Sexiest Women in French Music Today: Beyond Category

Countdown done, everything finished, and now you know ’em all. Almost. The FS Team chose to choose The One. The hors catégorie girl. We talked Ludivine, discussed Bardot, and of course everybody at FS loves Jane. But beyond category means something different, something that distills myth and magic, someone who transcends time, style, beauty and, of course, ultimate sexiness.

„Jeez“, my friend Matthias says. „I recall vividly how I danced with a fellow lawyer to Déshabillez-moi at his farewell party, and afterwards I had to run to the loo to rinse my mouth, since we had kissed to the final chord. That’s what Juliette Gréco does to you.“ In the beginning, she didn’t even need a voice. Boris Vian, ruling prince of St. Germain, was completely enchanted by the silence of the chain-smoking beauty with the long black hair and the cool black look, and stellar writers Jacques Prévert, François Mauriac or Raymond Queneau wrote lyrics just to hear her sing – she had „millions of poems in her voice“, as existentialist philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre tried to emcompass her magnetism. Never being part of France’s huge Babe Squad, Gréco redefined the concept of the female self, and en passant the idea of chanson. In 1959, only 32 years old, she invited a then quite unknown songwriter to her house: Serge Gainsbourg, who was so nervous that he spilled the whiskey she offered him, and couldn’t get out a single coherent sentence. Soon after he wrote Les Amours Perdues, Accordéon and La Javanaise for her, perhaps his finest songs. Better than anyone else, Gréco knew that it was all about finding a voice. That’s what she did for herself, for Serge, and for French song.

Juliette Gréco – Valse de l’au-revoir
Juliette Gréco – Mirabeau sous le pont