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 - Cinq minutes d'amour (1972)
- 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:
A rare magazine ad from 1967 (Click for full size).
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.