Friday, 13 January 2012

A rough guide to French 1970s music (aka: the music my mother loves)

Even though I was born in the early 1990s, my life, or at least my knowledge of the world of the music industry was not like that of other people my age. I did watch the Powerrangers and have had several Furbies whom I dearly loved, but other than that, the 1990s have never really been my era. Therefore, the artists I listened to also did not look like this:

or like this:

The artists I listened to were men (of which some with beards) with either disco clothing, suits or silly 1970s shirts that will never ever become fashionable again. Oh, and they were French. And who is the one that can be blamed for this? Right, that is my mother. Although I do admit "blame" might not be the best word to describe this whole situation because, and let's be perfectly honest for once: the music that was produced by boybands and girlbands in the 1990s was awful.

Anyhow, my mother was born in the year 1960 in a little village in France and moved to a cold small country that is formally called The Kingdom of the Netherlands when she was twenty years old. During the 1990s, my mother had already lived for several years in this country, but as some of you may know already: most French people love anything French. Back in the rural 1990s, my mom belonged to this group and tried to revive her past by playing the artists she loved as a teenager all day long. And throughout these years, I have become a semi-expert at French 1970s music. However, whenever I want to make fun about the death of Claude François or talk about the music of Stone & Charden causes me headaches, people never know what I am talking about.
So that's why I will present you all a brief selection of the French artists that were popular 30 to 40 years ago and that I do want you to know about.

Who thinks poorly dressed women in video clips are of recent date have never seen any of Claude François' music videos. Claude François - once a blond disco sex god, preferably sang about exotic places such as Brazil and Egypt while being surrounded by his dance group les Claudettes who would usually wear shimmering bikinis while Claude himself happily danced along in a suit.
But why joke about his death, you may wonder. Cloclo died in the year 1978 in his bathroom, where he had electrocuted himself in his bathtub. If I may believe my mother, every France girl was in shock and cried for days, but cruel as I am, I always imagine him blowdrying his golden hair in his own bathtub and die because of that - and find that thought funny.

Those who genuinely love the happy life without worries would love Joe Dassin. Singing happy songs about cars, Paris and America (Joe grew up in in the United States) throughout the 1960s and 1970s with a smile on his face made him the perfect charmeur.

When I was twelve years old, I saw a picture of Michel Fugain wearing peach coloured pants and red platform boots in a book and ever since I have never been able to clear up my mind about this man. Every time I hear Une belle histoire - which is rather often, because he is one of those French singers who have also gained some fame outside of France - I think of a bearded man on platform boots. Luckily I have never seen that picture again. Michel is actually still active as a singer and tours Europe once in a while.

Honestly, I know nothing about Michel Delpech except for the fact that he apparently loves flirting with several girls in one day on fields. This one song, however, is insanely catchy (especially the lalala-part is) and whenever I'm bored, Michels lalalalas often invade my brain and stay there for another couple of days. 
Watching this video is at your risk.

And last and certainly also least are Stone et Charden. The voice of Stone, the woman, literally causes headaches and whenever my mother has to pick me up somewhere with her car and this CD is playing I turn it off immediately. And they sometimes even still perform - I hope the public won't forget to take their paracetamols with them.

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