Soleil Hi-Fi

Trista Motiv
30 January 2006, 10:57 pm
Filed under: French Music,Punk and New Wave

Well I left my L’encyclopedie de rock francais in Paris so I can’t look-up this band. I know nothing about them except that the lead man is called Yves Charlot and the girl singer is Sylvie and I believe they are the two most front people on the cover. The other musicians are Olivier, Francois and Jean-Philippe. Released in 1984 on Pierre Barouh’s Saravah label this is a departure from the “maison du disques”‘s usual world music faire.

Trista Motiv

It’s good synth pop, coming at the end of the silver age of French pop – 1978-1982 (this one falls out of that strict category by two years, so sue me.)

Track A – Transparent – Trista Motiv

Danyel Gerard
28 January 2006, 4:25 pm
Filed under: 60s French Pop,French Music

Everyone knows Johnny Hallyday as the teen idol of French Pop. And a lot of you may also know what is considered to be the first Rock ‘n’ Roll song – “Rock ‘n’ Roll Mops.” But this song was not sung by teenagers and it was a parody as well. The title is actually a pun (a No-Prize to anyone who knows what the pun is.) The line-up was as follows – Vocals: Henry Cording (pun – Hen –recording, aka Henri Salvador), Music: Big Mike (Michel Legrand), Lyrics: Vernon Sullivan (Boris Vian! — note: merci Thibaut!). Richard Anthony can also be credited with the earliest Rock ‘n’ Roll but he was in his 20s when he started performing.

The first true teenage release was by Danyel Gerard, who released “D’ou viens-tu Billie Boy?” (Where Do You Come From Billie Boy) in 1958, lyrics based on lyrics by Boris Vian! It’s not a great rock ‘n’ roll tune and anyone who wants to argue that it is not rock ‘n’ roll I am more than happy to have that conversation/debate with you. But first you have to tell me how Elvis’ “Blue Christmas” is rock ‘n’ roll. In 1959, after on other EP, Gerard went off to his military service and when he returned he had some Black Socks, Savage Cats and Johnny Hallyday to contend with. He continued to record songs and write for the likes of Johnny, Sylvie, and others.

The fabulous Jean Bouchety is the orchestrator on the “Billie Boy” and the following EP. I have never seen the EP, only a picture and the thing that confuses me is that the first song listed on the cover is not “B.B.” but “When.” However, track listings on covers are never good things to go by. The first two EPs were on Chez Barclay and when he returned from service he was on Polydor. Later EPs were on disc A-Z (ah zed) the label of Lucien Morisse husband of Dalida (who Gerard wrote for) and head of Europe 1. As you can see, the French music industry is rather incestuous.
In the early 70s he had a hit with “Butterfly” but most of us know his whacked-out psychedelic funk tune “Sexologie” from that album because of its appearance on several compilations.

Here is “Billy Boy” and an un-re-released cut from his “America” EP (I am using “America” in my movie and thus didn’t include it.), a cover of “Sugar Shack” with the bizarre title of “Sugar Shake” which I find superior to the original. The French can get away with the cutesy thing sometims. On this EP he is accompanied by real “kids”, as opposed to old jazz musicians, Les Champions!

D’ou viens-tu Billie Boy? (slow)

Sugar Shake (surf- hully gully)

Uh oh! KANGO!
27 January 2006, 12:00 am
Filed under: Yum!

Besides awesome 60s pop, cute girls and the song “My Way” the French also make some kick ass cookies. Most of us know LU as the one company that makes those biscuits with a chocolate bar on top. But the best cookie that LU makes is KANGO. A crisp butter-browned outer layer, similar in texture to a Nilla Wafer, encases a creamy dark chocolate filling. BUT WAIT, there’s more! At the bottom of the filling is a thin layer of brittle chocolate that adds a crunch sensation to rule all nations.

“Hello” is some sort of subdivision of cookies that usually have something to do with chocolate. And Kango is now the un-official cookie of Bardot A Go Go!

Unfortunately, I haven’t found them for sale in this hemisphere yet, but I can dream can’t I?

Chantal Kelly
26 January 2006, 5:17 pm
Filed under: 60s French Pop,French Music

One of the first French 45 EPs I ever purchased on eBay was this scrumptious wax of Chantal Kelly. Not only is it her first EP but en totale it is her best. Claude Bolling (who some people might know better from his collaborations with J.P. Rampal the flute player) was the producer/arranger on this and, as far as I can tell, all of Chantal’s EPs.

The songs were written by Chris Carol (Criscarol) who was an older varieté singer who penned for the likes of Piaf and Philippe Clay. The song Caribou was a bit of a hit and Chantal performed it on the TV program Discorama and a few other shows in early ’66. If it sells make more, and Chantal graced us with a total of 4 highly collectible (read “pricey”) EPs. Contrary to popular opinion, though there is a 12″ LP in her discography, it is only a collection of her EPs on into one album. Frenchies didn’t release LP records in the 60s. That’s why Melody Nelson was a big deal. (It wasn’t the first but it was the most significant.)
Cha Cha Charming has pretty much everything that there is to know about her (which isn’t much) and Bide & Musique has the album art for her second EP with the hard hitting semi-hit “Notre prof d’angais.”

Except for a song on an Ultra Chicks comp, Chantal’s ouvre has yet to be re-issued.

This track here is the charming 4th cut on the Caribou EP “Je n’ai que quinze ans” (“I’m only 15″).

Chantal Kelly – Je n’ai quinze ans