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120 tracks from France have been recommended.
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Chanson D'O  performed by Francoise Hardy  1971
Recommended by delicado [profile]

You might be familiar with Francoise's incredible 1971 album La Question, a track from which was recommended by another user almost four years ago (Oui, je dis adieu). I managed to get a friend to copy the album for me at the time, and I recall being very taken by 'Viens', the first song. I put this track on a compilation but somehow never really savoured the album as a whole.

Recently I found I could get the album on CD, so picked it up (along with another interesting Francoise album, 'If you listen').

The difference for me now I have the CD is vast, and I'm now able to appreciate the album in all its glory. The clincher for me is the blend of percussive Brazilian guitar, beautiful strings, and the Melody Nelson-style sparseness of the arrangements.

I chose this track to recommend because of the bizarre extra dimension brought by the fact that Francoise is just scatting - there are no words - and the intermittent moments of complete silence, which are surprising and really hold the attention. Parts of the chord sequence remind me of Henry Mancini (in particular, a track called 'Softly' from the Mr Lucky soundtrack), while the overall effect of the sexy echoey vocal naturally brings to mind Ennio Morricone's work with Edda Dell'Orso.

from La Question, available on CD (Virgin)

  26 Apr 06 ·ambassador: this album's a favorite of mine, too. I also really like her album "Soliel" of a couple years earlier. The interesting thing about this album is that the Brazilian female guitarist Tuca (just one name) backed her on this as she did on Nara Leao's gorgeous tribute to Bossa Nova (recorded in France), "Dez Anos Depois." If you listen to these albums side by side you can clearly here the similarities, not to say they sound identical. And doesn't Fracoise look stunning on the b&w album cover?
manon  performed by serge gainsbourg
Recommended by stemmer58 [profile]

dark and passionated in a now very retro euro continental style with decadent overtones in both its lyrics and musical tone.

from gainsbour greatest hits

Cha Cha Cha du Loup  performed by Serge Gainsbourg  19??
Recommended by Jackamaku [profile]

This is my favorite Serge Gainsbourg song after Ballade De Melody Nelson

available on CD - Couleur Café

  15 Dec 12 ·supercededman: Agreed, \"... Melody Nelson\" is a favourite of mine. A French woman I know recommended to me, and we saw the movie \"Gainsbourg\" - superb.
Les Jours Tristes  performed by Yann Tiersen  2001
Recommended by Jackamaku [profile]

This song is a vocal version of the intrumental song of the same name on the Amelie soundtrack.

available on CD - L'Absente

Sur ton répondeur  performed by Notre-Dame  1998
Recommended by texjernigan [profile]

This is Arnaud Fleurent Didier's earlier project, Notre-Dame, and I have to say that whatever it is that influences this guy is worth noting. He's the man that's really behind records, which is obvious when you look at the credits of every track on the site that's worth a damn, because if it's good its because he produced it. Ema Derton, the female vocalist on this track, shows up in a lot of the music on the label, whose voice reminds me of Mo Tucker, the girl who sings "After Hours" with the Velvet Underground. It's just clear beautiful and innocent.

from Chansons Françaises, available on CD (French Touche)

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