As the bossa nova movement evolves in the early 1960s, Brazil’s original aestheticism gives way to the introduction of political themes. The politicization of popular music would take shape under Brazil’s military dictatorship of 1964 leading to the so-called “protest song“, of which one of the most emblematic is Caminhando (“Walking”) by Geraldo Vandré. It is the time of great musical festivals, when a “university” generation of composers and singers appeared. Artists such as Chico Buarque and Edu Lobo would be idolized by intellectuals and were instrumental in the creation of Música Popular Brasileira (Brazilian Popular Music) or MPB, a movement initially linked to political engagement against dictatorship.

The Tropicália movement was also a form of protest song that appeared during the same period; it was characterized by the eclectic blend of pop culture elements -such as rock- with the elite culture -the modernist and concretist schools of visual arts- having a more erudite and experimental character. The Bahians Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil were the main exponents of this movement.

The Iê-iê-iê style (Brazil’s rock’n’roll of the 60s, the equivalent of France’s yé-yé) was “softer” in Brazil than in the USA or UK, adopting a more romantic style. This movement came to be known as Jovem Guarda (Young Guard) and had huge commercial success. Its more representative artists were Roberto Carlos, Erasmo Carlos, Tim Maia and Wanderléa, among others.

These are some of the greatest songs of this period:

11) João Gilberto – “Corcovado” (1960) 

Corcovado” was written by Antônio Carlos Jobim in 1960 and refers to Rio de Janeiro’s iconic  Corcovado mountain. An English version was later released with the title “Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars“.

This song was included in the album Brazil’s Brilliant João Gilberto, which was released in the United States in 1960. It was the record that introduced João Gilberto, Antonio Carlos Jobim and bossa nova to the American audience, before Stan Getz scored a hit with “Desafinado”.


12) Carlos Lyra – “Minha Enamorada” (1960) 

This song (“My beloved”) is the most successful fruit of Carlos Lyra’s partnership with “El poetinha” Vinicius de Moraes.

“Minha Namorada” was released during the bossa nova boom, but in terms of rhythm and melody it does not have much to do with it. It is a romantic, tender and sincere ballad; Lyra and Vinicius wrote other emblematic songs, but few were as perennial as this one.


13) Maysa – “O Barquinho” (1961) 

One of Brazil’s most charismatic divas, known as “the Janis Joplin of Bossa Nova” due to her tumultuous personal life, Maysa would become influential for a whole generation of Brazilian artists.

This song (the title means “Little boat”) was reportedly composed by Roberto Menescal and Ronaldo Bôscoli while being with friends on a boat; suddenly the engine broke down, and the sound of the motor when they were trying to restart the boat made the tune for “O Barquinho”. It was re-recorded many times, but this is one of the most successful and beautiful versions.


14) João Gilberto and Stan Getz – “So Danço Samba” (1962)

“Só Danço Samba” was composed by Antônio Carlos Jobim, with lyrics by Vinicius de Moraes; it was suggested that the song was part of a failed movement to invent a bossa nova dance.

Só Danço Samba became in instant classic with hundreds recordings over the decades. With English lyrics provided by Norman Gimbel, it gained immediate international popularity under the titles Jazz Samba, Jazz ‘n’ Samba or occasionally I Only Dance Samba (literal translation of the original Portuguese title).


15) Antônio Carlos Jobim – “Água De Beber” (1963)

“Drinking-Water” was composed by Brazil’s towering figure of bossa nova and one of the great songwriters of the century Antônio Carlos Jobim, with lyrics by another fundamental figure in Brazilian music, the co-father of bossa nova, Vinicius de Moraes.

This was reportedly the first song composed in the new Brazil capital, Brasilia, while it was still being constructed. It has had many re-recordings; some great versions are those by Astrud Gilberto, Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra.


16) Astrud Gilberto, João Gilberto and Stan Getz – “The Girl from Ipanema” (1964)

This is arguably Brazil’s most iconic song; the sound of an era in which bossa nova was the lingua franca of the country and this song its anthem.

Summer 1962, Rio de Janeiro. The story goes that Antonio Carlos Jobim and Vinicius de Moraes were sitting at a bar near Ipanema Beach in Rio, when they saw the most beautiful woman walking by, and they immediately wrote this song down on a bar napkin! (not quite exactly the truth, though, read more here). The original version, Garota de Ipanema was released in 1962. Nevertheless, while an Ipanema girl named Heloísa inspired the song, it was another Carioca who made it famous worldwide.

Astrud Gilberto was the wife of singing star João Gilberto, when she entered a New York studio in March 1963. João and Jobim were making a record of the song with tenor saxman Stan Getz. The idea of a verse in English came up, and Astrud was the only one of the Brazilians who spoke English. The song with the name “The Girl from Ipanema” was released and it rapidly became a huge worldwide hit. Indeed, it is the second most re-recorded song in history after The Beatles’ “Yesterday”.


17) Demônios da Garoa – “Trem das onze” (1964)

This song (English: “The 11 P.M. Train”) was composed by São Paulo singer and composer Adoniran Barbosa; it portrays, in a tragicomical way, the drama of a lover who lives in a distant suburb of São Paulo, and who cannot stay longer with his beloved woman because the last train will be departing soon, at 11 p.m, and his mother won’t sleep until he gets home. “Trem das Onze” is an example of both samba paulista  (samba developed in São Paulo) and samba-de-breque (here).

It was released in 1964 and made famous that same year by the samba group Demônios da Garoa. It is one of the best known Brazilian popular songs and considered of the most representative cultural symbols of the city of São Paulo.


18) Moacir Santos – “Nanã – Coisa Número 5” (1965)

“Coisas” (“Things”) is the debut album by composer, maestro and multi-instrumentalist Moacir Santos. It was released in 1965; the ten tracks of the album were named as “Things” – numbered from 1 to 10. The LP was chosen by the Brazilian Rolling Stone Magazine as one of the 100 best Brazilian records of all time.


19) Sergio Mendes and Brasil 66 – “Mas que nada ” (1966)

If you want to hear good, uplifting samba, this is the song! Mas que nada (the English translation would be “come on” or “yeah! Right”) was the first hit of an artist who would became a real school within Brazil’s popular music, Jorge Ben (later, Jorge Ben Jor). It was an impressive hit in 1963, and the beginning of Jorge Ben’s career.

But I have to say I love this version by another great artist, Sergio Mendes. With this song he managed to go beyond Brazil’s borders in 1966, and then again in 2006 when he re-recorded with The Black Eyed Peas


20) Walter Wanderley Trio – “Samba de Verão” (1966)

“Summer Samba” (also known as “So Nice”) was first popularized by Walter Wanderley Trio in 1966 — the album Rain Forest on which it was issued reached platinum status in 1970. The song became an instant success, with radio stations playing it constantly. Also in 1966 the trio accompanied Astrud Gilberto on her A Certain Smile, a Certain Sadness album, which features a beautiful, sung version of this song.

Although immortalized as an “easy listening” or “lounge music” artist, Wanderley music was at that time innovative and revolutionary. The percussive rhythms reminiscent of a Brazilian black tradition were not dear to many Brazilians; in fact most of his successful career took place in the United States.


21) Baden Powell and Vinicius de Moraes – “Canto de Ossanha” (1967)

In candomblé (an Afro-American religious tradition), there is no ceremony without the presence of Ossanha,  the entity that holds the magic force – the axé – necessary in every ritual. Perhaps this is the reason why “Canto de Ossanha” is the opening track of Os Afro-Sambas, the third album emerged from the partnership between the music of Baden Powell and the lyrics of Vinicius de Moraes.

This syncretism of Brazil with Africa via Bahia, now so natural, was not taken for granted in the 60s. “Canto de Ossanha” helped the sound of Afro-Brazilian religions, systematically persecuted until two decades before, become an inextricable part of Brazil’s music and culture.

A great cover of this song was released in 2006 by Jurassic 5.


22) Caetano Veloso – “Alegria, Alegria” (1967)

“Happiness, Happiness” is a song written and performed by Caetano Veloso. Often referred to as “the Brazilian anthem of 1967”, it later appeared on his influential eponymous 1968 album.

This was the song that introduced the Tropicália movement to Brazil. The ideal exposed by the song lyrics was first presented at a memorable live performance in 1967, reinforced by the Argentine group Beat Boys, who added visual aesthetics. It was a hit at the time, and was often sung during public manifestations in favor of impeachment.


23) Wilson Simonal – “Nem Vem Que Não Tem” (1967)

An emblematic figure of Brazil’s popular music, Wilson Simonal was a singer with great success in the 1960s and 1970s, although he was relatively unknown outside of South America.

This is his biggest international hit (the title would be translated as “Don’t even think about it!”); it was adapted and recorded by French singer Zanini, who made a hit with the song “Tu veux ou tu veux pas”.


24) Edú Lobo and Marília Medalha – “Ponteio” (1967)

A singer, multi-instrumentalist, producer and composer, Edú Lobo is one of the driving forces behind the MPB movement. He has worked with the most important Brazilian artists and his songs were covered by big names of international music such as Sarah Vaughan and Earth, Wind & Fire.

This is one of his most famous songs, performed here with Marília Medalha; with this song they were the winners of the  III Festival de Música Popular Brasileira/FMPB in 1967.


25) Chico Buarque and Mpb4- “Roda Viva” (1967)

Arguably one of Brazil’s most renowned songwriters and singers, Chico Buarque is an iconoclastic figure in post-bossa nova Brazilian music.  With his distinctive voice, elegant phrasing, and considerable skill at lyric writing, Buarque  became extremely popular in the 1960s –particularly among women, as he was very handsome. However, Buarque resented the role of pop star and chose to be seen as a serious artist.

Roda Viva (“The wheel of life”) is a song that Buarque wrote for the eponymous play; it was a criticism to the obsessive fan culture. During the play, the pop star protagonist was literally torn apart and his flesh consumed by his fans; the performers would also offer the audience pieces of the dead pop star’s flesh to eat (it was chicken meat). Needless to say, the military dictatorship in charge those years did not like the idea of the play and soldiers were sent out to disrupt the performances, destroy sets and assault performers; Chico Buarque himself was briefly jailed.


26) Os Mutantes – “Panis Et Circenses” (1968)

Os Mutantes (“The Mutants”) are one of the most talented and influential Brazilian psychedelic rock bands that were linked with the Tropicália movement. Their unique blend of psychedelic rock, bossa nova, tropicália and samba has inspired many contemporary American and European artists, who cite Os Mutantes as a major influence. With many changes from the original line-up featuring Rita LeeArnaldo Baptista and Sérgio Dias, the band has been active since then, with their last album being released in 2013.

The title  of this song means “Bread and Circuses”, and it is an allusion to the classical poet Juvenal, who scorned ancient Romans for their easy and predictable manipulation through bread and circus.  The song, in turn, is a satire of bourgeois conventions. In the lyrics, a first-person poetic voice tries desperately to alarm the family, to snap them out of their mental and physical stagnation; the attempt is futile.  During these early years of military rule in Brazil, when economic liberalization brought quick financial boons to the complaisant and complicit upper middle class, expressions of rejection of these mores were frequent in Brazilian music.


27) Caetano Veloso – “Tropicália” (1968)

The opening track of the first tropicalista album by Caetano Veloso, “Alegria, Alegria. It was very popular upon its release in Brazil, and the Brazilian press used the song title “Tropicália” to christen the larger artistic movement it represented “Tropicalismo”, to the disdain of Caetano himself. Later it was re-recorded by Gal Costa and inspired a homonymous song, released by the American Beck, declared lover of the movement.

Although Caetano has expressed displeasure with the album, it often shows up on lists of greatest Brazilian albums, and was inducted into the Latin Grammy Award Hall of Fame in 2001.


28) Geraldo Vandré – “Pra não dizer que não falei das flores” (1968)

Also known as “Caminhando” (“Walking”; or “Not to say that I haven’t spoken about the flowers”), it was composed by Geraldo Vandré and was presented at the III International Festival of Song of TV Globo in 1968 where it ranked second (the winner was “Sabiá”). It caused a great controversy at that time because the public, mostly students thirsting for protest songs, booed the jury’s decision and made the explosive “Pra Não Dizer…” a sort of anthem of a generation.

The song was considered by the dictatorship a mockery of the armed forces; public playing of the song was forbidden, all the registers of Vandré’s presentation at the festival were deleted, and Vandré became one of the most hunted persons in the country, forced eventually to flee the country. The song was finally released 11 years later, with the end of dictatorship.

Walking is still used to remember the situation the country was going through at the time and to keep alive the memories of those who were victims of the hard times of dictatorship. It has been re-recorded many times, of which one of the most iconic is the one by Simone; the latter was lately sampled by Reboot and Federico Scavo.


29) Gilberto Gil – “Domingo No Parque” (1968)

With this song (“Sunday at the park”) Gilberto Gil got the second place at the 1967 III Festival of Popular Music, accompanied by Os Mutantes; it was later released in the album Gilberto Gil (1968). Gil, together with Caetano Veloso, became the leader of Brazil’s Tropicalia movement. His musical style provided a more universal sound to the music played at that time, mixing electric guitar with traditional Bahian elements, such as the sound of the berimbau. He is undoubtedly one of Brazil’s, and the world’s most celebrated singer/songwriters, with a musical career that has successfully spanned six decades and hits in each one.


30) Noriel Vilela – “Dezesseis Toneladas” (1969)

With his signature deep bass voice, Noriel Vilela made a career first as a member of the samba vocal group Cantores de Ebano. His 1969 solo album “Eis o Ôme” is a succession of sambalanço songs with strong afro influence. This was Vilela’s greatest hits, which is a Portuguese version of the American classic “Sixteen Tons” by Ernie Ford and Merle Travis.

The latest years Vilela enjoys a cult revival among fans of sambalanço. In 2014 “Dezesseis Toneladas” was used for a famous beer commercial, and since then it has been re-recorded several times.


31) Erasmo Carlos – “Sentado à Beira do Caminho” (1969)

“Sitting at the Edge of the Road” was composed by the legendary duo Roberto Carlos & Erasmo Carlos and released by Erasmo Carlos.

The song describes the despair and hopelessness of a lover waiting for his beloved; it became an instant hit and was adapted in many languages, the most famous version being the Italian by Ornella Vanoni with title “L’appuntamento”. Vanoni’s version was included in the musical score of the film Ocean’s Twelve.


YouTube playlist here

See also:


best-french-songs-60s-bb-modΔείτε επίσης:

Με την ολοκλήρωση της μεταπολεμικής ανασυγκρότησης, η δεκαετία του ’60 αποπνέει μια αίσθηση δύναμης και αισιοδοξίας στη Γαλλία. Η μόδα, ο κινηματογράφος και η μουσική αντανακλούν αυτά τα συναισθήματα: η κινηματογραφική Nouvelle Vague και το pret-à-porter είναι εμβληματικά αυτής της περιόδου. Εν τούτοις, μετά τα γεγονότα του Μάη του ’68, οι νέοι θα επηρεαστούν σε μεγάλο βαθμό από την κουλτούρα των χίπις, γνωστή στην Γαλλία ως baba cool. Στην γαλλική μουσική σκηνή εμφανίζεται το γιε-γιέ (από τα αγγλικά “ναι, ναι”), ένα μουσικό στιλ που έγινε παγκόσμιο φαινόμενο και έδωσε στον κόσμο μερικά από τα καλύτερα τραγούδια όλων των εποχών.

Αυτά είναι μερικά από τα πιο αξιομνημόνευτα γαλλικά τραγούδια της δεκαετίας του ’60:

16) Gilbert Bécaud – “Et maintenant” (1961)

Γνωστός ως “Monsieur 100.000 Volts” λόγω της ενέργειας του μετέδιδε επί σκηνής, ο Bécaud υπήρξε δημοφιλής καλλιτέχνης για σχεδόν πενήντα χρόνια. Αυτό το τραγούδι είναι για μια ερωτική απογοήτευση: η απελπισία και η θλίψη του ακούγονται σε κρεσέντο (όπως και η μουσική), και καταλήγει με έναν τραγικό στίχο: “Πραγματικά δεν μου έχει μείνει τίποτα”.Ήταν τεράστια επιτυχία. Το 1961 ο ίδιος ο Bécaud το ερμήνευσε στα αγγλικά με το όνομα “What Now My Love”, και έγινε αμέσως hit στο Ηνωμένο Βασίλειο και τις ΗΠΑ.


 17) Françoise Hardy – “Tous les garçons et les filles” (1962)

Ο τίτλος του τραγουδιού σημαίνει “Όλα τα αγόρια και τα κορίτσια” και μιλά για τα συναισθήματα μιας νεαρής γυναίκας που δεν έχει βρει την αληθινή αγάπη, και τον φθόνο που νιώθει για τα ζευγάρια που την περιβάλλουν. Πολύ γρήγορα έγινε επιτυχία, η ίδια η Hardy το ερμήνευσε και στα αγγλικά, στα ιταλικά και στα γερμανικά. Έχει διασκευαστεί πολλές φορές και έχει ακουστεί σε κάποιες ταινίες, όπως και στην ελληνική Attenberg.


 18Georges Brassens – “Les copains d’abord” (1964)

Παραγωγικός τραγουδιστής / τραγουδοποιός / ποιητής, με περισσότερα από 100 ποιήματα και 14 άλμπουμ στο ενεργητικό του, ο Brassens είναι γνωστός για τις αναρχικές του ιδέες και το μαύρο χιούμορ που περιέχουν οι στίχοι του. Les copains d’abord, ένας ύμνος στη φιλία, έχει γίνει ένα από τα πιο διάσημα του τραγούδια, το οποίο ο τραγουδοποιός είχε γράψει για την ταινία Les Copains.


19) Enrico Macias – “L’amour c’est pour rien” (1964)

Ο Αλγερινός Macias αναγκάστηκε να εγκαταλείψει τη χώρα του κατά τη διάρκεια του πολέμου της ανεξαρτησίας, και εξορίστηκε στη Γαλλία. Από τότε δεν του έχει επιτραπεί να γυρίσει στην πατρίδα του, εξού τα νοσταλγικά, ανατολίτικα τραγούδια του: “Adieu mon pays”(Αντίο πατρίδα μου), L’oriental” (Ο ανατολίτης), μεταξύ άλλων. “L’amour c’est pour rien” (Η αγάπη είναι δωρεάν) είναι ένα πιο ρομαντικό και ελαφρύ κομμάτι.


20) Alain Barrière – “Ma vie” (1964)

Διάσημος μετά από τη συμμετοχή του στο διαγωνισμό τραγουδιού Eurovision το 1963, ο Barrière κυκλοφόρησε το πρώτο του άλμπουμ, Ma vie (Η ζωή μου), από το οποίο το ομώνυμο κομμάτι έγινε τεράστια επιτυχία.


21) Charles Aznavour – “La Bohème” (1965)

Με τη μοναδική του φωνή, ο Αζναβούρ έγινε ένας από τους μακροβιότερους καλλιτέχνες της Γαλλίας, ο οποίος συνήθως συγκρίνεται με τον Frank Sinatra. Έχει ηχογραφήσει πάνω από 1200 τραγούδια σε 8 γλώσσες. “La Bohème” είναι από τα πιο γνωστά του τραγούδια, που μιλά για έναν ζωγράφο που θυμάται τα νεανικά του χρόνια στην μποέμ συνοικία Μονμάρτρη του Παρισιού.


22) Christophe – “Aline” (1965)

Αυτή η ρομαντική μπαλάντα περιγράφει, με ποιητικό τρόπο, τα συναισθήματα ενός άνδρα για την αγαπημένη του, την Aline, η οποία τον έχει αφήσει. Έγινε αμέσως επιτυχία σε διάφορες χώρες, και είναι από το πιο διάσημα τραγούδια του Christophe, μαζί με το εξίσου ρομαντικό Oh mon amour.


23) Sylvie Vartan – “La plus belle pour aller danser” (1965)

Η Sylvie Vartan συγκαταλέγεται μεταξύ των πιο διάσημων καλλιτεχνών του γιε-γιέ. Αυτό το τραγούδι (ο τίτλος σημαίνει “Η πιο όμορφη για το χορό”) έγινε μία από τις μεγαλύτερες της επιτυχίες, όχι μόνο στη Γαλλία, αλλά και σε άλλες χώρες, όπως Ιαπωνία.


24) Adamo – “La nuit” (1965)

Ο Βέλγος καλλιτέχνης Salvatore Adamo (επίσης γνωστός ως Adamo) είναι ένας από τους πιο διάσημους καλλιτέχνες της δεκαετίας του ’60, αλλά και ο Βέλγος μουσικός με τις μεγαλύτερες πωλήσεις όλων των εποχών. Μάλιστα, θεωρείται ένας από τους πιο εμπορικά επιτυχημένους μουσικούς στον κόσμο. “La Nuit” (Η νύχτα) είναι ένα από τα πιο εμβληματικά του τραγούδια μαζί με το “Tombe la neige” και το “Inch’Allah”.


25) Hervé Villard – Capri c’est fini” (1965)

Αυτό το τραγούδι (ο τίτλος σημαίνει “Το Κάπρι τελείωσε”) μιλάει για το τέλος μιας σχέσης που είχε ξεκινήσει στο ιταλικό νησί του Κάπρι, που ήταν ένας πολύ δημοφιλής καλοκαιρινός προορισμός κατά τη διάρκεια της δεκαετίας του ’60. Το τραγούδι έγινε τεράστια γαλλική και διεθνής επιτυχία το καλοκαίρι του ’65 μαζί με το Aline του Christophe.


26) Mireille Mathieu – “La dernière valse” (1967)

Η Mireille Mathieu ήταν ένα από τους πιο αναγνωρίσιμους Γάλλους καλλιτέχνες της δεκαετίας του ’60 -και εξακολουθεί να είναι! Έχει ηχογραφήσει πάνω από 1200 τραγούδια σε 11 γλώσσες, και έχει πουλήσει πάνω από 150 εκατομμύρια άλμπουμ παγκοσμίως. Αυτό το τραγούδι είναι η γαλλική εκδοχή του “The Last Waltz”, και έγινε επιτυχία όχι μόνο στη Γαλλία, αλλά και στο Ηνωμένο Βασίλειο, όπου η Mathieu κλήθηκε να το τραγουδήσει στο Royal Performance για την Βασίλισσα Ελισάβετ ΙΙ.


27) Jacques Dutronc – “Les cactus” (1967)

Ο Dutronc ήταν πολύ δημοφιλής στις γαλλόφωνες χώρες, αν και ελάχιστα γνωστός αλλού. Είναι εκπρόσωπος ενός μουσικού στιλ που έγινε γνωστό ως garage rock, το οποίο δημιουργήθηκε ως αντίθεση στην ελαφρότητα των “γιεγιέδων”.

Μην νομίζετε πως οι στίχοι αυτού του τραγουδιού δεν βγάζουν νόημα (“Όλος ο κόσμος είναι ένας κάκτος, είναι αδύνατο να καθίσεις”): ο Dutronc επικρίνει δριμύτατα την συμβατικότητα, την αστική τάξη και “τον εγωισμό και ατομικισμό που προκύπτουν από τον καπιταλισμό”.


28) Claude François – “Comme d’habitude” (1968)

Μετά την κυκλοφορία του το 1968, το κομμάτι αυτό γινόταν όλο και μεγαλύτερη επιτυχία, και παιζόταν συνεχώς στο ραδιόφωνο και την τηλεόραση. Σε ένα ταξίδι του στο Παρίσι, ο Paul Anka έτυχε να το ακούσει, αγόρασε τα δικαιώματά του και του έγραψε αγγλικούς στίχους. Και έτσι γεννήθηκε ένα all-time classic : το περίφημο “My Way” του Φρανκ Σινάτρα.


29) Joe Dassin – “Les Champs Élysées” (1969)

Αυτή είναι μία από τις πρώτες επιτυχίες του Ντασέν, ο οποίος θα γίνει εξαιρετικά δημοφιλής κατά τη διάρκεια της δεκαετίας του ’70. Περιέργως, αυτό το τόσο παριζιάνικο κομμάτι είναι μια διασκευή από ένα αγγλικό τραγούδι. Το έχει ερμηνεύσει τελευταία και η Zaz.


30) Georges Moustaki – “Le Métèque” (1969)

Αιγύπτιο-Γάλλος (Ίταλο-Ελληνικής καταγωγής) ο Ζωρζ Μουστακί έγινε γνωστός για τα ποιητικά, απλά και ρομαντικά τραγούδια που συνέθεσε και συχνά τραγουδούσε. Κατά τη διάρκεια της μακρόχρονης καριέρας του, έδωσε στην Γαλλία μερικά από τα πιο αγαπημένα της τραγούδια: έγραψε περίπου 300 κομμάτια, τα περισσότερα εκ των οποίον ερμήνευσαν οι πιο δημοφιλείς Γάλλοι τραγουδιστές (ακόμα και η Πιάφ). Αυτό το αυτοβιογραφικό τραγούδι έγινε τεράστια επιτυχία: Métèque (από την ελληνική λέξη μέτοικος) είναι ένας υποτιμητικός όρος που χρησιμοποιόταν εκείνη την εποχή για τους μετανάστες μεσογειακής προέλευσης.


31) Zanini – “Tu veux ou tu veux pas” (1969)

Με το χαρακτηριστικό μικρό μουστάκι, το καπέλο και τα γυαλιά του, ο Zanini θα γίνει γνωστό μετά την μεγάλη επιτυχία του “Tu veux ou tu pas veux” (Θέλεις ή δεν θέλεις), το οποίο είναι μια διασκευή του βραζιλιάνικου τραγουδιού “Nem vem que não tem” του Wilson Simonal.


32) Johnny Hallyday – “Que je t’aime” (1969)

Το πιο εμβληματικό κομμάτι του “Γάλλου Elvis” Johnny Hallyday, το οποίο παραμένει μέχρι και σήμερα ένα από τα αγαπημένα τραγούδια του γαλλικού λαού. Ήταν τέτοια η επιτυχία του, που οι φαν του συχνά πάθαιναν υστερία και λιποθυμούσαν. Ο Hallyday αναγκαζόταν πολλές φορές να “διασωθεί” από έναν περιπολικό για να αποφύγει τον υπερβολικό ενθουσιασμό των θαυμαστών του.


33) Serge Gainsbourg & Jane Birkin – “Je t’aime moi non plus” (1969)

Ο τίτλος του τραγουδιού σημαίνει “Σ’αγαπώ – εγώ όχι πια” και αφηγείται την αδυναμία δύο εραστών να είναι μαζί. Έγινε αμέσως ένα απόλυτο hit διεθνώς, αν και λόγω του σεξουαλικού του περιεχομένου, απαγορεύτηκε σε πολλές χώρες.

Ο Gainsbourg εμπνεύστηκε το τραγούδι όταν η Μπριζίτ Μπαρντό του ζήτησε να γράψει “το ομορφότερο ερωτικό τραγούδι που θα μπορούσε να φανταστεί”. Και τα κατάφερε μια χαρά! Για μένα, είναι πράγματι ένα από τα πιο αισθησιακά τραγούδια που έχουν ποτέ κυκλοφορήσει.

Δείτε επίσης:

YouTube playlist εδώ


best-french-songs-60s-bb-modSee also 

With France’s postwar reconstruction finally over, a renewed sense of optimism and energy started to exude from young people in the 60s. Fashion, cinema and music reflected this state of mind: Nouvelle vague cinema and pret-à-porter are emblematic of this period, although after the 1968 events, young people would be largely influenced by the hippy culture (known as baba cool in French). French music is marked by the emergence of yé-yé, (from the English “yeah yeah”), which became a global phenomenon and gave the world some of the best all-time songs.

These are some of the most memorable songs of the sixties:

16) Gilbert Bécaud – “Et maintenant” (1961)

Also known as “Monsieur 100,000 Volts” for his energetic performances, Bécaud remained a popular artist for nearly fifty years. “Et maintenant” is about a love deception: in the song, despair and commotion go in crescendo (so does the music) ending with a last tragic verse: “I really have nothing left”. It was a huge success; a 1961 release by Bécaud himself in English known as “What Now My Love” became an instant hit in the UK and USA.


 17) Françoise Hardy – “Tous les garçons et les filles” (1962)

This song (means “All the Boys and Girls”) is about the feelings of a young woman who hasn’t found love, and her envy of the couples that surround her. It quickly became a success; Hardy also recorded it in English, Italian and German. It has been covered many times and featured in several films.


 18Georges Brassens – “Les copains d’abord” (1964)

This prolific singer/ songwriter/ poet, who wrote and sang more than 100 poems and recorded 14 albums, is known for his anarchist ideas and his black-humored texts. Les copains d’abord, an anthem to friendship, has become one of his most famous songs. It was initially written for the film Les Copains.


19) Enrico Macias – “L’amour c’est pour rien” (1964)

Algeria-born Macias was forced to leave his country during Algerian War of Independence, going into exile in France. He has not been permitted to return to Algeria ever since, hence his nostalgic, oriental-influenced songs: “Adieu mon pays” (Goodbye my country), L’oriental(The Oriental), among others. “L’amour c’est pour rien” (Love is for free) is a more romantic, light song.


20) Alain Barrière – “Ma vie” (1964)

After getting known from his participating in 1963’s Eurovision Song Contest, Barrière released his first album, Ma vie (My life), from which the title-track became a huge hit.


21) Charles Aznavour – “La Bohème” (1965)

With his unique voice, Aznavour is one of France’s longest standing stars, usually compared to Frank Sinatra; he has recorded over 1200 songs in 8 languages. “La Bohème” is Aznavour’s signature song, it’s about a painter who recalls his young years in bohemian Montmartre.


22) Christophe – “Aline” (1965)

This romantic ballad describes, in a poetic way, the feelings of a man whose love, Aline, is gone. It was an instant hit in several countries and is Christophe’s most famous song, followed by -so romantic- Oh mon amour.


23) Sylvie Vartan – “La plus belle pour aller danser” (1965)

Sylvie Vartan is considered one of the most productive and famous yé-yé artists. This song (means “The most beautiful for dancing”) is one of her most successful hits, not only in France, but also in other countries such as Japan.


24) Adamo – “La nuit” (1965)

Belgian artist Salvatore Adamo (also known as Adamo) was one of the 60’s most famous artists; in fact, he is the best selling Belgian musician of all times and is regarded as one of the most commercially successful musicians in the world.  La Nuit” (The night) is one of his definitive songs together with “Tombe la neige” and “Inch’Allah“.


25) Hervé Villard –Capri c’est fini” (1965)

This song (means “Capri it’s over”) talks about the break-up of a relationship that had started in Italian island of Capri, a very popular summer destination during the 60s. The song became a huge French and international hit in the summer of 1965 along with Christophe’s hit song Aline.


26) Mireille Mathieu – “La dernière valse” (1967)

Mireille Mathieu was one of the most recognizable French singers in the 60s -and she still is!  She has recorded over 1200 songs in 11 languages, with more than 150 million albums sold worldwide. This song is the French version of  The Last Waltz, and became a hit not only in France, but also in the UK, where Mathieu was invited to sing at the Royal Performance for the Queen Élisabeth II.


27) Jacques Dutronc – “Les cactus” (1967)

Dutronc is one of the most popular performers in the French-speaking world, although little known in English-speaking countries. He’s among the artists who started as opposition to the lightness of “yéyés”, representative of a genre that would be lately known as garage rock.

Don’t get fooled by the seemingly meaningless lyrics of this song (“The whole world is a cactus, it’s impossible to sit down”), Dutronc sharply criticizes conventionalism, bourgeoisie and “the selfishness and individualism arising from capitalism”.


28) Claude François – “Comme d’habitude” (1968)

After its release in 1968, this song became increasingly famous, being played constantly in radio and TV. While in Paris, Paul Anka happens to hear this song, he buys it and writes English lyrics. And just like that, an all-time classic was born: Frank Sinatra’s “My Way“.


29) Joe Dassin – “Les Champs Élysées” (1969)

This is one of Dassin’s first hits, who would become extremely popular during the 70s. Curiously, this so Parisian piece is an adaptation from an English song.  It has been lately covered by Zaz.


30) Georges Moustaki – “Le Métèque” (1969)

Egyptian-French (of Italo-Greek origin) Moustaki became known for the poetic, simple and romantic songs he composed and often sang. During his forty-year long career he gave France some of its best-loved music by writing about 300 songs for some of the most popular singers. This autobiographic song was a massive success: Métèque is a pejorative word that was commonly used to call immigrants of Mediterranean origin.


31) Zanini – “Tu veux ou tu veux pas” (1969)

With his signature little mustache, bucket hat and glasses, Zanini would become well-known after his huge hit “Tu veux ou tu veux pas” (You want to or you don’t), which is actually an adaptation of Brazilian Wilson Simonal’s “Nem vem que não tem”.


32) Johnny Hallyday – “Que je t’aime” (1969)

This is “French Elvis” Johnny Hallyday’s most iconic song, which remains to date one of France’s favorite songs. It was such a success that frenzied fans would often go crazy, shout and faint; Hallyday was forced many times to be “rescued” by a police car to escape the enthusiasm of his fans.


33) Serge Gainsbourg & Jane Birkin – “Je t’aime moi non plus” (1969)

In English the song title means “I love you – me not anymore” and is about two lovers’ impossibility of physical love. It became an instant hit in many countries, but due to its explicit sexual content it was banned in many others.

Gainsbourg came up with this song when Brigitte Bardot asked him to write “the most beautiful love song he could imagine”. And he did it: to me, this is one of the most erotic songs ever recorded.

See also:

YouTube playlist here