At the invitation of the channel M6 to present an unplugged concert, Les RITA release their first live album.
"ACOUSTIQUES", recorded in one evening in October 1996 at the Opus Café, assembles some of their biggest hits with some of their lesser known songs in an acoustic setting. Two duets; "AILLEURS" ( with Princess ERIKA), and a version of Ivan REBROFF's "RICHE" (with Doc GYNECO), and two new songs, "LA TAILLE DU BAMBOU" and "LES CONSONNES" are debuted here as well.
The album is released on the same day as the TV broadcast, October 27th, 1996. "ACOUSTIQUES" is certified gold immediately upon its release and is the first time Les RITA have performed live with a string section. The experience is rewarding enough for them to tour with these arrangements, which they do, through Eastern Europe, at the start of 1997.
Stimulated by this adventure, Les RITA are given carte blanche at 'La Cite de la Musique', and perform with a variety of guests in February, such as BLANCA LI, Marianne MATHEUS, and SOLO from the rap crew ASSASSIN. Besides "LA TAILLE DU BAMBOU" and "LES CONSONNES" there are many as yet unrecorded songs heard at these 3 concerts, such as "UN ZERO", "LES GUERRIERS", "C'ETAIT UN HOMME", "TOI ET MOI ET ELLE", "ELEGANTO" (previously titled, "FAIS-MOI VALSER "), "GRIP SHIT RIDER", "LA SORCIERE ET L'INQUISITEUR", "LE JUSTE PRIX "."ME, MYSELF & I" is a Soul 2 Soul cover. These concerts are so successful that another date is added, La Cigale on the 7th of March, when Doc GYNECO raps on "ANDY" and "RICHE".
The whole February 21th concert is offered on free listening at Médiathèque de la Cité de la Musique in Paris, samples can be heard on their website.
In July, Catherine accompanies Richard GALLIANO for the second time, at the Antibes Jazz Festival/Juan les Pins. Catherine is in a jazzy mood as she covers Boris VIAN's "LES JOYEUX BOUCHERS" for the album, JAZZ A SAINT GERMAIN and she collaborates with Archie SHEPP on the soundtrack of "Sinon, oui", in co-composing and singing four songs, "MAMAN MENT", "LES SOUPIRS", "FAUT S'DEFENDRE" and "LES INDIENS".
Less jazzy and more latin, "ESO ES EL AMOR" (a Luis MARIANO cover), from the soundtrack of "Un Grand Cri D'Amour", is released in January of 1998 from the film of Josiane BALASKO (who also shot the "ESO ES AL AMOR" video).
In April 1998, "RENDEZ-VOUS" is released in Japan on the COBA album, "CONSCIOUS POSI" .
In 1999 Les RITA appear in concert four times : During a DAARA-J concert in the Latin Quarter, at "La Clef" at a concert of Jean NEPLIN's, and at a benefit show for the GISTI charity at L'Elysee Montmartre (where they play "C'ETAIT UN HOMME","COOL FRENESIE" [with Etienne de CRECY] and "FATIGUE D'ETRE FATIGUE" for the first time). At Bercy, Catherine joins MASSIVE ATTACK on stage for a version of Craig ARMSTRONG's "THIS LOVE ".
"LE JUSTE PRIX" is released in November of 1999 on the EMMAUS MOUVEMENT album.