Thanks to Whole Foods for nourishing my soul with its affordably-priced (no, seriously) 3-disc set of French pop, Café Paris: 42 Classic Songs from France. This past week, I have found myself particularly taken with one song by a French singer-songwriter whose name, Michel Polnareff, was new to me — Jimmy Page, lo and behold, I would discover to be the unnamed session musician who plays the riff that refuses to vacate the premises:
“La Poupée Qui Fait Non” Michel Polnareff 1966
Now, of course, it’s one thing for this unpaid music enthusiast to declare “La Poupée Qui Fait Non” (“The Doll That Says No”) catchy as all get out, but as I poke into the song’s subsequent history, I am quite struck by the range of artists who have been similarly charmed by the song’s wiles over the decades.
English alternative dance act, St. Etienne would craft their own catchy 90s arrangement in 1994, while “iconic” French Canadian singer-songwriter Mylène Farmer would join forces in 1996 with Algeria’s (semi-official) “King of Rai,” Khaled, to take this song into yet another alluring direction. (click here if you have nothing else to do all day).
A-side of a 4-song EP that also includes the track “Beatnik”
Joie de vivre! This is the seventh Zero to 180 piece thus far tagged as French Pop.