France Gall Chanson Indienne 7" (Philips, 1966)
France Gall was one of the top French girl singers of the 1960s and universally considered a standout in Ye-Ye, what French 60s girl pop has become known as. With the genius of Serge Gainsbourg behind her, she had a string of not just hits, but interesting and unique hit songs. The two songs from the Chanson Indienne ep are from her "psychedelic" period (nearly every Ye-Ye girl had one). I found this record in a shop in Paris.
Rather than repeat what others have writen, I'm gonna lead you to the Ye-Ye Girls Website. Be sure to check out Tor Midtstog's essay on the history of Ye-Ye.
It is always strange for a french person like me to think about France Gall as "cool". France Gall was nothing but cool when as a kid her shitty late 70's & 80's songs were overplayed on the radio, and when it comes to her 60's recordings i would use the term "Masterpiece" for only one of her Gainsbourg related songs..."Attends ou va t'en".
Anyway, thanks for these tracks and for your blog. It is always a pleasure to visit.
Yes, it is strange what a trip over the ocean does. I recently asked a French friend to track down Barbara's first album for me. He said he just did the same for his parents! One of the nice things about distance (and age) is you don't know (or no longer care) about the social stigma or uncoolness of things you weren't bludgeoned with as a youth.
Looking at the sleeve, you are right David Whitaker arranged Chanson Indienne (and has writing credit). The other 3 songs on the ep was also arranged by him.
First of all, the choice of this EP was (beside her Gainsbourg recordings, wich to the best of my knowledges are all available on the CD format) the best of all.
I'm not the king of coolness myself, i got more than one LP in my collection wich would raised many eyebrows, and the fact that my parents love an artist is not a proof of bad or uncool taste for me. Throught all these years of listening to records i developped my own criteria.
France Gall gained a kind of cult statute all over the world. Her Gainsbourg connection and the fact that the YeYe movement period is seen as a kind of french glamorous pop golden age, helped a lot. But what i tried to say is that in France, France Gall had a commercial life beyond the YeYe period and a much more successful one. She had a string of hits with her late husband Michel Berger, and believe me you wouldn't have posted any of them.
So, i understand this necrophilic, sorry, nostalgic tendency we all have to encapture an artist and to frame her/him in a certain time or in a certain amount of recordings. After all i got more than one of these tendencies myself.
France Gall has gained the right to have a cult statute for herself, even if all the things she did from the early 70's up to the 21st century was made to bury this old YeYe image. And since i wrote these messages, she succeeded, at least in France.
By the way, Barbara is a monument. She is most of the time sadly reduced to one song here in France, “l’aigle noir”. She deserves much much more attention.
Thanks a lot, i wish all the blogs were like yours !