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Les Parisiennes

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From 1964-1968 Les Parisiennes, a quartet of pretty-faced posturers with brassy voices, made a series of kitschy albums for the Philips label under the supervision of pianist and bandleader Claude Bolling. Their names were Anne-Marie Royer, Hélène Longuet, Anne Lefébure, and Raymonde Bronstein, also known as Beretta. Usually accompanied by a corny trad jazz/pop ensemble with brisk banjo, trumpet, tuba, and tailgate trombone, Les Parisiennes would belt out lyrics in precise unison, enunciating clearly. Their other formula -- and the mingling of both was not at all unusual during the mid-'60s -- involved pop/rock instrumentation grinding out squinky twist-a-go-go accompaniments. Les Parisiennes' appeal was at least partially visual, as evidenced by their brightly pigmented mod outfits and a photo used on the cover of a 1966 EP depicting the four Parisiennes "behind bars" looking oddly fetching in red-and-white striped "prison"-styled long underwear. The extremities of high camp make this group's music best suited for special occasions requiring quick thrills with little or no substance or depth. Their music was partially revived on compact disc in 2005 with Mercury's Il Fait Trop Beau Pour Travallier, then on a "best-of" collection by Universal in 2006, and in 2007 on a massive 71-track triple-disc edition under the auspices of Claude Bolling entitled Les Parisiennes: L'Integrale. ~ arwulf arwulf

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