Band members Related acts
- David Explosion (aka Elli Robert Fitoussi, aka
F.R. David) -- vocals, guitar
- F.R. David (speculation)
- Elli Robert Fitoussi (speculation)
- Les Variations (speculation)
Rating: 3 stars ***
Title: A Bright To-morrow
Company: Sugar Plum
Country/State: Menzel Bourguiba, Tunisia
Grade (cover/record): VG / VG
Comments: Belgian pressing
GEMM catalog ID: 5640
I don't have any kind of hard evidence to back this up, but I believe 1971's "David Explosion" was actually an early effort by Tunisian-born singer/guitarist F.R. David (aka Elli Robert Fitoussi), who'd previously been in the French band Trefles et Boots. Having listened to several of F.R. David's videos (readily available on YouTube), his voice is a very close match to those on the David Explosion album.
Okay, so much for speculation. What's this 1971 Belgian press obscurity sound like (good luck finding another review of this one) ... Featuring a largely original collection of material (most co-written with 'M. Haubrich'), the set was musically quite diverse. As lead singer (?) David had an okay voice, though his vocals were heavily accented making for some interesting lyrics - (the first time I heard the album I mistook "Fifi' for 'Fifty' and "Mr. Hardy' came off as sounding like 'Mr Holy'). That said, David had a knack for penning material with commercial hooks. Even a goofy titled track like 'Father Machine' came off as having commercial potential.
- Completed with post-production audience noises (love the girl with the orgasmic scream), 'Fifi' was a nice Hammond B propelled rocker with a catchy hook, though as mentioned the title originally sounded like Explosion was singing 'Fifty' to my ears.
- Even though it started with one of the year's worst drum solos, 'Eight Days and Wake Up' redeemed itself with a nice Zombies-styled vocal, complete with jazzy feel, insidiously catchy chorus, and some great guitar.
- 'A Taste of Love' would have made a near perfect pop single - blue-eyed soul feel clocking in under three minutes.
- 'As mentioned above, 'Mr. Hardy' was another one where the accent threw me. To be ears it sounded like 'Mr. Holy'. Not that it mattered. With a great Beatlesque bass line and orchestral arrangement, it was still a wonderful track.
- Given the album was released in 1971 it was a given that you had to include at least a couple of 'statement' songs. In spite of the clunky pro-ecology lyrics, 'Father Machine' was great ... to my ears it had the same kind of guilty pleasure factor you'd experience from something like "Jesus Christ Superstar". Perhaps the best song on the album.
- The weakest song on the first side, 'Lena Lena' was a pleasant, but forgettable ballad. The acoustic guitar backing was the best thing here.
- With church organ and female chorus backing, the title track was another 'big statement' song. It's always reminded me a little bit of Elton John's 'Levon' and grows on you if given a chance.
- One of the few non-originals, complete with punchy horns and acoustic guitar solo, 'May, You're a Woman' sounded like a mid-1970s Chicago track. Surprisingly nice and would have sounded great on American top-40 radio.
- 'Hide and Seek' found Explosion moving back towards a heavier pop sound, complete with a series of mind-jarring marching band segments - Imagine something out of The Shocking Blue catalog crossed with a bad acid trip and you'd be in the right aural neighborhood.
- The only other non-original, 'A Long Way To Go' was an excellent radio-ready ballad. This one's driven me crazy for years given every time I hear the song it reminds me of someone else, but I've never been able to identify that act. Any help out there?
- With an odd song structure 'Mother Jacobs' reminds me of mid-1960s US light psychedelia ... One of my favorite songs on the album.
All-in-all quite enjoyable and I suspect that had this been an American artist, it would be a sought after collectable.
Standout track: 'Father Time'
There was also a single off the album:
- 1971's 'A Bright To-Morrow' b/w 'A Taste of Love' (Sugar Plum catalog number 71-17002)
To-Morrow" track listing:
1.) Fifi (F.R. David - M. Haubrich) - 3:29
2.) Eight Days and Wake Up (F.R. David - M. Haubrich) -3:48
3.) A Taste of Love (F.R. David - M. Pradier) -2:28
4.) Mr. Hardy (F.R. David - M. Haubrich) -2:25
5.) Father Machine (F.R. David - M. Haubrich) -4:07
6.) Lena Lena (F.R. David - M. Haubrich) -2:30
2.) May, You're a Woman (Y. Chovard - P. Trim) - 2:56
3.) Hide and Seek (F.R. David - M. Haubrich) - 3:19
4.) A Long Way To Go (Y. Chovard - P. Trim) - 3:10
5.) Mother Jacobs (P. Perrier - M. Pradier) - 2:17
Released in miniscule numbers by the Belgian Sugar Plum label, the album did little commercially. If it's in fact the same guy, that might well explain why under the name Robert Fitoussi he took a job as a member of Greek keyboardist Vangelis Papathanassiou's touring and studio band and then a gig with a late-career version of Les Variations (replacing original vocalist Joe Leb). After Les Variations called it quits in 1975 Fitoussi relocated to the States for four or five years before enjoying considerable European success in the 1980s as a solo act under the moniker F.R. David.
In case anyone's interested, here's a link to the man's website:
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