French Pop #2 : Les Yéyés
Since the yéyés, when France translates and adapts foreigners.
Propos extraits de la French Pop de Mélanie Bauer, chaque dimanche de 21 à 23h.
One of the main questions that we would like to answer in this show : is when did it go wrong ? It meaning the french music. Nothing was really bad, if we consider the classical music, nothing was really bad until, hum... the 60's and the yéyé's.
When you think about it, before the yeyes, France had Boris Vian, a fantastic author, writter, hanging around Saint Germain des Prés with amazing artists and intellectuals : Juliette Greco was falling for Miles Davis, she was singing poetry, Jean Cocteau was inventing a very poetic cinema... The 50's were so glorious in France that what happened next could only be deceving.
The worst came with rock & roll, this music, on the contrary to jazz, was a desaster for us. With this new music, ordinary french people fell into this modern fashion, and started to pretend they were american enventhough they had just a vague idea of what was this country and didn't know a world of english, producing then in the process preposterous artists. The first rock songs, came with Henry Salvador, he sang on a 4 tracks vynil a parodie of rock and changed his name to Henry Cording in 1956, the lyrics were signed Vernon Sinclair, aka Boris Vian, and the music was composed by Big Mike aka Michel Legrand...
Quite good for a joke, isn't it ?
Boris Vian, who was as well behind the lyrics of the now classic ”Fais-moi mal Johnny” by Magali Noel... (listen here).
Later, with the actor and director, Jean Yanne, in 1962, someone has finally the guts to sing that something is wrong with this music : "J'aime pas le rock"' ; this song, "I dont like rock" is a cry for taste, what is this music for christ sake !
The worst came with rock & roll
A very funny song against this new fashion coming in 1962, the awfull's yéyé's.
What can we think of the adaptation of the Bob B Soxx and the Blue Jeans hits in France ? In america, it was produced by Phil Spector, they had a break with Zip-a-dee-doo-dah ; Phil Spector always said a hit has to be stupid, and in France they were adapted by the Gam's, the song "Why Do Lovers Break Each Others Hearts"... became "Oui Les Filles" and the Scopitone the ancestor of the video, was filmed by Claude Lelouch yes the great videast made this short sequence in a shop where those girls are picking clothes and singing "yes les filles" how can we keep our men...
Those girls were formely chorist of Claude François, who did lots of adaptations of american standards, and Gilbert Becaud, Mr 100 000 volts (that was his nickname) who managed to be himself used and translated for Elvis Presley "Et maintenant" became "What now my love" and by Nancy Sinatra "Je t'appartiens" became "Let it be me".
See you on sunday !