French rock groups

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Is there such a thing? I'm talking about the guitar-style rock groups, with people playing the drums and singer singing about women, etc.

Famous Athlete, Wednesday, 9 April 2003 22:48 (sixteen years ago) link

Seek ye Treponem Pal.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Wednesday, 9 April 2003 22:50 (sixteen years ago) link

Indochine did have synths in additions, but I guess they might fit in anyway (except they were probably more pop than rock, in a typical early-to-mid-80s way)

Geir Hongro (GeirHong), Wednesday, 9 April 2003 22:52 (sixteen years ago) link

Noir Desir

fletrejet, Wednesday, 9 April 2003 22:54 (sixteen years ago) link

Shakin' Street made two pretty kick-ass albums. Though their singer was a woman, so she probably didn't sing about women or maybe she did.

Mr. Diamond (diamond), Wednesday, 9 April 2003 22:55 (sixteen years ago) link

you must hear, if yu can, the mighty METAL URBAIN who totally fukcing rocked. (NYC Alex, you must have heard metal urbain, surely?)

Pashmina (Pashmina), Wednesday, 9 April 2003 22:56 (sixteen years ago) link

"Hey, man! Is that French rock?"

"Yeah, man!"

"Well, turn it up, man!!"

Okay, enough of that. Les Thugs ownz this thread.

Nick Mirov (nick), Wednesday, 9 April 2003 22:57 (sixteen years ago) link

I'm talking about the guitar-style rock groups, with people playing the drums and singer singing about women, etc.

ha! go figure whether or not the drum-thumpin' Christian Vander sang 'bout any Kobaian femmes! ;-)

t''t, Wednesday, 9 April 2003 22:57 (sixteen years ago) link

But Metal Urbain didn't have drums or sing about women, n'est-ce pas? That's why I didn't list 'em anyway.

Mr. Diamond (diamond), Wednesday, 9 April 2003 23:02 (sixteen years ago) link

yeah but they had a cool cabaret voltaire sounding drum machine, and they rocked harder than many bands w/a real drummer!!

Pashmina (Pashmina), Wednesday, 9 April 2003 23:05 (sixteen years ago) link

Phoenix are excellent.

Spencer Chow (spencermfi), Wednesday, 9 April 2003 23:05 (sixteen years ago) link

Sullivan- although thats more like psych than rock

SplendidMullet (iamamonkey), Wednesday, 9 April 2003 23:10 (sixteen years ago) link

There was a mainstream-y band called Telephone that I think was fairly popular in the '80s

Sam J. (samjeff), Wednesday, 9 April 2003 23:26 (sixteen years ago) link

ACWD is a current band I rather like a lot. I gather a new album is coming soon.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Wednesday, 9 April 2003 23:28 (sixteen years ago) link

ha! go figure whether or not the drum-thumpin' Christian Vander sang 'bout any Kobaian femmes! ;-)

One of us is in love. Only he knows with what or with whom, only he knows how...

Joe (Joe), Thursday, 10 April 2003 00:40 (sixteen years ago) link

Ame Son.

hstencil, Thursday, 10 April 2003 00:41 (sixteen years ago) link

Reverberation is a French band of Spiritualized worshippers. Not sure if they're still around.

Of course there's Magma and Heldon (we just had a Heldon thread too)

Chris Barrus (Chris Barrus), Thursday, 10 April 2003 01:37 (sixteen years ago) link

the splash four and t.v. killers.

brian badword (badwords), Thursday, 10 April 2003 01:43 (sixteen years ago) link

A.S. Dragon?

Mary (Mary), Thursday, 10 April 2003 03:05 (sixteen years ago) link

Mano Negra was part-French and part-rock. (Part-rock: a new subgenre!)

JesseFox (JesseFox), Thursday, 10 April 2003 05:35 (sixteen years ago) link

Sloy! I only know one song (which I only heard upon release, on the radio, and haven't heard since, so the overwhelming feelings I had back then have probably been enhanced by nostalgia): Pop. You all should hear it. And I wanna hear it again! I mean, the vocals... anyone else heard it?

[Apparently, it's from their '95 album "Plug", that got this great review on AMG:
AMG REVIEW: This gigantic album is the band's masterpiece. For their first real LP, they collaborated with Albini, and it was a success. Along the way, you will find samples from Blue Sunshine by the Glove. The sleeve of the disc is orange and is bleaching in the sun. The version of "You Cry" is not as good as the one on Fuse, even if it does have a better sound. The picture printed on the CD is a vinyl. On the vinyl, there is no CD printed. "Many Things" and "Exactly" are the two only songs by the band you can find live, on the EP Pop, and they are both in this album. It is quite impossible to understand what Armand sings because he does not really sing a an existing language, but in a mix of English and phonetics. You should get this disc ASAP. — Romain Guillou]

willem (willem), Thursday, 10 April 2003 05:59 (sixteen years ago) link

greatest review evah!

"The picture printed on the CD is a vinyl. On the vinyl, there is no CD printed."

willem (willem), Thursday, 10 April 2003 06:00 (sixteen years ago) link

I'd give a mensioned to Metal Urbain although they were
electro/proto-industrial/punk. perhaps the Kraftwerk of punk? but still rocks.

rex jr., Thursday, 10 April 2003 06:31 (sixteen years ago) link

ooops. that should be mention.

rex jr, Thursday, 10 April 2003 08:35 (sixteen years ago) link

Kas Product (an electro-punk duo: a girl from Argentina singing over super-ruff drum patterns and maniac synths played by a former male nurse from Nancy) is probably my favorite french rock band.

Actually the whole punk/new-wave was quite interesting, Elli & Jacno were a rather risqué thing to do in France.

Today Heliogabale are really good. So were Prohibition, Bastard and Sister Iodine too. I was told that this band named Chevreuil would soon be produced by Albini.

But to precisely answer your question, Athlete, Noir Desir is the shit.

Etienne Menu (Etienne), Thursday, 10 April 2003 08:45 (sixteen years ago) link

Stinky Toys - French punk band, appeared at the 100 Club Festival.
Little Bob Story were OK, punk-era French pub rock, appeared at the Mont De Marsan punk festival in 1977 (alongside other French bands Bijou, Kalfon Rock Chaud and Shakin' Street, none of whom I've ever heard).
Paris developed quite a punk scene in the late '70's; Metal Urbain and Telephone have already been mentioned but some other bands whose names I can still remember (I lived there for a few months in '79) are Angel Face, Ashphalt Jungle, Les Frenchies, Gasoline, Guilty Razors, Loose Heart, L.U.V. - not sure if any of them ever recorded anything 'though.
From outside Paris I also remember Les Dogs, Marie Et Les Garcons and Starshooter, all of whom released at one single and in Starshooter's case at least one album.
My personal faves 'though were Edith Nylon - great post punk band, not unlike Magazine but with female vocals.

Stewart Osborne (Stewart Osborne), Thursday, 10 April 2003 09:31 (sixteen years ago) link

They're already mentioned, but just for posteritys sake: Les Thugs!

There's heaps of progrock too, but I guess that's not what you want.

Time to go off to check the dictionary, as I have no idea if I used the word "posterity" correctly.

Øystein Holm-Olsen (Øystein H-O), Thursday, 10 April 2003 09:49 (sixteen years ago) link

me love Noir Desir.
If it counts, Passion Fodder .. lyrics are English, singer is French.

dave225 (Dave225), Thursday, 10 April 2003 11:13 (sixteen years ago) link

The leader of Passion Fodder is actually from the States if I recall correctly.
Other groups no one has mentioned yet: Dolly, Newell, Ulan Bator, Art Zoid (though the last three are less rock in the strict sense), Planete Zen, Tokow Boys.

T. Weiss (Timmy), Thursday, 10 April 2003 13:49 (sixteen years ago) link

Les Rita Mitsouko!

Kerry (dymaxia), Thursday, 10 April 2003 14:47 (sixteen years ago) link

When I was in Paris last year, I had trouble finding rock shows to go to. My gf and I went to two and they were both pretty dismal.

Nick A. (Nick A.), Thursday, 10 April 2003 15:10 (sixteen years ago) link

Antoine et les Problemes

Arthur (Arthur), Thursday, 10 April 2003 15:12 (sixteen years ago) link

Art Zoyd (though the last three are less rock in the strict sense)

The whole of their discography (excepting a fantastic early single "Sangria") I would not characterize as rock

Joe (Joe), Thursday, 10 April 2003 15:39 (sixteen years ago) link

The No Talents

Kris (aqueduct), Thursday, 10 April 2003 16:42 (sixteen years ago) link

not mentionned (but i must second Kas Product, my favorite french band too) :

Married monk
Taxi Girl
Toupidek limonade
Kat Onoma
Little rabbits
Complot bronswick
City kids
Lucrate milk
Kid pharaon
Vera Clouzot
Well spotted
Jean-Louis Murat (he's not a band but he sings about girls)

Bruno (Bruno), Thursday, 10 April 2003 16:56 (sixteen years ago) link

Why no French rock n roll?

Tracer Hand (tracerhand), Thursday, 10 April 2003 16:59 (sixteen years ago) link

Search and Destroy: French Ye Ye/Pop

Tracer Hand (tracerhand), Thursday, 10 April 2003 16:59 (sixteen years ago) link

Aïe ! I forgot Marquis de Sade.
and Octobre.

Bruno (Bruno), Thursday, 10 April 2003 17:33 (sixteen years ago) link

go directly to Jacques Dutronc do not pass go do not collect 200 francs

Fritz Wollner (Fritz), Thursday, 10 April 2003 17:56 (sixteen years ago) link

I liked Reverberation's album, and I keep seeing it everywhere in used bins. I also see a few Double Nelson albums - wobbly space-funk, more bass than guitars and much singing about gurls, I suspect.

Curt (cgould), Thursday, 10 April 2003 19:39 (sixteen years ago) link

not much singing about gurls, I suspect.

Curt (cgould), Thursday, 10 April 2003 19:41 (sixteen years ago) link

I would recommend Louise Attaque, especially the song Tu Dis Rien. They are the French Levellers.

I've also bought a French sampler a few weeks back and it featured a song called Aujourd'hui, Maintenant by Experience. They are more like Muse or Placebo. (, Thursday, 10 April 2003 20:00 (sixteen years ago) link

Ok, so nobody has mentioned Trust yet!

French heavy metal! Covered by Anthrax!

Mr. Diamond (diamond), Thursday, 10 April 2003 20:05 (sixteen years ago) link

Not really a band and not playing rock music anymore and the drummer is mechanized, but I will take every available opportunity to state that KG are/is GRATE! (although they fail to meet almost almost all of the stated criteria, i imagine that "emilie, would you let me taste your mouth if i record your band" is a song about a woman).

Miranda (Miranda), Thursday, 10 April 2003 23:38 (sixteen years ago) link

Why hasn't anyone made a "Freedom Rock" joke yet, besides dignity?

Nate Patrin (Nate Patrin), Friday, 11 April 2003 00:15 (sixteen years ago) link

The whole of their discography (excepting a fantastic early single "Sangria") I would not characterize as rock
Joe: when I said "last three" I was referring to the last three bands I mentioned.

T. Weiss (Timmy), Friday, 11 April 2003 15:30 (sixteen years ago) link

Oops! Sorry...

Joe (Joe), Friday, 11 April 2003 18:24 (sixteen years ago) link

>>>Shakin' Street made two pretty kick-ass albums. Though their singer was a woman, so she probably didn't sing about women or maybe she did.<<<

Yes, they did - but the best part of Shakin' Street was American: Ross the Boss!!!

Plastic Bertrand was sort of interesting...

John Bullabaugh (John Bullabaugh), Friday, 11 April 2003 22:29 (sixteen years ago) link

...and sort of Belgian. Do Belgians count?

Nate Patrin (Nate Patrin), Saturday, 12 April 2003 13:21 (sixteen years ago) link

seven years pass...

"Thanks to the Internet, our generation has grown up listening to much more music than previous ones -- especially English-language music," says vocalist Jil Bensenior of folk-rock act Jil Is Lucky. The band's label, Roy Music, says its March 2009 self-titled debut album has sold 17,000 copies domestically...

EMI says Revolver's June 2009 debut album, "Music for a While," has sold 75,000 units. French label Wagram reports similar sales for Pony Pony Run Run's "You Need Pony Pony Run Run" and says "A Mouthful" by pop-rock band the Do and "Artificial Animals Riding on Neverland" by AaRON have sold 150,000 and 300,000, respectively.

Singing in English helped French rock band Phoenix breakthrough in the United States, where it has sold 428,000 copies of its album "Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix" (Glassnote), according to Nielsen SoundScan.

Several newer English-language acts also have overseas aspirations, with Cocoon joining Phoenix on the bill at this year's Coachella Festival. Revolver played five U.K. shows around the May 17 release of "Music for a While," and Jil Is Lucky played three London dates in May and June.

Wagram CEO Stephan Bourdoiseau says negotiations over a U.S. release for Pony Pony Run Run are well advanced. Band singer Gaetan Rechin Le Ky-Huong is confident of building an overseas fan base, as "most of our early listeners on MySpace were not from France," but from the United States and Germany.

Boo Radley (Bee OK), Saturday, 12 June 2010 04:29 (nine years ago) link

tayto fan (Michael B), Saturday, 7 March 2015 13:18 (four years ago) link

Taï Phong was a pretty cool Franco-Vietnamese prog band ca. 1975, maybe not r'n'r enough for this thread

Sharkie, Saturday, 7 March 2015 13:19 (four years ago) link

La Femme are my favourite rock band atm. Here they are weirding out the establishment (and winning awards) at the French Grammys

Leonard Pine, Saturday, 7 March 2015 17:22 (four years ago) link

Yeah the La Femme album is a keeper (esp for fans of early B52s)

licorice oratorio (baaderonixx), Saturday, 7 March 2015 18:41 (four years ago) link

one year passes...


peanutbuttereverysingleday, Wednesday, 24 August 2016 07:07 (three years ago) link

of course METAIL URBAIN but also


peanutbuttereverysingleday, Wednesday, 24 August 2016 07:09 (three years ago) link

sortilege - cracking '80s french metal

a confederacy of lampreys (rushomancy), Wednesday, 24 August 2016 12:34 (three years ago) link

There were quite a few good French prog bands in various styles. Ange, Semool, Moving Gelatine Plates (who have their story told in the most recent Record collector BTW), Couer magique , Horrific Child, Chico magnetic band, Sandrose

There's also the folk into rock stuff like Malicorne and Alain Stivell though that's more electrified folk.

& I did enjoy Deity Guns in the early 90s. At least live where they looked pretty symmetrical on the stage cos about half of them were left handed players.

Stevolende, Wednesday, 24 August 2016 12:53 (three years ago) link


djh, Wednesday, 24 August 2016 15:43 (three years ago) link

Oh yeah meant say The dragons who apparently weren't a chinese punk rock group whose music was smuggled out of Red china by a french journalist but a hoax put together by the journalist and some fop his friends.
Anyway great Crampsy rumbles with one string viol asa lead instrument.
Really wish I hadn't lost their Parfums De la revolution when I left Dublin. Had been looking for a copy for years before i found it in a shop there.

Stevolende, Wednesday, 24 August 2016 16:06 (three years ago) link

eight months pass...

Is there a French-language PJ Harvey?

A French-language Breeders?

Help, j'ai besoin de ecouter de musique francaise mais so much est n'est pas to my liking.

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Saturday, 13 May 2017 01:06 (two years ago) link

They sound neither like PJ Harvey nor like the Breeders, but have you tried Feu! Chatterton?

pomenitul, Saturday, 13 May 2017 01:19 (two years ago) link

Will try now. Had no idea where to start but I am on to and enjoying La Femme!Thread delivers.

My mistake was listening to "learn French through French Music" playlists on Spotifying and thinking oh fuck no I don't even want to know French anymore :(

PS I really want to learn French.

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Saturday, 13 May 2017 01:24 (two years ago) link

OK Feu! Cahtterton is right up my alley. Plus, s'il vous plait!

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Saturday, 13 May 2017 01:31 (two years ago) link

Not a 'group' per se, but I can't believe no one in this thread mentioned Alain Bashung.

pomenitul, Saturday, 13 May 2017 14:51 (two years ago) link

Play Blessures is a total classic

licorice oratorio (baaderonixx), Saturday, 13 May 2017 15:32 (two years ago) link

Thanks to this thread I am in a 100% better place wrt French music, thanking u. Keep 'em coming, merci.

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Saturday, 13 May 2017 15:52 (two years ago) link

quincie have you heard Lescop? he's got a new album out. not as keen on it as the one he did before but he does a great post-punk sound

Shat Parp (dog latin), Saturday, 13 May 2017 16:35 (two years ago) link

Got a CD by a band called Soggy, who put out one single in 1980/81 - everything else on the disc is previously unreleased stuff. It's basic Stooges/MC5 garage punk, shirtless and shouty (they even covered "I Wanna Be Your Dog" fairly capably), recommended if you like that sort of thing.

Here's a video for their best known song, "Waiting for the War":

Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Jr, and Violent J (誤訳侮辱), Saturday, 13 May 2017 17:16 (two years ago) link

Appropriately enough it looks like someone stuck Rob Tyner's head on Iggy's body.

Punnet of the Grapes (Tom D.), Saturday, 13 May 2017 18:17 (two years ago) link

That Soggy video is great! Fantastic guitar sound.

I really like the 2000s French punk band La Fraction. Female-fronted and super catchy without being pop-punk, exactly:

JRN, Saturday, 13 May 2017 19:36 (two years ago) link

Not a band neither but Brigitte Fontaine is probably the closest French singer to PJ Harvey.

Ich bin kein Berliner (alex in mainhattan), Saturday, 13 May 2017 21:13 (two years ago) link

Couldn't resist:

Grantman, Saturday, 13 May 2017 21:24 (two years ago) link

That Trust cover art is good fodder for the "one band member refuses to play along" thread.

JRN, Saturday, 13 May 2017 21:33 (two years ago) link

Not en francias, and not even particularly representative of the band, but song has always felt like a precursor to PJ Harvey

pavane to the darryl of strawberry (bendy), Sunday, 14 May 2017 13:53 (two years ago) link

Has anybody mentioned
Deity Guns
Chico's Magnetic Band

the early 70s prog scene
etc etc

or the new volume of Souljazz's Punk 45 which is why I assumed this thread had been revived

Stevolende, Sunday, 14 May 2017 13:58 (two years ago) link

The Arachnoïd s/t is imperative for all fans of unusual rock music. Opening track is a stunner

imago, Sunday, 14 May 2017 14:07 (two years ago) link

I seem to recall seeing something on an Orange Goblin tour feed where the lead singer for Soggy might have joined them or met them at a gig last year. It was the first time I had heard of Soggy.

earlnash, Sunday, 14 May 2017 15:26 (two years ago) link

xp You're not wrong! Somehow I've never heard this before

ultros ultros-ghali, Sunday, 14 May 2017 15:29 (two years ago) link

stevolende: you did, two years ago! :)

the punk 45 comp was interesting. got me to check out the dogs and guilty razors... as well as a 3 dans les wc, which may have been mentioned here? they're fairly well known. the thing was, i wasn't as much into it as i was into some of the french stuff on the "fake punk" comp "je suis punk". seriously, one listen to pas vraiment mechant by sexe a pile and you can fuck your authenticity narratives.

Cyborg Kickboxer (rushomancy), Sunday, 14 May 2017 15:38 (two years ago) link

Shakin' Street made two pretty kick-ass albums. Though their singer was a woman, so she probably didn't sing about women or maybe she did.
― Mr. Diamond (diamond), Wednesday, April 9, 2003 11:55 PM (fourteen years ago)

She did sing about Susie Wong which was the title of a great single from their s/t first album and up to two days ago the only Shakin' Street song I'd ever heard (tho' I may have played the B-side once or twice).

Two days ago was idly flipping through the CDs in Kensington library and finding said first album. Bit of a Wow! moment; never expected to see that again.

Bloody Snail, Sunday, 14 May 2017 16:05 (two years ago) link

I have been listing to French rock for like three days now, why don't I understand French yet?

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Thursday, 18 May 2017 01:58 (two years ago) link

one month passes...

You need to turn it up louder, my friend.

BTWxxxp there's a Kas Product comp on Soul Jazz but I think all of the tracks on it were issued relatively recently as bonus tracks on the reissues of their first two albums.

Puke and Other Poems (GOTT PUNCH II HAWKWINDZ), Sunday, 9 July 2017 05:16 (two years ago) link

ugh that was hard to read. i'm listening to the last album by manu booz right now, though, and it's some pretty nice prog; slightly too much shredding for my taste, but some good writing too. reminds me a little bit of arrigo barnabe.

The Saga of Rodney Stooksbury (rushomancy), Sunday, 9 July 2017 19:00 (two years ago) link

That article doesn't even mention Arachnoid! I despair

imago, Sunday, 9 July 2017 20:19 (two years ago) link

also omits art zoyd, moving gelatine plates, eskaton, weidorje, sandrose, pentacle, memoriance...

The Saga of Rodney Stooksbury (rushomancy), Sunday, 9 July 2017 22:01 (two years ago) link

Currently loving Jacques Dutronc, La Femme, Lescop, Les Limiñanas.

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Wednesday, 12 July 2017 23:48 (two years ago) link

Magma's Live is being reissued with bonus tracks.

grawlix (unperson), Wednesday, 12 July 2017 23:50 (two years ago) link

that's cool but they're the same bonus tracks that have been on the cds since seventh first issued them in '89 :)

The Saga of Rodney Stooksbury (rushomancy), Thursday, 13 July 2017 01:44 (two years ago) link

happy bastille day


reggie (qualmsley), Friday, 14 July 2017 14:55 (two years ago) link

Happy Bastille Day mf

licorice oratorio (baaderonixx), Friday, 14 July 2017 15:00 (two years ago) link

two years pass...

Here's a great, ear-opening article about the French underground:

Any good compilations covering this era? Seems ripe for Soul Jazz to do something similar to their stellar krautrock samplers.

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Tuesday, 13 August 2019 17:18 (six months ago) link

There was a post recently about a compilatiom based on the NWW list which was all French music from that era. Check the NWW List thread.

Euripedes' Trousers (Tom D.), Tuesday, 13 August 2019 17:26 (six months ago) link

As I said on that thread, I spent some time a few years ago listening to a lot of avant garde French rock from that era and though there's a lot of great stuff, I don't think there's as much of it as there was in Germany at the same time.

Euripedes' Trousers (Tom D.), Tuesday, 13 August 2019 17:41 (six months ago) link

That's an interesting article, but I've tried to get into Magma at least a half dozen times and they suuuuuck. And the Pinhas/Heldon albums I've heard (old stuff as well as recent music, including collaborations with Merzbow and other folks) are just weirdly static and bland.

shared unit of analysis (unperson), Tuesday, 13 August 2019 17:51 (six months ago) link

Yeah Iceland is the only Pinhaus thing I’ve dug

brimstead, Tuesday, 13 August 2019 20:20 (six months ago) link

It’s pretty “static” though

brimstead, Tuesday, 13 August 2019 20:20 (six months ago) link

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