Song Of The Day 3/28/2015: 10cc - "Une Nuit a Paris"

Today is the beginning of the first theme week vacation of 2015. There have been 12 theme weeks so far this year. That is one sexy editorial calendar I got for Q1. (Attention employers looking for content managers: I keep an editorial calendar for my own crap.) So I’m taking a break from themes for nine days, but lest you think I’m hurling spitballs at a dartboard, I’ve already programmed those days. (Attention employers looking for content managers: Even my unplanned weeks are thoroughly planned.)

We do have two very special events coming up in the next week, though. I won’t reveal exactly what they are, but I felt railroading a theme through the next week wouldn’t have been a good idea. (Attention employers looking for content managers: I build frenzied anticipation for content people don’t even know they’re looking for yet. Just write the six-digit offer on a cocktail napkin and forward it to Brenda, we’ll get around to it when we get around to it.)

Fairly recently I acquired the complete (or as they say in England, "compleat") recorded works of 10cc. Although on paper 10cc sounds like one of those ’70s bands I would love – pop chops up the cherry tree, persistent conceptualists, huge portions of humor – I’ve never known exactly where I stand with them. Whereas I don’t have that problem with Steely Dan, who have all those components as well. Maybe I’m a secret nut for American exceptionalism. But there are core 10cc albums (you could call them “10cccore”) which I greatly enjoy, such as How Dare You! (epic turmoil, air disasters, long rolling sighs) and The Original Soundtrack (omnipop classicism, brash humor, “I’m Not In Love”).

“Une Nuit a Paris,” the compulsively silly three-movement, eight-and-a-half operetta that opens The Original Soundtrack, is a dense tale whose plot points seem to have little to do with a real story (though it’s there) and more like completions of dares, issued either by the composers to themselves or drunken eggers-on. But its real claim to fame amongst Anglophiles too smart for their own good (Attention employers look… oh, forget it) may in fact be some good old-fashioned apocrypha: “Une Nuit a Paris” is rumored, and at this point it’s merely rumor, to have been the prime inspiration for Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.” There are obvious similarities, particularly in the vocal arrangements. And such a theory would fit the timeline: “Une Nuit a Paris” was released in March 1975, and Queen started recording “Bohemian Rhapsody” in August 1975. So that’s a good five months for Freddie Mercury to have been sufficiently impressed by this song to craft an homage. But then you’d have the idea of Queen being influenced by 10cc. Which is not impossible, I suppose. David Bowie had a thing for Anthony Newley (Google ’im), so it can happen. No, really.

Post a Comment

Popular Recent Posts