My Top 1000 Songs #501: Jet Boy Jet Girl/Ca Plane Pour Moi
Kicking off the second half of this 1000-song/1000-day insanity (as well as kicking off 2024), we're gonna mix things up a bit, with sort of a two-fer. Musically (and certainly lyrically) a little jarring after yesterday's gorgeous, gentle love song by the Small Faces, here's some truly transgressive, not-safe-for-radio punk-heyday kitsch--albeit a love song in its own distinct way, I suppose.
Kind of a strange, convoluted story here... but Belgian pop songwriter & producer Lou Deprijck wrote the familiar backing track, a peppy, buzzsaw 3-chord rocker, which was used as the basis for two separate songs. The second, better known iteration was "Ca Plane Pour Moi," a 1978 French-language new wave novelty song by French artist Plastic Bertrand (though the single was actually sung by Deprijck himself). It was a hit (and later got new life when used in Chevy Chase's European Vacation; it was also covered by Sonic Youth).
But I'm partial to the first version, recorded by Belgian musician Alan Ward in 1977, performing as Elton Motello. Ward/Motello gave it some delightfully transgressive English-language lyrics, a taboo ode to unbridled sex & violence with an underage boy. It's a wonderfully offensive gay anthem of sorts--"I'm gonna make him penetrate, gonna make you be a girl!"--and it's hard not to gleefully sing along with the refrain "Ooh-ooh-ooh ooh, he gives me head!" Yet for all the over-the-top raunch (which led to an FCC obscenity charge in the US), it's also a little poignant, our poor narrator losing his young lover to a pretty girl. Love and loss, in all its variations.
Elton Motello original:
Totally bizarre clip from German TV:Better-known cover by The Damned:Recently updated by The Crocodiles; here's a live take:Here's Plastic Bertrand's "Ca Plane Pour Moi":And the amazing Sonic Youth version of "Ca Plane":