French-Oriental Female Ep (2014)
This Ep is an attempt to present some artists who will enter soon in our galaxy, today will address exclusively two countries: France and Japan. Great arrangers, actresses singers, side B, and even famous ones, (feel free to) leave us a comment and enjoy!
Brigitte Fontaine – Je Suis Inadaptée / Est… Folle, 1968 (arr. Jean Claude Vannier)
June 24, 1939 / The diva of French underground music.
Brigitte Fontaine made a series of increasingly strange and eclectic art-pop in the ’70s that gathered a lot of acclaim in France, although she remains obscure to an international audience. Initially, she was an eccentric but accessible pop singer, presenting melodic and orchestrated material, working with (living legend) arranger Jean Claude Vannier; on subsequent records, she got jazzier, and then into avant-gardism and art song, her albums were commendably wide-ranging and erratic.
With an active career and 2013 last release, albums like Est…Folle, Barbara’s Madame, and even less known Jean Constantin’s Le Poulpe, are some of the wonderful panoramas that Vannier conducted throughout the ’70s.
A dreamy arrangement, with delicacy, strong pace and multiple colors!
Nicoletta & Zoo – Dieu Est Negre / Visage, 1970 (arr. Zoo)
April 11, 1944 / Nicole Chappuis-Grisoni
She was considered as part of what is known as the French yé-yé generation heavily influenced by American music, particularly R&B, rock and roll and beat music, mostly known for her version of ‘Mamy Blue’ with her very specific, bluesy voice, she certainly gained a special place in French pop music, with many radio and television appearances, where she had a number of hits in the ’60s and the ’70s.
Her material after the ’70s is somewhat dubious, with that sugar chanson feel, returning to top form from mid-’90s and recently launched Ici Et Ailleurs.
Honestly, these recordings with Zoo are certainly Nicoletta’s best moment, a passionate diva interpretation with an incredible escort by these guys, check it!
Ann Sorel – L’Amour à Plusieurs / Single, 1972 (arr. Jean Claude Vannier)
Ann-Chantal Sorel, 71 years (more info ?). She released a few pairs of singles during the ’60s and ’70s, early on yé-yé and then, precious moments like this magistral one under Vannier’s tutelage. Banned (!) on radio, with a scandalous lyrics from Fréderic Botton, Ann’s sexy voice guides us through an unusual encounter.
Wrapped in a simple deep red cover, this is a fantastic erotica re-discover!
Chinatsu Nakayama (中山千夏) – 砂漠 (Desert) / Single, 1971
July 13, 1948 / Actress Singer
Former wonder actress, TV personality, singer and later established writer. She released a few singles during the ’70s and stopped its singer career in early ’00s, to fully devote herself as a writer, human rights, civil and feminist activist.
A B side soul-psych bomb with tons of brass, fuzz and nicely chorus!
Rumi Koyama (小山ルミ) – 恋人の記念日 / Sasurai No Guitar, 1971
August 11, 1952 / Actress Singer
Another famous actress and Tv star, Rumi released a bit more singles and albums through the ’70s. A swinging one, with western brass, percussion, mellow strings and that Tarantino’s Kill Bill homage. Like Meiko Kaji tunes, expect some more entrances from Rumi Koyama, too, she sings with grace and got a real nice 1971 Lp!
Rabi Nakayama (中山ラビ) – 夢のドライブ (Drive of a Dream) / Hira Hira, 1974
The one (and only) who helped Yoshiko Sai in his first years, Rabi Nakayama is probably one of the most famous singers from Japan, the female Bob Dylan often called, started its career in early ’70s with a dozen of releases, very active until 2009.
Here she catches a heavier side, with a furious backing band, this is almost a B side in Hira Hira’s album, totally folk-oriented. Even being unknown worldwide, Rabi’s career is pretty solid, with diverse moments and bands, soon she’ll enter here!