Ye-Ye and Alizee


Yé-yé was a style of pop music that emerged out of France in the 1960's. It 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.

Yé-yé girls were young and innocent, most of their songs spoke of finding the first love. They were also sexy, in a kindly naïve way. Serge Gainsbourg called France Gall the French Lolita.

The yé-yé movement had its origins in the radio program "Salut les copies", which was first aired in December 1959. This program became an immediate success and one of its sections ("le chouchou de la semaine" / "this week's sweetheart ") turned to be the starting point for most yé-yé singers. Any song that was presented as a chouchou went straight to the first places in the charts.
See Wikipedia.

Yé-yé singers: France Gall, Sylvie Vartan, Jacqueline Taïeb, Brigitte Bardot, Jane Birkin to name a few.

A common thread here is Serge Gainsbourg.

Jane Birkin: In 1969, she and Serge Gainsbourg released the song "Je t'aime … moi non plus" ("I love you … me neither"), written initially for Brigitte Bardot (the recording was released only in the seventies), by Gainsbourg and featuring both of them singing, which caused a scandal for its sexual explicitness. Arguably due in part to the publicity it got from being banned by radio stations in Italy, Spain, and the UK, it was a commercial success all over Europe. The song's fame is a result of its salacious lyrics (sung in French) against a background of female moaning and groaning, culminating in an orgasm at the song's conclusion. (wikipedia)

France Gall: The first airplay of France's first single "Ne sois pas si bête" ("Do not Be So Stupid"), occurred on her 16th birthday. It was released in November and became a hit. Serge Gainsbourg, whose career was faltering although he had released several albums and written songs for singers including Michèle Arnaud and Juliette Gréco, was asked by Bourgeois to write songs for Gall. Gainsbourg's "N'écoute pas les idoles" ("Do not listen to the idols") became Gall's second single; it reached the top of the French charts in March 1964. Gall and Gainsbourg's association produced many popular singles, continuing through the summer of 1964 with the hit song "Laisse tomber les filles" ("Forget the girls"). At a young age, France Gall was too naïve to understand the second meaning of the lyrics and she felt she was used by Gainsbourg, most notably after the song "Les Sucettes" — literally about a girl eating lollipops but with a double meaning referring to oral sex. Today France Gall tries to not discuss it in public and refuses to perform her winning song.

That takes us to Mylène Farmer, Laurent Boutonnat, Alizée and now Lisa. Mylène and Laurent are definitely in the "Yé-Yé business". I do not hear it related to them but there can be no doubt about it. I am not negative or positive about it, just trying to state the situation. To their credit it appears they made Alizee aware of the situation, double entendre lyrics, Lolita, and the outfits. They also appear to have made it clear to Alizee that it is just an act. If only some of the fans could have realized that. To Alizee's credit it takes a strong personality to play that role. I admire her for that.

As Alizee got older there may have been a difference in an 'exit strategy' from yé-yé to adult star.

Aj Corsica