This month, we’re joined by Mick Patrick from Ace Records. Mick was responsible for putting together the brand new compilation C’est chic – French girl singers of the 1960s. The CD is out now and is available to buy from Amazon and elsewhere. (You can also read our review of it.) Here, Mick has chosen six of his favourites from the CD. Read all about his pick of the pops below – and vote for your favourite or comment on these tracks using the forms at the foot of the page.
If you’d like to be a guest editor on this website one month, get in touch. You don’t have to be a music industry expert, just someone with a passion for 1960s European girl singers. (And if English isn’t your first language, don’t worry, we can help.)
Non, à tous les garçons
Michèle recorded some great French covers of lesser-known American songs. This Spectorised number might sound like it came from New York’s Brill Building, but it was written by Serge Gainsbourg, enfant terrible of the yé-yé generation.
C’est la mode
Annie was a protégée of the great Paul ‘Love is blue’ Mauriat, who directed the orchestra on many of her recordings. I found a great picture of her with France Gall and couldn’t tell them apart, which amused me as they also sounded alike at times. Cool lyrics, this one – even if, like me, your French isn’t that hot.
Je suis folle de tant t’aimer
Arlette’s main claim to fame is finishing third at the Eurovision song contest of 1982, but this Pet Clark-ish number from 11 years earlier gets my vote. It sounds like a Tony Hatch song, but Les Reed wrote it, which I guess means there might be an English version out there somewhere. Anyone?
L’amour tourne en rond
Her aristocratic French mother ran London’s trendy Saddle Room, where Louise taught Paul McCartney to hully gully. Shush-mush was how her style was described at the time. Any the wiser? No, me neither. This yé-yé gem, cut originally by Lonnie Jay & the Jaynes, was also recorded by her in English.
Ce soir je m’en vais
One of my most prized possessions is Jacqueline’s single on UK Fontana. This fab ode to teenage boredom is the French language original of its B-side. I’ve always been a flip-side fiend, so chose it rather than the more celebrated 7 heures du matin, which just so happens to be available on another Ace CD anyhow.
Il suffit d’un jour
Some of you might know Les Scarabées’ French language version of The Flirtations’ Nothing but a heartache, issued in Canada in 1969. Liz Brady was half of that duo. This elegant beat ballad is from her earlier career in France. It might sound pretentious, but I regard my compilations as DJ sets preserved on CD. Every DJ set needs a great closer. Il suffit d'un jour is mine.