I decided to create a blog about the popular European Genre of music known as Yé-yé. Mainly because of it's ever growing obscurity as time has moved forward. A large majority of people have never even heard of the genre nonetheless listened to it. Especially in the United States. Yé-yé music has had a very influential part in the history of what popular music is today and what it will some day evolve into eventually. Also Yé-yé has not only been influential in the evolution of popular music but also has had just as much, if not more, influence on music that has strayed away from the mainstream.




Yé-yé was a popular style of pop music that had emerged from France, Québec and Spain in the early 1960s. The term "yé-yé" derived from teenagers shouting "yeah! yeah!" at concert venues and while listening to the music genre to show enthusiasm. Yé-yé music was unique in a number of ways: first, it was the only musical movement so far to be spearheaded by females; second, it was a mostly European phenomenon, although it grew very popular in Japan in 1965. Yé-yé girls were always young (age 15 through 17 usually) and maintained an innocent public image which was perpetuated through the music.

Yé-yé girls were also sexy, in a deliberately naive way. Often Yé-yé lyrics and music were written by older male songwriters and sometimes would contain sexually suggestive themes and lyrics hidden in metaphors that were meant to sound innocent. A good example of this is featured in a song preformed by France Gall and written my famous Yé-yé singer/ songwriter Serge Gainsbourg called "Les sucettes" ("Lollipops") which include the lyrics "Annie loves lollipops, aniseed lollipops, when the sweet liquid runs down Annie's throat, she is in paradise." Due to France Gall's naivety as a young women she preformed the song never recognizing the hidden reference to fellatio until becoming a little older.



While the yé-yé movement was led by female singers, it was not an exclusively a movement for young women. The yé-yé masterminds (such as Serge Gainsbourg, who wrote several hits for France Gall, Petula Clark, and Brigitte Bardot, but was considerably older and came from a jazz background) were distinct from the actual yé-yé singers. These were harmless, romantic boys singing mostly ballads and love songs.

In this blog I will also touch on more topics than just Yé-yé artists and music exclusively. I will also write about some of the influences the music and culture has had on art, fashion and what the genre has contributed to music that would come to proceed Yé-yé. If you are interested please follow my blog and participate by adding comments and I will do my best to post music and related topics almost everyday.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Pussy Cat


(This is the best picture I could find. If you type "Pussy Cat" into Google Images you either get The Pussycat Dolls or snatch)


Pussy Cat was born Evelyne Courtois and began her musical career as a member of the five-piece girl group Les Petites Souris. The group released just one four-track EP, Ce n’est pas triste, on the RCA Victor label in 1964 before splitting up a year later. Evelyne stuck with the label and launched herself as a solo singer, after taking the stage name Pussy Cat, from the Tom Jones song "What’s new pussycat?"

Pussy Cat is another one of those lesser known Yé-yé girls who was content doing covers of popular British and American hits and singing them in French. Her first EP, released in January 1966, comprised versions of four Anglophone hits: Ce n’est pas une vie (the Small Faces’ Sha-la-la-la-lee), Stop! (the Moody Blues song of the same name, which had also been covered Brit girl-style a year earlier by Julie Grant), Les temps ont changé (the Spokesmen’s Have courage, be careful) and Mais pourquoi (Dee Dee Warwick’s You’re no good).

Pussy Cat did stick more to the Rock and Roll side of popular music of through her short lived recording career. I personally believe Rock music supported her persona better. Her final EP, issued in 1969, featured three of her own compositions, "Cette nuit" (the lead track), "Hymne au soleil and On joue", plus "Te voilà", a version of the Zombies’ "She’s not there." Unfortunately the album had failed and her contract with RCA was not renewed. She then disappeared into obscurity and hasn't made another album or single since 1969.






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