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Trash Cookies | Tag Archive | France Gall

Tag Archive | "France Gall"

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French Pop Revival

Posted on 07 September 2008 by LoryGil

 

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A few years ago, Quentin Tarantino’s sorely underrated grind-house flick, Death Proof blew movie goers away with its subtle genius. In addition to being a thrill ride of action and danger, it had soundtrack typical of Tarantino’s style; great songs by fairly obscure or long-forgotten artists.  For example, he revived the R & B hit of the 70’s, “Son of a Preacher man” by Dusty Springfield in Pulp Fiction, and he introduced us to the Japanese pop group The 5678s in Kill Bill Vol. 1. This go-around, the song “Chick Habit” caught the attention of music lovers. Fueling an underground revival of French Pop.

“Chick Habit” is sung by April March, an American born francophone who specializes in 60’s French Pop. She covered Serge Gainsbourg’s “Laisse tomber les filles” in French, as well as its English version, “Chick Habit.” When you delve deeper into the roots of the song, you find French Pop and Ye-Ye Girls.

Laisse tomber les filles” was written by Gainsbourg for France Gall in 1964. Gall was Gainsbourg’s pet project in the 60s. She was fresh and innocent, with great sex appeal. France Gall’s voice was like hot chocolate from a candy shoppe. It was sweet and warm and has just enough flavor to make you want more. She had the perfect 60’s pop voice, similar to Nancy Sinatra in style. 

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Betweeen 1964 and 1967, Gall worked with Gainsbourg, singing his original songs. He was known for writing lyrics that had sexually innuendo, but Gall may not have realized what she was singing about. In hindsight, the Gainsbourg songs were some of her best, but at the time, the critics condemned her for singing such racy lyrics. 

Baby Pop is the story of a young girl who was forced to marry a much older man and lost her innocence, having only her music to keep her going. Les Sucettes is about eating lollipops, but has obvious undertones of oral sex. Nefertiti is about being obsessed with the Egyptian Queen in a post-mortem sort of way.

Gall finally ended her contract with Gainsbourg and, over the next decade, worked to develop her own sound and style. In the mid 70’s, she finally hit her stride and became a long-lived pop star.

Gall’s career spanned over 30 years until the 90’s when her husband and collaborator, Michel Berger, died after having a heart attack in 1992. She released one more studio album in 1996 and a few live albums after that, but retired from singing in 2001. Her later songs fall into the category of contemporary pop. By far, the shining time in her career was in her early years, when she was 17 and singing songs about baby sharks and sawdust dolls.

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