In 1967, Vicky Leandros hit #4 at the Eurovision Song Contest with the bittersweet kitsch ballad L’amour est bleu, written by space age pop pioneer André Popp. While Vicky scored a modest hit, as well as Claudine Longet a few months later, it was French orchestra leader Paul Mauriat – kind of the Gallic pendant to American muzak lightster Ray Conniff – who made ten tons of bucks with the song, topping the US charts with his key party warm-up version for five consecutive weeks in spring 1968. The same year, covers by Hungarian jazz guitarist Gabor Szabo, reggae entrepreneur Jackie Mittoo, and awfully neglected actress/ singer Vivian Dandridge came out. Plus the stratocaster aberration by Jeff Beck – no. 14 in Rolling Stone’s list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time. Say what?
Paul Mauriat – L’amour est bleu