Tuesday, April 15, 2014


The popular history of French music in the 60s often pits two opposing sides against each other: the polished ‘varieté’ of the yéyé stars like Françoise Hardy against the socially-engaged singer-songwriters like Léo Ferré, but the story is far more complex.

Alongside their better-known work, stars like Dalida, Dutronc and Sheila recorded music that happily sits next to more ‘serious’ – and often forgotten – socially engaged artists like Jehan Jonas and Michèle Arnaud. This compilation shines a light on the meeting point between these two seemingly disparate styles and the musicians behind them.

Digging deeper into the stories behind the music there is a unifying theme behind the different worlds: more often than not the players behind both styles were the same. Sometimes dismissed as journeymen that were operating at the outer reaches of their ability, the oft-ignored session musicians and arrangers held a wealth of knowledge and ‘savoir-faire’, not only in the lyrics and composition but also in the musical ability, recording, mixing and above all in the arrangements.

Even Serge Gainsbourg – perhaps the only artist of the time who managed to combine huge popular and critical success – collaborated with arrangers (and cult figures in French music) like Michel Colombier and Jean-Claude Vannier for his epoch-defining classics, and it is the work of these unsung figures that is celebrated here.

- CD digipak with 28 pages booklet w/liner notes in English/French
- LP with double page inner sleeve with full liner notes in English/French
01. Michèle Arnaud – La chanson de Tessa (1964)
02. Dalida – Je me repose (1968)
03. Sheila (Jean Claudric) – Long sera l’hiver (version playback orchestre) (1969)
04. Jane Birkin – Kawasaki (1973)
05. Christophe – The girl from Salina Part.3 (B.O.F. – La route de Salina) (1970)
06. Jacqueline Taïeb – Ce soir, je m’en vais (1967)
07. Michel Colombier – Canon (1969)
08. Ann Sorel – L’amour à plusieurs (1972)
09. Jacques Dutronc – Proverbes (1968)
10. Tonio Rubio – Bass In Action (1973)
11. Jehan Jonas – Nocturnes (1969)
12. Serge Gainsbourg – Je suis venu te dire que je m’en vais (version playback orchestre) (1973)

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