Monday, August 11, 2008

El Chicles - 'La La La' b/w 'Streaking A Go Go' (1974)

I'd love a little help from a knowledgeable authority out there to add some more detailed information regarding this single, the band, and composer John Sluszny.

- - Or even to help confirm some of the 'facts' I've presented.
(Please feel free to comment or drop an e-mail!)

(ADDENDUM, 8/12/08: It begins! Please click on the comments to this post for some GREAT additional info from folks in the know!)

From what I have been able to determine so far, this single is the only U.S. release for Belgian studio group El Chicles.

The B-side of the 45 is a sort of generic disco instrumental that sounds like it would have fit in nicely in a trashy European film soundtrack from the era.

I'll guess that the title was an afterthought intended to capitalize on the marketability of the streaking craze that was occurring in the U.S. at the time.

As to the A-side, with provocative vocals of a man and woman exchanging sounds of passion, it sounds like a cousin to Jane Birkin & Serge Gainsbourg's 'Je t'aime... moi non plus', released a few years earlier in 1968.

- - But in fact the song is much more directly connected to the supremely steamy
'Jungle Fever', the fabulously bizarre and slightly mysterious hit from 1972 by
The Chakachas.

As near as can be determined, El Chicles and The Chakachas were different aliases for the same group of Belgian studio musicians.
They worked for producer Roland Kluger's RKM group, recording commercial 'library' music and backing up many other artists on their releases.

Composer / Musician John Sluszny was credited with some solo recordings around the same era, and worked a few years later with Plastic Bertrand of 'Ca Plane Pour Moi' fame.

(- - And perhaps you can give me an answer to this 'googling' query: Is this the same John Sluszny who turns up now in several Belgian steel guitar forums?)

Looking at the U.S. 45 label (with El Chicles credited as 'El Chicle') I'm wondering if perhaps 'La La La' co-composer 'R. Dero' might be another nom de plume for arranger Will Albimoor, who used the name 'Bill Ador' on his 'Jungle Fever' and other tunes.

It seems to fit his M.O....

Listen to:
El Chicles -
La La La

(Shakat Records 45, 1974)
(click for audio)

(MANY THANKS to Joe Sixpack for the generous loan of this 45 from the Slipcue collection)

Listen to:
El Chicles -
Streaking A Go Go

(Shakat Records 45, 1974)
(click for audio)


whoops said...

It's difficult to find a way through all the El Chicles pseudonyms and collaborators. It seems that Jean Sluszny with partner Ralph Benatar were at the core of the regular RKM Brussels team (house of the second generation Chakachas, El Chicles, Chicken Curry & His Pop Percussion Orchestra, Chinese Fighters, The Sumo' name a few). It also seems that on the second generation Chakachas LPs (The first generation Chakachas were a regular latin flavored band most famous for their version of "Eso es el amor" hence the difference of climax between the track "Jungle fever" and the rest of the first LP), the name of Jean Sluzny never appears but Willy Albimoor is present alongside Nico Gomez and Tito Madinez. The later was already a Chakachas regular during the sixties.
Concerning their "La La La" LP, there were 2 versions, the european one and the oversea one (the brazilian press being the most common version).
The european one was more or less an alternate mix of the Chicken Curry LP it can also be found under the title "The snake" in some country. The single that was taken from this LP as nothing to do with the one you share, it has the samba version of "La la la" on A side and the instrumental "At number one" on B side.
The oversea version of "La la la" has nothing to do with the Chicken Curry LP, it was reissued by Wah Wah Records a couple of years ago in both vinyl and CD format (bad reissue, too much distorsion).
The other regular RKM collaborator of interest from the "La la la" period is Guy Delo.

By the way, RKM were the initials for Roland Kluger Music.

Concerning Jean Sluzny as a steel guitar player, i know nothing about this fact but it can make sense when you remember that Willy Albimoor was one of the leader of the famous belgian fake hawaiian band "The Waikikis".

The In Crowd said...


THANKS for your comment, this is EXACTLY the sort of information I was hoping for to help expand upon this post!

Thanks for sharing! I'm enjoying investigating your blog, too...

whoops said...

Don't thank me, it was a pleasure the in crowd. Just one thing i forgot while writing the previous comment, there were in fact 2 european versions of the "La la la" LP, the second one was released on the dutch Blue Elephant label and was similar to the overseas version.
Belgium was a cool little funky country during the seventies, not many Library Music releases but tons of great Jazz and eurogrooves.

barbossa said...

Of the 2 european releases of La La La, you say one was released on Blue Elephant. Was the other one released in France on the Carabine label (on which label also the brazilian issue has been released)? I'm asking because I've seen this french issue i'm talking about, and i wonder if this is the issue you also have in mind, or another. Thanks!

Do you have these complete info on Chakachas and their releases as well?


uri said...

hi there! great information. thank you.
i owe a copy of the la la la/ streaking a go-go 7". i realy like the A side. i also used it for a mixtape i made.
the 7" i have is (probably an 80's reissue?) on bradley's records. BRAD 7417

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