“Chansons Parisiennes” by Édith Piaf - album review

features in: Album Chart of 1949Album Chart of the Decade: 1940s

TJR says

Having wowed American G.I.’s during wartime performances in Paris, Edith was in a good position in the years that followed; following her triumphant debut in New York in 1947, her reputation as a soul-stirring songstress was going from strength to strength and her act was in demand Stateside. She returned in 1948 to play far and wide in Boston, Chicago, Hollywood and New York. Already, “Chansons Parisiennes” was the fourth album in total to be made available in the world’s biggest marketplace. It was a landmark release in the Edith Piaf catalogue – not only did it include her infamous standard “La Vie En Rose”, it was her first release on the super new LP format. 24 minutes worth of music and you only have to get up once to turn it over. C'est merveilleux, n'est-ce pas? Columbia, who were dominating the market with their patented “microgroove LP” trademark were on the case for this one. The set was issued as a 10” LP, Columbia FL-9501. Essentially a compile, it rounds up 78s recorded and issued between 1946 and 1948, although all songs were being newly introduced to her album discography thus far. As with last years’ “Chansons Des Cafes De Paris”, I’m enchanted but not bowled over. I adore her when she, and the orchestra, are driven with a bold sense of national identity – cabaret is cabaret, but French cabaret is something else. In short, I’d love every song to be stirring, to have accordions, a marching beat, and maybe a lyrical sense that there’s been a murder or some such tragedy. Serving this fantasy best is “Le Chant Du Pirate” – a certainty for a decent placing in my songs of the year chart (1946) when I finally get around to publishing it. Alas, the artist has other ideas – by and large she just wants to croon in the grand traditions of all Broadway singers. The LP liner notes give an excellent summary of content: For this collection Edith Piaf has chosen eight characteristic songs of the Paris streets and cabarets, each one of which tells a story or sets a rueful or sometimes happy mood. “Les amants de Paris” is an appealing picture of the sweethearts of Paris. “Monsieur Lenoble” tells the pathetic story of a man who dies for love. In “II pleut” the singer finds her own melancholy mirrored in a rainy day. “Un refrain courait dans la rue” expresses regret for a love that is lost. “La Vie En Rose” and “C’est merveilluex” are rapturous love songs. The rousing “Chant du Pirate” and the plaintive “Adieu Mon Coeur” are from the Piaf film “Etoile san lumiere”.

The Jukebox Rebel

A1 [03:04] 5.0.png Édith Piaf - La Vie En Rose (Édith Giovanna Gassion, Louis Guglielmi) Crooner / Cabaret
A2 [03:03] 5.1.png Édith Piaf - C’est Merveilleux (Marguerite Monnot, Henri Contet) Crooner / Cabaret
A3 [03:24] 5.6.png Édith Piaf - Monsieur Lenoble (Michel Emer) Crooner / Cabaret
A4 [03:08] 5.8.png Édith Piaf - Les Amants De Paris (Leo Ferre, Eddy Marnay) Crooner / Cabaret
B1 [03:02] 4.7.png Édith Piaf - Adieu Mon Coeur (Marguerite Monnot, Henri Contet) Crooner / Cabaret
B2 [02:08] 7.1.png Édith Piaf - Le Chant Du Pirate (Marguerite Monnot, Henri Contet) Crooner / Cabaret
B3 [03:16] 4.9.png Édith Piaf - Il Pleut (Charles Aznavour, Pierre Roche) Crooner / Cabaret
B4 [03:01] 4.8.png Édith Piaf - Un Refrain Courait Dans La Rue (Robert Chauvigny, Édith Giovanna Gassion) Crooner / Cabaret
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