3/ Anything by EDITH PIAF

After Punk, and with me moving for good to England, and with the rising of bland music in the 80’s, I started to look inwards , where I came from and I was astonished by what I thought was so uncool before. But don’t call me a vintage precursor. I like music too much. With standards like Je Ne Negrette Rien, L’ Accordeonniste, L’Hymne a L’Amour, Padam Padam, Milord, Elle frequentait La Rue Pigalle etc… So any song, any album from Edith, there is so much good stuff, so much history, my culture of course, but also strongly related to what was happening at the time: La Vie En Rose was written on the last day of the war, so of course it puts it in a context. Edith Piaf hang out where I come from. I know the streets of Paris, and there is no other smell for me that counts in the same way. Danny is a favorite song of mine. Also Paris Mediterranée. Piaf had a hard life, me too. I’m trying to make mine lasts a bit longer, so what I do finally gets to get out there. Different times. Edith however, was close to a kind of religion. She was mystical, as a singer. My father who played in a jazz band, sold her a car ( the guitarist of the band was the son of another realiste chanteuse, friend of Piaf’s ) . He said of her : Grandiosity and degradation ( decay/forfaiture) in the same body. Noone in that field can come close to her, yes she was/is a Saint, She stood for the people and that’s that.She did come from a tradition of great French realistes chanteuses. I’ll name Jacques Brel and Django Reinheart as well of course, and the great tradition of French Cabaret – people often talk about cabaret and they haven’t got a clue what’s i’s about and where it comes from -more could be for future full interviews or perhaps a book.

Number 4 in Anne Pigalle’s top 10 favourite albums is here

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Award winning journalist and boss of Louder Than War. In a 30 year music writing career, John was the first to write about bands such as Stone Roses and Nirvana and has several best selling music books to his name. He constantly tours the world with Goldblade and the Membranes playing gigs or doing spoken word and speaking at music conferences.


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