Given my love of French pop and of spooky music, it's almost a little shocking I've never done a French Halloween mix before! Time to remedy that: 'Peur du noir' is a pure horreur français mix. It's over two-and-a-half-hours of vintage French spooktacular sounds. Yes, I do have that much music to fit this specific theme ...come on, of course I do!
The songs here span the late 1950s to the late 1980s, and multiple genres – there's yé-yé, some pre-yé-yé rock 'n' roll and le twist, horror soundtracks, 80s pop, psychedelic rock, haunting instrumentals, and more.
The amazing photo of Françoise Hardy, Jacques Dutronc, and some vampire friends is by Jean-Marie Périer, from the November 1968 issue of Salut les copains. For the full image and some more photos of Dutronc from this spread, see the gallery below the tracklist.
If you choose to listen using the download link and you enjoy it, I'd appreciate if you could give the mix a like on Mixcloud.
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- Guy Skornik - Thème du monstre (1970)
From the soundtrack to Les Amours Particulières. Track was found here.
- Adamo - Fais-toi croque-mort (1962)
The Belgian-born singer had a big pop career in France, starting in the early 1960s. This is from a 1962 EP.
- Stella - Si vous connaissez quelque chose de pire qu'un vampire, parlez m'en toujours, ça pourra peut-être me faire sourire (1966)
One of the longest titles in pop surely! Watch a video for this song here.
- Serge Gainsbourg - Docteur Jekyll et Monsieur Hyde (1968)
From the album Initials B.B.
- Jean-Bernard Raiteux - A Witch's Daughter? (1973)
From the Jess Franco film Les Démons. Soundtrack released by Finders Keepers in 2016.
- Henri Salvador - Dracula cha cha cha (1960)
The iconic French entertainer released the first French rock song a few years prior, and here has another novelty rock 'n' roll outing on a 1960 EP.
- Nicole Paquin - Mon mari c'est Frankenstein (1961)
One of a handful of girls making rock 'n' roll records in the pre-yé-yé era. Taken from the Twistin' The Rock compilation.
- Pat Prilly / Harry Breuer - Mod Ghost (Le fantôme des Bermudes) (1977)
Pat Prilly was apparently a pseudonym for Jean-Jacques Perrey's daughter, and a name under which he sometimes credited his works. From the Montparnasse library album Moog Is Moog.
- France Gall - Frankenstein (1972)
France Gall worked with Serge Gainsbourg for a final time on this 1972 single. There's a great TV performance of this song here, featuring an appearance by Jacques Dutronc.
- Jacques Higelin - Champagne (1979)
From the album Champagne pour tout le monde.
- Acanthus - Envol vers la folie (1971)
From Jean Rollin's Le Frisson des Vampires. The soundtrack was released by Finders Keeprs in 2010.
- Anne-Marie Coffinet - Le Vampire (1970)
- Patrice Sciortino - Sur les pas du diable (1967)
Originally from the library record Musique Pour L'Image N° 12. Taken from the 2011 Omni Recording Corporation anthology Chronoradial.
- Laurent Voulzy - La Sorcière (1973)
The third single released by Voulzy.
- Georges Garvarentz - Haschisch Party (1971)
A cult classic psych-rock groove from the film Un beau monstre.
- Dick Rivers - Via Lucifer (1966)
This amazing psych-pop track is quite a departure from the usual fare from the French singer who chose an unfortunate stage name.
- Uta - Baudelaire (1969)
Uta's amazing rendition of the poem 'Recueillement' set to a spectacular psych rock track. I did a detailed post on this song here.
- Suzanne Ciani - Flowers Of Evil (Excerpt) (1969)
More musical Baudelaire, this time from pioneering American electronic musician Suzanne Ciani, featuring an anonymous French student reading Les Fleurs du mal. This previously unheard recording was released by Finders Keepers last year.
- Mylène Farmer - Chloé (1985)
This haunting track originally appeared as a B-side on the legendary French pop singer's third single, 'Plus grandir'.
- Camille Sauvage - Charette Fantôme (1977)
From the album Fantasmagories by this superb experimental artist.
- Vladimir Cosma - Dracula père (1976)
From the soundtrack to the film Dracula père et fils.
- Il Était Une Fois - La Grille (1972)
From their debut self-titled album.
- Igor Wakhévitch - Materia prima (Excerpt) (1971)
From the album Docteur Faust.
- Jean-Michel Jarre - Blackbird (1972)
An early release by Jarre under the name Pop Corn Orchestra . Taken from the brilliant comp, Cosmic Machine.
- Dominique Webb & Jean-Michel Jarre - Hypnose (1973)
Hypnotist Dominique Webb released this as a promo, with Jarre providing the music. Thanks Warren for introducing me to this one and for the info!
- Nicolas Peyrac - Rite (1979)
Taken from Cosmic Machine The Sequel.
- La Marque Jeune - Vampire es-tu là ? (1984)
Fantastic B-side from a French-released single called 'Les Dalton' by this short-lived Belgian duet.
- Philippe D'Aram - Dans peule (1989)
From the soundtrack to Jean Rollin's Perdues dans New York. Taken from the comp The Films Of Jean Rollin.
- Miou-Miou - J'ai peur du noir (1974)
From the film Tendre Dracula, sung by one of its stars, Miou-Miou (Sylvette Herry). Music by Karl Heinz Schäfer. This find was a happy accident!
- Jane Birkin - Raccrochez c'est une horreur (1976)
From Jane's album Ex fan des sixties. Written by Serge Gainsbourg, who also voices the "maniaque sexuel" here (of course).
- Pat Prilly - L'Horloge Hantée (1972)
From another library record credited to Pat Prilly, Moog Generation, this track is also a Jean-Jacques Perrey & Harry Breuer composition.
- Lio - Bébé vampire (1980)
From the Belgian-born popette's debut album. One of my favourite Halloween songs - so cute and fun!
- Jany L. - Mon joli vampire (1969)
From this mysterious pop girl's second of only two EPs. See my post about her here.
- François De Roubaix - The Countess's Kiss (1971)
From the Les Lèvres Rouges (Daughters of Darkness) soundtrack.
- Jean-Bernard Raiteux - Les Démons (1973)
From the Les Démons soundtrack.
- Christine Pilzer - Dracula (1966)
A French Halloween classic from cool mod chick Pilzer. Check out a live performance of this song here.
- Patrick Abrial - Le Diable (1966)
From the debut album of this lesser-known French sixties singer-songwriter.
- Les Playboys - Loup-garou (1982)
A sixties-style garage rock track from this eighties band.
- Les Mustangs - La Main du diable (1962)
Instrumental track from this early sixties combo's first EP.
- Jo Alan - Le Vampire (1966)
Another Belgian who recorded in France. Taken from the comp 12 Popcorn Oldies.
- Gabriel Dalar - Croque-crane-creux (1958)
A great early novelty rock song, this is a French cover of 'The Purple People Eater'.
- Les Monégasques - Psychose (1964)
An early band featuring the weird and wonderful Jean-Pierre Massiera on guitar. Taken from a comp of Massiera's various acts called Psychoses Freakoïd (1963-1978).
- André Hossein - Le Vampire de Düsseldorf (1965)
From the soundtrack to the film of the same name.
- Vladimir Cosma - Dracula danse (1976)
From the soundtrack to the film Dracula père et fils.
- Les Monks - Dracula (1967)
An instrumental cover of Pilzer's 'Dracula'.
- Françoise Deldick - Le Diable de près (1969)
B-side to her 1969 single 'Joue avec moi'.
- Eileen - Est-ce un fantôme ? (1966)
This American singer-songwriter most notably covered Nancy Sinatra's 'These Boots Are Made For Walking' in French. This song was originally on the 'Ces bottes sont faites pour marcher' EP, and was taken from her Salut les copains anthology.
- Jacques Dutronc - Les Métamorphoses (1968)
From the album Il est cinq heures.
- Les Maledictus Sound - Monster Cocktail (1968)
A late 60s project of Massiera's. Les Maledictus Sound was reissued by Mucho Gusto Records in 2011 and can be streamed/purchased on Bandcamp.
- Jean Le Fennec - Le Sorcier (1969)
From the album Phantastic.
- Mar-Vista - Dance Of Darkness (1976)
From the album Visions of Sodal Ye.
- Jacky Chalard - La Collecte des coeurs (1974)
From the album Je Suis Vivant Mais J'ai Peur. Vocals by Gilbert Deflez.
- Pierre Raph - Song For Françoise (1973)
From the soundtrack of another Rollin movie, La Rose de fer.
- Françoise Hardy - L'Ombre (1970)
From the album Soleil. The French version of 'Strange Shadows', featured on another Halloween mix of mine.
- François De Roubaix - Dracula 68 Woodstock (1970)
From Des poissons et des hommes, and featured as a bonus track on the 2018 reissue of the Daughters of Darkness soundtrack.
- Maurice Jarre - Les Yeux sans visage - Final (1960)
From the film Les Yeux sans visage.
- Nicoletta - Ça devait arriver (1967)
A cover of 'I Put A Spell On You' from Nicoletta's debut album.
- Acanthus - Isa's Ceremony 2 / Runaway Train (1971)
From the soundtrack to Le Frisson des Vampires.
- Georges Garvarentz - Le Cauchemar d'une droguée (1971)
From the Un beau monstre soundtrack.
- Pia Colombo - La Belle de nuit (1965)
From the soundtrack to the film Le Vampire de Düsseldorf. Music by André Hossein.
- Philippe D'Aram - La Valse Grinçante (1979)
From Jean Rollin's Fascination. Taken from the comp The Films Of Jean Rollin, but there is also a Finders Keepers release of the soundtrack.
- Pierre Henry - Thème de Catherine (1962)
From the Maléfices soundtrack.
All photos by Jean-Marie Périer, from Salut les copains, November 1968.
A big thanks to Leo and Warren for a few leads and suggestions for the mix.
Edit: I made a teaser video for the mix for social media, and thought I'd add it here, if you'd like to sample it before diving in: