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frequently asked questions

louis and dean brodrick, 1991 If there's something you want to know that isn't answered here, try the message board or feel free to email us.

Who is Louis Philippe?

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.

What does Louis's music sound like?

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.

Who has Louis worked with?

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) ...

Where can I buy Louis's albums?

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...

Where can I find Louis Philippe lyrics?

We are slowly adding lyrics to each album page in the discography.

How can I stay up to date with Louis Philippe news?
Bookmark the news page and subscribe to our newsletter.

Where can I hear MP3s of Louis Philippe?

You're in the right place - check out our MP3 page

I have found a track by a band called The Arcadians. It sounds like Louis Philippe - is it?

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.

Could you please give me some information on a Japanese CD by Louis Philippe called Pulunk?

The mysterious Pulunk album is, believe it or not, none other than Nusch! Why? Because that is how our Japanese friends pronounce "Poulenc"...

Are there any plans for a European release of Passport to the Pogie Mountains?

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.

Is there a 12" remix version of So Danco Samba by Louis Philippe & Sean O'Hagan? If so where can I buy it?

Unfortunately no. The only version available is the one released on the XIIIbis Records Tribute to Jobim compilation.

Can you give me any information on the Stratton & Stubbs release?

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.

What is the typeface used on most Louis Philippe album artwork from Azure on?

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.

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