Various Artists

Twist Again au Ciné, Vol. 2

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Some people in the '60s just went wacky. Heavily influenced by the "youthquake" culture shift, the newfound sexual permissiveness, and (mostly) the James Bond flicks, mainstream French cinema moved into a freewheeling era of hyperkinetic and often very silly films that looked like Technicolor even in black and white. Like its 1999 predecessor, Twist Again au Cine, Vol. 2 collects 28 theme songs from these films, none previously available on CD, and there's an uninhibited joy to most of these songs that's the very definition of "giddy." Like the first volume, this disc largely sticks to artists all but unknown outside of France; the big names this time are Sacha Distel (a Francophone remake of "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head"), Charles Aznavour, easy listening stalwart Michel Legrand, and, performing the zippily self-explanatory theme song "Zig Zig," non-singer Catherine Deneuve. Other highlights include another pair of French-language covers, Dalida's "Parle Plus Bas" (better known as Nino Rota's "Love Theme From the Godfather") and two songs from the French releases of James Bond films, which often had locally recorded versions of the familiar English-language theme songs by hot pop stars of the moment. Scott Walker fans should also check out their hero's semi-operatic and unashamedly cheesy 1969 cowboy ballad "The Rope and the Colt," from the Sergio Leone knockoff Un Corde, un Colt. For fans of French pop obscurities only, of course, but those fans will have a field day.

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