Iggy Pop covers Elvis Costello’s “No Flag” in French (listen)
Iggy Pop has covered Elvis Costello's "No Flag" from EC's new album Hey Clockface. There's a twist to it too, as Pop delivers his vocals en Français. Elvis notes the song already had a baked-in Iggy connection. “It shared one word and one letter with a famous song of yours [‘No Fun’]," Elvis said in an interview with Pop in Rolling Stone, "but nobody spotted where it was drawing from because nobody expects me to take a cue from you.”
Though he made a French language album back in 2012, Iggy tells Costello that his interpretation was "quite an effort," but the delivery on record is pure Pop brashness. “There’s a uniqueness to the French language,” Iggy says. “No other language has vowels that sound like that. Learning a song that’s as quick as ‘No Flag’ took a month of practice because my lips weren’t used to those combinations…I [worked on it] for 40 minutes a day for about five weeks. You don’t want to do too much work on it at once or it’s not fun anymore.”
The translation was handled by Murial Téodori, wife of Attractions/Imposters keyboardist Steve Nieve, and her son, Antoine Jules Ulysse Quessada, who plays drums on Hey Clockface and records his own music under the name AJUQ. “You sound absolutely convincing in French,” Costello tells Pop in Rolling Stone, adding that when he and wife Diana Krall heard it the first time they had tears in their eyes.
The animated video for "No Flag (en Français)" was made by past Costello collaborators Eamon Singer and Arlo McFurlow. You can watch the video below.