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LES BELLES ET LE BEAT : The ‘yé-yé girls’ french singers of the 1960s

The 1960s was a golden era for young French female pop singers with risqué lyrics 😉 Yé-yé (so called after the “yeah yeahs” that permeated British and American rock music at the time) was a style of pop featuring young female singers that was generally marked by its campness and sometimes tongue-in-cheek lyrics, and was hugely popular in 1960s France. The term “yé-yé” was actually coined by the sociologist Edgar Morin in a piece for Le Monde, in which he attempted to explain why it was important that a new wave of youngsters was making such passionate and charming music that was replacing the more straightforward rock’n’roll, and one quite at odds with the intellectuals’ music of choice at the time: jazz. To explain the growing popularity of this music style with what was happening in French society at the time.: The concept of the teenager was being imported from the US, and youth and its various subcultures were rising in prominence. The adults had a lot of catching up to do. he older generation couldn’t understand what young people were all about; there was a generation gap The underground didn’t really exist. In a way this music was really the only window of liberty for a lot of young people. American and British songs were often imported, and given to a yé-yé singer to sing in French, as the public preferred. “But they would often rewrite them using much more risqué lyrics, and their own kind of arrangement. Despite accusations that the music sometimes was no better than bubblegum pop, the women still captivated. Françoise Hardy beguiled everyone from Mick Jagger, who called her his “ideal woman”, to Bob…