Petula Clark

Anthologie, Vol. 1: The French Recordings (Rendez Vous avec Petula)

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AllMusic Review by

Petula Clark originally cut and released the 24 songs on this CD on two separate albums for the French Vogue label in 1961 and 1962. They form a curious third angle to her career, being quite unlike her English recordings of the period, and utterly different from the British rock-styled sides that would endear her to millions of mid-'60s teens around the world. The truth is that Clark was having far greater success in France than in England in the early 1960s, and the reason is obvious upon hearing this material. Whether she's doing a jazzy number like "Parce Que C'Est Bon" or a translation of "Hello Marylou" called "Bye Bye Mon Amour" (or even Lee Dorsey's "Ya Ya," presented here as the "Ya Ya Twist"), Clark's performances French recordings have this bold, enveloping radiance, playfulness, and sensuality. The backing arranged and conducted by Peter Knight (later to achieve fame in rock circles for accompanying the Moody Blues on Days of Future Passed) varies from being nearly tasteless and over-the-top to elegant subtlety, the latter quality most evident on Clark's cover of "Cottonfields," done here as "L'Enfant Do," which is done with very refined restraint and care; "Chanson D'Argentina" is also notable for its sweet elegance. In the midst of these pop tunes, Clark also tried for some success in pop/rock, covering "Calendar Girl" and also a French-spawned pop-beat number called "L'Amour Que Tun M'as Donne."

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:42
2 2:19
3 2:51
4 3:07
5 2:55
6 2:37
7 2:16
8 2:22
9 2:13
10 2:32
11 2:23
12 2:43
13 2:36
14 2:19
15 2:46
16 2:46
17 2:26
18 2:33
19 2:41
20 1:58
21 2:40
22 2:22
23 2:46
24 2:25
blue highlight denotes track pick