Various Artists

Pop Psychédélique (The Best Of French Psychedelic Pop 1964-2019)

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Hallo my British chums and welcome to another edition of the Piccadilly Records Compilation Of The Year. 2021’s top of the pops takes us on a cheeky trip through the Chunnel to the land of du pain, du vin, du Boursin for a sprawling set of yé-yé, 60s psych pop and contemporary grooves from a who’s who of France’s chic elite. Compiled with affection and expertise by Mark McQuillan for Brighton’s Two Piers, Pop Psychédélique fully embodies the sultry, sexy and surreal sound of French music.

Born out of a love affair with jazz and an infatuation with the British Invasion, French pop music quickly cut its own niche in the musical landscape of the sixties. Typified by hip-shaking rhythms, fuzzbox guitars and spoke-sung vocals, yé-yé was referential but never reverential, a point proven when Jacqueline Taieb shreds pop culture on “7 AM”. Elsewhere lost love and lost toothbrushes are given equal weight as the profound and profane are dispatched with the shrugging indifference of a Pastis-soaked Gainsbourg (who’s predictably all over this collection, both as artist or songwriter).

This signature style has come to define French music, and echoes through the ages thanks to L’Epee, the Limiñanas, Air and Stereolab, four globe-conquering acts who are a testament to the enduring appeal of the Gallic sound. Indeed a handful of older cuts here have also found streaming fame with a new generation via soundtrack appearances on the likes of Killing Eve and Queen’s Gambit, with producers eager to exploit these shorthands for cool.

The set sails into the sunset via Fatboy Slim’s remix of Pierre Henry and Michel Colombier’s “Psyche Rock” and the final jigsaw piece falls into place. Not only does this collection pay homage to France, but also McQuillan’s native Brighton, where the Big Beat pioneers championed records like Jean-Jacques Perrey’s “E.V.A.” while reshaping Britain’s club culture. C’est magnifique!


A1 Contact - Brigitte Bardot
A2 Tut Tut Tut Tut - Gillian Hills
A3 Laisse Tomber Les Filles - France Gall
A4 7AM - Jacqueline Taieb
A5 I’m Gonna Haunt You - Fabienne DelSol
A6 Si Tu Reviens Chez Moi - Les 5 Gentlemen
B1 Roller Girl - Comedie Musicale ‘Anna’ - Anna Karina
B2 Migas 2000 - The Liminanas
B3 Dreams - L’Epee
B4 Les Cornichons - Nino Ferrer
B5 Harley Davidson - Brigitte Bardot
B6 Poupee De Cire Poupée De Son - France Gall
C1 Une Filles C’est Fait Pour Faire L’amour - Charlotte Leslie
C2 La Fille A La Moto - Dani
C3 Tu Fais Partie Du Passe - Zouzou
C4 Requiem Pour Un C… - BOF “Le Pacha” - Serge Gainsbourg
C5 E.V.A - Jean-Jacques Perrey
D1 Cybele’s Reverie - Stereolab
D2 Don’t Be Light - Air
D3 Psyche Rock (Malpaso Mix By Fatboy Slim) - Pierre Henry 

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