Song Of The Day 11/12/2014: Michel Stax - "Septembre"



Quarterly Covers Report: I'm on the record -- somewhere, anyway, I think in the archives of a Midwestern daily -- as saying that one of my favorite handful of singles of all time is "September" by Earth, Wind & Fire. It's as perfect as late '70s R&B ever got, even more irresistible than EWF's "Singasong," and the reason I keep my boyhood roller skates encased in an airtight plastic shrine, again somewhere in the Midwest. The best EWF songs weren't easily covered. The vocal interplay between celestial Philip Bailey and gravel-jive king Maurice White is too inextricable to take on by one's self. Unless you're someone named Michel Stax and you don't give a good fichu how steep is that incline.

English information on Stax is hard to come by, but what I've learned is that he was born in 1941 and he's probably from Quebec. He's been recording since the early '60s. Apparently he's made him name as a pop interpreter, one of those journeymen who lives out of a suitcase plying his trade in Quebecois lounges and music halls. All of this could be wrong; I could be mixing him up with Eydie Gormé. Stax made a killer pop track in 1974 called "Car je t'aime". And bless his heart, as they say in the South when they sincerely want to have your heart blessed and never mean it as a backhanded insult, he put his rough-hewn chops to the test by covering "September" in his native French. It sounds a bit frantic to me, but this will definitely perk up the next DJ gig I get. Either that or they'll refuse to pay me.

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