Welcome back to The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, brought to you by your Babypop crew. This month we celebrate the return to the stage of the one and only Michel Polnareff. We can’t wait, we will be coming together from London, Panama and Sydney just for the event. We did the same in 2007 when Polnareff last graced the stage. We have two shows plus a side slot just to warm from Radiohead and ELO. What a trip!
Anyways, let’s start the show then with Mr Polnareff himself.
Michel Polnareff – Tout, tout pour ma cherie
We open the show in the same way we will finish it, with the sublime Michel Polnareff, in honour of his return to live performance this May. This is a great example of sheer effortless of the master. A great song, put on the b-side of a single from 1969. Oh, the clip is from the last time Michel toured in 2007. Oh yes, we were there twice at Bercy. That was a weird experience for all of us, flying over to Paris to see a French singer in Paris. But the kicker, the guy selling beer at the stadium was an Aussie!
Variations – Generations
Time to get heavy, into some deep, deep psych from Variations. Released in 1971, this slab of hard rocking garage was one of their rare forays into French language lyrics. They were also one of the first french bands to be signed to a US major label. Yes. It rocks hard.
Santa-Maria – Donne-Moi Ton Coeur Et Ta Fleur
Released in 1970, the b-side is a nice compliment to the Variations track. It has such a cool psych guitar running through it. It is without doubt, a dance floor filler, and in compliance with our ‘rules’, we have never played it at a club, as we have only just acquired the single. Weird thing is that is normally really cheap to find in shops and online. This is not one of those rare as hens teeth chanson nuggets.
Los Persuaders – El Gruñón
OK, cheating a little here. This is Mexican, but what a cool surf sound. This great EP from 1964 has four tops surf instrumentals, but this is the best. There is so much cool distortion in the twin guitar work, plus a really nice set of horns. Being honest, I think I just bought it for the cover, those legs would be a cool party poster, but it turned out more than that. Just enjoy it!
Jean-Claude Pelletier et les “Fans” – Surf’ace
What can I tell you about this? French easy listening doing surf? From an EP called Beat Time from 1964, this cool little instrumental has a funky organ break and a great sax solo.
Frank Alamo – Le Chef de La Bande
OK, now we have middle of the road chanson’er Frank Alamo (known in BP circles mainly for his floor filling version of Happy Together) doing his slowed down take on the Shangri-Las death song ‘Leader of the Pack’ from 1965. Weird thing here is that in order to keep the gender specificity of the track, he employs a female voice to the do the spoken word bits, then sings the rest of it himself. Very strange indeed. Great die cut cover on the 7″ as well.
Die Crazy Girls – Der Feuerstuhl
Onto a German version of the same song, this time at least done by a female group as opposed to good ‘ole Frank, from the year of our lord 1965, the Crazy Girls had all the right sound effects to make this death song resonate in German. Sorry Frank, they win for cred. You win for weird.
Christine Lebail – Deux Jours Ave Toi
Right, onto some Yé-yé girls, and from the more obscure end of the canon is Christine Lebail and this track from the 1965 EP produced by Michel Colombier. I don’t think of this swinging mademoiselle’s work has ever been comped. More the pity.
Tiny Yong – Tais-Toi Petite Folle
A really nice little slow burner is this track from ye-ye outsider Tiny Yong. Released in 1963, it was released on the Salvador label and was a ‘Henri Salvador’ production, for what that’s worth. Oh, and there is this great Scopitone which I have only just found. God bless youtube.
Sabine – Sur Les Campus Americains
Can’t tell you much about this track. From 1970, got some funky cool breaks in it. Got it at a small little shop in Melbourne. From the labelling it came from the record library of SBS, the multicultural broadcaster in Australia. Until today, I think I have listened to it once to see if it was danceable and decided it was a ‘bit seventies’ for that. But it really rocks. My bad
Michel Polnareff – Monsieur L’abbé
We finish as we started with Polnareff and a track from 1971 opus Polnareff’s. You can’t fault this LP, it has some amazing tracks and should rightly be viewed as a classic of the early seventies. If only it wasn’t for the arse showing….
Well, that wraps another diverse set of tracks from the Babypop crew. We hope you enjoyed it as much as we did, until next time. Au Revoir.
Bonus track :