Band members                             Related acts

  line up 1 (1976-85)

- Jean-Louis Aubert -- vocals, rhythm  guitar

- Louis Bertignac -- guitar, backing vocals

- Richard Kolinka -- drums, percussion

- Corine Marienneau -- bass, backing vocals




- Jean-Louis Aubert (solo efforts)

- Louis Bertignac (solo efforts)

- Louis Bertignac & Les Visiteurs (Louis Bertignac and

  Connie Marienneau)

- Sémolina (Jean-Louis Aubert and Richard Kolinka)

- Shakin' Street (Louis Bertignac and Connie Marienneau)





Genre: pop

Rating: 4 stars ****

Title:  Crache ton Venin

Company: Pathe Marconi

Catalog: PFC 90546

Country/State: Saint-Cloud, Île-de-France, France

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: Canadian press; standard cover

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 940

Price: $25.00


One of France's most popular late-'70s and early-''80s bands and virtually unknown outside of that country ...   just goes to show you there is more to popular music than American and English acts.


Formed in 1976, Telephone featured the talents of singer/guitarist Jean-Louis Aubert, lead guitarist  Louis Bertignac, drummer Richard Kolinka, and bassist Corine Marienneau.  Front man Aubter and drummer Kolinka had previously recorded with Sémolina.  Bertignac and Marienneau had been members of the French hard rock band Shakin' Street. Taking their cues from the punk revolution, they saw themselves as French punks , but were far more accomplished musicians than most of their contemporaries and frequently actually sounded more like a good '60s garage band that The Clash, or The Sex Pistols.  Add to that, Marienneau seemingly wanted nothing to do with punk fashion, making her the most fashionable punk band member ever known.  There was something uniquely odd in hearing a band trying to spout punk anger and angst in French.


Recorded in London withy Martin Rushent producing, 1979's "Crache ton Venin" (translating roughly along the lines of 'spit your venom') was the band' second album - following 1977's cleverly-titled "Telephone").  Stylistically these guys clearly wanted to be punks - lots of leather, torn clothing, shaggy haircuts, angry stares ...   That said, in spite of their best efforts (the giddy 'J'suis Parti de Chez mes Parents'), most of the album was simply too tuneful and accomplished to be considered punk.  If anything, these guys were exceptionally commercial with material like the title track, 'Tu vas Me Manquer' and especially 'Un peu de ton Amour' highly radio friendly.   Producer Rushent was apparently a willing partner in the plan, ensuring the album had a crispy, clear sound (no punk sludge to be found here).  No, the album wasn't perfect.  In spite of the title, 'La Bombe Humaine' was a horrible slice of self-indulgent  whining and occasionally you wanted to just slap them for even trying to pretend they had punk roots.   The all-French lyrics will clearly put off some folks, but the fact of the matter is these guys played with more enthusiasm and energy than many of their better know American and English contemporaries and deserved a chance to be heard.  


"Crache ton Venin" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Crache ton Venin   (Jean-Louis Aubert) - 

Opening with some crushing guitar and Aubert's snarling voice (who thought French could sound vaguely ominous and threatening), 'Crache ton Venin' was way too tuneful and musically accomplished to be a punk tune.  A far better comparison would be new wave bands like Flash In the Pan, or perhaps Eddy and the Hot Rods turning in their best Stones impression.    Quite impressive.  YouTube has a couple of nice live performances of the song including one that appears to have come from an expensive concert film:  and one pulled from a 1983 appearance on the German Rockpalast television show:    rating: **** stars

2.) Fait Divers    (Jean-Louis Aubert) - 

The high energy rocker 'Fair Divers' found the band coming closer to a true punk sound, but again the performance was simply too tuneful and accomplished to ever be confused with a punk band.   YouTube has a clip of the song being performed at a 1983 appearance on the German Rockpalast television show:   rating: **** stars

3.) J'suis Parti de Chez mes Parents     (Jean-Louis Aubert) - 

Kind of hard to do anything by smile at a song like 'J'suis Parti de Cnez mes Parents' (which I think translates as "I'm going to party at my parents' place".  Probably the most punk-ish song on the album in that it was built on a simple melody, but ultimately it was about as threatening as Fonzi from Happy Days.   rating: *** stars

4.) Facile     (Jean-Louis Aubert) - 

Opening with some earth shattering Richard Kolinka drums, 'Facile' (translated as 'easy') was a jittery slice of contemporary rock.  Nothing remotely punk here.  rating: *** stars

5.) La Bombe Humaine    (Jean-Louis Aubert) - 

Maybe its just me, but in this age of suicide bombers and other mindless forms of terrorism there's something chilling about a song entitled 'La Bombe Humaine' (the human bomb).   The song itself wasn't very good, showcasing the band undertaking a halfhearted stab at sensitive singer/songwriter faire.  Possible that something got lost in the translation, but to an English ear Aubert and company simply came off as whiny.   Apparently intended as a single, they even recorded a supporting video for the track:   rating: ** stars


(side 2)
1.) J'sais pas quoi faire  
  (Jean-Louis Aubert) - 

Side two opened up with a welcome return to Stones styled R&B.   Again, Aubter was smart enough to include a catchy hook throughout this one.  Think I heard at least a couple of French curse words in this one.   YouTube has a live performance of the tune. With a speeded-up, more energetic arrangement, this one actually sounded a bit punk-ish:     rating: *** stars

2.) Ne me Renagrde Pas     (Jean-Louis Aubert - Louis Bertignac)

'Ne me Renagrde Pas' ("don't look at me"), was one of two tunes co-written by Aubert and guitarist Bertignac and showed the band's affection for '60s garage.   You also got a chance to hear bassist Marienneau's nice voice.   rating: **** stars

3.) Regarde Moi   (Richard Kolinka) - 

The lone tuned from drummer Kolinka, 'Regarde Moi' (look at me), was probably the album's most straight--forward rocker.   Musically and lyrically there wasn't a great deal to this one, with Kolinka handling the lead vocals with pretty much consisted of him repeating the title over and over.   Still, the tune had a nice, greasy Stones vibe.   rating: **** stars

4.) Un peu de ton Amour  (Jean-Louis Aubert) - 

Opening up with some snarling Bertignac guitar (which has always reminded me of an early Doobie Brothers song), 'Un peu de ton Amour' (think it translates as "give me a little bit of your love") was probably the album's most commercial tune.  One of the album highlights.   Shame the studio version was so short.    YouTube has a couple of live performances of the tune including an extended 1979 performance:    rating: **** stars

5.) Tu vas Me Manquer  (Jean-Louis Aubert - Louis Bertignac) - 

'Tu vas Me Manquer' (think it translates as "you should miss me"), was another track that was away more garage/Stones than anything punk.   Snarling rocker with some tasty Bertignac slide guitar moves.  Nice way to end the album.   The song was apparently a staple in their live show:    rating: **** stars


The original French pressing included a clear inner sleeve with a band picture.  As you can see above, when you pulled the inner sleeve out you saw a naked shot of the band, though with some interesting anatomical adjustments (which I've deleted for modesty's sake).  Latter issues went with a standard cover.