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French Music from 30's/40's

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  • French Music from 30's/40's

    Anyone have any recommendations for French music from this era? I know nothing about it, just the occassional song I hear from WWII films and the odd B&W film I see. It's homey, romantic, nostalgic, and haunting at the same time. I'd like to pick up some CDs but need some info of where to start.

    Thanks guys. h:

  • #2
    No recommendations at all huh? Bummer...

    Guess I'll have to spend a couple hours on google and then just make some random-chance purchases on what I can dig up. Oh well.


    • #3
      Oh, I think I found some that I'll dig.

      Edith Piaf, and a bunch of others... :T


      • #4
        American 30s and 40s... I could help you. French 30s and 40s... sorry, but I can't. Have you looked for forums regarding french music? I would recommend that versus actually just googling for french music.
        B&W 804S/Velodyne SPL-1000R/Anthem MRX720


        • #5
          I think from my googling around that Edith Piaf is a large part of 30's/40's French music. Did some listening on iTunes, and she's definetly part of the genre I'm after. I'm gonna' look around for some CDs. Found some on the internet, but I'd like to purchase locally if I can.


          • #6
            Hi Nick,

            I'm quite the fan of Django Reinhart and the band he formed in the 30s - The Quintet of the Hot Club of France. Although he's not French (Belgian!) you will probably like his sound - if you've not heard it already. A huge influence of Penguin Cafe Orchestra and every 'cafe orchestra' since! In turn his influences incluse Duke Elington and Louis Armstrong.

            Another place to start is with the composer Erik Satie.

            There is a more contemporary artist I should tell you about. His name is Yann Tiersen and he is most decidedly French! I've quite a bit of his work and have seen him live on many occasions. You may remember his work in the movie 'Le fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain' as he composed the soundtrack. Wonderful stuff!

            Finally, the whole 'Black Romantic' movement from that era is another place to explore. Jacque Brel (anther Belgian!) although a little later has much of the sound you're after.

            Check this guy out. and his discog. secion where there are mp3s to sound out.

            He's actually an old friend of mine and in the early 90s there was quite the 'Black Romantic' bohemian vibe in Dublin. We(all my friends) spent every Saturday night in a dingy little club where Jack and the band sang old French songs and laments. God, we were so cool :roll: :W (or so we though!)

            Oh yeah, Jack has the most amazing voice and is now quite huge over here.


            Last edited by Alloroc; 11 January 2007, 06:13 Thursday.

            I don't want the world. I just want your half.


            • #7
              Hi Nick,

              I'm with Vincent here. Django Reinhardt and his friend Stephane Grappelli would be a good place to start. The album "Quintette du Hot Club de France: 25 Classics 1934-1940" might be a good first CD for you.

              Attached Files


              • #8
                If you are getting into that kind of music, you may enjoy Erin Mckeown's new album. It's called "Sing You Sinners" and has covers of a lot of songs from the 20's to the 60's. "Coucou" is in French, and you may like her version quite a bit. Samples are up on iTunes, but if you pm me, we can work out a B&P trade for a live recording I have of her doing most of the songs on the album. She's cool with tape trading, but if you like it you should probably pick up the album.


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