France Gall France Gall

Most fans of France's early work write her off after the 60s, but, as I've mentioned before, there are a few surprisingly good tracks among her early 70s output. I think I've heard a couple I don't mind from 73, but generally she loses me after 72. The best from 70-72 are the outstanding bossa nova track 'Zozoï' and the two Gainsbourg-penned songs, 'Frankenstein' and 'Les Petits Ballons'. All nicely show France has grown from the jazzy ye-ye girl to a softer, more mellow style, with her sweet voice still in tact. (The above pics are not the best indicators of that, coming from a German magazine where her work at this time was far more kitsch!). It's after this that her voice adopts that cookie-cutter AM radio vibrato and her material becomes sappy soft pop that holds little interest for those who loved the bite in her earlier work.

'Cinq Minutes D'Amour' is an interesting transitional song - it's clearly already in 70s soft rock, AM radio-friendly territory, but has enough pleasing qualities to save it. Her vocals retain that naturalness that she loses later.

France Gall - 5 minutes d'amour cover
  1. France Gall - Cinq minutes d'amour (1972)
  2. France Gall - Sole, mare, cielo, amore (1976)

Her French early 70s work is pretty rare - none has been released on CD, except for Zozoï. But these Italian versions are ultra, mega, ridiculously rare! Once again, I have the lovely reader Gerry to thank for this track. Yep, it's '5 minutes' in Italian... I'm not sure why it was released 4 years later in Italy, but that's the date according to Douce... France Gall.

Watch her perform 'Cinq Minutes...' on Top à Fugain (1972) here. You can buy a DVD of this show (and lots of other rare French 60s music TV stuff) from Retro Franco. (Update: There was an offical DVD release of this program, which you can still buy from some sellers).

This will be my last post for a while (see my last comment for why) so I'll leave you with a couple more France Gall treats:

France Gall magazine ad (small)

A rare magazine ad from 1967 (Click for full size).

France Gall au téléphone

I'm not sure exactly what this is, it seems to be from a TV spot where they're filming her life. I don't know if this is a real phone interview or just for the cameras... enlighten me, Francophones?

*Edit: forgot to mention this clip has part of the scopitone video for 'Ne Sois Pas Si Bête'... looks like a restored version perhaps, I haven't seen such a clear copy before.

Comments (13)

  • J  
    Great post. Thank you!
  • Mark  
    Thanks for the songs and pics, plus all those vids! Post again when you have the time, quality beats quantity anytime.
  • bruno  
    Hi Christine,sad to hear you're taking a break,but I'll see you around,love "5 minutes",great song and doesn't France look lovely in the video?I seem to be unable to get the telephone clip,technical problem? Take care and drop on by sometime... All the best! :)
    • Christine  
      Should work if you click the first part of the link. I've removed the accents but still can't get the link to take on the word 'Telephone'. Let me know if it still doesn't work.
      • bruno  
        Got it to work!Looks like it's not a real phone interview,something staged for the camera's.But interesting anyway...I suppose it was really weird for her to view the old images.
  • mordi  
    I'm sat here listening to cinq minutes d'amour and i'm feeling really sad that you may not post again. I know it can be frustrating when you blog and take make the effort to choose good songs, find pictures and research the artist and then nobody leaves a commnet. I know it can feel like you are wasting your time. I too have the same feelings sometimes.

    I, for one will miss you and some of the obscure and rare songs you have posted. I will never forget jodie foster on a swing singing comic strip!!!!
    hope to 'see' you around!

    Mordi xx

    thanks for these fab fg songs.
    • Christine  
      :( oh no, now i feel guilty! :D The comments isn't even the main thing, it's just so so tiring to do this. I hope to do something in the future, whether it's continuing the blog or doing a related website, so fear not!
  • Guuzbourg  
    Ofcourse, you're always free to do a guest-selection on my blog, and I'm guessing on the blogs of Bruno and Mordi as well.
  • Guuzbourg  
    Owwww, Cinq minutes is such a great song! Thanks so much for posting it!
  • Gerry  
    Hi there, my lovely Christine ! Thanks so much for everything you post here. Thanks to you, I came across many cover versions of France Gall songs, that I didn't know before. Sad to hear that you want to take a longer break. But I hope to stay in contact with you via e-mail ? I think there are still a few songs from France Gall (and referring bands and cover versions) that you still don't have, right ? I could copy a CD for you with some rare early 70s stuff, that you might not yet have. For example, I have a recording of the only single from France Gall, that was released in Canada ONLY (!!!) "L'amour boiteux / Mon aeroplane"... have you ever heard these two songs. And I also have copies of TV duet performances, as well as a rare record, containig a great cover version of "La Lluvia", sung by the Spanish group "Los Macovals"... I will send you a copy on CD in the next days. By the way... the "5 minutes d'amour" performance in the "Top a Fugain" show was not in 1974, but in 1972 ! Take care and come back pretty soon... there are many other France Gall fans that miss you here ! Hugs: Gerry
  • Christine  
    Thank you, Guuz and I'm glad you enjoyed the song. :) I wish there was a whole album of stuff like that from her.

    Gerry - that's what my DVD said, but on Retro Franco it was listed as 74 so I went with that. But that doesn't make sense, I can't imagine she'd be promoting that song 2 years later.

    I don't think I have got those 2 songs - unless you put them on the tape for me? I forget all the names of the tracks on there, I'd have to check. But I'll email you about it soon.
  • mostly  
    These are fab - thanks! shall also have to look out for 'Zozoi' now, as it sounds amazing and I haven't heard it. I have a Shiina Ringo cover of France's Jazz a Gogo which is quite good and you might like, if you haven't heard it - want me to send it over?

    love, mostly, who completely understands about the break thing
  • Kate  
    Discovering your blog makes me feel like I've died and gone to a beautiful franco heaven. Too bad it seems I've gotten to the party a bit late and can't download most of your stuff anymore. Here's another voice saying I hope you come back soon!

    p.s. I love that France on the telephone clip! Adorable! It does seem staged -- why is she going on and on about how she got started, etc -- but at the same time she does seem to pause and get interrupted every once in a while, so maybe there really is someone on the other end. Then again, that doesn't mean it's not staged. Haha. Anyway! Love it!

    p.p.s. Oh yes! I notice you have Zoi Zoi on your MySpace friends -- have you ever been?! It's just pure sex and heaven on a dancefloor.
    I'm done now!
    • Christine  
      hi kate :). thanks for your comments. no i haven't been to zoi zoi, a bit far away unfortunately!

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