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Les Rita Mitsouko was a French pop rock group formed by guitarist Fred Chichin and singer Catherine Ringer. [212008] The duo first performed as Rita Mitsouko at Gibus Club, Paris in 1980. They went on to become one of the most successful musical acts of the 1980s in France .


The duet has stated that the name "Rita Mitsouko" originates from the combination of Catherine Ringer's childhood friend and the name of a meal they enjoyed in a local Japanese restaurant soon after they met.

Rita Mitsouko began performing in the early 1980s in alternative spaces such as the Pali-Kao, a squatted factory building in Belleville, Parismarker.

The band first achieved major popular success in 1985, with the release of the second single from their first album: "Marcia baila" rose to number 2 on the French record charts that summer. Philippe Gautier directed a vibrant and widely viewed music video to accompany the record. "Marcia Baila" is an homage to Argentinemarker choreographer and dancer Marcia Moretto, with whom Catherine Ringer had studied and performed in the 1970s. Moretto died of cancer in 1981 at the age of 32.

Rita Mitsouko was a creative and eccentric debut album, combining elements of punk, rock, synth pop and jazz. Coupled with the band's colorful, wild, over-the-top image, it brought Rita Mitsouko to the attention of some important anglophone listeners.

American record producer and musician Tony Visconti produced the band's next two albums, The No Comprendo and Marc et Robert, helping to polish and perfect their sound. These two albums feature both French and English lyrics. The most successful singles from these albums were "C'est comme ça" and '"Andy."

The American band Sparks collaborated with Les Rita Mitsouko on Marc et Robert. Russell Mael sings lead vocals with Catherine Ringer on three of the album's tracks, "Singing in the Shower," "Live in Las Vegas," and "Hip Kit."

Jean-Baptiste Mondino directed most of Les Rita Mitsouko's music videos in the 1980s.

Jean-Luc Godard's 1987 feature film Soigne ta droite incorporates documentary footage of the band's The No Comprendo recording sessions.

In 1993, the video of "Y'a d'la haine," from the album Système D, was awarded Clip of the Year by MTV Europe.

On Système D Catherine Ringer sings a duet, "My Love Is Bad," with Iggy Pop. Variéty also includes a vocal duo in which Ringer is joined by guest musician Serj Tankian (from System of a Down).

Les Rita Mitsouko's album Variéty was released in 2007 in both French and in English (Variety) versions; it was produced by Mark Plati.

On Wednesday 28 November 2007, Fred Chichin died from cancer while the band had just cancelled their previous concert dates in Paris. He was only diagnosed with the disease two months before.

It was announced on the 8th of February 2008 on the band's website that Catherine Ringer is due to resume touring this April following the death of her partner and Les Rita Mitsouko collaborator, Fred Chichin. Catherine will pick up with the band that she and Fred put together for the release of their latest album 'Variety' on Because Music.

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Year Album information French Album Chart
1984 Rita Mitsouko
1986 The No Comprendo
  • Released: 20 September 1986
  • Label: Virgin Records SA
1988 Marc & Robert
  • Released: 7 November 1988
  • Label: Virgin Records SA
1993 Système D
  • Released: 16 November 1993
  • Label: Virgin Records SA
2000 Cool Frénésie
  • Released: 7 March 2000
  • Label: Virgin Records SA
2002 La Femme Trombone
  • Released: 1 September 2002
  • Label: Virgin Records SA
2007 Variéty 3
Variety (English language version)
  • Released: 2 July 2007
  • Label: Wagram, Because Music, WEA International

Year Album information
1990 Re
  • Released: 10 Oct 1990
  • Label: Virgin Records SA
  • Notes: Remix album
2001 Le Bestov
  • Released: 5 Nov 2001
  • Label: Virgin Records SA
2004 Essentiel
  • Released: 11 May 2004
  • Label: Virgin/EMI

Live albums
Year Album information French Album Chart
1996 Acoustiques
  • Released: 27 Oct 1996
  • Label: Delabel
  • Notes: Live, from an M6 televised concert
2004 Les Rita Mitsouko En Concert Avec L'Orchestre Lamoureux
  • Released: Mar 2004
  • Label: Virgin Records SA
  • Notes: Credited as 'Les Rita Mitsouko avec L'Orchestre Lamoureux'
2008 Chante Les Rita Mitsouko and more à la Cigalle
  • Released: 28 Nov 2008
  • Label: Because Music
  • Notes: Credited to Catherine Ringer


Year Title Album Chart Positions
French Singles Chart U.S. Club Play
1982 "Minuit Dansant" / "Don't Forget the Nite"
1984 "Restez Avec Moi" Rita Mitsouko
1985 "Marcia Baïla" 2 27
1986 "Andy" / "Un Soir, Un Chien" The No Comprendo 19 11
"C'est Comme Ça" 10
1987 "Les Histoires D'a"
1988 "Mandolino City" Marc et Robert
1989 "Singing in the Shower" (with Sparks) 37 24
"Le Petit Train"
1990 "Tongue Dance"
"Hip Kit (William Orbit Remix)" Re
1991 "Don't Forget the Nite"
1993 "Y'a D'la Haine!" Système D 33
1994 "Les Amants"
"Femme D'affaires"
1996 "Riche" (with Doc Gynéco) Acoustiques
2000 "Cool Frénésie" Cool Frénésie 98
"Alors C'est Quoi"
"Femme de Moyen-Age"
2002 "Triton" La Femme Trombone
2003 "Tu Me Manques" En Concert
2007 "Communiqueur D'amour" Variéty
"Ding Dang Dong"
"Même Si"
"L'Ami Ennemi"
"The Eye" (6 track E.P.)


  • 1987 : Grand Prix of the Charles-Cros Academy
  • 1987 : Victoires De La Musique: "Best Album of the Year" for The No Comprendo
  • 1987 : Victoires De La Musique: "Best video of the Year" for C'est comme ça
  • 1990 : Bus Steel of the decade 80 for throughout their work.
  • 1994 : MTV Europe Music Awards: "Best video of the Year" for Y'a d'la haine.
  • 2001 : Price Roger-Seiller of "Best French Band"
  • 2001 : Spring prices SACEM.

External links


  1. Prologue of biographical documentary "Rita Mitsouko: A Life Of Music"
  2. Les Rita Mitsouko French Album Chart Placings 1996-present

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