Song Of The Day 4/12/2014: Taco - "La Vie En Rose"

Sub-Hit Wonders: Yes, yes, oh yes. This is how I'm ending this week: I'm going to play the Taco card. Go hide in your grandfather's bomb shelter if you want to, but I'm still going to do it. Taco is a Dutch musician born in Jakarta, who really only did what was inevitable when he married Irving Berlin with an '80s synth-pop background and turned it into his version of "Puttin' on the Ritz," which Americans predictably ate up and turned into Taco's only hit. But that was it. I think there was some geopolitical confusion, to be honest. An American song played through instruments probably manufactured in Japan sung by a Dutch-Indonesian performer who's named after a Mexican entree? That's a Lou Dobbs hissy fit in a box.

On Taco's only chance at having a successful album, he does a futuristic (for then) version of Edith Piaf's "La Vie En Rose." Starting off the song with the sound effect of marching stormtroopers is... um, an interesting artistic decision. (As was the use of blackface in the "Ritz" video, which was quickly censored by MTV.) But Taco's version is genuinely touching, which is at least reflective of his authentic passion for the era. And his French is perfect, but by this point he's already proven that he's not an isolationist.

Taco, who lived in Seattle for a bit as a child, is still very much in the entertainment business, primarily in Germany as a "gala artist," a term I had never heard until I researched this song. It may be a term of Taco's own invention. From the looks of his website ("Layout & editing by my manager Roland Colerus") he's a pretty happy fellow, so good on ya, Taco.

This was a fun week. I have a feeling we're going to have a sequel since everyone's complaining about people I left out (not really). Next time maybe we'll focus on the '70s. [Note: We definitely will, July 6-12 -- Ed.] Are you ready for your close-up, Starland Vocal Band? Great, just let us finish this line of coke and we'll get rolling.

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