From the Vault...


Club Nouveau
"Life, Love And Pain"

© Warner Bros. Records
Year of Release: 1986

track listing
  • Jealousy
  • Why You Treat Me
    So Bad
  • Lean On Me
  • Promises Promises
  • Situation #9
  • Heavy On My Mind
  • Let Me Go
  • Pump It Up (Reprise)

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    Club Nouveau Website
    Previous Review: #694
    Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band--The Fire Inside
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    Nelson--After The Rain
    Club Nouveau
    "Life, Love And Pain"

    The name Club Nouveau may not be a household name, but they had a #1 song that was a remake of a famous 1970s hit (which also reached #1), Bill Withers' "Lean On Me." The remake song from their album, 1986's Life, Love And Pain features 1980s funk.

    The opening track, "Jealousy" kicks off a funky Mission: Impossible intro, as the rest of the song kicks in a funky beat, as in Bobby Brown's "My Prerogative." A similar groove line as heard in Nu Shooz's "I Can't Wait" is in "Why You Treat Me So Bad." (I vaguely remember this tune getting some heavy radio airplay...)

    The remake of "Lean On Me" has the familiar slow piano intro as heard in Bill Withers version, however once the main verses appear, the beat is changed to a funky-type rhythm. Even though this song did reach #1 in 1987 for 2 weeks, Bill Withers' original version is much better of the two. (Withers' version reached #1 in 1972 for 3 weeks.)

    "Promises Promises" is very weird. It's funky, and the vocals are dreary. It's almost a song that even though its not a novelty song in a sense, but the atmosphere of the song could be heard on a Dr. Demento show.

    "Situation #9" is a basic funk rhythm song, as heard in most pop R&B tunes of the day in the 1980s, comparing to such groups as Zapp, and Kool & The Gang. "Heavy On My Mind" is a fairly pop/R&B number, but not as funky or Heavy.

    "Let Me Go" is a beautiful ballad that can easily fit the style of a group that would later surface in the 1990s: Boyz II Men. "Pump It Up" (Reprise) is just another remix version of "Lean On Me"; as it has a more funky and rap approach. This one you just may want to avoid; it's very unbalanced, and ends abruptly.

    The common sound of 1980s funk, Rhythm & Blues best describes Club Nouveau's Life, Love And Pain. If you enjoy the early years of Bobby Brown, Kool & The Gang, or basic Rhythm & Blues funk, this album may be entertaining for you. The only reason why this album would be brought was the fact that their version of "Lean On Me" reached #1, and probably one of few songs that would get regular radio airplay. (Probably the other two songs would be "Why You Treat Me So Bad" and "Let Me Go." For those three songs, I doubt if Club Nouveau had any other future releases after Life, Love & Pain, and the questions remain: (1) Whatever happened to Club Nouveau, and (2) Is there a Club Nouveau Greatest Hits? If Club Nouveau "disappeared" after 1986, the answers would be: (1) Gone, (and maybe forgotten), and the answer to the second question would be "No."

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    Previous Review: #694
    Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band--The Fire Inside
    Next Review: #696
    Nelson--After The Rain