Wednesday, August 11, 2010

French 45s

Sunday before last, the little town where I am staying was having a "vide-greniers" - a sort of huge flea market. For the occasion, the whole seafront was lined with little stands. I strolled it for a bit but never covered the whole thing. It really spread for a couple of miles. But I hit a stall of old 45 rpm records, and found a few interesting ones:

I'll have to wait to be home to hear them on a turntable, but for now, here are a few of the titles, courtesy of youtube - enjoy!

Françoise Hardy, J'suis d'accord (one of her first songs, that I used to cover...)

Jacques Brel, Jacky - from his final farewell album, Les Marquises. I love that song, along with almost everything else he did, really.

Petula Clark, Chariot (in French!). The video is so dated! (and so funny...)

Nino Ferrer, Le Sud, a French classic. His earlier hits are also worth a listen - straight up 60s rock, like Mirza, Oh!Hé!Hein!Bon!, or the ever popular Le Téléfon

Serge Gainsbourg's controversial Lemon Incest

And finally, Les Compagnons De La Chanson, Le bleu de l'été

They were a 50s men's choir group, I love their vocal arrangements. I had a conversation with Van Dyke Parks once, who told me a story about how he told a French journalist that they were one of his main influences. The journalist was appalled and told him it was very unfashionable - they are somewhat out of fashion nowadays, I'd say most people would think of them as straight up cheesy, or 'ringard'. But after the article was published, an 80 year old member of the group wrote Van Dyke Parks a letter to thank him for mentioning his choir. And Van Dyke concluded - 'isn't this just the reason why we do what we do?'

1 comment:

  1. Magic stuff.... I've never seen the beginning of Pet's video. Fort Apache huh? It's strange, I never really thought of it as an Ameican song. I imagined the plains, the rivers and the heat of the sun all being in France.