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Culture

Plastic Bertrand admits he did not sing hit single

media Plastic Bertrand performing In Sydney in 2007 Plastic Bertrand website

Belgian artist Plastic Bertrand says he did not sing his 1977 song Ca plane pour moi, which broke out of the French-language pop ghetto to become a worldwide hit. He claims to have been manipulated by his producer.

“I admit it wasn’t my voice,” says a bitter Plastic Bertrand in an interview with the Belgian daily Le Soir, “but it must be said that the whole deception was set up by Lou De Pryck,”
Plastic Bertrand made the admission one day after an expert linguist concluded that the voice on the 1977 single, which sold over 900,000 copies, belonged to De Pryck.

The expert commissioned by a Belgian judge compared the original 1977 recording to a version released by Plastic Bertrand’s producer in 2006 and concluded the same person was singing.

“Given the end of sentences on the recording, it is clear the voice belongs to a Ch’ti (northern Frenchman) or a Picard,” says the expert.

In other words, the true performer of the song was not Plastic Bertrand who was born in Brussels, but Lou De Pryck, who was from south-west Belgium, where the accent is similar to the northern French accent.

However, Plastic Bertrand, whose real name is Roger Jouret, was quick to deny he was behind the deception and claims he was manipulated by his producer.

“He banned me from going to the studio. I was stuck. I was in the shit. And the day I left [record label] RKM to be free, he smeared me,” he told Le Soir, “So I took him to court for slander but I lost because I accused him of being a crook. But now, I’ve had enough. I’ll sue him again for slander.”

Plastic Bertrand says Lou De Pryck asked him to “shut up” in exchange for 0.5 per cent of the rights, and promised to record a new version of the song with Plastic Bertrand’s voice. “But of course he never did.”

De Pryck also claims he sang Plastic Bertrand’s first four albums, released from 1977 to 1981, and that the record company preferred to have a punk figure perform them.

According to Le Soir, it was “an open secret” in Belgium that De Pryck, who wrote and produced the song Ca plane pour moi, also sung it.

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