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.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Stella the anti-Yé-yé girl.



In the 60s, France was overrun with teen Yé-yé girls. Some, like France Gall standout as pivotal artists, while many others were just so much go go. Stella, who had some hits right out of the gate, challenged the whole concept of cute teenaged empty-headed singer. She began writing her own songs almost immediately and they are not of the standard boy meets girl, boy loses girl genre. As she got older, Stella revolted against the entire music machine she was a part of, trying to pen songs that treated the music business, student revolt, fashion, and a host of other topics sarcastically. Eventually I guess she lost faith in the 3 minute pop song.

Though usually lumped in with the yé-yé girls of the 1960s, Stella was more of an anti-yé-yé. Her compositions were styled in the fashion of the period, but the lyrics mocked the yé-yé genre.

The mocking tone of the lyrics summed up her approach to the yé-yé sound. While her contemporaries embraced it, she was highly dismissive of the trend. She was particularly critical of Sheila, France’s schlockiest – but most successful – yé-yé girl. In fact, her next release, La surprise est partie, issued on the main Vogue label in June 1964, enjoyed a little jeu de mots on Sheila’s then recent hit Ma première surprise partie. More open derision was to follow.








16 comments:

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  2. Very interesting post, I'd like to learn more!
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  4. Good worck keep going :)
    really

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  5. U got to love french girls.
    Showing some luv

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  6. Interesting idea for a blog! Will definitely check in regularly. Good luck!

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  7. See people? This is what a blog is all about. Give me something that you have an insight into that I would have no exposure to through the course of my ordinary life.

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  9. Showing some more love, keep up the great work with the blog!

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  10. I love your post, awesome music, supportin u dude :D

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  11. Glad I found this blog. I grew up in the 60s in Vietnam, where French music was very popular. I remember one of my favorite songs as a kid, a very upbeat song sung by a female singer that starts with a line that I now remember as very similar to Fur Elise, with a couple of doo wop's thrown in after the first phrase. I love that song but don't know its name or singer. I have been searching for years for that song again by listening to lots of French 60's songs on Pandora and 8Tracks, but have not found it. Anybody has any idea what it could be? Thanks. HgN

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