Beltuner – “Improbable” – (2008)

A few weeks ago I posted this song – but with no way for you to hear it. I’ve fixed that. Enjoy.

Beltuner – “No Comment (Original)” – (2008)

A few weeks ago, I posted the song “Improbable” by French group Beltuner. I had no link to the song for you to hear and have since remedied that issue. I’ll feature that song on Wednesday, but today is something new: “No Comment.” It’s your standard Parisian café music. ‘Standard’ sounds like a bad thing, but in this case it isn’t.

Beltuner – “Improbable” – (2008)

I can’t find this song online anywhere to let you listen, so the video below is actually for group’s song “No Comment,” which comes from the same album, Beltuner Album#1 – which I can’t find on Amazon either. Both songs are modern takes on classical French music. All the stuff you’d expect to hear in Paris, but don’t.

Juliette Gréco – “Sur Les Quais du Vieux Paris

Juliette Gréco’s career has spanned more than 50 years and is one of the finest examples of Chanson music. This song was featured in the excellent film An Education, which I watched shortly after returning from Europe. That movie, like many, makes Paris look so wonderful – a viewpoint I did not share after my time there… although I’m sure the cool, rainy weather didn’t help. I don’t have a year for this song, all I know is that it came out on the album The Best of Juliette Gréco in 2000 – but I know it was recorded long before that. I guess the French don’t keep very good records of the recording industry – or at least they don’t post them online.

Kraftwerk – “Tour de France Étape 2” – (2003)

German electronic music legends Kraftwerk released the Tour de France Soundtracks in 2003, their first original album since 1986. The entire Soundtracks album is amazing but “Tour de France Étape 2” really is the best track from the record. If you can’t picture people racing bicycles while listening to this song, there might be something wrong with you. There is something about it that just screams “European.” I can picture it playing on European TV… like during the Tour de France. Also, this song (and Kraftwerk’s music in general… we’ll get to another one in a few weeks) is essential European train-riding music. There’s just something amazing about blasting through the French countryside at dusk at 186mph with this song playing.

Thomas Dutronc – “J’Suis Pas d’Ici” – (2007)

Again, here I have no idea what he’s saying nor what the song title translates to (okay, I’ll look it up)… and I’m back. It roughly means “I’m not here to.” And that doesn’t really clear up what the song is about to me. It has a great beat. It’s what I call a “walking beat” – meaning that you if you were walking down the street this would be a good song to have blasting because it would keep pace with your steps (another example of “walking beats”: Clapton’s “Lay Down Sally”). I randomly came across this song a year or two ago and it’s one of my favorite foreign-language songs and I’m pretty sure I listened to it in France.

Joe Dassin – “Les Champs-Elysées” – (1969)

Joe Dassin was born in Brooklyn, New York and moved to France at some point in his life. And he wrote a bunch of songs about it – this one probably being the most famous. The song is about the famous Avenue des Champs-Élysées that runs through Paris and the Arc de Triopmhe which was built by Napoleon. It’s also the street where the big celebrations occurred when Paris was liberated during World War II. The song is quite catchy considering I have no idea what he’s saying and it’s one of – if not the – song that reminds me of Paris.