Spiked Candy kicked off with a France Gall video and a Quebecoise France Gall cover, so for old times' sake, I thought I'd start again the same way:
This is a clip from an episode of a music show called Au risque de vous plaire which originally aired on the 10th of January, 1969. The episode, directed by Jean-Christophe Averty, is creative and colourful, making the most of the relatively new colour format. They've gone a bit nuts with the technique of using graphics to frame the footage, with fun results like those seen here. (The video may take a few moments to load).
I love Canadian girl Claire Lepage's take on France Gall's 1964 single, 'Le Premier Chagrin d'amour', which has lyrics by France's father, Robert Gall, and music by Claude Henri-Vic. In her slowed-down, more grown-up-sounding version, the 'first heartbreak' of the title sounds like it's about something that had more at stake than France Gall's lost teen love. Claire's version comes two year later, in 1966, which is a little unusual as international covers tended to appear soon after the original.
I've also made a playlist of France Gall covers - 30 of them!
Update 23/03/20: I've replaced the original playlist from the now-defunct site 8tracks with a mixed version, which you can stream on Mixcloud or download.
- Claire Lepage - Le Premier Chagrin d'amour (1966)
- France Gall - Yume ni mita ojisama (1966)
- Les 5-4-3-2-1 - Le Coeur qui jazze (1993)
Groovy cover of this jazzy number (again with lyrics by France Gall's father) from Japan's 90s Shibuya-kei scene.
- April March - Chick Habit (1994)
Of course I had to include possibly the best France Gall cover ever! Now a cult classic, April March really made her English version of the Serge Gainsbourg-penned 'Laisse tomber les filles' her own.
- Heavenly - Nous ne sommes pas des anges (1996)
90s English twee pop act Heavenly do a nice job transforming this song (another written by Gainsbourg) into a fun slice of indie pop-rock, punched up with some raw guitar sounds. This was from their 1996 album, Operation Heavenly and also appeared on Pop Romantique: French Pop Classics, a 1999 compilation featuring indie acts covering French songs.
- Denise Brousseau - N'écoute pas les idoles (1965)
Another Québecoise cover, the altered arrangement with its driving beat conjures a somewhat different mood to the original. Brousseau scored a hit with her version of this Gainsbourg composition.
- Ernesto Ronchel - Attends ou va-t'en (Flor de electropasión) (2005)
This synth-driven instrumental cover by Spain's Ronchel appeared on the soundtrack to a film called See You Later Cowabunga.
- Romina Power - Zozoi (1970)
- Ken Lean - Les Rubans et la fleur (1964)
Swiss-born musician, composer and producer Lean wrote the music to this Gall single, and released his own instrumental version.
- Vacaciones - Bésame tonto (2000)
Spanish language version of 'Ne sois pas si bête' by indie pop band Vacaciones.
- The Honeymoon Killers - Laisse tomber les filles (1981)
A shouty cover from these Belgian post-punkers.
- Moving Pictures - Un prince charmant (2000)
Spanish indie pop band Moving Pictures covered Gall's sweet 1965 song on their 2000 album Joie De Vivre.
- Mieko Hirota - Yumemiru chanson ningyo (1965)
Gall had a smash hit in Japan with her Eurovision-winning 'Poupée de cire, poupée de son', written by Gainsbourg. Local teen star Hirota recorded a Japanese language version, which was soon followed by Gall's own Japanese cover. The most successful Japanese version was by Mie Nakao, who performed the song at the Kōhaku Uta Gassen song festival at the end of that year.
- Baby Birkin - Dents de lait, dents de loup (1998)
UK's Baby Birkin recorded an album of French 60s covers, digging deep into the genre like with this obscure theme for a TV music special of the same name. Written by Gainsbourg, he and Gall performed it together on the show.
- Les Très Bien Ensemble - Les Sucettes (1999)
Spanish indie pop bands seem to love France Gall! Les Très Bien Ensemble, the third Elefant Records act on this list (after Vacaciones and Ernesto Ronchel), took their Francophilia even further, only recording in French and adopting what I presume are French pseudonyms for each band member. Here, vocalists Suzette and Philippe alternately sing each of Gainsbourg's famously dirty lines.
- Mikado - Attends ou va-t'en (1985)
French minimalist pop duo Mikado were an instant hit in Japan, but took longer to find success in France. Their 1985 self-titled album, from which this cover comes, was produced by Yellow Magic Orchestra's Haruomi Hosono.
- Twinkle - A Lonely Singing Doll (1965)
In this English version of 'Poupée de cire, poupée de son', Gainsbourg's complex, cynical lyrics about the disconnect between youthful pop singers and their songs become a simple teenage lament about fame ruining one's social life. UK teen singer-songwriter Twinkle, however, makes it quite charming.
- Charlotte Marian - Computer Nr.3 (1968)
German girl Marian covered Gall's superbly odd song from the 1968 Deutscher Schlager-Wettbewerb. It's not as good as the original, but still fun.
- Radiomatic - Nefertiti (2007)
France's Radiomatic, an occasional project of musician Pascal Parisot featuring singer Fredda, have released two albums of retro French covers. On 2007's Ce soir après dîner, nous passerons des disques, they covered Gall's 1967 song 'Nefertiti', another Gainsbourg composition.
- Karina - Muñeca de cera (1965)
Karina belts out an impassioned version of 'Poupée de cire, poupée de son', one of several contemporaneous versions from Spain.
- Leontien Snel - Baby-pop (1966)
Dutch cover of 'Baby Pop', written by... you guessed it, Gainsbourg!
- The Roaring 420s - Laisse tomber les filles (2014)
The great riff of Gainsbourg's classic track makes the song a natural fit for a garage rock cover, performed here by German neo-psych band The Roaring 420s.
- Free Kitten - Teenie Weenie Boppie (1997)
A shambolic version from Kim Gordon's side project. Their English translation of Gainsbourg's lyrics is interesting in that it appears to be an attempt at a faithful transcription, with the minor variations seeming to be slight misinterpretations.
- Serge Gainsbourg - Les Sucettes (1969)
Gainsbourg interprets the infamous song he wrote for Gall, finally making its less-than-innocent meaning clear.
- April March - Cet air-là (1994)
Gall's upbeat 1966 song, written by her father and the brilliant arranger and composer Alain Goraguer, is transformed into a lovely ballad by April March.
- Claire Lepage - Le Coeur qui jazze (1966)
Though the jazz elements are a little more subdued in Lepage's version than the wilder original (another Gall-Goraguer composition), it is still a great cover that nicely showcases Lepage's versatile voice.
- Les Guerrières - Nous ne sommes pas des anges (1965)
Fun, slightly offbeat cover by Canadian all-girl band Les Guerrières, featured in my first post.
- Zoe & The Stormies - Let's Shake Baby (1965)
English language version of 'Laisse tomber les filles' by Greek girl Zoitsa Kouroukli, featured here.
- Radiomatic - Zoï zoï (2007)
Another Gall reprise from Radiomatic's 2007 covers album, this time 1970's 'Zozoï' (misspelled as 'Zoï zoï', which seems to be a common error).
- France Gall - Le quattro domande (1972)
Rounding out the list is another of Gall's foreign language covers, an Italian version of 'La Quatrième Chose'. This appears not to have been released until this 1976 compilation.