Rita Mitsouko

Les Rita Mitsouko

1984: Virgin France 869072

  1. Restez Avec Moi
  2. Jalousie
  3. Le Futur Nº 4
  4. La Fille Venue du Froid
  5. Taktagan
  6. In My Tea
  7. Marcia Baïla
  8. Oum Khalsoum
  9. Amnésie
  10. Don’t Forget the Nite
  11. Galoping
  12. Dans la Steppe
  13. Minuit Dansant
  14. “Aïe” (Kriptonite Miss Spleïn)

Ever since I first learned about Les Rita Mitsouko and their history, I’ve been curious about the parallels between them and Eurythmics, and this album certainly indicates that there must have been any number of opportunities for them to connect; for example Conny Plank produced this in 1984, and Eurythmics worked with him since at least the early ’80s and again around the time of their tour in 1986–87. Their careers don’t share the same arcs nor the same heights, and Les Rita Mitsouko have certainly retained their bizarreness whereas Eurythmics generally absorbed it into more of an accessible pop context, but both groups have contemporaneously continued to improve and record (with occasional quiet spells, of course).

I’m not very fond of this album in general but I am consistently enchanted by “Minuit Dansant.” Their re-recording of “Dans la Steppe,” on Système D, is a vast improvement on this reasonably fair first form.