Yes! She never meant to call but she did anyway...
Etienne Daho-Weekend A Rome The French Original
Saint Etienne-He's On the Phone The Cover
Princessa-He's On The Phone Rare cover of the cover
Saint Etienne-He's On the Phone Motiv8 Remix
Consider this thread a feeble excuse to talk about Saint Etienne: Britians poppiest band of the 1990's. One must admit I only did this thread because there isnt enough of Saint Etienne in blogworld. They were a clever pop band in Britain when it wasnt really that cool to be. They'd go back to the days of Dusty, Elton, Kate Bush, Donna Summer, Cilla, StockAitkenWaterman, and Italian disco long long before the Scissor Sisters were even dreamt of. The band were introduced to me by one of my brothers boyfriends and I'd rant off about them to my school mates who were all none-the-wiser. & Saint Etienne were quite amazing and to this day theres something 'word of mouth' about them. Tracks like Hug My Soul, ShowerScene, PaleMovie, Who Do You Think You Are and Nothing Can Stop Us are delicate pop anthems for the 21st century. At the Scissor Sisters best, Saint Etienne were simply mediocre and its time this band were probably recognised with a crown of fantastic kudos. They kinda paved the way for current acts like Lorraine and Goldfrapp.
Personally I think Who Do You Think You is ripe for covering by an act like Kylie or Girls Aloud with a little touch of the Richard X. You can't really go wrong with much of their material for the melodies are so rich and lyrics so distinct. The band consisted of three key members; Bob Stanley, Pete Wiggs and Sarah Cracknell who are some of the most talented song writers+producers the world has to offer at the moment. They've worked with the girlgroup Shampoo and their songs they did with Kylie were deemed 'too pop'. If you could sum up their sound I'd say: restrained camp disco.
Typically I want to return to Scissor Sisters who are fab, abrasive, loud and cocky. Imagine the two bands as disco bunnies for one moment. Scissor Sisters would be high up on the podium in gold hotpants, screaming out quotes from PetShopBoy and Donna Summer records. Saint Etienne on the other hand have tears in the eyes because the disco loops are making them so warm they've never felt as loved or happy as they do while under the influence of the rising melodies and simple piano rifts. As the tears are wiped away they start to dance whilst whispering quotes from Dusty Springfield and Kylie Minogue b-sides. I love them!
Okay, so there two other acts here. He's On the Phone was originally a French pop song by Etienne Daho. He has worked with likes of Marrianne Faithful, Chris Isaak and Dani and even features on the Saint Etienne cover. He's a bit of a legend in France with loads of studio albums and a greatest hits collection released earlier this year. Weekend a Rome was one of his many hit singles when it was released in 1984. I was one so forgive me if I can't recall it.
Princessa is Spanish pop legend herself albiet quite unsung. Sadly there is very very very little on her on the web yet shes released a fair few number of singles. Her music covers Italian disco, Spanish trance and Swedish pop. Deeply influenced by the Beloved, Saint Etienne and Mecano her albums never sound too dated. Its a shame her current record label have pulled the release of her 3rd album for it used Eurovision songs as its template. She quickly covered the Saint Etienne version of He's On The Phone before the band could release theirs in Spain and Japan. Although she did well in those two aforementioned countries her version of the song is quite rare and very difficult to track down. Now love as i might Saint Etienne I think i actually prefer Princessas version. Don't know why...I think it might be the pronunciation of Leicester Square and instead of saying the 'shoes in hand' it sounds like 'cheese and ham'. Fantastic no?
I'd love it if Gwen and Girls Aloud hooked up with Saint Etienne. Even better I'd have an epi if they worked on Kylie's new album. Already half done with Jake Shears it would so achieve classic status with the addition of the Saint Etiennes disco dust. Its not like Kylie doesnt have their number....
So today we have the French original, the British cover and the ultra rare cover of the cover. Also included is a Motiv8 remix.