In the early ’80s, singer Wanda Maria Ribeiro Furtado Tavares de Vasconcelos, recording under the Barbarella-inspired name Lio, enjoyed a run of successful singles that made her a pop icon in France and Belgium. Today’s Track of the Day, “Suite Sixtine,” is off her 1983 album of the same name, at the time released only in Canada, which—with an eye towards a more global audience—enlisted the services of Ron and Russell Mael, of the prolific American rock band Sparks. The brothers Mael rewrote some of Lio’s earlier singles in English for Suite Sixtine, although today’s track was new to the release. This album also featured the production work of Marc Moulin, one-third of the popular Belgian synth-pop group Telex, who’d already produced two million-plus-selling Lio singles, “Le Banana Split” and “Amoureux Solitaire.”

Today, Lio’s still got a fair amount of celebrity in the Francophone world, a result of her continuing work as both a pop musician and film actress. As a result, tracking down her earlier releases shouldn’t be too troublesome; a sizable amount of her material’s been put out on CD in the past decade, much of it reissued by Ze Records and available online. Both Suite Sixtine and her 1980 self-titled come highly recommended.



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