of the music I've always associated with him.

I...I guess I'm going to have to go into my iTunes and change the artist on Ça Plane Pour Moi to "Lou De Pryck". :-/
posted by darkstar at 4:02 PM on July 28, 2010


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