Ça plane pour moi

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"Ça plane pour moi"
Plastic Bertrand - Ça plane pour moi.jpg
Single by Plastic Bertrand
from the album An 1
B-side"Pogo Pogo"
Released1978
GenrePunk rock[1]
Length2:57
Label
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)Lou Deprijck
Plastic Bertrand singles chronology
"New Promotion"
(1975)
"Ça plane pour moi"
(1978)
"Bambino"
(1978)
Music video
"Ça plane pour moi" (TopPop, 1977) on YouTube

"Ça plane pour moi" (French pronunciation: ​[sa plan puʁ mwa]) is a 1978 song by Plastic Bertrand,[2] though its vocals were actually performed by Lou Deprijck, the record's producer and composer.[3] "Jet Boy, Jet Girl", a song by Elton Motello, has the same backing track that was later used in "Ça plane pour moi".[4]

The song has been covered by many artists, though Plastic Bertrand's original recording was the most successful, reaching No. 8 on the UK charts in the summer of 1978.[5][6] While mainly regarded as a punk song,[1] "Ça plane pour moi" has also been described as parody punk[7] and as new wave.[2] The song's name is a French idiomatic expression that is best translated as "everything's going well for me" (literally: "it is gliding for me").[8]

Background[edit]

"Ça plane pour moi" was conceived as a pastiche, a caricature of the punk movement.[9][10] Lou Deprijck explained:[9]

Everything started from the text of Pipou [nickname of Yvan Lacomblez], which required a very staccato singing, as did, in the United Kingdom, the then fashionable punk singers. I only brought to the text the title, by reference to a song by Michel Delpech, Tu me fais planer. What we wanted to do was pogo-pogoing, the punk dance. A kind of pastiche. I had three simple chords, A E and D, and musicians that I had chosen to fit the bill. I did not want virtuosos but guys a little bit wild. Once in the studio, with this text and my three chords, I told them "Get by yourselves" and we did it.

The music was recorded by Mike Butcher (guitar), John Valcke (bass) and Bob Dartsch (drums), and the song was released as a B-side to "Pogo-Pogo",[10] which was chosen to launch the solo career of Plastic Bertrand. However, following the success of the B-side, the sides were switched when the single was repressed.[11] It took two hours to record "Ça plane pour moi" and "Pogo-Pogo".[9][10]

Composition[edit]

"Ça plane pour moi" is a three-chord rock song[9][12] that features nonsensical French lyrics with occasional lines in English.[12] Lou Deprijck claims that "The lyrics are a sequence of unconnected things, that a guy, who is stoned, thinks he sees".[13] Steve Huey from AllMusic describes the song melody as a "... four-note hook which sounds like something straight out of an early Beach Boys or Four Seasons song" that Roger Jouret (Plastic Bertrand) sings in a "dead-on falsetto."[12] This melody is created by "... mildly distorted guitars, plus a steadily pumping rhythm section and an old-time rock & roll-style saxophone ... hardly used for anything other than rhythmic accompaniment."[12] Huey also qualifies Jouret's voice as "cartoonish" and that it "... stays in a monotone as he recites all the lyrics."[12]

Reputation[edit]

The song was praised by Joe Strummer: "Plastic Bertrand compressed into that three minutes a bloody good record that will get any comatose person toe-tapping, you know what I mean? By purist rules, it's not allowed to even mention Plastic Bertrand. Yet, this record was probably a lot better than a lot of so-called punk records."[14]

Chart performance[edit]

"Ça plane pour moi" became a hit in several European countries, peaking at No. 19 in Austria, No. 12 in Sweden, No. 11 in Bertrand's native Belgium, No. 8 in the U.K., No. 6 in West Germany, No. 4 in Ireland, No. 2 in the Netherlands, No. 7 in New Zealand and No. 2 in Australia.[15][16][17] It also topped the Swiss charts for one week[18] and the French charts for two consecutive weeks.[19]

In the U.S., the single peaked at No. 47 on the Billboard Hot 100, a feat for a French-language song because only "Dominique" by The Singing Nun[citation needed] and "Je t'aime... moi non plus" by Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin[10] had previously achieved such chart performance.[10][20][21] It also peaked at No. 58 in Canada.[22]

The single has sold over 900,000 copies around the world[23] and is regarded as a "punk-new wave-pop classic."[10][24]

Charts[edit]

Certifications and sales[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[38] Gold 50,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

Leila K version[edit]

"Ça plane pour moi"
Leila K-Ça plane pour moi.jpg
Single by Leila K
from the album Carousel
B-side"Check The Dan"
Released1993
GenreElectropop[39]
Length3:23
Label
  • Mega Records
  • Urban
  • Polydor
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)
  • Denniz Pop
  • Douglas Carr
Leila K singles chronology
"Open Sesame"
(1992)
"Ça plane pour moi"
(1993)
"Slow Motion"
(1993)
Music video
"Ça plane pour moi" on YouTube

Swedish singer and former rapper Leila K covered "Ça plane pour moi" in 1993. It was released as the second single from her first solo album, Carousel. The song was produced by Denniz Pop and Douglas Carr, and achieved moderate success on the charts in many European countries. It peaked at No. 6 in Finland, No. 8 in Austria, No. 13 in Germany, No. 14 in Denmark, No. 16 in Belgium and No. 17 in Switzerland. On the Eurochart Hot 100, "Ça plane pour moi" reached No. 21 in May 1993.

Critical reception[edit]

Pan-European magazine Music & Media wrote, "The Plastic Bertrand French-language punk classic is re-styled in an electronic dance fashion à la Billy Idol. Très bien! Bonton Radio/Prague head of music Peter Kricek says that the original out of 1978 was known in his country in the communist days, but it was more of an underground thing. 'The people here are absolutely mad about Leila's cover, which is a powerplay at our station. Every four hours we play it.'"[40] Alan Jones from Music Week gave it three out of five, stating that it "is transformed into technopunk by the self-proclaimed "queen of the divan" who, although better known as a rapper is in singing mode here." He added, "The Felix mixes on the CD and 12-inch take it into trance territory. An odd combination, but likely to do well."[41]

Track listing[edit]

Maxi single (Urban 861 597-2)[42]
  1. "Ça plane pour moi" (Short) – 3:23
  2. "Check the Dan" (Short) – 3:55
  3. "Ça plane pour moi" (Long) – 5:48
  4. "Check the Dan" (Long) – 6:35

Charts[edit]

Other cover versions[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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    • Fricke, David. "Plastic Bertrand". Trouser Press. Archived from the original on 11 May 2012. Retrieved 2 February 2014.
    • Jones, Sam (29 July 2010). "Plastic Bertrand admits: Ça n'était pas moi". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 9 November 2010. Retrieved 11 June 2013.
    • "Plastic Bertrand, de retour sur Terre". Paris Match (in French). 27 July 2010. Archived from the original on 19 February 2014. Retrieved 2 February 2014.
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