Yeah this guy is really good. Obviously the style of the early material is of it's time yet Polnareff transcends this with cunning. Now I have to admit I love the first four albums as by the 80's things become a little commercial, but there are gems to found even so.
Michel Polnareff ditched his classical conservatoire pianist leanings in favour of an acoustic guitar and three chords. After honing his craft on the streets of Paree, he co wrote La Poupee' Qui Fait Non and it became an instant classic, covered by Jimi Hendix and the Birds (I think) and lots of others, upsetting the French music status quo of the time. With a voice of pure wonder and mind boggilg range he set off reluctantly at first to conquer anyone who was in earshot. I won't go into what happened over the next forty years, but let's just say most of us would be left stunned by the sheer rotten luck Polnareff has had to endure.
After immersing myself with the studio stuff I found Live at the Roxy which had all the agreeable songs on it and Dans la Rue for example suddenly made sense. Qui a tue' Grand-Maman, amazingly beats the recorded version, a feat I didn't think possible and On Ira Tous au Paradis, is fantastic live. Everyone's fave La Poupee Qui Fait Non, is destroyed on Live at the Roxy by too fast a tempo, sadly.
I listened to Polnareff for months before translating the lyrics and they can be very weird. Holidays for example. What's that about, and Ta ta ta ta? Anyway there's a wealth of catchy, clever songs by this guy and if you like a dose of pop drenched in canny and musicianship, check him out.
If ever an album disproves the theory that French pop starts and finishes with Serge Gainsbourg, this is it. Better than anything Jacques Dutronc ever did, perhaps only Serge Gainsbourg's Histoire du Melodie Nelson or Polnareff's own Polnareffs is a better example of sixties french pop. Better songs are the title song and L'Oiseau de Nuit, but by far the best track is the last one La Poupee qui Fait Non - Belle and Sebastian probably wouldn't exist it didn't. You should buy this album and then buy Polnareffs.