In England they were the Ready Steady Girls, after the pop TV show Ready Steady Go!, in France the Yé-Yé girls: female pop singers who were launched continuously throughout the 1960s as a counter to the hundreds of male bands that exploded onto the scene in the wake of the Rolling Stones and Beatles. From Lulu to Marianne Faithful, Sylvie Vartan to Sheila, their presence, and success, was staggering, and certainly paved the way for the next generation of female singing stars in the ’70s.
In order to cut through and have staying power, each chanteuse had to have something that genuinely set her apart; and for Paris-born France Gall that was youth, as well as an untrained voice that teens could easily identify with—a proto-punk-like ‘I can sing like that’ sort of appeal, if you will. The daughter of musical royalty—her father was a songwriter for Edith Piaf and Charles Aznavour, amongst others—her star rose immediately after her debut release at just 16 sold over 200K copies.
Soon luminaries, including Serge Gainsbourg, naturally, were involved in her career, which blossomed throughout the ‘60s. Ups and downs followed, but Gall persevered, and the ensuing decades saw her inhabit various personae. Recording in multiple languages, including German and Japanese, proved immensely successful, and the 1970s and ‘80s were prosperous times. Alas, Gall died just two years ago at age 70.
It’s particularly exciting, then, but hardly surprising to hear that the cool kids at Third Man Records are re-issuing three of Gall’s mid-60s albums. They will all be on colored vinyl, of course, for maximum hip cred. They will also be throwing release day (February 21) dance parties in select cities to celebrate them. See below for the list of said events, and pre-order Baby Pop, 1968 and Poupée de Cire, Poupée de Son.
France Gall release day parties (February 21):