#539 ‘Laisse tomber les filles’ by France Gall (22 Aug)

Album: single, 1964

Justification: Much as I adore this song, I’m reasonably certain that I didn’t hear this version first. I’m pretty sure it was a cover, either by April March (who also did it in English under the title ‘Chick Habit’) or Fabienne Delsol, during my early 2000s Françoiz Breut-inspired pledge “OK then, I wish to only listen to French female singers from here on in.”

france-gall-laisse-tomber-les-fillesIt was an intense if somewhat short-lived passion, since I don’t speak a word of French and finally just wanted to hear some lyrics I understood, but it did introduce me to Françoise Hardy, Jane Birkin, Jacqueline Taîab and so on, but the one that I got borderline obsessed with was France Gall.

She was 17 when she released this single, written by her for Serge Gainsbourg, and it was an immediate hit. The two had a falling out later in life when she blamed him for deliberately sabotaging her career by writing sexually suggestive songs with saucy double meanings, to which the only serious answer is “you do know that he’s Serge Gainsbourg, right?”

She won Eurovision in 1965, worked with Giorgio Moroder in the early 70s, became a stage perofmrer and a political adovcoate for humanitarian causes, and is still performing to this day – although she’s supposedly not a fan of her early stuff. Which is fair enough, since a 66 year old woman is probably going to give songs like ‘Baby Pop’ a certain terrifying gravitas.

But dear god, this song is amazing. By which I mean that bassline and brass is amazing: what else is even there?

Oh, and it means “leave the girls alone”, sort of. Basically a stop-running-around-or-you’ll-be-sorry song. Sounds far better in French.

SONG YOU SHOULD HAVE REDISCOVERED THIS TIME IN 2011: The still glorious Clouds: ‘Hieronymus’.

SONG YOU SHOULD HAVE REDISCOVERED THIS TIME IN 2012: The evocative, haunting ‘ROYGBIV’ by Boards of Canada.


534. Belle & Sebastian: Sleep the Clock Around (8 Nov)

535. Electronic: Getting Away With it (20 Dec)

536. Arcadia: Election Day (7 March)

537. Ride: Like A Daydream (23 May)

538. Shivaree: Goodnight Moon (15 Aug)