Françoise Hardy

CDCHD-1358_383_383‘Françoise was a confirmed Anglophile who had wanted to record in Britain, with British arrangers, as soon as she became famous’, Bob Stanley writes in the liner notes of ‘Midnight Blues’, a compilation of Hardy’s finest English songs, recorded between 1968 and 1972. I’m not a real fan of Fran’s English songs. It’s the accent, it’s the fact that the translated songs were better in their original form. I like her better in Italian (Spotify-link), but, granted, there are some nice tunes. As is always the case with Ace, the liner-notes are fine, it sounds great and the photos are carefully chosen. One of the things St.Etienne’s Bob Stanley can’t stop fussing about, is how thin and beautiful Hardy was back in the day. ‘In England, it was certainly my physique which pleasured people’, Hardy is quoted. Producer Tony Cox, who tried to set up a collaboration between Nick Drake and Hardy (it didn’t work) says: ‘We’d go out for dinner and every head would turn.’ A part from All Over the World, no single or English album was a bona fide hit in Britain. But she did work with several interesting arrangers and musicians, like Fairport Convention’s Richard Thompson and members of folkband Fatheringay. Here’s two tracks from the compilation:

Françoise Hardy – Midnight Blues
Françoise Hardy – Let My Name Be Sorrow