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In 1964, France’s Françoise Hardy fully hit her stride on her third album, having somehow convinced her label, Disques Vogues, to send her across the Channel to record with London-based Joe Meek protégé, Charles Blackwell. Restored to the original mono mixes, remastered and available domestically for the first time as part of a series of reissues of her first five French-language recordings, the record now fully emerges as the first pure statement from a singer who fought for artistic integrity and actually won.
Immediately, Mon Amie La Rose stands apart from the preceding Tous Les Garçons Et Les Filles and Le Premier Bonheur Du Jour in its lush, Phil Spector-like production. The young Hardy had finally found the arranger she had sought for so long. Blackwell understood her songs as much as he grasped American pop, and thus brought a dreamy, yet aggressive Crystals/Ronettes vibe to her carefully chosen repertoire, which also included ballads, like “Pars” and the title track, as well as forays into the country music that Hardy had heard on the radio as a young girl with “Pas Gentille” and “Tu Ne Dis Rien.” Even “Pourtant Tu M’Aimes,” the sole track recorded in Paris with Mickey Baker of Mickey & Sylvia fame, boasted the drama of a Bob Crewe Four Seasons single. At last, the young singer-songwriter could finally hear her songs the way she always wanted them to sound.
It took some time, but Françoise Hardy finally found a way to shed the shy, lonely persona her label had cultivated at home in favor of a confident international pop chanteuse. The future looked promising indeed…
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