While flipping through my collection of vintage French magazines the other day, I came across an interesting little segment in the October 1966 issue of Salut les copains, France's enormously popular and influential youth music magazine that launched in 1962 to complement the radio show of the same name. It features Françoise Hardy sharing her ten current favourite songs, as part of a running segment where popular music stars were asked to create their own 'hit parade'.
Hardy's tastes encompassed a variety of popular genres of the time, from the easy listening of Frank Sinatra and Petula Clark to the garage rock of Syndicate of Sound and The Troggs, whose 'Wild Thing' she calls "breathtaking". Most of the picks here are from the USA and UK, as was more fashionable by that time than homegrown music. Hardy, though, was no bandwagon jumper and had long been a fan of Anglo-American sounds. She often had the chance to hear new British music when she ducked across the channel to record an album or play some venues, and she mentions buying Syndicate of Sound's 'Little Girl' in London and seeing Dusty Springfield perform 'Goin' Back' on Ready Steady Go! A couple of her fellow Gallic singer-songwriters are represented here in Michel Polnareff ("She could have cited any other of Michel's songs, she loves them all equally"), and Antoine, who had debuted nearly a year earlier and transformed the local scene.
I've playlisted her choices so you can immerse yourself in what the wonderful Ms Hardy was grooving to 50 years ago:
- Frank Sinatra - Strangers In The Night
- The Rolling Stones - Take It Or Leave It
- Otis Redding - Don't Mess With Cupid
- Syndicate Of Sound - Little Girl
- Petula Clark - La mer est comme toi
- Michel Polnareff - Love Me, Please Love Me
- Antoine - Qu'est-ce que je fous ici
- The Troggs - Wild Thing
- Ike & Tina Turner - River Deep – Mountain High
- Dusty Springfield - Goin' Back
Since Hardy professed her appreciation of Antoine here, I thought I'd also share this fun picture from a 1968 Salut les copains, where Hardy and Jean-Marie Périer recreated Périer's 1966 photo of Antoine.
Credits: Photo in player by Patrick Bertrand, 1964, via Brych et Fils on Ebay.
Update: I've just found out that 8tracks has recently added time limits to playlist listening. I realise this, as well as the country restrictions they already had in place, may make it unusable for some. I'm trying out Playmoss as an alternative and have added this playlist there. Let me know if there are any other services you recommend.
Update 2: Songs from Universal Music Group are now blocked on Playmoss, which means a couple of songs here can't be played. Try this Youtube playlist instead.