It is February, its cold. Maybe the beat has left you for a little while. Well my friends, this edition of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly will warm even the coldest, darkest of hearts, brought to you by your friendly Babypop crew. On this show we have stompers from Aphrodite’s Child, Marc Hamilton, Polnareff, plus some anglaise lyrics from Françoise Hardy and some reggae from Serge, but let’s start with the beautiful Sylvie Vartan…
Face au Soleil – Sylvie Vartan
Let’s kick off with amazing psych-lite (popsike?) of Sylvie Vartan and this track from 1969. Arranged and ‘directed’ by the legendary Jean-Claude Vannier and co-written by Mick Jones (later of Foreigner) the title of the track translates as ‘Facing the Sun’
Maintenant ou Jamais (If you gotta go go now) – Johnny Hallyday
From the title that just says ‘Johnny’, this Hallyday EP from 1966 has the aforementioned Johnny shouting out and proud that he is clearly the star of the French pop scene. Taking on covers of Wilson Pickett (In the Midnight Hour) and the Beatles (Girl) he steps his game up one step further with this Dylan cover. There was no artist Johnny wouldn’t take on with his own powerful voice and slightly OTT productions. Rock on
L’ami Caouette – Serge Gainsbourg
This single from 1975 is a fine example of the carribean themes that Gainsbourg was exploring in the later stages of his career. There is a strong carribean flavour to the percussion on this single only release.
In the sky – Françoise Hardy
The delightful Ms Hardy from 1970 and the LP one-nine-seven-zero (also released ‘Alone’ and ‘English 3’ depending on the territory). Singing in English, the lovely track is quite propulsive in its own way, especially the brass section in the middle eight. Glorious.
La Femme aux Faux-Cils by Michel Polnareff and Annie Giradot
From the soundtrack to ‘Erotissimo’ – Un Film De Gérard Pirès from 1968 we have Polnareff at his funky best with the track La Femme aux Faux-Cils. Yes, this is cheating because it comes from a compile as the original was not ever released at the time. The chanteuse on the track in Annie Giradot, an actress from the film itself (which also starred Serge Gainsbourg would you believe?)
You always stand in my way – Aphrodite’s Child
Oh lord, oh lordy yes. So the A-side of this song by the Greek band that spawned both Vangelis and Demis Roussos is dross, this b-side is so damned funky and danceable. Who would have thunk it? 1969 was the year by the way. I think I have found a new dance floor stomper by accident.
La Question – Marc Hamilton
We have featured Marc Hamilton before. This 1971 song from the French Canadian crooner (released in France) is another b-side belter (the a-side Rosemary is a bit crap). From the funky guitar part at the start, through to the breaks, this is gold (and its my 1 euro bargain for the show). It goes to show that great stuff sits in the cheap singles baskets still, just waiting to be found.
Tu Veux, Tu Veux pas – Zanini
French jazz player Marcel Zanini does his take on the track made famous by Brigitte Bardot, which really takes off in the brass chorus, it was some some serious swing cred and some brilliant honky tonk piano playing. I am not entirely sure if this is a ‘comedy’ record or is simply the take on it.
Special 230 – Andre Brasseur and his Multi Sound organ
Murmuraron – Lola Flores
Smrt Klovna (Death of a clown) – Radmilla Mikic
Yugoslav ye-ye with Radmilla Mikic to wrap up the show. This time we get the Dave Davies ‘Death of a Clown’ co-written by his brother of the Kinks, which did feature on the Kinks 1967 LP Something Else by the Kinks. However this version has been translated in ‘Yugoslav’ as it was then and given a slightly cutesy treatment by Radmilla.
Well, thats it for another show. As always, the Babypop crew appreciate your listening and subsequent telling of friends, family, kin and enemies about this show. The more you listen, the more we smile!