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Louis Philippe is the stage name of singer/songwriter (not
to mention BBC correspondent, football journalist, chef and wine
buff) Philippe Auclair. Raised in Normandy, France, Louis studied
and taught philosophy in Paris before releasing his first EP under
the name of The Border Boys on the Belgian label Les Disques du
Crépuscule in 1985.
Splitting from his subsequent band The Arcadians, Louis moved residence
to London, England, and crossed paths with Mike Alway, legendary
eminence grise behind the él label. Quickly becoming the
label's house songwriter, Louis contributed to many él releases,
including three albums under his own name.
After the demise of
él, five more albums followed on the Japanese Trattoria
label, courtesy of longtime Louis fan Keigo Oyamada (aka Cornelius).
Since then, Louis has continued to release solo albums, and has also worked
as songwriter and producer for many other artists.
Louis is probably best associated with él records. According
to founder Mike Alway, "the theme of él records
would be escapism into a pop fantasy world which would always be
optimism and sunshine". él was magnificently out
of step with the rest of the late-eighties musical scene, enormously
influential with musicians in Europe, Japan, and the US, and was
ten years ahead of its time in anticipating the retro and easy listening
vogues in recent pop.
But those are only a part of Louis's music, which covers the range
from pure bubblegum to symphonic sweep, with detours via jazz and
soul along the way. A typical Louis Philippe album might mix influences
from vintage pop, French chanson, Ravel, bossa nova, Duke Ellington,
the Shirelles, or The Beach Boys. Classical instruments and intricate
backing vocals often feature in the arrangements.
Amongst many others: Leila Amezian, Denis Bovell, Dean Brodrick, Bertrand
Burgalat, La Buena Vida, Cathal Coughlan (Microdisney, Fatima
Mansions), The Clientele, Nick
Currie (Momus), HaLo,
Count Indigo, Dave Gregory (XTC),
Louise Le May, David Longdon, Danny Manners, April March,
Stuart Moxham (Young Marble Giants),
Martin Newell, Sean O'Hagan (Microdisney, The
High Llamas), Keigo Oyamada (Flipper's Guitar, Cornelius), Andy
Paley, City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, Richard Preston, P.J. Proby, Mathilde
Santing, Kate St John (Dream Academy, Ravishing Beauties), Simon
Turner (King of Luxemburg) ...
We have a limited stock of some of Louis's CDs that you can buy direct from the Sunshine shop page. CDs can also be bought online at the usual sites - although some are getting expensive now
as they become rarer.
Digital downloads are available from iTunes, Amazon, etc. A special mention for eMusic - due to the vagaries of the music business, this is actually the only site from which Louis receives any money from mp3 downloads...
We are slowly adding lyrics to each album page in the discography.
You're in the right place - check out our MP3
You're absolutely right. The Arcadians was the name of Louis's second
"band". The Arcadians released a single (With all our
loving/Chinese Doll on Disques
Du Crepuscule) and an album, Mad Mad World, released
in Belgium (on Interior Music) and Japan (on Shiseido/Crepuscule
au Japon). Both records are unfortunately out of print.
The mysterious Pulunk album is, believe it or not, none other
than Nusch! Why? Because that
is how our Japanese friends pronounce "Poulenc"...
The only European release - in Spain, through Grabbacciones Accidendales,
is one of Louis's most coveted rarities. There are no plans to re-release
it at the moment. Please see the discography
for more information.
Unfortunately no. The only version available is the one released
on the XIIIbis
Records Tribute to Jobim compilation.
Stratton & Stubbs is one of Louis's most obscure projects,
and that is saying something. Louis helped Richard Preston and Ian
Smith (Marden Hill) put together a library music compilation - as
arranger, keyboardist and composer (on four tracks). Unfortunately,
this record is not available commercially... But one of these tracks
might make an appearance on this site as a free download - if the copyright issues can be cleared.
There's a story behind this. When designing the cover art for Azure,
Louis had already chosen a holiday photo taken by engineer/producer Ken Brake (- a perfect fit for the title track, which was
inspired by a favourite Greek island). He was leafing through possible
typefaces with designer Jim Phelan when they spotted one that seemed to
be appropriately informal and playful. It was called... Ken On Holiday.
With such a prod from fate, there could be no other choice.