Marc & Robert

Les Rita Mitsouko

1988: Virgin France 869082

  1. Hip Kit
  2. Smog
  3. Mandolino City
  4. Le Petit Train
  5. Perfect Eyes
  6. Tongue Dance
  7. Singing in the Shower
  8. Petite Fille Princesse
  9. Harpie & Harpo
  10. Ailleurs
  11. Live in Las Vegas

This album took a long, long time to grow on me. Initially in fact I disliked it, but I recognized that this was because I’d been introduced to nearly half of these songs in later versions *before* I heard the originals (including in the context of this album), mostly on Re (“Ailleurs” I first heard on Acoustiques in the duet with Princesse Erika). On top of that, the album’s name was confusing and its artwork is just about repellent.

Now that I know the story behind the name—as I recall, they had suggested it to some musician friends named Marc and Robert as the name for their group, and when the guys declined the suggestion Catherine and Fred decided to use it as an album name, as a kind of joke—and listen to the album as a whole instead of hearing each song separately, I do like it after all, with a particular fondness for “Harpie & Harpo” and “Le Petit Train.” The pairing with Sparks for four of these tracks has an odd effect on the overall sound, but as yet another parallel with Eurythmics it’s reminiscent of Dave & Annie’s collaboration with Chris & Cosey for 1986’s “Sweet Surprise.”