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 An American view

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sundridge18
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Message(#) Sujet: An American view Jeu 19 Sep 2013 - 2:03

Whilst surfing the net I came across this rather amusing critique from across the Atlantic.
 http://badcatrecords.com/BadCat/HARDYfrancoise.htm  Apologies for not copying it here but the colours do not come out well.  Enjoy!
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Jérôme
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Message(#) Sujet: Re: An American view Jeu 19 Sep 2013 - 7:13

Francoise Hardy is the ultimate Yé-Yé girl ...   Nothing but sexist speculation on my part, but I'm guessing that thousands of young men (and probably quite a few women), bought this album just for the cover photo ...  I certainly would have if I'd been of the record buying age in 1962.  

Released with the title "Francoise Hardy", based on the hit single  the collection was widely referred to as "Tous les garçons et les filles" (roughly translated as "all the boys and the girls").  From a musical standpoint one of the album's most interesting interesting characteristics came in the form of writing credits.  Unlike most of her contemporaries, the then-eighteen year old Hardy wrote most of her own material (largely co-written with producer/composer Roger Samyn) and was allowed to actually record it.  Of the twelve tracks on the debut LP, only two were outside covers.  Even established acts like The Beatles and The Stones had a hard time convincing labels to allow them that much creative latitude.  Musically the set was pretty impressive.  Admittedly, Hardy didn't have the greatest voice you've ever heard.  If pushed, she could belt it out with considerable energy (check out the up-tempo 'Le Temps de L'Amour'), but her natural disposition seemed to be the aural equivalent of neutral gear,  Exemplified by songs like the stark ballad 'La Fille Avec Toi' and 'C’est à l’amour auquel je pense' her comfort zone seemed to be mid-tempo ballads where she could sulk along in a slightly anonymous, quasi-monotone.  As an 18 year old, she also displayed a penchant for depressing, love-focused lyrics which might well have driven emotionally tenuous folks to do bad things to themselves.  A couple more up tempo numbers wouldn't have hurt the mix.  All those criticisms aside, Hardy had a special appeal making these twelve songs well worth hearing.  

- While it was a gigantic French hit, admittedly the title track isn't going to appeal to everyone.  Penned by Hardy and composer Roger Samyn, 'Tous le Garcons et Les Filles' was a highly sentimental (almost saccharine), heavily arranged love song saved by the fact the French lyrics covered up some of the other flaws.  Also in it's favor was the fact this was Francois Hardy and you barely noticed the French lyrics    YouTube has a cool early-60s promotional video for the song.  Admittedly the amusement park setting was a little bizarre as was the segment showing girls' skirts flying up in the air: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UKBI2kc_x-I   For hardcore fans, Hardy's record label pushed her to record an English version of the song under the title 'Find Me a Boy'.  Because her English was limited, the results were pretty rough, though the accompanying low-tech promotional film clip was cute:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GM5gCwVk15s   rating: **** stars

-Another Hardy original, 'Ca a rate' was an interesting change of pace.  Musically the song exhibited what sounded like a touch of Elvis Presley/rockabilly swagger with some really strange pauses.  Sounds strange and it was, but somehow Hardy managed to pull it off.  rating: *** stars

- 'La Fille Avec Toi' ( I think it translates as 'The Girl with You'), showcased Hardy in a folk spotlight; imagine a young, French Joni Mitchell, or Joan Baez.  Just Hardy accompanied by some strummed acoustic guitar and a plucky bass line, there wasn't a great deal to the song.  Pretty enough, but a touch too fey for my personnel tastes.  YouTube has a black and white television performance of the song:  even the audience seemed relieved when the song was over.   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kAOyFsNE3Hk   rating: ** stars

-  Bobby Lee Trammel recorded the song under the title 'Uh Oh' back in 1958, giving it a cool, if slightly goofy Buddy Holly-vocal and arrangement (well worth checking out).  I have absolutely no idea how Hardy stumbled across this obscurity, but her cover (retitled 'Oh Oh Cheri') stuck pretty close to the original arrangement.  It must have sounded pretty wild to her French audience.  rating: *** stars

- Originally recorded by José Salcy and his Jam’s, Hardy's cover of 'Le Temps de L'Amour' was one of my picks for standout performance.  With a nifty, hipster edge, it was probably the album's closest brush with a rock feel.  YouTube has a short black and white performance clip of the sing at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Snys9LGMAmo   rating: **** stars

- 'Il est Tout Pour Moi' (I think it translates along the lines of 'he's all mine'), was kind of an oddity for Hardy in that it had an uplifting, positive lyric and a bouncy, poppish beat.  Just because it was different,  I love it.  rating: **** stars

- Another bouncy, highly commercial pop song, 'On se plaît' actually generated a bit more energy than your typical Hardy song.  The track also has some nice lead guitar wailing away in the background.   rating: **** stars

- 'Ton meilleur am' ('Only Friends'), found Hardy reverting back to downbeat, depressing ballad.  This one at least had some interesting circus organ going for it.  I've only heard it a couple of times, but there's also an interesting English version of the song.   YouTube has a black and white performance clip of the track.  Wonder if she could have found a stiffer backing band ...:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sM_9XCxDSeE   rating: *** stars

- Originally I didn't think much of the mid-tempo ballad 'J’ai jeté mon cœur', but it's one of the songs that grows on you with time and underscored Hardy's instantly recognizable voice.  It also features one of the nicer electric guitar performances (not that you buy a Francoise Hardy LP for the electric guitar solos).   rating: *** stars

- 'Il est parti un jour' found Hardy returning to rockabilly territory ... well as rockabilly as an 18 year old French girl could get.    Again, probably  because it was just such a strange sound, I've got to admit a fascination with this one.  Great rock-oriented backing instrumentation on this one.    rating: **** stars

- 'J’suis d’accord' shook things up with Hardy using her best 'little girl lost' voice and adding a  touch of country twang to the mix.  She performed the song in the Roger Vadim produced comedy Château en Suède (known in the States under the title Nutty, Naughty Chateau).  YouTube has a clip of the performance at:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bmXWWrWTAo4   rating: *** stars

- The closer 'C’est à l’amour auquel je pense' was another track with a modest country-flavor.  Nice lead guitar on this one.  rating: *** stars

"Francoise Hardy" track listing:
(side 1)
1.) Tous le Garcons et Les Filles   (Francois Hardy - Roger Samyn) - 3:08

2.) Ca a rate   (Francois Hardy - Roger Samyn) - 2:02

3.) La Fille Avec Toi   (Francois Hardy - Roger Samyn) - 2:40

4.) Oh Oh Cheri   (Jil et Jan - Bobby Lee Trammel) - 2:22

5.) Le Temps de L'Amour   (Andre Salvet - Lucien Morisse - Jacques Dutrone) - 2:27

6.) Il est Tout Pour Moi   (Francois Hardy - Roger Samyn) - 1:58


(side 2)
1.) On se plaît   (Francois Hardy - Roger Samyn) - 2:09

2.) Ton meilleur am   (Francois Hardy - Roger Samyn) - 2:10

3.) J’ai jeté mon cœur   (Francois Hardy - Roger Samyn) - 2:33

4.) Il est parti un jour   (Francois Hardy - Roger Samyn) - 1:49

5.) J’suis d’accord   (Francois Hardy - Roger Samyn) - 2:05

6.) C’est à l’amour auquel je pense   (Francois Hardy - Roger Samyn) - 3:10

I don't claim to understand French marketing schemes, but in case you didn't want to buy the album, you could have bought a series of three EPs that covered the same territory; all twelve songs on the debut LP, spread across three EPs.  The only advantage that comes to mind from such a purchasing option would be the fact you got three EP photos of Ms. Hardy, as opposed to one with the LP.

http://badcatrecords.com/BadCat/HARDYfrancoise.htm
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Jérôme
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Message(#) Sujet: Re: An American view Jeu 19 Sep 2013 - 7:14

According to me, a very approximate point of view. Wink 
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Message(#) Sujet: Re: An American view Dim 22 Sep 2013 - 18:45

Citation :
young men (and probably quite a few women), bought this album just for the cover photo
The ultimate rubbish that people knowing nothing about Françoise Hardy like to copy and paste anywhere.  confus Not worth even a reading. colere
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Message(#) Sujet: Re: An American view Dim 22 Sep 2013 - 22:06

Well,given its provenance this is not surprising!!!
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Message(#) Sujet: A view from THE USA Sam 18 Jan 2014 - 3:54

Whilst surfing the net I came across this review of some of Francoise's work
 http://badcatrecords.com/BadCat/HARDYfrancoise.htm (I tried to copy and paste it but it did not come out very well).
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Message(#) Sujet: Re: An American view Sam 18 Jan 2014 - 9:49

It seems you like to recall your own reminders.  clown 
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