Francoise Hardy

Comment te dire adieu - Vogue 1968

Tracks: 1. A quoi ca sert / 2. Comment te dire adieu / 3. Etonnez-moi, Benoit... / 4. Il n'y a pas d'amour heureux / 5. Il vaut mieux une petite maison dans la main... / 6. L'anamour / 7. La mer, les etoiles et le vent / 8. La mesange / 9. La rue des coeurs perdus / 10. Ou va la chance / 11. Parlez-moi de lui / 12. Suzanne


"Comment te dire adieu" or "Francoise Hardy", from 1968, was Hardy's last French-language album released in the 1960’s. The album is a good mix of different genres ranging from ballads and folk song to big orchestrated pop ballads. Personally, I prefer the songs that are most in line with Hardy's early albums, with relatively sparse arrangements and the acoustic guitar upfront in the picture.

On this album Hardy's own "À quoi ça sert?" is a fine example of this and a bit frustrating for me, one of only few. The title song is another highlight; a cute and catchy 1960s pop song, which was also released as a single. Serge Gaunsbourg's "L'anamour" is great with fine accompaniment from Mike Vickers of the Manfred Mann Group.

At least two songs are taken from folk music. One is Phil Ochs' "Où va la chance?" ( "There But for Fortune") which Hardy gives a really beautiful interpretation. Less interesting is Leonard Cohen's "Suzanne", though still absolutely decent.

Some of the songs have been given big orchestral arrangements, in some cases, not unlike what you can find on many of Dusty Springfield's records. This particular style is usually not what I seek, nor do Hardy's songs in this genre do much for me. Her version of Baker Knight's / Rick Nelson's "Lonesome Town" is quite nice, without being really anything special.

Hardy also wrote the final song "La mer, les étoiles et le vent" herself. A nice chant, which perhaps also suffers a bit from a too lush an arrangement.

So all in all I find this a bit of mixed bag.

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