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BBC News – Can we learn to love French pop music?

Johnny Hallyday

Image via Wikipedia

A French language radio station launching in the UK will play mostly Gallic pop. Could this be the right time for Britain to rethink its sniffy attitude to le genre?

It’s hard to know what will get you first – the avalanche of imitative Europop, Johnny Hallyday‘s clunky cover versions or the moans and heavy breathing of Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin. And that’s without the risk of being ambushed by a thousand accordionists who have momentarily abandoned the restaurant-goers of Montmartre. Yes, the launch today of French Radio London, the capital’s first Gallic music station, may not be to everyone’s taste. For most of the past 50 years, French music has not been cool, with a reputation stuck between Allo Allo-style theme tune and a desperate desire to ape Anglo Saxon sounds, the latter with cringe-worthy results often delivered in breathless Franglais.

When Johnny Hallyday, the Grand Fromage of French pop, announced his retirement last year, the Times described him as “a bit of a joke outside the French-speaking world” who through songs like Quelque Chose de Tennessee offered “cheesy pastiche of an imaginary America”.

via BBC News – Can we learn to love French pop music?.

Check out the website and listen to French Radio London live over the internet.

Strange Random French Music Quote:
“Basing your view of French music on Johnny Hallyday is a bit like the French viewing English music in terms of Cliff Richard‘s Millennium Prayer” – Stuart Maconie

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