Monday, 25 February 2013

L'Amour à la Chaîne pt.18

A fine choice from Kitty for our next stage in the slowly growing Chaîne: After the Andre Popp-penned, Eurovision '67 cover by Future Bible Heroes, she suggested Sandie Shaw en Français. Why? Because Sandie skipped barefoot to the number 1 spot in the very same Eurovision contest with 'Puppet On A String', bien sur!

On this 1966 ep track, Sandie, with a bit of help from Ken Woodman and his orchestra, summons up the stormy sound of all those early 60s death-disc melodramas...

Thunder rumbles overhead, the wind howls, and there's a palpable sense of panic in Sandie's voice.

The English language version of this song has her running from the arms of an over-bearing monster of an ex-lover. Run, Sandie, Run!

Sandie Shaw - L'Orage
[Pretty much all of Sandie Shaw's essential French output is collected together on the CD Chante en Français: Pourvu Que ça Dure - available from yr usual mp3 shopping boutique; or, for a sizeable sum, 2nd hand, on certain tax-shy online retail outlets]

L'Amour à la Chaîne: what will be the next link in the chain?
Leave your suggestions and reasons in the comments.
Jacques Dutronc - L'Amour à la ChaîneFrançoise Hardy - Je Changerais D'Avis > Les 5 Gentlemen – Cara-Lin > Add N To (X) – Monster Bobby > Serge Gainsbourg – Le Poinçonneur des Lilas > Les Shades – Orage Mécanique > Gillian Hills - Rentre Sans Moi > Zombie Zombie - Psychic Harmonia > Michel Polnareff - Qui a Tué Grand'Maman? > Christine Pilzer - L'Horloge De Grand-PèreViolaine - J'ai Des Problèmes Décidement > Dutronc - Dodecaphonie > Fabienne Delsol - Ce Jour LaJohnny Hallyday - Son Amour Pour Un Jeu > Miss Kittin & The Hacker - L'Homme Dans L'Ombre > Andre Popp - L'Homme Invisible > Future Bible Heroes - Love Is Blue > Sandie Shaw - L'Orage > ?

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

postcard from the 4th Dimension

I woke up this morning in the 4th Dimension.

Or, at least, the 4th Dimension had invaded my head-space...

Here is Victoire Scott to take you on a little tour. Hold tight, it's a wild wild ride on the dark side.

Victoire Scott - 4ème Dimension
[one day I dream of finding a 45 of this for a few Euros in a French flea market, for now I'll just have to lust after the copy priced at $77 on GEMM. It was re-issued on Ultra Chicks vol 6: Vous Dancez Mademoiselle and there are reasonably priced copies on]

Look! You can watch Victoire in the 4th Dimension courtesy of MrNonosse's impeccable YouTube channel.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Françoise, Nicolas, Jean-Benoît et Jeanne

Let's toddle back to 1998 when Air released their, oft-copied/seldom matched, sci-fi lounge masterpiece Moon Safari. Tucked away on the b-side of simian-disco smash 'Sexy Boy' was a gem that saw them calling on the voice of a certain first lady of the French yé-yé scene.

This passed me by completely at the time, and though I loved the song 'Sexy Boy', I could only afford to buy the album and not the single too, and so I missed out on those bonus b-sides.  Instead I discovered something magical when my now wife and I did a tape swap, where we both compiled some Gallic-flavoured numbers for our first holiday together in Paris.

Back then, neither of us had much of a French record collection, so we had to be imaginative: anything with even a hint of the old ooh la la about it was recorded and sequenced, and a certain track on her C90 shone through. It was taped off an Elefant Records compilation Pop Romantique: French Pop Classics (1999) - a tasty little album if you can still find a copy: it has French language covers and originals including that Heavenly/France Gall one I posted recently; and Chaîne 17 contenders-by-proxy The Magnetic Fields doing a creaky version of 'Le Tourbillon' from Jules et Jim, that sounds like a busted old merry-go-round.

But I digress. The song by Air with a guest vocal by Françoise Hardy is entitled 'Jeanne' - a beautiful, breathy wisp of pastoral synth-pop with possibly the most melancholy oscillator solo I have ever heard. Make sure you have a handkerchief nearby before you listen...

Air feat. Françoise Hardy - Jeanne
[as mentioned above, this was issued as a b-side to Air's 'Sexy Boy' single, and also on Pop Romantique (Elefant Records/Emperor Norton). There are cheap used CD copies of both on the usual 2nd hand sites, and a couple of reasonably-priced vinyl copies of Pop Romantique on]