Brigitte Bardot-La Belle Et Le Blues.

Label: Ace Records.

In 1957, Vadim’s Et Dieu… Créa La Femme (And God Created Women) was released internationally and thrust Brigitte Bardot into the public spotlight.  For the twenty-three year old Paris born actress, this was the break she had been waiting for. Her acting career began in 1952, but And God Created Women was a game-changer for Brigitte Bardot whose career lasted twenty-one years.  

During the sixties, Brigitte Bardot was an iconic figure and one of the most influential women of her generation. She had a huge influence on fashion, the wider pop culture and  was also one of the pioneers of female empowerment. Brigitte Bardot was without doubt, one of the most iconic figures of the sixties and B.B. as she became known as is instantly recognisable.

Back then, Brigitte Bardot was a fashion icon and a star of the silver screen who was known for playing sexually emancipated characters who enjoyed and embraced  hedonistic lifestyles. However, B.B. was also a singer who recorded everything from yé-yé and late-night  smokey jazz to sixties, groovy pop-psych and her inimitable introspective  Tropezian sound.  Between 1962 and 1973, Brigitte Bardot was a versatile vocalist and proof of this can be found on Ace Records’ new compilation La Belle Et Le Blues. It features twenty-five tracks from Brigitte Bardot recorded and released between 1963-1970 and is the first ever  legitimate retrospective of her recording career compiled especially for the English-speaking market.

By 1962, when Brigitte Bardot’s recording career began, she was twenty-eight and had been an actress for a decade. This was a new chapter in the career for B.B. She was self-assured, cerebral as well as  beautiful. There was also a mystique that surrounded Brigitte Bardot who captured the hearts of young men around the world. This included two future giants of music, John Lennon and Bob Dylan who it’s believed wrote his first song about B.B. While he would enjoy a long and illustrious career, Brigitte Bardot only recorded some sixty songs and three albums.

La Belle Et Le Blues opens with Harley Davison, one of five  tracks penned by Serge Gainsbourg. Catchy with a commercial sound, the single was released in 1967. The same year, B.B. recorded the mesmeric sounding Contact.

A year later, in 1968, B.B. and Serge Gainsbourg duetted on his classic composition include Bonnie and Clyde. However, five years earlier in 1963, Brigitte Bardot released the effervescent sounding twist L’appareil À Sous. This was a game-changer and marked her coming of age as a singer.  The most recognisable Serge Gainsbourg song B.B. recorded was Je T’aime Moi Non Plus which was released in 1986. A sensual sounding song that literally smoulders as Brigitte Bardot and Serge Gainsbourg duet.

During her eleven year recording career, B.B. wasn’t willing to record just one genre of music. That was the case from her debut album Brigitte Bardot, which was released in 1963. It was a truly eclectic album that included everything from Bossa Nova to mambo as well as L’appareil À Sous and  La Madrague. It’s a song about the house in St. Tropez which B.B. regarded as a place to escape from the life she was leading.

A year later, in 1964, Brigitte Bardot returned with her sophomore album B.B. It featured two of her finest ye-ye cuts Bob Barratt’s Ça Pourrait Changer and Moi Je Joue which features a coquettish vocal. Other tracks included the late-night jazz of Un Jour Comme Un Autre and  Je Danse Donc Je Suis which has an unmistakable early sixties sound. Two other highlights of B.B. were the cinematic Ne Me Laisse Pas L’Aime and the tender ballad Une Histoire De Plage.  B.B. was another eclectic offering from Brigitte Bardot.

Another four years passed before B.B. returned with her third and final album, Show. However, she continued to release singles and EPs. This included the baroque folk pop influenced sound of Gang Gang and the rueful Je Reviendrai Toujours Vers Toi in 1966. Both tracks featured on Show. So did Contact, Bonnie and Clyde, Ce N’est Pas Vrai and a breathy sensuous cover of Mr. Sun which closes La Belle Et Le Blues.

Apart from the tracks on the three albums B.B. released between 1963 and 1968,  other tracks worth mentioning include the dramatic pop ballad Tu Es Venu Mon Amour. It was released in 1970. However, one of the  the highlights of the compilation is the late night smokey jazz of La Belle Et Le Blues which wasn’t rebased until 1993. By then B.B.’s recording career was over.

Brigitte Bardot’s recording career began in 1963 and was over by 1972. She only released a triumvirate of eclectic albums and no more than sixty songs. Twenty-five of these songs feature on feature on La Belle Et Le Blues, which was recently released by Ace Records. It’s a lovingly curated compilation that is the first retrospective of B.B.’s recording career compiled especially for the English-speaking market.

There’s everything from baroque folk pop to yé-yé, and late-night smokey jazz through to sixties, groovy pop-psych and B.B.’s inimitable introspective  Tropezian sound. They’re a reminder of Brigitte Bardot, a truly talented and versatile vocalist who was also a fashion icon, star of the silver screen, pioneers of female empowerment and animal rights activist. Brigitte Bardot is an iconic figure and one of the most influential women of her generation.

Brigitte Bardot-La Belle Et Le Blues.


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