Les Rita Mitsouko Pioneered The New Wave In France

Les Rita Mitsouko Pioneered The New Wave In France

French bands always had a more challenging time in the rest of Europe. The success of the band Les Rita Mitsouko was all the more astonishing. The pioneers of the News Wave in France quickly earned a good reputation in the rest of the continent. Although the group never had great commercial success, it quickly grew into a much-admired phenomenon. Responsible for this was not only their unmistakable sound but also their colourful and shrill music videos. These were still decisive for success in the 1980s. Les Rita Mitsouko was founded in 1980 by Catherine Ringer and Fred Chichin. The band name is a mix of Hollywood star Rita Hayworth and the Japanese word for mystical. The two band members were a couple both professionally and privately. They remained so until the death of Fred Chichins and the ensuing breakup of the band in 2007.

Influenced By David Bowie

Les Rita Mitsouko differed in their appearance from the bands of the time, but their role models were just as similar. They loved Roxy Music, Iggy Pop, David Bowie and the Sparks. Their careers up to the founding of the band couldn’t have been more different. While Chinchin made his living as a musician for a long time, Ringer had appeared in numerous adult films. She also performed plays by Berthold Brecht at the theatre and worked as a professional dancer.

Marcia Baila Ran At The Museum Of Modern Art

When the band entered the scene, the avant-garde was entranced. The shrill costumes and their musical extravagances also drew the attention of major record companies. However, the first attempt failed. Nobody wanted to hear the EP Do Not Forget the Nite. It would be another three years before the world was ready for Les Rita Mitsouko. The debut album was named after the band and contained a first big hit with Marcia Baila. The music video accompanied the song perfectly because the model was an expressionist film. The French star designer Jean Paul Gaultier provided the costumes. The Museum of Modern Art showed it for years.

Marcia Baila Ran At The Museum Of Modern Art
Marcia Baila Ran At The Museum Of Modern Art

Dispute With Serge Gainsbourg On TV

In Marcia Baila, Ringer and Chinchin paid tribute to their longstanding artistic partner of Ringer. Marcia Moretto died of cancer in 1981 and was an internationally known choreographer and dancer. An appearance on a talk show on French television proves that Catherine Ringer knew how to express her opinion. There she argued violently for several minutes with the music legend Serge Gainsbourg. Les Rita Mitsouko explored numerous popular music styles throughout their career, which included punk, hip-hop and jazz. They processed these l styles innovatively and made them their own. Catherine Ringer has started a solo career in recent years. She is dedicated to tango, among other things, and is still live on stage. The band has had a decisive impact on the perception of French pop music abroad.