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 "The Poverty of French Rock ‘n’ Roll" by Larry Portis

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Date d'inscription : 01/04/2010

MessageSujet: "The Poverty of French Rock ‘n’ Roll" by Larry Portis   Dim 23 Déc 2012 - 1:21

An extract from chapter 6 of Larry Portis' book "French Frenzies: A Social History of Pop Music in France" (2004);---
"This change in the orientation of French popular music (rock and roll) once again coincided with changes in the United States and Great Britain, producing contradictory influences. In the United States, the reassertion of corporate control over the popular music industry was fairly complete by 1958. The resulting “normalization” of the music, plus the aging of the postwar youth cohort and the impact of historically specific events such as the Civil Rights Movement, contributed to the development of commercialized “folk” music from 1960, closely followed by the success of the “Motown sound.” In France, Françoise Hardy, a young student at the Sorbonne, first expressed the new trend by combining the yé yé sensibility with a new intimacy that was far more profound.

With her long, straight hair and the moody lyrics of her own compositions, Françoise Hardy anticipated in France the important transition from the relative lack of social consciousness and the materialist superficiality of the 1950s to the romantic idealism of the 1960s popularized in the United States by Joan Baez, Peter, Paul and Mary, Bob Dylan and others.

At a time when Sylvie Vartan and Sheila dominated the yé yé scene, with their bouffant hairdos and little-girl acts, Francoise Hardy successfullv pioneered a synthesis of the new youth sensibility with the intimate tradition of the chanson réaliste. Her first hit, “ Tous Les Garçons et les Filles” (All the girls and boys), is a rock and roll ballad built upon the most classic chord progression (the C, A minor, F, G used, for example, in Ritchie Valens’ “Donna”). It established the pattern for her future work, a combination of tasteful instrumentation and her own bittersweet lyrics that re-introduced the poetic tradition into the “pop” mainstream of French popular music."
http://libcom.org/library/poverty-french-rock-%E2%80%98n%E2%80%99-roll-larry-portis
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