on 10 March 2006
This CD is worth buying purely for the amazing Jacqueline Taieb's "Sept Heures du Matin" alone. In this she sings (in french) about going to school, wishing that Paul McCartney would help her with her english homework, brushing her teeth, and deciding which sweater she's going to wear today. All of this to a magnificent "I'm Not Your Stepping Stone" style backing, and with a line of "my Generation" thrown in for good measure.
Unfortunately the other tracks aren't quite as good, but some of them are still pretty fine e.g. Liz Brady, Elizabeth, Clothilde.
Very entertaining stuff. It's a bit of an acquired taste, but one worth trying to acquire. PS If you get the bug for french pop music look up the "Femmes de Paris" and "Pop a Paris" compilations that were released in France (naturally). These, and many other joys can be found at french amazon - www.amazon.fr. Great fun ordering, especially if, like me your French isn't great.
PS The Jacqueline Taeib track was also recorded in english and titled 7AM. That's how I know what it's about. Surely someone should re-release this!
on 30 March 2006
Soundtrack label Silva Screen goes all 'Paris in the the spring' with a compilation bearing only a passing resemblance to the two Sasha Monett vinyl collections from donkey's years ago. Elizabeth ("Je Suis Sublime"), Cosette ("Idealisation"), Clothilde ("Saperlipopette") and Cleo (Dutronc penned "Et Moi, Et Toi, Et Soie") are all present and sort of correct (the later track is miscredited to Clothilde), but there would be no surprise partie tous les jeunes without Jacqueline Taeib, and the original French versions of UK Fontana 45, "7:00AM" ("7 Heures Du Matin") and "Tonight I'm Going Home" ("Ce Soir Je M'En Vais"). Fans of kitschy wrong-side-of-Eurovision covers will lap up Delphine Desyeux's take on "I'm A Tiger" (the sleevenotes think this version "surpasses the original", but I think it lacks the playful pussy grrrrr that cat lover Lulu gave it) and Katy David's stompy ride through Tony Hatch's "Call Me" ("Plus Tard"- recalling Lulu's (we meet again) beaty uptempo Decca version rather than the swing of mademoiselle Petula Clark's original). All that's really missing are more informative (and accurate!) sleevenotes. Two paragraphs are wasted on telling us the history of rock 'n' roll; the rest get bogged down in a blurb about 'Ye-Ye' - which really isn't present in abundance here - and mentioning girls who aren't on the compilation anyway. Never mind. Take the sublime Elizabeth's advice and have this CD as the perfect soundtrack next time you're caught eating croissants in the bath.
on 1 May 2011
These twin albums of 1960s French pop music were a really welcome discovery. I am not a big fan of conventional 1960s music, but this is a very different matter.
The overall quality of the songs is surprisingly good. Variety is combined with stylistic consistency. The compilers have resisted the temptation to throw together any old songs that just happen to be French, from the 1960s and sung by women. There are very few household names, and a refreshing absence of the soulful crooning that was popular in those days.
Instead, this is "ye-ye" - pure, vibrant pop. But that doesn't mean it is frothy and superficial. These French girls sound cool and sassy. Their songs are often witty, and some of them are haunting masterpieces.
A previous reviewer has given these albums one star simply because they borrow from previous compilations (now hard to get hold of and very pricey!) But considering how few people know these singers today, can one really complain about anybody giving them the homage, and the wider audience, they deserve?