“Très Chic!” is the much-anticipated sequel to “C’est Chic!”, our recent celebration of the yé-yé girls of 1960s France. Here are things you need to know about ten of the tracks:
Gillian Hills, cover girl of the CD version, is best known in the UK as an actress (Beat Girl, Blow Up etc) but she enjoyed a prolific recording career in France. ‘Tut, Tut, Tut, Tut’ is from her 13th and final French EP.
Actress Anna Karina, who graces the cover of the LP version, also enjoyed a parallel career as a recording artist. Penned by Serge Gainsbourg, the Shangri-Las-influenced ‘Sous Le Soleil Exactement’ is from the TV musical Anna.
‘Comment Te Dire Adieu’ is from the 27th of Francoise Hardy’s 29 Vogue EPs. Multi-lingual Françoise also recorded the song in Italian and German, but never in English. Shame.
It was rare for a French artist of the 1960s to record in English, or release a record in the UK. Jacqueline Taïeb was one of the few to do both with the ultra-collectable ‘7 AM’, a translation of her celebrated ‘7 Heures Du Matin’.
Although she recorded some great up-tempo numbers, dramatic Timi Yuro-esque ballads were the real forte of Liz Brady. ‘Comme Tu Es Jeune’ is a superb example from her debut EP.
Evelyne Courtois started out in all-girl band Les Petites Souris. In honour of Bacharach and David’s song, she re-emerged as Pussy Cat with a trio of solo EPs notable for her penchant for covering tunes by male groups.
Delphine’s sitar-driven ‘La Fermeture-Eclair’ is a Franco-version of We The People’s ‘In The Past’. Curiously, she didn’t just cover the song, but borrowed the original backing track too.
Elsa looked not unlike Cher, and performed in a similar jangly folk rock style too. She also recorded as Nicole Darde (her real name) and with her boyfriend Claude in the duo Arc-en-Ciel.
France Gall is the daughter of singer Cécile Berthier and songwriter Robert Gall. ‘Attends Ou Va-T’en’, from her seventh EP, is one of many tremendous numbers written for her by Serge Gainsbourg.
Brigitte Bardot’s ‘Je Danse, Donc Je Suis, written by comedian Jean-Claude Massoulier and arranger André Popp, is an example of how a simple rhyming pun can transform an ephemeral ditty into something more cerebral.
LP version comes on 180g blue vinyl in heavy duty gatefold cover.