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bebe

2000 bèbè

bèbè is the eighteenth studio album by Tèxord based alternative rock group bad medecine. It was recorded in early 2000 after three years of touring and it includes most of the songs the band had already released on their ep’s in other versions.


Songs


A

01. [4.16]  toys [k, robijn/k]                            
02. [3.33]  big bigger [k/k, robijn, nuño]          
03. [1.32]  fat medicine [k/k]            
04. [5.24]  bèbè [k/k, robijn, bello]         
05. [4.15]  few of [k, robijn/k, robijn, rafa, bello]      
06. [8.16]  dying [k/k, rafa]                 
07. [1.54]  politicise revenge [k/k]
08. [3.15]  cherry flavour [k, bello/k, rafa, robijn, bello]         
09. [4.25]  the guy who came to a naked woman [bello, robijn/bello, robijn]    
10. [5.49]  almost [k/robijn, k, rafa]      

B

01. [3.57]  dirt [k/gomez, k, bello]  
02. [4.53]  bye [robijn, rafa/bello, robijn, rafa, k]  
03. [6.03]  don’t call this home [k/k, robijn, bello, rafa]      
04. [2.05]  why do i think about you [rafa/rafa]    
05. [4.26]  5 [b bjeer, k, bello]                            
06. [6.12]  an extra mountain [k/k, bello, robijn, rafa]            
07. [7.45]  my drunken love [k/k, robijn, rafa, bello]      
 

Credits


Papa Beer : vocals + guitars
Bello : drums
Robijn :  guitars + backings
Rafa :  guitars + backings
Nuño Gomez : keyboards + piano

piano on ‘few of’ by Bello
bass on B by Robijn
bass on A by Rafa

Recorded at Papa Beer’s home studios, November 1999 – April 2000
Produced by Robijn & Rafa
Engineered by Cas Jansze Mixed at “mix tu dio” by Sintí
Released at myzelf music inc June 2000
 

Background


Following ‘the art of coincidence’, bad medecine wrote plenty of songs whilst they toured for three years. In 1998, they released a live album as well an ep with new songs. In 1999 again they released an ep, with different versions of several songs from their previous ep to show the evolution of song. They came back end of 1999 and went in studio after holidays of a couple of weeks. These sessions were recorded and released as ‘i don’t know for this band’.
 

Writing and composition


On ‘bèbè’ five songs that were already recorded on their previously released EPs, as well as ‘5’ from their 1978 album 37 AC K>  37. The versions of the songs are different, with ‘an extra mountain’ having changed lyrics and ‘bye’ a new verse and added parts. The improvisations ‘few of’ as ‘blues #2‘ have a clearer song structure and the band added string arrangements to ‘big bigger’. The skit ‘fat medecine’ is a funny reprise of their 1970 eponymous hit, flowing over in ‘bèbè’.

Musically, the album is a incorporates different types of rock music. Papa Beer plays acoustic guitar on ‘few of’ and ‘can’t call this home’.The songs ‘dying’ and ‘why do i think about you’ are built based around a bass riff. There is a good deal of keyboards, notably in ‘toys’ and ‘dirt’. These parts are played by Nuño Gomez, who also produced the record. The songs ‘politicise revenge’, ‘bye’ and ‘my drunken love’ are submerged in distortion effects on guitar, whilst ‘few of’ and ‘dying’ are embraced by reverb.

Contrary to ‘child of jesus/the otherside of god’ that would be released later that year, this album focuses on songs. In general, it is poppier than the previous record, with compacter compositions that gives a friendlier vibe to the album. Nonetheless, there is space for drawn-out compositions. Although not credited, ‘my drunken love’ is a jam that flows out of ‘an extra mountain’ ending in the band crashing their gear.

 

Artwork


The artwork depicts a semi-abstract collage of objects. There is a big booklet with a story and pics, with parts of the lyrics. Papa Beer is credited as Papa Beer, Robijn as Robijntje, Rafael as Rafa and Bello as Bello. Also, Nuño is shown as part of the personnel. On the picture of the group, the latter is in the middle on a bench outside on a terrace in Tèxord. He’s all in black with a grey shawl. Left of him are Papa Beer, with glasses, his dreads tied in a knot, in suit, and Rafa who’s smoking and in old clothes, long hair and not shaved. On the other side are Robijn, with a white shirt and jeans, and Bello with his hair short, in black and staring down.

 

Release and reception


bèbè hit the charts and peaked at nr. 3 in Germany and Italy. The album sold well, although not as much as their previous two albums who’d been number one in more than five countries. Critical reception was mainly positive and ‘bèbè’ still sold over a million records in the first year. Critics praised it for its optimistic lyrics and upbeat songs being poppy without being cheesy. They didn’t want to release singles and make a session videos of every song, but the label decided to release ‘close your eyes’ anyway. Even though this was the only single, there were clips made for ‘cherry flavour’ and ‘almost’ as well.

Because they had so many songs, the band decided to divide the songs on an A-side and B-side as an ode to vinyl records. The division of songs was simply based on who played bass. Just as on this album, Robijn and Rafa alternate on Fender and Rickenbacker basses, Papa Beer takes Fender mustangs and his Gibson Firebird on the 2001 tour and Bello drums a new transparent Ludwig kit. Robijn and Rafa both bring a Telecaster and a Les Paul, and they share keyboards but play them less than on the previous tour.

 

Tour


Lots of these songs were played live in the following tour, which was done in more or less the same setting as the 98/99 World Tour. They travelled throughout 2001, starting off in Europe and travelling to Asia and Australia for a month, afterwards Africa and Latin America, followed by another small European tour before going to North America. After their tour, bad medecine went back in the studio to record their last album.

contact

a cufnosed circus

billy navrovski