Françoise Hardy – Françoise Hardy (el/Cherry Red Records)


cover art

On paper Françoise Hardy’s music shouldn’t work nearly as well as it does. After all, when was the last time an attractive teenage girl made lighthearted pop music that was not only worth a listen, but that stood the test of time decades later? Hardy was just 18 when she burst onto the international scene in 1962 with her self-titled debut and it’s a surprisingly assured first foray into music. She wisely stayed away from cheap and disposable music aimed at the youth market, and instead sung in a voice that was soft, low and intimate. The music her backing group (unfortunately credited just as Roger Samyn and His Orchestra) made was the perfect fit for her voice. It’s simple pop, with splashes of jazz, light country and other delights from the pre-Beatles era. All the songs are in French, but that doesn’t make great songs like “Oh Oh Cheri”, “Le Temps De L’Amour” and “Je Suis D’Accord” any harder to love if you don’t speak the language.

This new 2013 reissue also includes her ten-song 1963 Italian-language album Françoise Hardy Canta Per Voi In Italiano (or Françoise Hardy Sings For You In Italian), which is a step less interesting than the debut (which it shares a few tracks with), due to flatter mono sound and intrusive production touches like a vocal choir and bad saxophone solos that ruin re-recordings of “Oh, Oh Cheri” and “Je Suis D’Accord”, respectively.

Tracklisting:

1. TOUS LES GARÇONS ET LES FILLES (ALL THE BOYS AND GIRLS)
2. ÇA A RATÉ
3. LA FILLE AVEC TOI
4. OH OH CHÉRI
5. LE TEMPS DE L’AMOUR
6. IL EST TOUT POUR MOI
7. ON SE PLAÎT
8. TON MEILLEUR AMI
9. J’AI JETÉ MON CŒUR
10. IL EST PARTI UN JOUR
11. J’SUIS D’ACCORD
12. C’EST A L’AMOUR AUQUEL JE PENSE FRANÇOISE HARDY CANTA PER VOI IN ITALIANO
13. L’ETA DELL’AMORE (LE TEMPS DE L’AMOUR)
14. IL TUO MIGLIORE AMICO (TON MEILLEUR AMI)
15. E ALL’AMORE CHE PENSO (C’EST A L’AMOUR AUQUEL JE PENSE)
16. UNA RAGAZZA COME LE ALTRE (COMME TANT D’AUTRES)
17. QUELLI DELLA MIA ETA (TOUS LES GARÇONS ET LES FILLES)
18. L’AMORE VA (L’AMOUR S’EN VA)
19. CI STO (J’SUIS D’ACCORD)
20. PER TANTO TEMPO (BIEN LONGTEMPS)
21. OH OH CHERI
22. IO VORREI (CAPIRTI) (SAURI-JE)