C'est C Bon

by Carlene Carter

Released August 1983
Epic Records
Released August 1983
Epic Records
"It shows just how far Carter has come to reach her deserved position among country’s great artists, it demonstrates her versatility, and it is a fascinating glimpse into the way she immersed herself in the early 1980’s UK music scene." NO DEPRESSION MAGAZINE
1. Meant It For A Minute (Carlene Carter / James Eller)
2. Heart To Heart (Climie)
3. Third Time Charm (Carlene Carter / Pete Marsh / Andy Howell / Roger Bechirian)
4. Heart's In Traction (Carlene Carter / James Eller)
5. I'm The Kinda Sugar Daddy Likes (Carlene Carter / James Eller)
6. Breathless (Blackwell)
7. Love Like A Glove (Carlene Carter / James Eller)
8. Cool Reaction (Pete Marsh / Andy Howell)
9. Don't Give My Heart A Break (Carlene Carter / Nick Lowe / Paul Carrack)
10. That Boy (Carlene Carter)
11. One Way Ticket (Carlene Carter)
12. Patient Love (Carlene Carter)

Produced by Roger Bechirian.
Carlene Carter - keyboards, vocals.
Roger Bechirian - keyboards, percussion, vocals.
Pete Marsh - guitar, keyboards, vocals.
James Eller - bass, guitar, keyboards.
Andy Howell - bass, guitar, keyboards.
Terry Williams - drums.
Paul Cobbold - cello bass.
Annie Whitehead - trombone.
Gary Barnacle - saxophone.
Luke Tuney - trumpet.
Tony Visconti - horn arrangement on "One Way Ticket."
Photography - Nick Knight, Paul Carrack, Michael Suchodolski.

The LP mixes up-tempo pop-rock gems like "Meant It For A Minute" with a dreamy, strings-textured mid-tempo number, "Heart To Heart," and a light peppy disco song, "I'm The Kinda Sugar Daddy Likes." Although Carter wrote most of the songs in collaboration with some of her band members, particularly James Eller, the album also includes a version of Jerry Lee Lewis' "Breathless." Carlene slowed it down, wrote a definite melody, supported it with new chords and turned out a version that she described as "soft, sexy and wistful." The song was originally recorded for the movie "Breathless," but the group X's version, a close remake of the original, was chosen instead. "Heart To Heart" could easily fit into a middle-of-the-road radio format, while "Meant It For A Minute," a tough, clever-talking pop-rock song, could crack the more rocking Top 40 stations. Or perhaps the song's video, which Carter described as a cross between "Beat It" and "Flashdance," might break her through the music and cable TV station route.

Carter retreated to the confines of Rockfield Studios in Wales, legendary for some outstanding Dave Edmunds productions in the mid-'70s. Settling in with some of husband Nick Lowe's cronies (producer/keyboardist Roger Bechirian, guitarist Pete Marsh and bassist Andy Howell, collectively known as Blanket Of Secrecy; also bassist/songwriting partner James Eller and drummer Terry Williams), she then moved as far away from her noted country roots as possible to deliver the fresh, modern-sounding "C'est C Bon." The abrupt stylistic reversal was not pre-planned to take advantage of the currently bullish new music market, she claims, but the natural result of working with so many pure popsters. And unlike too many synth-dominated records, "It sounds relaxed, but it doesn't sound bored." The reason? "There was a lot of collaboration on this album. I mean, if one of us didn't like something, the others would say, "Go ahead, take it home and make it better!" And after a few years spent in a musical and contractual limbo, Carlene Carter knows precisely what she's going for with her next record: "We're gonna make it the same as this one, only tougher."
WAYNE KING, RECORD (October 1983)

C'est C Bon has value for three reasons, all united by the perspective time brings; It shows just how far Carter has come to reach her deserved position among country’s great artists, it demonstrates her versatility, particularly vocally, and it is a fascinating glimpse into the way she immersed herself in the early 1980’s UK music scene.

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