Sunday, 24 February 2008

Saint Etienne and Sylvie Vartan

This iconic beauty, who was nestling amongst the 7 inchers, jumped out at me and demanded that I invest 20p for such a chic cover. Sylvie Vartan is a legend in France, where she became a singing and dancing sensation in the genre now known as the yé-yé girls (of whom Françoise Hardy is probably the best known in the U.K) This Bulgarian born chanteuse came to prominence in the early sixties with her catchy pop sound and her rise in the affections of French pop fans was cemented when she married Johnny Hallyday. She has retained a large fan base is still recording albums and is performing a tour right now so hop on that plane/euro star pronto if you want to catch her live.

The Sylvie moniker reminded me of sophisticated indie-pop crafters Saint Etienne, who crafted many a slab of perfect pop loveliness, throughout the nineties/noughties. One of my favourites was called Sylvie, were they inspired by the original yé-yé queen for the title? I like to think so, even though the lyrics were all about sibling rivalry as the older sister planned to cut down to size, her younger sister, who had become too big for her boots by cutting into the unnamed sister's glamour territory! all set to Sarah Cracknell's sumptuous singing: as good as watching Michel Platini in full flow in 1980/1.

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