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French — CDs

XClassic sounds from France -- a mix of chanson, French pop, Saravah sounds, and more -- work from Serge Gainsbourg, Brigitte Fontaine, France Gall, and others!



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Nino FerrerRats & Rolls ... CD
Barclay/On Sale Music (Italy), 1970. New Copy ... $16.99
One of the coolest albums we've ever heard from French funk legend Nino Ferrer – and that's saying a lot, given how much we love his records of the 60s! Nino first started out as one of the few continental cats whose energy could match that of the funkiest soul singers in the US at the time – working in a style that clearly drew from the UK mod interpretations of American soul, but with instrumentation that was even sharper than most of those singers and groups – often more directly influenced by the James Brown Band of the late 60s! Yet here, he takes that approach even further – and soars out with grooves that have a more sophisticated flow and a really great vibe, all while still holding onto the best core currents from before – vocals that take all these great twists and turns, and organ lines that flow far past regular rhythms and really illuminate the songs in a unique way. Titles include "Play Boy Scout", "Reminiscenza", "Meglio L'Amore Che La Guerra", "La Pella Nera", "Povero CRisto", "O Mangi Questa Minestra O Salti Dalla Finestra", and "Fratelli E Cosi'Sia". CD

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Jean Claude VannierL'Enfant Assassin Des Mouches ... CD
B- Music/Finders Keepers, 1972. Used ... $6.99
A baroque instrumental masterpiece from Jean Claude Vannier – Serge Gainsbourg's right hand man at the start of the 70s, and a key figure in the legendary Histoire De Melody Nelson album! The feel here is very much along the lines of work that Serge was doing at the time – larger orchestrations mixed with smaller instrumentation – in a level that's often funky, always baroque, and very much in the best Sexopolis styles of the French pop scene of the time! There's a marked similarity here to some of the work of Michel Colombier – but unlike Colombier, and Gainsbourg, there's no vocals at all on these tracks – and the main genius is carried by Vannier's incredibly arranged strings, rolling rhythms, fuzzy guitars, and dark little soundtrack-styled groove! Some tracks are wonderfully funky, others are moody and tripped-out – and the whole thing's a masterpiece that we'd file right up there with our favorite French work of the time! Titles include "L'Enfanta La Mouche Et Les Allumettes", "Danse Des Mouches Noires Gardes Du Roi", "Mort Du Roi Des Mouches", "Le Papier Tue-Enfant", "Les Garde Volent Au Secours Du Roi", and "Petite Agonie De L'Enfant Assassin". CD features 2 bonus tracks – both versions of "Je M'Appelle Geraldine"! CD
(Out of print.)
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Brigitte BardotLa Belle Et Le Blues ... CD
Ace (UK), Late 60s. New Copy ... $14.99 19.99
Brigitte Bardot's best known on these shores as an actress, but during the 60s she cut some really fantastic work on the scene in Paris – including a fair bit of groovers that were done with help from the legendary Serge Gainsbourg! Bardot provided a fantastic new voice in the world of pop music – a singer who was unabashedly open about her desires, and very different than the more melancholy stars of a few years before – a quality that's further emphasized by the wonderfully groovy instrumentation used on most of these tracks! Production and arrangements are superb – and put this music in the best territory of the grooviest 60s French pop by artists like Serge Gainsbourg, France Gall, Jacques Dutronc, and a rare few others. This is the first-ever English-annotated collection of work from the period – and features a whopping 25 tracks from her recordings for Philips and Disc AZ – titles that include "Harley Davidson", "Contact", "Neu Au Soleil", "Je Danse Donc Je Suis", "La Madrague", "Les Hommes Endormis", "Je Voudrais Perdre La Memoire", "Mr Sun", "Le Diable Est Anglais", "Tu Es Venu Mon Amour", "John Et Michel", "Gang Gang", and duets with Serge Gainsbourg on "Bonnie & Clyde" and "Je T'Aime Moi Non Plus". CD

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