The 10 Best French Yé-Yé Pop Albums

FRANCOISE HARDY
FRANCOISE HARDY

This bundle of albums cover a majority of essential music to come out of France, both old and new that any novice listener should hear and ultimately own.

Throughout the mid ’60s, “Beatlemania” and the British Invasion had taken over the world in one fell swoop. While this configuration of pop and rock ruled the airwaves and stole the hearts of the youth, an interesting reciprocal was forming within Europe, specifically France: A lyrically driven style of beat music with bubbly charm and innocent confidence, as well as heartfelt ballads with angelic reverberations that deliver chills upon first listen.

This genre is referred to as Yé-Yé, a term inspired by the phrase “Yeah! Yeah!” that was often exclaimed in the rock ’n’ roll music of the time. The genre was predominantly led by young female singers, or “chanteuses,” who to this day remain as popular figures in music and fashion. These artists have become staples in modern music and have inspired innumerable groups, which brings us to today.

Many modern artists are expanding on these classic sounds and creating something entirely new, yet just as wonderful. However, trying to find an initial starting point with any form of music can be difficult, let alone music that’s from another country and not in your native tongue. But fear not! This bundle of albums cover a majority of essential music to come out of France, both old and new that any novice listener should hear and ultimately own [ . . . ]

Continue at VINYL ME PLEASE: The 10 Best French Yé-Yé Pop Albums To Own On Vinyl — Vinyl Me, Please

Chanson du Jour: Le Métèque (1969)

Georges Moustaki (born Giuseppe Mustacchi) gave France some of its best-loved music, writing over 300 songs for some of the most popular singers, including Edith Piaf, who popularized his composition Milord.

As a young musician, Georges Brassens took Moustaki under his wing, introducing him to artists and intellectuals hanging out in the cafes around Saint-Germain-des-Prés. Moustaki eventually adopted the first name of the only musician he called “master.”

Moustaki wrote Le Métèque in 1969, and it was his first breakthrough hit.

Françoise Hardy doesn’t actually sing on this – as the YouTube title might suggest. Yet I would say her presence adds a certain je ne sais quoi.

Françoise Hardy: ‘I sing about death in a symbolic, even positive way’ 

 

Françoise Hardy was the face of 1960s French pop, with the likes of Dylan and Jagger falling for her enigmatic allure. Now 74, the style icon talks about her new album and why she always sings from the heart

Hardy is reciting the first lines of Serge Gainsbourg’s song La Javanaise for my benefit. We are sitting at a small table in the middle of an otherwise empty room in a stylish Paris hotel. Eyes closed, her hand tracing a repeated arc in the air, she enunciates every word as if teaching a hapless pupil – “J’avoue j’en ai bavé, pas vous…” she intones softly, “Avant d’avoir eu vent de vous…”These seductive lines, she says, are the perfect example of the “sonority” of a song lyric, the elusive element she values above almost all else in her music. “For me, everything begins with the melody,” she says, growing animated. “Without the melody, there can be no words, but I also need this sonority, this poetic sound that the words make when they combine with the melody. This has always been my obsession. I know that I am very limited vocally, but I also know why I am still here – it is purely because I am so selective when finding the melodies.”

 

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