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A Head Full of Wishes

A Head Full of Wishes is a site for Galaxie 500, Luna, Damon & Naomi, Dean & Britta and Dean Wareham. With news, articles and lists of releases and past and future shows.

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#093: Luna - Bonnie and Clyde / Chinatown (CD)

The only time Luna got a Single of the Week in one of the major uk music inkies† was with their cover of Bonnie and Clyde which got the accolade in the Melody Maker. I suspect that Laetitia Sadier helped with that somewhat, as the review states “one final point worth mentioning: every Stereolab single to date has been an MM SOTW”

Luna - Bonnie and Clyde / Chinatown
Luna - Bonnie and Clyde / Chinatown

The single was actually an EP with Chinatown and Thank You For Sending Me an Angel, but the reviewer was either unaware or decided to not mention it. They also appear to be aware of only one of the two versions of Bonnie and Clyde on the single. The review is clearly of the slower Bonnie Parker version since it “starts with a guitar shimmering softly in the corner somewhere”. Personally I’ve had a preference for the Clyde Barrow version.

It’s a great single and, regardless of the reasons, well deserving of a Single of the Week.

Dean wrote about it in Black Postcards:

Terry Tolkin had recently signed Stereolab to Elektra. He suggested that Laetita and I sing a duet together - something by Serge Gainsbourg. Laetitia picked “Bonnie and Clyde,” and helped me with my French pronunciation. Jane Scarpantomi came in to add some frantic cello parts. We played the song fast, and we played it slow, and it worked both ways.

Not only that, it seemed to help our profile in England, where we released an EP containing “Chinatown,” the two very different recordings of “Bonnie and Clyde,” and Talking Heads’ “Thank You For Sending Me an Angel.” All of a sudden, we started getting good reviews in England. Melody Maker called the EP the single of the week.

A few ineresting (to me) notes…

  • Stanley gets a middle initial in his credit - Stanley C. Demeski - Drums, Percussion.
  • Sean gets a specific credit for his vocal augmentations - Sean Eden - Guitar, Squeal.
  • I always assumed it was a toy gun on the sleeve but I just Googled it and discovered that real guns look like toy guns (or toy guns look like real guns) and it might be a Beretta 948 - I have only ever held a fairground air rifle.
  • To my knowledge Dean and Laetitia only performed this live once… and I was there.

So, which version do you prefer?

Clyde Barrow or Bonnie Parker?

  • Catalogue Number: AHFOW 10/037
  • Artist: Luna
  • Title: Bonnie and Clyde / Chinatown
  • Notes: EP
  • Packaging: Jewel case
  • Format: CD

† There were a couple of other “Single of the *” accolades but more of that later.