1001 South African Songs You Must Hear Before You Go Deaf

Just another music list

Eloise Concerto – Rouge

Eloise Concerto – Rouge

Rouge - Eloise Concerto

Rouge – Eloise Concerto

The song Eloise and the number 8 seem to have an affinity. In 1968 Barry Ryan took the song to number 2 in the UK and number 4 in the US. In 1986, punk group, The Damned, took a cover version to number 3. In between these two chartings of the song, Rouge, a South African group spearheaded by Zane Cronje, featuring John Weddepohl on vocals and, amongst others, Malie Kelly and Avril Stockley on backing vocals, released an epic concerto version in 1978.

Rouge’s version starts with a piano intro which, if you didn’t know what song they were covering, is not immediately recognisable as Eloise. But this all changes pretty quickly and you are into a pulsing disco version of Barry Ryan’s classic. The song is played through, then there is an instrumental interlude which combines the disco beats with a classical flavouring of piano and strings. The vocals then return, accompanied by brassy horns and soaring strings.

This epic and ambitious cover version clocks in at over 17 minutes and is one of the better examples of how disco covers of rock classics were popular in South Africa in the late 70’s.

Where to find it:
Disco Fever – Various, (1999), Gallo, CDREDD 627 (Out of print & difficult to find)

Disco Fever

Disco Fever

Videos:
Rouge:

Barry Ryan:

Damned:

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