July 02, 2009

The crowd still wanted blood - well, they were in for a big surprise

In the 1980s, Montreal produced two New Wave bands of note. The first is, naturally, Men Without Hats, of "The Safety Dance" Fame. The second was The Box. (In fact, founder Jean-Mark Pisapia had briefly been a member of Men Without Hats early in their existence.) In my first year of university, a classmate and I once disputed over which of the two was a better band. To this day I remain firmly in the Men Without Hats camp.

For today's installment, I've chosen their song "L'Affaire Dumoutier (Say to Me)" from 1985. It has the distinction, I think, of being about the weirdest single to hit the charts. How many bands have released a psychological murder mystery to the radio?

"L'Affiare Dumoutier" is probably The Box' best-known song, strictly because of its quirkiness. Their third album, Closer Together, was their most commercially successful. While the Box were quite well-known in Canada, they had only limited success in the U.S. I believe their song "Ordinary People" received a fair bit of airplay.