Tuesday, September 8, 2009

After Hours

France Gall. Der Computer Nr. 3

Hey, France Gall's singing in German about computer dating! Somebody expended a lot of effort on renovating her original live performance from 1968 with additional weird footage from some other source. The result is...well, it doesn't make her sound any better. But she's still very cute. Her German is not bad at all. Why is she singing in it anyway? Well, back then, you did your best to cultivate an international audience and in order to do that, you had to sing in some other language. So France sang in German and Italian, Francoise Hardy sang in German, Italian and English and many others did the same. These days, it's a dead practice. If some tune is in French or German or English, it stays that way; it doesn't get translated and re-recorded. This has led to various pop cultures in numerous developed nations being quite insular. If you want insular, look right here in the U.S. I mean, it's tough for many British acts to break here - and they speak mostly the same language as we do. One of the few exceptions in recent years is Shakira. Sure, her singing is even worse than France Gall in her heyday, but as long as she shakes her ample posterior, all is forgiven. Hey, it's not about the music!

Anyhow, in the coming weeks, I'll be featuring more and more foreign-language performances by French pop stars. They're mostly better tunes than this one. But you do have to admit, France looks darling and the song is catchy in a lowest-common-denominator kind of way.

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