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Sunday, February 14, 2010


320 KBPS

Usually thought of as a middle-of-the-road popular singer, Françoise Hardy — at the beginning of her career, at least — covered more stylistic ground and owed more debts to pop/rock than she's given credit for. Immensely popular in her native France, the chanteuse first displayed her breathy, measured vocals in the early and mid-'60s. Her (mostly self-penned) recordings from that era draw from French pop traditions, lightweight '50s teen-idol rock, girl groups, and sultry jazz and blues — sometimes in the same song. The material is perhaps too unreservedly sentimental for some (in the French tradition), but the songs are invariably catchy and the production, arrangements, and near-operatic backup harmonies excellent, at times almost Spector-esque. Fans of Mariane Faithfull's mid-'60s work can find something of a French equivalent here, though Hardy's material was stronger and her delivery more confident.
In the 1950s, Hardy was inspired by early rock recordings to pick up guitar, and was already writing her own songs by the time she was a teenager. By the age of 17, she was already singing her own compositions in French clubs, and successfully auditioned for Vogue Records in France in late 1961. Her debut EP appeared the following year, inaugurating a series of successful EPs and albums that would last through the '60s.
Hardy sang of young love with both fetching moodiness and unrestrained ebullience; although she often wrote both her music and lyrics, she often co-wrote tunes with others as well. She was greatly aided by a number of talented arrangers who seemed to be attempting (usually successfully) to blend American and British production sophistication with a Continental European sensibility. Charles Blackwell was the most notable and effective of these figures; in 1964, interestingly, she recorded some tracks under the direction of the great American R&B guitarist Mickey Baker (yes, the same one who played on Mickey & Sylvia's "Love Is Strange"), who was then based in France.
Starting in 1964, Hardy made periodic attempts to capture the international market with English recordings. Although these weren't entirely unsuccessful ("All Over the World" was actually a British Top 20 hit in 1965), by the late '60s she was concentrating on more mainstream, middle-of-the-road material and arrangements on both her French and English sessions. She has remained popular in France until the present.

Disc 1
1. L'Amitié
2. Des Ronds Dans L'Eau
3. Viens-Là
4. Ma Jeunesse Fout L'Camp
5. Je Ne Sais Pas Ce Que Je Veux
6. La Terre
7. J'Ai Fait De Lui Un Rêve
8. A Quoi Ca Sert
9. Ouverts Ou Fermés
10. Comment Te Dire Adieu?
11. Il N'Y A Pas D'Amour Heureux (Version 2)
12. Parlez-Moi De Lui
13. L'Anamour
14. Suzanne (English Version)
15. Etonnez-Moi Benoit...! (Single Version)
16. Où Va La Chance?
17. C'Est Lui Qui Dort
18. L'Heure Bleue
19. Au Fil Des Nuits Et Des Journées
20. J'Ai Coupé Le Téléphone
21. Loving You
22. Traume
23. Soleil
24. Je Fais Des Puzzles
25. Point
26. Fleur De Lune
27. Le Crabe
28. Un Petit Sourire, Un Petit Mot
29. Tu Ressembles A Tous Ceux Qui Ont Eu Du Chagrin

Disc 2
1. La Question
2. Chanson D'O
3. Doigts
4. La Maison
5. Le Martien
6. T'Es Pas Poli (with Patrick Dewaere)
7. L'Eclairage
8. La Berlue
9. Où Est-Il?
10. Prisons
11. Le Soir
12. Et Si Je M'En Vais Avant Toi...
13. If You Listen
14. Until It'S Time For You To Go
15. Let My Name Be Sorrow
16. Message Personnel
17. Flashbacks
18. Chanson Sur Toi Et Nous
19. L'Impasse
20. J'Ecoute De La Musique Saoule
21. Occupé
22. Branche Cassée
23. Si C'Est Vraiment, Vraiment Vrai
24. Que Tu M'Enterres
25. Partir Quand Même (Single Version)

Disc 3
1. Si Ca Fait Mal
2. Revenge Of The Flowers
3. To The End (with Blur)
4. Mode D'Emploi
5. Le Danger
6. Dix Heures En Eté
7. Les Madeleines
8. Contre-Jour
9. Un Peu D'Eau (Single Version)
10. La Beauté Du Diable
11. Regarde-Toi
12. Jeanne (with Air)
13. Puisque Vous Partez En Voyage (with Jacques Dutronc - Remix Dbf)
14. Duck's Blues
15. Celui Que Tu Veux (with Ol)
16. Tous Mes Souvenirs Me Tuent
17. I'll Be Seing You (wih Iggy Pop)
18. Contre Vents Et Marées
19. So Sad (with Etienne Daho - Alternate Mix)
20. Clair Obscur


320 KBPS

1. Tant De Belles Choses...
2. À L'ombre De La Lune
3. Jardinier Bénévole
4. Moments
5. Soir De Gala
6. Sur Quel Volcan ?
7. So Many Things
8. Grand Hôtel
9. La Folie Ordinaire
10. Un Air De Guitare
11. Tard Dans La Nuit...
12. Côté Jardin, Côté Cour

(PARENTHESES...) (2006)
320 KBPS

1. Que Reste-T-Il De Nos Amours ? (with Alain Bashung)
2. Modern Style (with Alain Delon)
3. Amour Toujours, Tendresse, Caresses... (with Jacques Dutronc)
4. Partir Quand Même (with Julio Iglesias)
5. My Beautiful Demon (with Ben Christophers)
6. Soleil (with Alain Souchon)
7. Cet Enfant Que Je T'Avais Fait (with Rodolphe Burger)
8. Le Fou De La Reine (with Henri Salvador)
9. Les Sédiments (with Arthur H)
10. La Rue Du Babouin (with Maurane)
11. La Valse Des Regrets (with Hélène Grimaud)
12. Des Lendemains Qui Chantent (with Benjamin Biolay)


Luuk said...

Great set. Thank you very much!

Mark said...

Very big thanks for (Parentheses...) especially. It's lovely! Who produced the album?

(Et a quand Marcel Kanche?!)