Boris Vian - Rock n’ Roll: Naissance D’un Nouveau Rythme en France
Vinyl, LP Compilation, France, 1976
Disques Jacques Canetti
Boris Vian, in his last decade, focused on the world of making music. Both in the studio as well as being an A&R man for Phillips and other labels. Vian became a mover and shaker in the French music industry, which is incredibly fascinating when you look at his whole career of being an icon, writer and then a music industry figure.
Vian was a hardcore jazzier, so I think he had mixed-thoughts regarding the world of commercial Rock n’ Roll. Yet, ironically enough, he probably recorded the first French rock n’ roll record. This is a fascinating compilation of Vian’s strongest ties to two artists: The actress and singer Magali Noel and the great over-all everything talent of Henri Salvador. Vian wrote songs with Henri, that were mostly humorous and sort of a piss-take on the rock n’ roll medium. Yet, they’re a joy to listen to. Noel is sort of a muse for Vian in the recording studio. She reminds me of a teenage Lottie Lenya (although she was an adult) due that she’s all character, and Vian had her voice in mind with such songs like “Fais-Moi Mai Johnny (a duet with Boris on top of that). Also Vian shared her talents with another great artist - Fellini!
Henri Salvador is probably looked upon as a humorist singer, but the fact is he was a great guitarist, and a wonderful singer. He had a long career in the French world, and is often treasured as a gem of an artist.
This collection is a good introduction to Vian’s world of the 1950’s. Also all the great arrangers worked on these recordings such as Alain Goraguer, Claude Bolling, and Michel Legrand.