Tag Archives: french

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Jacques Dutronc: La Publicité (1967)


 
resuming the series on french artists that i once started (yes i admit it is not very coherent), heres a (imho) marvelous ep by french singer jacques dutronc (husband of francoise hardy by the way).
the style of his music ranges from 60s pop, rock to garage rock or yeye as french 60s music is often called, and – unlike michel polnareff for instance – exclusively sung in french. the title track is a swinging little number with a lot of drive, followed by a slow beautiful ballad somewhat more into the vein of chanson, with amazing soft vocals. again i am sorry that i cant tell you a lot about the lyrics, if youre curious just google the title and look for a translation (the better if you speak french yourself ;-).
the flipside starts with a song that id call the weakest on this record, but, as this is a fine record, even the weakest song is a good one. well, my favourite track on this ep, and i must say also my favourite dutronc song over all, is the last one: hippie hippie hourrah. this time i also looked up the lyrics, and …

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Saturday, 31 July 2010

Michel Polnareff: Pourquoi Faut-Il Se Dire Adieu (1968)


 
sorry first of all for the poor quality of these rips, but my copy of this record was already damaged when i bought it earlier this year. but as the first track is a melancholic ballad, the crackling sounds ironically somehow fit the atmosphere and give a nice nostalgic feeling. the title track is nice and sentimental, but occasionally the orchestral arrangements become just too much and it gets sort of trashy; but this is compensated by polnareffs clear and soft vocals – stunningly beautiful!
the next track, ‘ring-a-ding’, is a sweet pop song that i like a lot. it has a cute chorus, accompanied by a (hardly to be heard) female background choir, and im always sad when i reckon the songs over again, as it runs for only 2:21. does anyone know about an extended version of it? :-)
the b-side opens with a rather melancholic piece again, ‘jai du chargin marie’ is sung in french like the a-side, but with occasional lines in english in the chorus. orchestral arrangements are to be heard here aswell, but far more discreet and thus the ballad isnt trashy at no point – a pleasant listen for …

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Sunday, 4 July 2010

Michel Polnareff: Le Bal Des Laze (1967)


 
closing a gap of more than two months, heres the next record by michel polnareff. this time it is a favourite of mine – more than the one i posted last time – a ’67 ep called ‘le bal des laze’.
of course the title track is the first one on the a-side and it also is the most beautiful song on this record. a slow, moody ballad with a sort-of bewitching, continuous organ play dominating the orchestral accompaniment. although this track is rather long (almost 5 minutes) i like it a lot and it doesnt get boring. following is a short filler track, ‘le temps a laisse son manteau’, a bit distorted and strange, but it fits the musical context of the a-side.
the flipside, however, is a lot different, as both tracks are rather tounge-in-cheek, a slow, bluesy chanson and a crazy wild-west vocal parody (or how the hell would you call this??).
so all in all this record offers a lot of variety and is pretty interesting, despite the rather boring cover art. enjoy!

interesting links:
a detailed biography
michel polnareff on rateyourmusic
michel …

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Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Michel Polnareff: Mes Regrets (1967)


 
keeping up with my series of french records, or rather series of records by michel polnareff, heres the chronologically next ep by one of my favourite french singers. mes regrets is not my favourite polnareff record, but could anyone (not you guys of course) resist this incredibly cute cover photo? it looks much better in reality than the scan that i made of it, but i hope you enjoy it anyway.
now about the music: this is a three-track ep only, and all three tracks are more or less long, slow and rather chanson- than pop-music. the title track is moody, with a lot of classical accompaniement, especially some beautiful string arrangements. perhaps i could say much more about it if i were able to understand the lyrics, but as i dont speak a word of french youll have to be satisfied with this short description. the second track on the a-side, miss blue jeans (sung in french despite the english title), is more pop-orientated than the other songs, and i gave it the highest rating on this record. the third track, dame dame, runs for four minutes and thus fills the entire b-side. this song is …

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Sunday, 4 April 2010

Michel Polnareff: Ame Câline (1967)


 
im going through the eps by michel polnareff chronological now, and this is the next one after ‘ta ta ta’ which i posted first, confusingly (this actually was because it had been the first one i bought).
well, its hard to say if this record is just really bad or if its simply funny. the rather dreadful side however is the a-side, which contains the title track – a rather trashy ballad with painfully high vocals – and a very much toungue-in-cheek song about a ‘fat madame’ sung in english. i dont really know what to make of this track, a joke, social criticism or just making a mockery of obese females. this track is so silly and badly sung that its better to skip it anyway.
the b-side now is a lot better, starting of with le roi des fourmis, a lively pop number with good drum support. the last track, le saure pleureur, is cute pop song in the same vein with some lightweight flute and acoustic guitar play, and just like all the other songs it doesnt take itself too seriously.
following this release, well have the ep mes regrets next time …

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Saturday, 13 March 2010

Michel Polnareff: Sous Quelle Étoile Suis-Je Né? (EP 1966)


 
in addition to the lp by michel polnareff i posted last week, heres the respective ep to that record. it contains no non-album tracks, and the sound quality is no different from the rip that i posted last time, so it is rather the pretty cool cover you get here.
just look at these glasses, man! thats just the kind that i always wanted to have… but as this mini-series will go on (lots of eps to follow), you will soon see that michel polnareff anyway was extremely creative and inventive in making a showy and flamboyant appearance especially in the 70s – sometimes with even bigger sunglasses!
on the back cover of this ep you can see the previously posted lp in its original issue from 1966 by the way. stay tuned for more such goodies!

interesting links:
a detailed biography
michel polnareff on rateyourmusic
michel polnareff on last.fm

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Sunday, 7 March 2010

Michel Polnareff: Sous Quelle Étoile Suis-Je Né? (1966)


 
TFR goes french again! this lp has also been announced many times before, but here it finally is. i must admit that i cheated a little with this record, as the vinyl i ripped it from is in fact a 1979 reissue, the first volume of a polnareff reissue series focusing on his early work (catalogue no is stec 290 on the AZ label, which also released the original polnareff records). i am sorry but theres a little noise on the tracks, the vinyl was not in perfect shape when i recieved it. the cover picture is identical, except that the reissue has polnareffs name on it additionally, in the top left corner, which i removed on the cover scan so that it looks exactly like the ’66 original. the tracklist differs just a little, track 7, ballade pour un puceau, is not featured on the original lp but on this one – so you dont miss anything, you get something extra!
no about the music on this lovely record: the title track is a smooth and calm ballad with some energetic moments, just in the style of the ep i posted before. and just as before …

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Sunday, 7 February 2010

Michel Polnareff: Ta-Ta-Ta-Ta (1967)


 
still french, but very different. this four track ep is somewhat of the icing on the french cake that i made for you this time. i must admit that this is the only record by french singer michel polnareff that i have, but also i admit that i instantly loved it. it is neither pop nor rock, it is just these beautiful, crystal clear vocals with modest acoustic accompaniment – like a non-commercial jacques dutronc with artistic ambitions.
the first track on the a-side, which is also the title track, is the most lively track of the whole record and also my very favourite one. again, i cant tell you a thing about the lyrics because i dont speak a word of french, but this song just captured me. i love the driving, straightforward and uplifting chorus aswell as the beautiful violin accompaniment (which also provides the main melody, very nice) – ten out of five stars, this is awesome!
the second track has a very long title that puzzles me a lot – but apart from that this a beautiful, mellow ballad you will surely enjoy despite not understanding the lyrics (unless you do of …

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Sunday, 7 February 2010

Les Variations: Silver Girl / Walk Right Down (1973)


 
the last variations-record for this time. again, i really dont like the a-side, i must admit. it is mainstream, teethless 70s rock already touching glam rock, which was exactly where the group would end up later. the singers rough vocals seem a bit out of place here, perhaps brian conolly or noddy holder would have fitted better here.
the b-side walk right down is better than its flipside, although it too fits into the same category. i am quite sure the reason that its not as bad as the a-side is that we have another singer here, whos voice is more compatible with clean and neat 70s rock.
to me, this is almost the end of les variations, except for the albums moroccan roll and cafe de paris that still were to come, and that are surprisingly better than this 45. you can get them on choo choo mama.

interesting links:
moroccan roll and cafe de paris (1974/75 lps) on choo choo mama
les variations on rateyourmusic
les variations on last.fm

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Sunday, 7 February 2010

Les Variations: Je Suis Juste Un Rock N’ Roller / The Jam Factory (1973)


 
another single by french hard rockers les variations, this time a later release. this 45 shows how they were more and more turning to tame, clean mainstream rock, while on their albums experimenting with oriental and african tunes. the a-side, one of the few tracks the group really sang in french, sounds like a typical early 70s song, a little reminiscent of free, but over all not very exciting. the jam factory, however, is a bit tighter and i like it better than the a-side, but as it is very repetitive it can get annoying somehow, but on the other hand one might like just exactly that. over all this 45 doesnt get a very high rating from me, but just try it out yourself.

interesting links:
a charming little fansite (in french only, but with lots of pics)
les variations on rateyourmusic
les variations on last.fm

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Sunday, 7 February 2010

Les Variations: What’s Happening… / Magda (1969)


 
french week at twenty-flight-rock! the first delight of excellent french quisine i want you to enjoy here is an early 45 by french rockers les variations, of whom i already posted two other singles:
What A Mess Again / Nador (1970) and
Only You Know And I Know / I Was Down (1972).
now, whats happening is a fresh and thriving number from their debut album, which has the same title as this records b-side, and it is one of my favourite songs of theirs. but as this is an early recording we have to live with the singers still very thick accent here, although it doesnt ruin the whole song altogether.
magda, the flipside, is a surprisingly good hard rock instrumental that at least i would usually not expect from these guys. mainly this is because it is rather blues orientated, which the variations in general werent. it reminds me of late john mayall or cream a little, or other groups from the late 60s electric blues revival. the guitarist definitely is trying to sound like eric clapton here, so perhaps this is a hard rock cream-spoof. nevertheless this is one of les …

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Sunday, 20 December 2009

Les Variations: Only You Know And I Know / I Was Down (1972)


 
both a and b-side of this 45 are non-album tracks, so even if you knew les variations before you probably havent heard these yet. only you know and i know is an average early 70s rock song, but the flipside, i was down, makes up its strong and heavy counterpart. laid back and rather slow, this acid rocker comes along like somewhat of a hendrix spoof – definitely worth checking out. the vocals are, honestly, fairly neglectable, but the heavy rhyhtms are catchy enough to compensate them.

interesting links:
a charming little fansite (in french only, but with lots of pics)
les variations on rateyourmusic
les variations on last.fm

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Sunday, 20 December 2009

Les Variations: What A Mess Again / Nador (1970)


 
les variations were an late 60s – early 70s french hard rock group, maybe even “the” french hard rock group as there werent many at the time. they sound somewhat like a mixture of grand funk railroad, mott the hoople and perhaps early led zeppelin in their quieter moments. especially on their early records you can hear a rather funny french accent of the singer, which diminishes more and more on later records. due to their rather exotic backgrounds their music turned to a rather oriental style on later lps, but here we have a straight rocker from their best days, also released on their first lp from 69.
the a-side of this 45 is not outstanding, but not too bad either. it has a lot of power behind it and offers some good guitar work. the b-side though is a lot calmer and a really nice piece of acoustic guitar play. this is what, as i said before, reminds me a little of early zeppelin.

interesting links:
a charming little fansite (in french only, but with lots of pics)
les variations on rateyourmusic
les variations on last.fm

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