Jacques Dutronc – S/T

Dutronc knocked out some classic records in the sixties


This review is a product of one of those “fuck it, let’s write an article about so and so” moments which Incendiary are prone to now and again. But hey, we felt the need to rave about Jacques Dutronc’s self titled LP from 1966. Now better known for his film work, Dutronc knocked out some classic records in the sixties, this one being (for me at any rate) the best introduction to his work.

Jacques Dutronc has the feel of a Kinks record, both in sound (very mid sixties r’nb with one or two rough edges) and in attitude. In many ways the insolent quips and sardonic asides are very similar to Ray Davies’ detached vibe. The cover is a classic too, Dutronc wagging his finger, seemingly admonishes his listeners for their foibles, though Dutronc seemed fond of sending himself up as well; the reverse has a smiling singer replete with a big red question mark placed on his forehead.

Les Play Boys and L’Espace D’Une Fille are mocking strolls round the zinc bars and boudoirs of Paris. So far it’s all very relaxed and very much like Kwiet Kinks. Things pick up a gear with Sur ne Nappe De Restaurant which faithfully follows the r’n’b script. Les Cactus is a bit more wayward, which a bit of yelping and an indication what’s to come later.  Et Moi Et Moi Et Moi is a pleasant guitar-based stomp and the slightly druggy L’Opération has a feel of a Velvets track though I wonder if Dutronc is trying to copy Dylan’s vocal style here… Les Gens Son’t Fous one of the LP’s undoubted highlights, sees Dutronc adopt a hard driving sound, closer to the Stones’ Aftermath LP. 

As I’ve said before, (and as you might have guessed with the references to Kinks and Stones) the LP’s sound is pretty much dyed in the wool r’n’b. Things get interesting with the black sheep, La Compapadé: an African-based work out with suitably tribal voices and definite nods to the artistic freak outs and Happenings that so thrilled the Beau Monde at the time. Nowadays it’s interesting mainly as a signpost to some of Dutronc’s later recordings. Mini-Mini-Mini takes the jaunty, Moi et Moi formula to calm things down a wee bit.

Fabulous sixties pop fun to cut some rug to.