Track 1 – 7 heures du matin Track 2 – Ce Soir Je M’en VaisBorn 1948 in Carthage, Tunisia, the young Taïeb arrived in France with her parents at age eight. Her father gifted her with a guitar at 12 (like every good dad should do) which she must have really connected with, because soon she would be composing her own songs. It wasn’t long before a talent scout would discover her while singing with friends. It was ’66, and what an exciting time it must have been for the perky 18 year old singer-songwriter, scoring a contract with the record label Impact, and then being quickly whisked away off to London for her first recording sessions.
1967 saw a string of 7″ releases for the now 19 year old Jacqueline, but it’s this debut EP release (in January) that she is most well worshiped for. All four songs on the EP were composed by the young singer herself, which you have to remember for that time, was quite rare, as most female singers were expected to perform songs that had been written for them, or perhaps covers of other popular high selling hits.
Though the lead track, the almighty ye ye classic 7 heures du matin, was only a small hit at the time, it has gone on to become considered a classic of the French girl pop genre. It is the story of a young student waking up too early, at 7am, on a Monday morning, struggling with the thoughts of what the day will throw at her. She fantasizes about her boy crush Paul McCartney, helping her complete her homework, while tormenting on which sweater to wear for the day. Obviously a girl who is after trouble, the rebellious girl even considers playing her Elvis record loudly just to upset the neighbors. I mean really…how cute is that!?
It’s a simple song, but a huge dance floor monster! With it’s Steppin’ Stone garage power chords and it’s rebellious Elvis meets The Who attitude, it’s freakin’ impossible no to adore this one! And obviously very high in demand in the collectors circle. This track really brings back some great memories of the Sounds Of Seduction nights we once were fortunate to encounter here in Sydney in the 90’s, hosted by the great Jay Katz, (a friend who is responsible for introducing me to so much great lost European dance and film music of the sixties). And this song was also the trigger to the beginnings of my Yeye obsession!
Prolific French ye ye singer Sylvie Vartan, who is actually Bulgarian, really does a nice swinging beat cover of the classic Comin’ Home Baby. Although it was originally recorded by the Bob Dorough Quartet in 1961 on Two Feet in the Gutter (Epic BA 17021) and composed by Ben Tucker (Bailey’s Pianist), it’s the ultra cool and hip Mel Torme version that most people know and love. Bob Dorough of School House Rock Fame added lyrics to the song and the vocal version became a Top 40 hit for the American jazz man, but I find Vartan’s more obscure version which was released in ’63, even more exciting!
Sylvie started her professional singing career while still at school, in her late teens, firstly with the hit song “Panne d’essence” (1961) alongside French rocker Frankie Jordan. Dubbed by journalists as “la collégienne du twist” (the twisting schoolgirl) she quickly started attracting a lot of attention, and it was only a matter of time that this young self confessed jazz/rock n’ roll fanatic, got signed up and began her illustrious recording career. In 1963, Paul Anka offered her “I’m watching”, her first international hit (Japan, Korea) which is the opening B side track of this EP. It’s adorably sweet and quirky with her broken English vocals, and holds a pretty respectful beat! That same year her dreams of being an aspiring actress came true, starring in the movie D’où viens-tu, Johnny? alongside french rock legend Johnny Hallyday, who she toured with in France and ended up marrying in 1965. Six of her thirty-one songs released in 1962/1963 became top 20 European hits and she became the darling of teen magazines and TV, so suffice to say this was an exciting and pivotal moment in her early career!
So back to Ne T’en Vas Pas! The back beat is strong and mean, as it should be, although I do wish it was pushed up in the mix a bit more as with the driving bass (you dj’s will be doing just that on your mixer) and I love the high energy modish Hammond solo. I have to say I always find French female vocal translations of standards or other, so much more attractive and desirable (this is not open for debate!) and Vartan’s approach on this makes it so ultra sexy and worthy! As far as I can tell, it doesn’t look like this recording was ever released on any other 7″ format other than the picture RCA EP. Maybe some foreign presses were released? Not too difficult to find and highly recommended!
Born Isabelle Genevieve Marie Anne Gall 09.10.1947
I discovered this french chic many years ago searching through some old records in Paris, during my honeymoon. I couldn’t play my purchases until we returned back home, here in Australia, on the other side of the world, but when I finally did put down the needle to the vinyl, I was hooked on her…and still am to this day! What an amazing talent!
So much can be said about Gall, it’s fair to say the queen of the “ye ye” genre, but she is so much more. Having musical success from the age of 16, then soon collaborating with the legendary genius Serge Gainsbourg, and married to the late and great Michel Berger, this little lady, while quite prolific and mainstream, proved to be quite a power house vocalists, with a versatility that ranged from playful innocent teen pop, to scatty jazz and then more. Way too much to talk about in regards to this amazing woman here, but let’s just say her 60’s career was a bumpy ride. Although winning some worthy successful hits, a few of her recordings were marred with controversy and bad taste (thanks to Mr. Gainsbourg), not helping the young innocent and naive artist, and resulted in poor sales. But having said that, there is no Gall recording I don’t love, and I will have to do a special feature on her and her career some time soon.
So let’s talk ZOZOI! Easily the most sought after 45 of hers and rightly so. Released on La Compaigne, a new label for Gall, this is a contrast to her early sixties sweet pop and “yeye” recordings. Here, she is really turning on the seductive and steamy vocal chords in this latin bossa bonanza. Penned by her father-lyricist Robert Gall, recorded with the Brazilian master Pianist Cesar Camargo Mariano and his Sambalanço Trio, this is definitely new ground for her and is she just loving it. According to musicaltaste.com, while the band recorded in Brazil, the vocals were overdubbed later in France. Not an easy one to find in today’s market, but even rarer is the fantastico Italian vocal version, and I mean RARE! Sadly, I don’t have it, but really want it, so if you have a spare copy, I’ll be happy to take it! Released in 1970, it’s a must have! It’s French, it’s Latin, it’s Brazilian, it’s Tropicalia, and with that great horn section and that tempo, it’s as hot as this sweet little lady gets!
Music credits also go to Nelson Angelo.
Other France Gall recommendations…..
Le Temps du Tempo (1968), Jazz a gogo (1964) and Laisse tomber les filles (1964).
Highly recommended yeye website….