Released: 13th July 2018
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The first of Jacques Dutronc's seven self-titled albums, this debut from 1966 collects the preceding three EPs ("Les Playboys," "Et Moi, et Moi, et Moi" or "Les Cactus") and is one of the essential French-language rock'n'roll records.
Although succeeding albums would see him evolve stylistically into the French counterpart to Ray Davies at his creative peak, Dutronc's debut spawns vintage garage rock akin to the Yardbirds and the the Troggs. "La Fille du Père Noël" even shares a sped up Bo Diddley riff with Diddley's "I'm a Man." Other fine examples include the bluesy "Sur une Nappe De Restaurant"and the irresistibly hip shaking and buzzsaw guitar laden "Les Gens Sont Fous, les Temps Sont Flous." Though some would argue that someone like Antoine to be a more true heir to the French garage crown, Dutronc wins out by humorous lyrics (courtesy of Jacques Lanzmann) and his inseparable ironic delivery. One of the debut's signature songs, "Et Moi, et Moi, et Moi," was intended as a stab at Antoine's "Les Élucubrations d'Antoine." It succeeded in ridiculing his contemporary in two ways. Lyrically, it dissected Antoine's "Subterranean Homesick Blues" of sorts for all its narcissism. To top things off, some people mistook it for a new Antoine hit instead of identifying it as Dutronc's debut single. (Regretfully, during the mid-'70s Mungo Jerry refashioned it into the far less provocative "Alright Alright Alright.") A few more songs deserve special mention. First off, there's the second single "Les Playboys" where Dutronc mocks stereotypical womanizers with a swaggering flair, pointing out his own seduction tactics for women in the process. (Upon recognizing the impenetrably thick layers of irony, his belle Françoise Hardy probably more than agreed to the lyrics.) The African chant of "La Compadade" visits the same territory as Gainsbourg Percussions did two years earlier. Finally, third single "Les Cactus" made its way into the renowned French dictionary Petit Robert as a synonym for people's everyday troubles.