A very decent and good value over-view of French pop released by the Pathe label between 1962-1970. Thankfully compiler Kid Loco steers clear of the usual suspects, i.e. the ye-ye girls, Johnny Hallyday, Jacques Dutronic and Serge Gainsbourg (he does make a fleeting appearance) and opts instead for a batch of lesser known artists.
Disc 1 features examples of French Rock'n'roll which though utterly derivative and too late, swaggers with Gallic cool. Dick Rivers & Les Chats Sauvages 'C'est joli comme' sizzles with engine oil and black leather. Elsewhere there's some organ soaked snaky jazz, a cheaky lounge instro and plenty of finger snappin'. Of the discs, 2 is probably the weakest, featuring some very ordinary pop. That said Ken Lean's 'Gemini Adventure' and Dick River's 'Via Lucifer' are utterly bonkers, and Serge Gainsbourg's duet with Michele Arnaud is gorgeous. Not forgetting Dani's 'La Machine' which sounds like the dawn of punk. Disc 3 features examples of French psych which, at times, had me shaking my head in disbelief - a good thing I assure you. Much of it defies description but had Joe Meek lived out his years in France, he might well have produced records like these.
Sound quality is variable but perfectly acceptable. A lack of detail in the sleeve notes and zero pictures are the set's only weakness. For the cream of French Pop search out the must have 5 volume set 'Pop A Paris' (released by Universal France).