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Francoise Hardy

Usually thought of as a middle-of-the-road popular singer, Françoise Hardy -- at the beginning of her career, at least -- covered more stylistic ground and owed more debts to pop/rock than she's given credit for. Immensely popular in her native France, the chanteuse first displayed her breathy, measured vocals in the early and mid-'60s. Her (mostly self-penned) recordings from that era draw from French pop traditions, lightweight '50s teen idol rock, girl groups, and sultry jazz and blues -- sometimes in the same song. The material is perhaps too unreservedly sentimental for some (in the French tradition), but the songs are invariably catchy and the production, arrangements, and near-operatic backup harmonies excellent, at times almost Spector-esque. Fans of Marianne Faithfull's mid-'60s work can find something of a French equivalent here, though Hardy's material was stronger and her delivery more confident.

In the 1950s, Hardy was inspired by early rock recordings to pick up the guitar, and was already writing her own songs by the time she was a teenager. By the age of 17, she was already singing her own compositions in French clubs, and successfully auditioned for Vogue Records in France in late 1961. Her debut EP appeared the following year, inaugurating a series of successful EPs and albums that would last through the '60s. Hardy sang of young love with both fetching moodiness and unrestrained ebullience; although she often wrote both her music and lyrics, she co-wrote tunes with others as well. She was greatly aided by a number of talented arrangers who seemed to be attempting (usually successfully) to blend American and British production sophistication with a Continental European sensibility. Charles Blackwell was the most notable and effective of these figures; in 1964, interestingly, she recorded some tracks under the direction of the great American R&B guitarist Mickey Baker (yes, the same one who played on Mickey & Sylvia's "Love Is Strange"), who was then based in France.

Starting in 1964, Hardy made periodic attempts to capture the international market with English-language recordings. Although these weren't entirely unsuccessful ("All Over the World" was actually a British Top 20 hit in 1965), by the late '60s she was concentrating on more mainstream, middle-of-the-road material and arrangements on both her French and English sessions. She has remained popular in France and continued recording well into the 2000s, releasing such notable albums as 2006's Parenthèses, a 12-track collection of duets with the likes of longtime collaborator Henri Salvador, Jacques Dutronc (Hardy's husband), Julio Iglesias, and relative newcomer Ben Christophers. In the following decade, her success continued with 2010's La Pluie sans Parapluie, and 2012's L'Amour Fou, which came bundled with an accompanying novel of the same title also written by Hardy, and saw her nominated for two Victoires de la Musique. ~ Richie Unterberger, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: Mon Amie La Rose

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Disc 6

Comments

A lovely lady and singer
Yes leoresp66. I attended lycee in Paris 1962 to 64. Francoise Hardy is definitely a sweet memory!
leoresp66
����gosh!!! What sweet memories��
I found Mirelle Mathew mesmerizing
As a teen I was swept away by her Comment Te Dire Adieu. I never forgot it. Decades later, when my husband went to Paris on business, I said that if he brought me back anything, t was to be a CD with that song on it. He did, to my delight.
three albums not very good so much of the early stuff is missing, she is way better than what is available. please get more recordings.
mavitia67
J'aime elle!!!! :D
Wow
I remember growing up in a francophone country
She was the Goddess of cool and chic
Smooth melodic but confidence voice she had total control of the the whole 60 generation
Im still in school so I might not be that cultured in music, but Francoise Hardy is my favorite! All of her songs just lighten my mood and make me happy. All my friends at school are like, whos that is she like (insert popular but really talentless artist here)? and im just like, D:. Everyone i know listens to lady gaga or bieber!! i was born in the wrong generation.. .
lennie65us
her great period was from 63 thru 66 (except for voila '67) i hope pandora add more songs from that period.. beatles n hardy r the best for me (both from 63-66)
jeanjacque2
If you grew up in the '70s with Francophone parents (French Caribbean/Fr e n c h Africa/Leban n o n & North Africa) then these are most likely the songs of your childhood.
Please get more of her albums. Especially Soleil.
I know, so many great French Artists missing on Pandora. Love Francoise Hardy as I love France Gall, Michel Berger, Balavoine and soo many....
theowallace
Pandora is missing the best 90% of Françoise Hardy's work...
Always remember her hit "Tous Les Garcons et les Filles"
"Oui mais moi, je vais seule
Car personne ne m'aime."
And her scene in Grand Prix with Antonio Sabato...
she sings from the soul with grace and a breathtaking beauty....
Listen to "all Over the World" by Françoise. It's absolutely great.
t_heath
I like it....very soft, smooth voice...
g2wmson
I first heard her while I was serving in the Navy back in 1966-67. It was a different type of music to my untrained ear. I remember listening to her combination of pop and jazz. Loved the weather and the music - good times.
Takes me back to the mid-sixties in a store called TRUC Harvard Square.
Good times!!
godwithu
Is that Alain Souchon singing with her on this song... I recognize the voice and I'm relatively certain of it.
so sweet. i just love her quiet, accented voice.
i love i think its gonna rain today. that song is so beautiful and melodic.
mr.bricoleur
So with all this description of her wonderful early sixties work, why is none of it available on pandora? What is here is not representati v e of her genius. Is site about music or selling music? Not that it can't be both, but I do hope it is really about music too.

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