Annie Philippe

L' Integrale Sixties

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The English translation of the title is "The Complete Sixties." Certainly it's hard to imagine that they've missed any cuts from the '60s discography of this minor (and unknown to the English-speaking world) French singer on this two-CD anthology, whose 50 cuts span 1964 to 1969. Mercurial in mood, production, and quality, it spins among genres like a bumper car, sometimes (but not often) approaching all-out rock or girl group pop, at others getting into French easy listening pop, and at others into territory suited for musicals. There's more of a pop/rock sensibility than a straight pop one, though. Those who like the French '60s girl genre as a whole (a style that became much more well known among collectors in the U.S. and U.K. several decades later than it was while it was happening) will probably like it, and those who like Philippe's more famous peer France Gall will definitely like it. Fifty songs is too much at once, though the best half is pretty good and uplifting, highlighted by fine orchestrated girl group pop like "Vous Pouvez Me Dire," the cool jazz organ-dominated "Je Chante Et Je Danse," the driving "J'ai Rate Mon Bac" (with a slightly dissonant chord at the end), the moody ballad "Tout Finit a St-Tropez," the ridiculously dramatic pizzicato strings on "C'est Loin Domani," the daughter-of-Little Peggy March romper "Lui," and the British mod-influenced "On M'a Toujours Dit" and "C'est la Mode." On the other hand, you have to put up with dross like a cover of Elvis Presley's "Love Me Tender" and the faux Dixieland of "Cause Donc Toujours." The second disc, covering the years of 1966-1969, does fade in imagination and the quality of material, though "Le Mannequin" (co-written by arranger Paul Mariat) is a dead ringer for France Gall's best circa 1967 tunes, and "Pour la Gloire" is a cool downbeat rocker.