V/A - Anthologie du Rock Français 1960-1960
France is not quite a reference when it comes to Rock'n'Roll, so one might think. And you'd be dead wrong. The reason why it didn't make a millimeter outside of its homeland was probably due to the fact that all vocals were in the local idiom. At least, I've not come across a single record from a French Rock'n'Roller that is sung in anything but. So, if you're into the seriously exotic, this 3-CD set is for you and for you only.
It covers the ground when our neighbours plunged into the deep end without looking back. Apart from England, I believe this was the biggest scene in Europe to cover this genre. The other main market, Germany, didn't have much in the way of Rock'n'Roll artists, joining the game rather late when Beat reared its head. Rock'n'Roll in its infancy in France sounds funny and strange at the same time, but it's highly entertaining and the musicianship is up there where it counts. You just have to get used to the language, especially if you think it shouldn't be allowed to sing in anything else but English on a Rock'n'Roll disc.
The big ones are all here, Johnny Hallyday, Les Chausettes Noires, Les Chats Savages, Les Pirates, Danny Boy et ses Pénitents and a bunch of others. I believe there are even a few foreigners who made some kind of career over there, taking a liking to the French language. And I assume not just the language. Sound is very good throughout the 3 dics and there's a 20-page booklet included, part of it in English. However be warned, the thing makes you greedy and you want to hunt for full albums of these artists, so while the CD-set is quite affordable, you better worry about the fallout.
This has been released in 2013 on the Frémeaux & Associés label (FA 5418): www.fremeaux.com and off you go with your mademoiselle to a Rock'n'Roll hop the French way.