(Bad) Cover Version #9: ‘J’aime La Vie’ by Telex (2006)

The origin of the cover: Album track on ‘How Do You Dance?
Original recording artist: Sandra Kim
Grade: D-

For this year’s Eurovision special, I wanted to do something a bit different.

I could have plumped for a Eurovision cover by a credible artist, such as ‘Volare’ by Alex Chilton or Edwyn Collins’ ‘Ding A Dong’, but that would have been too obvious.

The same would have also applied to Dana International’s version of Stevie Wonder’s ‘Free’, which was performed during the 1999 Eurovision Song Contest’s interval.

The concept of a former Eurovision entrant covering someone else’s Eurovision entry is something that I find fascinating, though.

Just think, Bucks Fizz covering ‘Save Your Kisses For Me’ or Gina G revamping ‘Boom Bang-a-Bang’ would have added a bit of life to their careers. Enter, Telex’s ‘J’aime La Vie’.

Unfortunately, those who are expecting ‘J’aime La Vie’ to match the greatness of ‘Ça Plane Pour Moi’ and ‘Dance To The Music’ will be disappointed.

The usual droll humour and irreverence remains, but there’s little end product. It’s aimless and it seems like Telex didn’t know what to do with it.

It also doesn’t help that Sandra Kim’s original was not particularly memorable in the first place, and thus ensuring that any humour is hard to spot.

Therefore, unlike ‘Jailhouse Rock’ (which, strangely, sounds like the ‘Road Rash II’ soundtrack), it lacks immediate appeal.

This version also exposes Telex’s lack of progression and some inflexibility; it is pretty similar to 1979’s ‘Rock Around The Clock’, only without the originality and freshness.

Telex can be seen as a misunderstood band – especially as they know that music is about having fun and experimenting – but this is a misstep.

It’s an interesting concept, but they picked the wrong song; it may have worked if they had reworked a track like ‘Waterloo’, instead.

It’s still better than the original, though. That has got to be worth something, at least.


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