Various Artists: Girls In The Garage Vol. 10 Groovy Gallic Gals! (Past and Present)

For this volume of Girls In The Garage the compilers focused on French-language songs from France (duh!) and the French-speaking regions of Canada and Belgium, dating from 1964 through 1970. The Girls In The Garage title coupled with the album cover (see above) may inspire visions of savage garage rock oozing with fuzz guitars and bad attitudes, but these seventeen songs are straight-up pop. However, it’s a Francois Hardy-meets-pre-Revolver Beatles type of pop that’s well-crafted and undeniably fun, even if you suspect that most of these singers were naïve teenagers who had no idea what they were doing. One of them, Christine Pilzer, is even photographed on the back cover wearing an operator’s headset, as if she recorded “Ils Pataugen” on a lunch break and then simply went back to her mundane job. The pop thrills are plentiful, but standouts include Liz Brady’s brassy “Un Garcon Dit A Une Fille,” which ends with “The Beatles” (aka her friends pretending to be John, Paul, Ringo and George) saying goodbye to her, Clothilde’s “La Chanson Bete Et Mechante,” and the killer groove of “La Moustache A Papa” by Anna Bell. Is it the best song ever written about a father’s itchy moustache? I’ll leave that burning question for you to debate amongst yourselves. However, if you’re considering buying the album, I’d recommend acting quickly as this is a Record Store Day 2017 release, limited to 2,000 hand-numbered copies on 180-gram orange vinyl.