Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Les Coquettes

The song Sunny by Bobby Hebb was an amazing piece of pop songwriting. It was essentially an instant classic; a song that was a huge hit for Hebb, and then began being absorbed by musicians from all corners of the globe. There are countless covers ranging from heavy rock to straight middle of the road schlock with many of these collected on multiple newjack compilations.

Often times with cover songs there are particular versions that stand out. Some go through transformations with arrangements drastically changed from the originals. Hey Joe became a fast garage rave-up when The Byrds covered it, and then a year later became eternally set as a dirge when Jimi Hendrix recorded his version.

Sunny lent itself to many types of arrangements, although most versions were way more laid back than the original, which attaches a Motown-esque drive to the haunting chord progression. However, one version out of Quebec makes the original look staid and square.

Les Coquettes were a Quebecois girl group composed of four sisters. I cannot seem to figure out if they were manufactured (as many of their records seem high profile, given the average level of their talent) or a genuine teenage group. Whenever a band consists of nothing but family members, one has to assume extreme parental guidance is playing a factor (see: Jackson 5, the Shaggs), but I admittedly can deduct nothing about this one way or another from the music of Les Coquettes.

Les Coquettes' version of Sunny starts out with a guitar line that owes a lot to the intro of You Keep Me Hangin On by the Supremes, some classy horn arrangements, and a nicely harmonized chorus of the word "Sunny." This suddenly breaks into doubletime full band groove, with a bizarre high energy vocal chant that reminds me of the ones in silly disco records like Get Off by Foxy. The band keeps up the energy with a looney, almost frantic arrangement that is somehow equally garage rock and cocktail bar sleaze (just check out the EZ listening breakdown at a minute and a half in, complete with some mellow jazz flute and, yeesh, that piano run @ 1:53 ). Then, ever conscious of the dancefloor, the record ends with the same cukoo chorus that starts the record.

Sunny- Les Coquettes


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home