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1x Vinyl 12"
Sep 22, 2023
Claude François is one of the most mythical figures of French Pop music you might have never heard of. He was active from the mid 60’s until his sudden and untimely passing in a tragic domestic accident in 1978. He was mostly known as a teenage sensation, but being a trained percussionist, he had proper groovy numbers too. Most importantly, he co-wrote and sang the original version of what would become “My Way”, one of the most enduring songs in history. In 1977, after hearing Lamont Dozier‘s ‘Going Back To My Roots’; “Cloclo” (as the french lovingly called him) saw the potential of this new Disco trend. This quickly led to the recording of ‘Magnolia For Ever’ and ‘Alexandrie Alexandra’ under the direction of his long time band leader Slim Pezin, who happened to be a Manu Dibango collaborator as well as a core member of seminal Disco studio outfits Voyage & Arpadys. ‘
Alexandrie Alexandra’ was recorded in October 1977 at Trident Studios in London and featured a team of skilled UK players, all of whom were involved in Cerrone recordings.
Back in Paris, Raymond Donnez AKA Don Ray added strings and horns, then sound engineer and keyboard maestro Bernard Estardy, AKA Universal Energy, L.E.B Harmony and La formule du Baron did the original mix.
‘Alexandrie Alexandra’ features an all-star studio cast, but unlike other French acts with same Disco pedigree, it never reached an international audience, mostly due to the very prominent vocals being sung in French.
As Claude François last single and one of his most successful, it was never originally remixed for clubs, nor released as a 12’’. To this day, it is still the most played French song in the country’s Discotheques, transcending generations.
Dimitri From Paris, being very familiar with this song, always felt the urge of lifting the vocal layer to unveil the beautiful orchestration. So, when finally entrusted with the original multi track stems, he turned the spotlight on Don Ray’s string and horns, bringing the great drums and percussion to the forefront, adding his signature tricks and breaks in the process.
This very special 12’’ on Dimitri From Paris new Les Disques De Paris label, features a full vocal ‘Version Discotheque’ and a dubbed out ‘Version instrumentale’, on each side.
With these new remixes ‘Alexandrie Alexandra’ finally sounds like a Cerrone Vs Claude François record. Something it almost really always was.
Drums : Peter Van Hooke (Love & Kisses, Chaz Jankel, Polnareff, Jane Birkin)
Bass : Mo Foster (Olivia Newton John, Don Ray, Cerrone productions)
Guitar and rhythm arrangement: Slim Pezin (Manu Dibango, Voyage, Arpadys, Cerrone productions)
Piano 1977: Lance Dixon (Cerrone productions)
Piano 2023: Allister Thepault (Chatobaron, Dimitri From Paris productions)
Percussion : Franck Riccoti / Ray Cooper / Marc Chantereau (Elton John, Voyage, Cerrone productions)
Strings and horn arrangement: Raymond Donnez AKA Don Ray (Françoise Hardy, Crystal Grass, Cerrone productions)
Synthesizer: Bernard Estardy (Nino Ferrer, La formule du Baron, Universal Energy, L.E.B Harmony)
Recorded at Trident studios London by : Stephen W. Tayler. Mixed at studio C.B.E by Bernard Estardy
Alexandrie Alexandra - Dimitri From Paris version instrumentale
Alexandrie Alexandra - Dimitri From Paris version Discotèque