Monday, July 23, 2007

10.000: # 2 - L'Amour Est Bleu - Vicky (1967)

# 2 in the top 10 most covered Eurovision songs is another non-winner (i.e. loser) that became one of the most recognisable melodies of all time. Vicky (Leandros) sang L'Amour Est Bleu, written by Pierre Cour & André Popp to a 4th place for Luxembourg in 1967 Eurovision in Vienna. Vicky recorded the song in French, German, Italian, English (2 versions), Dutch and the jury is still out on her Japanese version which is supposed to be released on a megarare flexi.

# 2
- L'Amour Est Bleu
- Vicky
- 530 versions listed

The song was covered in many languages back in 1967 and some did even do well but it wasn't a vocal version that made the song immortal. In 1968 Paul Mauriat and his orchestra scored a worldwide hit with an instrumental version of the song titled Love Is Blue.
5 million singles were sold and the record stayed 7 weeks at #1 in the US. It must have broken Lyricist Pierre Cours heart (& bank?) that the wordless version became the big hit and the blueprint for so many versions.

You can find Paul Mauriats 1976 disco re-invention of Love Is Blue in the very first Eurocovers post.

The famous people doing L'Amour Est Bleu / Love Is Blue: Bing Crosby, Sacha Distel, Eydie Gormé, Byron Lee, Al Martino, Johnny Mathis, Andy Williams, Jeff Beck (U.K. #23 hit) and piano virtuoso extraordinaire Liberace.

Eurovision Stars: Rachel, Michele Torr, Bob Benny, Jimmy Makulis, Severine, Karina, Raphael, Åse Kleveland, Siw Malkvist, Raquel Rastenni and Charlotte Nilsson.

So far I have found details on versions in 18 languages. Next to the Eurovision languages there are versions listed in Japanese (15), Mandarin, Vietnamese and Korean. Check them all out in the L'Amour Est Bleu Document.

Over 60% of the coverversions listed are instrumental versions, Some odd, quirky and fab, many just plain copies of the Mauriat version. Here are a few of my favorites.

It's thank to my hunt for Love Is Blue's that I discovered the totally fantastic music of Dorothy Ashby. She's a jazz harpist playing groovy (never has the word groovy been more suitable) versions of many international standards (and also originals). It's the best feel good music you'll ever hear and I recommend anyone to get a CD or LP by this genius musician. Love Is Blue is on the LP Dorothy's Harp from 1969 but I think Afro Harping (1968) is her best work. Dorothy Ashby's CDs are available through most web-shops or visit your local record dealer.

Extravaganza is Liberace's middle name but his version of Love Is Blue is quite a straightforward romantic piano version of the song. Just a few frills here and there. It's from a 10 inch LP titled Liberace but can also be found on the compilation CD The artistry of Liberace. (Picture: A rare meeting of the two greatest pianists in the history of music)
LOS GUITARSAnother style Love Is Blue is perfect for is the twangy soft rock'n'roll Shadows-like guitar pop.
Versions by the Dixie Aces, The Quests, Santo & Johnny, The Ventures, The Jordans, The Diamonds, Nano Figueroa, Los Barrocks and the Downbeats all have that characteric twangy guitar sound that spawned so many great instrumental hits in the 60's.
I chose the version by Los Belkings from Peru because any band with Los in front of the name is cool by definition. And they have a wailing lady which is always good. Renamed El Amor Es Triste it was their 4th single and it also appeared on the 1968 LP Lo mejor de Los Belkings.

Mortier Teugels' version is one for the organ fans. Street & dance organs were already featured in this Eurocovers post (Puppet On A String) and now there's a version of the other 1967 winner for your entertainment.
And for the Ukelele lovers there's a version by Ohta San (Herb Ohta).
Love Is Blue composer André Popp was a big fan of the Ukelele virtuoso and wrote A Song For Anna especially for him. It became a million selling international hit. Love is blue was a b-side to One Day Of Love and can also be found on the LP Ohta San meets André Popp (Japan BRS)

Last instrumental is a personal space-favorite. Chris Waxman handles the Hammond on his LP Organized from 1969 (Decca).

SING A RAINBOWPaul Mauriats version had hardly left the charts when a third incarnation of the song hit the airwaves worldwide: The Dells 1969 'power-soul version in which they mixed the song with Sing A Rainbow, a childrens song that was written/claimed by Arthur Hamilton.
The Dells story goes that they were so pissed off when their 1968 single There Is was knocked out the US top 20 by Paul Mauriats Love Is Blue that they cut their own version of the song to avenge themselves. (… according to Dells member Charles Barksdale)
The Sing A Rainbow / Love Is Blue combination was covered many times too, including some great soul versions and a few sung in Italian like the somewhat tormented one by Maurizio from the 1970 LP Maurizio (Polydor). (featured below and see a video here)

No, not really, but Hugo Montenegro and his singers sure try very hard to sound like them.
From the LP Good Vibrations (RCA Victor 1969), which is a sort of Beach Boys sound tribute LP. CD is available from Amazon and other online music stores.

L'Amour est bleu / Love is blue - The Document. (re-uploaded dec 2012, version 2011)

Word.doc featuring release details on all versions of the song by Vicky and the list of 567 coverversions of the ever blue evergreen. Also includes some picture sleeves.

Shop for Vicky Leandros CDs, DVDs and vinyl at BeaRecords

For an ultimate version of Love Is Blue in Mandarin by Patrina and The Melodians you must check this post at the highly recommended Mod-ified Music blog if you haven't done so already.
7 Black notes, the blog about the strange side of movie music has a soundtrack LP featured of the movie Come Together. The LP features 4 versions of Love Is Blue including the one by the Dells.
Loronix features an LP of Os Velhinhos Transviadios with Love Is Blue.
Jeff Becks LP Truth gets an indepth review at ChrisGoesRock

1 comment:

Marie Sherlie said...

Je t'aime votre chant Bonne courage continuer