ZANG TUMMM TUMB ARTICLES “the first draft of history”

TO THE RIDICULOUS: What do Paul McCartney and fashion designer Jean Paul Galtier have in common? The have each put out records that have little to do with them other than bear their names. McCartney hits us with “Ou Est le Soleil,” which is French for “Why cant I write songs anymore?” or “Why didnt I retire five years ago?” or maybe “Why does a guy whose best friend is a chimp own the rights to my songs?” McCartney (I assume thats him) chants the title endlessly over a Shep Pettibone overhaul that includes more of George Kranz‘s work than old Pauls. Do Beatle fans still get taken by this crap?

At least Gaultier knows how to take an idea to excess. Not content with merely making a record where he utters one or two lines and does little else (like McCartney), Gaultier has turned his meager idea into a full-blown album. And unlike McCartney, who chose the dried out Pettibone to mix his record, Gaultier had the good sense to employ the cream of todays cutting edge mixers (and a couple of old relics thrown in for good measure). The basic premise is that Gaultier is interviewed over a Tony Mansfield backing track, and violainstant song. And you thought Frankie Goes To Hollywood was a scam! Unfortunately, we never get to hear old Jean Paul utter a complete sentence. Whether he is capable of putting words together correctly to accomplish this feat may be one of the great mysteries of man. Perhaps well get lucky and hell do it on the second album.

How does the record sound? you might ask. Valid question. Well, if you get twelve different remixers in to have a go at the same tune, you better have diversity. First up is Norman Cook, who turns in a traditional, groove-heavy samplefest. Next, Art of Noise mainman J.J. Jeczalik makes the track sound like, well, Art of Noise. Tony Mansfield adds an accordion on one mix, and takes it out on another. Tony Moran of the Latin Rascals infuses a little freestyle charm, and new-beat kings Morton, Sherman, and Bellucci give it a—wait for it—new-beat mix. M/A/R/R/S and Mantronik even take a turn, and to be really continental theres even a rai mix! All this on one LP. With a Jean Baptiste Mondino cover, no less. Who said there werent any bargains anymore? (Much less geniuses.) All hail Gaultier and McCartney!