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France Gall

France Gall
France Gall, 1965
Background information
Birth name Isabelle Geneviève Marie Anne Gall
Also known as France Gall
Born (1947-10-09) 9 October 1947
Paris, France
Origin Paris, France
Genres Yé-yé, French pop, synthpop
Occupation(s) Singer
Years active 1963–1997
Labels WEA France
Philips France
Associated acts Michel Berger, Serge Gainsbourg

France Gall (born Isabelle Geneviève Marie Anne Gall; 9 October 1947) is a popular French yé-yé singer. She was married to, and had a successful singing career in partnership with, the late French singer-songwriter Michel Hamburger (1947–1992), whose stage name was Michel Berger, until his death. The couple had two children.


  • Early years 1
  • Early career 2
    • 1965 2.1
    • Eurovision 2.2
    • Summer tour 2.3
    • Summary 2.4
  • Film opportunities 3
  • 1966 4
  • Psychedelic era and transition to adulthood 5
  • German career 6
  • Post-Gainsbourg career 7
    • New label, new beginnings 7.1
  • Michel Berger 8
  • Musicals 9
  • 1980s and humanitarian projects 10
  • The 1990s and later 11
  • Discography 12
    • Albums 12.1
    • Singles 12.2
  • Audio sample 13
  • References 14
  • External links 15

Early years

Gall was born in Paris. Her father was lyricist Robert Gall, and her mother, Cécile Berthier, was the daughter of Paul Berthier, co-founder of Petits Chanteurs à la Croix de Bois. (This made her cousin to guitarist Denys Lable and composer Vincent Berthier de Lioncourt, as well as niece to Jacques Berthier). The sole daughter of her family, she had two brothers, Patrice and Claude.

In spring 1963, Robert Gall encouraged his daughter to record songs and send the demos to music publisher Denis Bourgeois. That July, she auditioned for Bourgeois at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris, after which Bourgeois wanted to sign her immediately. France was subsequently signed to Philips.

At the time, Bourgeois was working for the label as Artistic Director for Serge Gainsbourg and assumed this role for Gall as well. He encouraged her to record four tracks with French jazz musician, arranger and composer Alain Goraguer.

Early career

The first airplay of France's first single "Ne sois pas si bête" ("Don't Be So Stupid"), occurred on her 16th birthday. It was released in November and became a hit, selling 200,000 copies.[1] Serge Gainsbourg, who had released several albums and written songs for singers including Michèle Arnaud and Juliette Gréco, was asked by Bourgeois to write songs for Gall. Gainsbourg's "N'écoute pas les idoles" ("Don't listen to the idols") became Gall's second single; it reached the top of the French charts in March 1964 and stayed there for three weeks.

At the same time, Gall made her live debut, opening for Sacha Distel in Belgium. She teamed up with Distel's business manager, Maurice Tézé, who was also a lyricist. This allowed her to create an original repertoire, unlike the majority of her contemporaries ("yéyés") who sang adaptations of Anglophone hits. However, under the influence from this team of music veterans, Gall struggled to defend her personal choice of material.

Elaborate orchestrations by Alain Goraguer blended styles, permitting her to navigate between jazz, children's songs, and anything in between. Examples of this mixed-genre style included "Jazz à gogo" (lyrics by Robert Gall and music by Goraguer) and "Mes premières vraies vacances" (by DatinVidalin). Gall and Gainsbourg's association produced many popular singles, continuing through the summer of 1964 with the hit song "Laisse tomber les filles" ("Never Mind the Girls") followed by "Christiansen" by Datin-Vidalin. Gainsbourg also secretly recorded Gall's laughter to use on Pauvre Lola, a track on his 1964 album Gainsbourg Percussions. Her laughter is not credited.

Regarding her association with Gainsbourg at this time, Gall said, "This is someone I had the pleasure to see because I admired him and liked what he wrote. And I liked his shyness, his elegance and his education. It was a very pleasant relationship. ... I was very impressed that this man worked for me and cared about me..."[2]


Having previously resisted, Gall gave in to her managers at the end of 1964 and recorded a single intended for children. The song "

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Gigliola Cinquetti
with "Non ho l'età"
Winner of the Eurovision Song Contest
Succeeded by
Udo Jürgens
with "Merci, Chérie"
Preceded by
Hugues Aufray
Luxembourg in the Eurovision Song Contest
Succeeded by
Michèle Torr
  • Clips from INA archives
  • Official website managed by WEA Music (offline)
  • France Gall biography on RFI (offline)
  • A Tribute to Gainsbourg: France Gall (offline)
  • French forum of France Gall & Michel Berger

External links

  1. ^ Made in France: France Gall's Baby Pop. RPM International. 2012. p. 1. 
  2. ^ France Gall par France Gall, autoportrait télévisé (France 3, 2001), quoted in the French WorldHeritage article about France Gall. Original quote: « C’est quelqu’un que j’avais du plaisir à voir parce que je l’admirais et j’aimais ce qu’il écrivait. Et j’aimais bien sa timidité, son élégance et son éducation. C’était très agréable comme relation. [...] J'étais très impressionnée que cet homme travaille pour moi et s'intéresse à moi... "
  3. ^ France Gall. Billboard Magazine. March 1965. Retrieved 9 September 2012. 
  4. ^ a b France GALL, Serge GAINSBOURG & Alain GORAGUER (28 March 1965). à propos du Grand Prix de l'Eurovision. ORTF/Institut National de l'Audiovisuel. 
  5. ^ Jamie McCloughlin, A Bluffer's Guide to Eurovision. 13 July 2009. Accessed 20 February 2012. Archived 21 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ All Kind of Everything: The Irish Eurovision Web Site. Luxembourg 1965 – ”Poupée De Cire, Poupée De Son”.
  7. ^ Martine Bordeneuve. Jukebox Magazine, No. 20, July–August 1988. Quoted in French WorldHeritage article Poupée de cire, poupée de son, access 20 February 2012. Original text: « Le 20 mars, devant 150 millions de téléspectateurs, la voix tremblante et le teint pâle, elle interprète sa chanson. Plébiscitée par le jury à la majorité absolue, elle se trouve propulsée à la première place. ... »
  8. ^ Gilles Verlant. Gainsbourg (biography). Albin Michel, Paris, 2000. ISBN 2-226-12060-2. Quoted in French WorldHeritage article Poupée de cire, poupée de son. The complete quote: « Pire que ça : Cloclo, son fiancé secret, au lieu de la féliciter, se met à hurler dans le combiné « Tu as chanté faux, tu étais nulle... »
  9. ^ Twinkle. Album: Golden Lights. A Lonely Singing Doll. ASIN: B0019BF9Z0.
  10. ^ Sylvie Simmons, Serge Gainsbourg: A Fistful of Gitanes; ISBN 978-0-306-81183-8, page 42
  11. ^ a b c d Mason, Stewart. France Gall biography, all Music Guide, accessed 20 February 2012.
  12. ^ Video: France Gall. "J'ai Retrouvé Mon Chien" (1966). Viewed 20 February 2012.
  13. ^ Bouvier, Y.-F.; S. Vincendet (2005). L'Integral et cætera. Éditions Bartillat.  
  14. ^ France GALL (9 April 1978). France GALL sur son concert au Théâtre des Champs Elysées. ORTF/Institut National de l'Audiovisuel. 


An excerpt from Ella, Elle L'a

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Audio sample

  • October 1963 – "Ne sois pas si bête", adaptation by Pierre Delanoë of "Stand a little closer", original words and music by Jack Wolf and Maurice "Bugs" Bower
  • 1964 – "N'écoute pas les idoles", words and music by Gainsbourg
  • 1964 – "Jazz à gogo", words by Robert Gall music by Alain Goraguer
  • 1964 – "Laisse tomber les filles", words and music by Gainsbourg
  • 1964 – "Sacré Charlemagne", words by Robert Gall and music by Georges Liferman
  • 1965 – "Poupée de cire, poupée de son", words and music by Gainsbourg
  • 1965 – "Attends ou va-t'en", words and music by Gainsbourg
  • 1965 – "Nous ne sommes pas des anges", words and music by Gainsbourg
  • 1965 – "Baby pop", words and music by Gainsbourg
  • 1966 – "Les Sucettes", words and music by Gainsbourg
  • 1967 – "Néfertiti", words and music by Gainsbourg
  • 1967 – "Bébé requin", words by Jean-Michel Rivat and Frank Thomas, music by Joe Dassin
  • 1967 – "Toi que je veux", words by Jean-Michel Rivat and Frank Thomas, music by Joe Dassin
  • 1968 – "Le Temps du tempo", words by Robert Gall and music by Alain Goraguer
  • 1968 – "Y'a du soleil à vendre", words by Robert Gall and music by Hubert Giraud
  • 1968 – "24 / 36", words by Jean-Michel Rivat and Frank Thomas, music by Joe Dassin
  • 1969 – "Homme tout petit", words by Jean-Michel Rivat and Frank Thomas, music by Jean-Pierre Bourtayre
  • 1969 – "Les Années folles", adaptation by Boris Bergman of the British song "Gentlemen Please", original words and music by Barbara Ruskin
  • 1969 – "Baci, baci, baci", adaptation by Giorgio Bracardi
  • 1970 – "Zozoï", words by Robert Gall and music by Nelson Angelo
  • 1970 – "Les Éléphants", words by Jean Schmitt and music by Jean Géral
  • 1971 – "C'est cela l'amour", words by Jacques Lanzmann and music by Paul-Jean Borowsky
  • 1971 – "Chasse neige", words by Étienne Roda-Gil and music by Julien Clerc
  • 1972 – "Frankenstein", words and music by Gainsbourg
  • 1972 – "5 minutes d'amour", words by Jean-Michel Rivat and Frank Thomas, music by Roland Vincent
  • 1973 – "Plus haut que moi", adaptation by Yves Dessca and Jean-Michel Rivat of "Maria vai com as outras" by Toquinho and Vinicius de Moraes
  • 1973 – "Par Plaisir", words by Yves Dessca and Jean-Michel Rivat, music by Roland Vincent
  • May 1974 – "La Déclaration d'amour", words and music by Michel Hamburger (Michel Berger)
  • October 1974 – "Mais, aime la", words and music by Berger
  • 1975 – "Comment lui dire", words and music by Berger
  • April 1976 – "Ce soir je ne dors pas"
  • June 1976 – " Ça balance pas mal à Paris" (duet with Michel Berger), words and music by Berger
  • May 1977 – "Musique", words and music by Berger
  • October 1977 – "Si, maman si"
  • January 1978 – "Le meilleur de soi-même"
  • March 1978 – "Viens je t'emmène", words and music by Berger
  • January 1979 – "Besoin d'amour", words by Luc Plamondon and music by Berger
  • June 1980 – "Il jouait du piano debout", words and music by Berger
  • October 1980 – "Bébé, comme la vie", words and music by Berger
  • October 1980 – "Donner pour donner" (duet with Elton John), words by Michel Berger and Bernie Taupin, music by Michel Berger – Archives INA : Reportage Antenne 2, 1981
  • 1981 – "Tout pour la musique", words and music by Berger
  • 1981 – "Résiste", words and music by Berger
  • May 1981 – "Amor También", words and music by Berger
  • 6 April 1984 – "Débranche", words and music by Berger
  • 17 September 1984 – "Hong Kong Star", words and music by Berger – Archives INA : Extrait de "Hong Kong Star", Antenne 2, 1984 FR No. 6
  • 4 February 1984 – "Calypso", words and music by Berger
  • 20 May 1984 – "Cézanne peint", words and music by Berger
  • 3 April 1987 – "Babacar", words and music by Berger FR No. 11 GER No. 14
  • 24 August 1987 – "Ella, elle l'a", words and music by Berger FR No. 2 GER No. 1 NL No. 38
  • 7 March 1988 – "Évidemment", words and music by Berger
  • 12 September 1988 – "Papillon de nuit", words and music by Berger
  • 20 March 1989 – "La chanson d'Azima"
  • 29 May 1992 – "Laissez passez les rêves", words and music by Berger, duet with Michel Berger
  • 12 October 1992 – "Superficiel et léger"
  • 15 January 1993 – "Les élans du coeur"
  • 6 May 1993 – "Mademoiselle Chang" (live)
  • 5 November 1993 – "Si, maman si" (live)
  • December 1993 – "Il jouait du piano debout" (live)
  • 2 February 1994 – "La négresse blonde" (live)
  • 15 March 1994 – "Paradis Blanc" (live)
  • 14 November 1994 – "Les princes des villes"
  • 15 March 1996 – "Plus haut"
  • 5 November 1996 – "Privée d'amour"
  • 25 October 1996 – "Message personnel"
  • 14 February 1997 – "Résiste" (remix)
  • 15 May 1997 – "Attends ou va-t'en" (live)
  • 2004 – "Zozoï" – Reissue of 1970 single
  • 20 August 2004 – "La seule chose qui compte"




In December 1997, Pauline, Gall's elder daughter with Michel Berger, died of complications of cystic fibrosis. Her illness was never made public. Her son Raphaël is a music supervisor. Since the death of her daughter Gall has made only occasional public appearances. As a farewell to her career, a documentary movie was shot in 2001, France Gall par France Gall, directed by Eric Guéret. Nine million people tuned in to watch the documentary when it aired on French television that year. She also staged and appeared in the 2007 France 2 documentary "Tous pour la musique" marking the fifteenth anniversary of Michel Berger's death. Today she is a patron for French charity Coeurs de Femmes – a group helping homeless women.

After a year in Los Angeles, she released her eighth studio album, France in 1996. The album featured Gall's own interpretations of some of Michel Berger's songs. In 1996, Gall finally decided to appear as a headline artist at the legendary venue for French artists, the Paris Olympia. In 1997, she announced her retirement and recorded an unplugged show for French television showcasing songs from her final album.

A year later, she went back on stage and performed in a new show in the Pleyel in Paris featuring new musicians. The repertoire featured songs written exclusively by Berger though Gall included her own versions of songs originally performed by others. In 1996, Gall asked Jean-Luc Godard to produce the video clip of her song "Plus haut", taken from her album France. Godard initially refused Gall's offer but later agreed, and directed a dreamy, picturesque video entitled "Plus Oh!" near his residence in Rolle (Switzerland). It was given its first and only airing on 20 April 1996 on the French television channel M6. It was only shown once, due to copyright issues.

Although Gall was strongly affected by Berger's death, she wanted to complete the project they had planned. However, she decided to commit to the performances at the Bercy and promoted the songs that she and Berger created together. However, Gall was diagnosed with breast cancer in April 1993, which was successfully treated. She finally performed at the Bercy in September. All the songs she performed were written by Michel Berger from Double Jeu, and from their discographies.

Gall took a break from singing in the early 1990s and did not record any more for several years to come. She did, however, make an album called Double Jeu with Berger. Following the release of Double Jeu, Gall and Berger announced a series of concerts in various Parisian venues, such as La Cigale and Bercy. This project was nearly cancelled by Berger's death from a heart attack on 2 August 1992.

The 1990s and later

In 1985 and 1986, Gall worked with Berger, Ella, elle l'a ("Ella′s got it"), a Berger tribute to Ella Fitzgerald. Following the release of Babacar, Gall launched a new show produced by Berger. Opening at Le Zénith, the successful production toured throughout Europe, and gave rise to the live album Le Tour de France '88.

In 1985, Gall joined Chanteurs Sans Frontières, on the initiative of Valerie Lagrange. She also worked for S.O.S Ethiopie for the benefit of Ethiopia under the aegis of Renaud.At the same time, she gave a successful series of concerts lasting three weeks at the new venue Zénith in Paris, where she performed new songs like Débranche ("Loosen-up"), Hong-Kong Star, and gave solid acoustic performances of Plus haut, Diego libre dans sa tête and Cézanne peint.

1980s and humanitarian projects

In 1979, Gall took part in a new show which remains memorable for many. Composed by Michel Berger and written by the Québécois author Luc Plamondon, the rock opera Starmania enjoyed a success not usual for musicals in France. The show played for one month at Palais des congrès de Paris. In 1982, Gall rehearsed in the Palais des Sports of Paris to present Tout pour la musique, an innovative spectacle marked by its use of electronic music. The songs Résiste and Il jouait du piano debout ("He played the piano standing") quickly became French pop standards.

In 1978, pushed by Berger, she once again trod the boards of the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées where she had auditioned 15 years earlier, starring in a show entitled Made in France. The most novel aspect of this show was that, except for the Brazilian drag act Les Étoiles, the members of the orchestra, choir and the dance troupe were exclusively female.[14] In this show, France sang Maria vai com as outras the original, Brazilian (Portuguese) version of Plus haut que moi.


Only six months later, in 1974, after she sang vocals on the song Mon fils rira du rock'n'roll on Berger's new album, Gall's publisher asked him, at her behest, to write for her. Gall had already made her mind up that "It will be him or else it will be nobody" (documentary France 3 France Gall by France Gall). In 1974, La Déclaration d'amour was to be the first in a long line of hits which marked a turning point in Gall's career. Meanwhile, the two artists, whose affinities became more than musical, married on 22 June 1976. They remained married until his death; the couple had two children.

Gall was seduced by Michel Berger's music when she heard his song Attends-moi ("Wait for Me") one day in 1973. During a later radio broadcast, she asked him for his opinion on songs which her then producer wanted her to record. Although he was disconcerted by the quality of the songs, there would be no question of collaboration.

Michel Berger

The early seventies continued to be a barren period for Gall. Although she was the first artist to be recorded in France for Atlantic Records in 1971, her singles C'est cela l'amour (1971) and Chasse neige (1971), faltered in the charts. In 1972, Gall, for the last time, recorded songs by Gainsbourg, Frankenstein and Les Petits ballons, but these also failed to chart. The results of her collaboration with Jean-Michel Rivat as artistic director, La Quatrieme chose (1972, suspiciously similar to Bread's "Everything I Own") and Par plaisir or Plus haut que moi (1973) did not meet with commercial success. While officially done with Gainsbourg, an old flame and producer from her Gainsbourg days invited France Gall on television to sing a medley of old songs from their time together, which included "Poupee de cire, Poupee de son". From the 1970s onwards, Gall started regularly visiting Senegal, which she loved. She bought her hideaway there on the island of N'Gor, close to Dakar in 1990.

Gall had several other releases in France in 1968, none of which aroused any great interest. At the end of 1968, on reaching the age of 21, Gall separated from Denis Bourgeois and stretched her wings upon the expiration of her contract with Philips. She moved to a new record label, "La Compagnie", born from the association of artists Hugues Aufray, Nicole Croisille and Michel Colombier. At "La Compagnie", Gall made a number of recordings, but she never succeeded in finding a coherent style with Norbert Saada as Artistic Director. She went her own way in 1969 with two adaptations: one Italian and the other British: L'Orage/La Pioggia) ("The Storm") which she sang with Gigliola Cinquetti at the 1969 San Remo Music Festival, and Les Années folles ("Gentlemen Please"), created by Barbara Ruskin. Her songs Des gens bien élevés, La Manille et la révolution, Zozoï and Éléphants were largely ignored. Moreover, "La Compagnie" went bankrupt.

New label, new beginnings

Post-Gainsbourg career Although struggling in her home country, Gall regularly recorded in Germany from 1966 to 1972, in particular with the composer and orchestrator

German career

No longer a teenager, but without a new persona to redefine herself with, (and without the help of Gainsbourg, whose time was taken by his own albums and those of his wife Jane Birkin), Gall floundered both commercially and artistically. A label change from Philips to BASF in 1972 didn't help matters ..."[11]

Her next record C'est toi que je veux, again with Whitaker, also failed to make an impact. With this string of recordings in the late 1960s, none of them an unmitigated success, and making the transition from teen-age to adult performer, Gall faced some challenges in this period through the early 1970s. Mason wrote:

Stewart Mason wrote about this period: "The psychedelic era found Gall, under Gainsbourg's guidance, singing increasingly strange songs . . . set to some of Gainsbourg's most out-there arrangements."[11]

This was followed by Teenie Weenie Boppie, an anti-LSD song by Gainsbourg, which has been described as "a bizarre tune about a deadly LSD trip that somehow involves Mick Jagger."[11] Gainsbourg then sang an anti-capital punishment song with Gall, Qui se souvient de Caryl Chessman? ("Anyone remember Caryl Chessman?"), about the death row prisoner.[13]

At the beginning of the year 1967, Gall sang a duet with Maurice Biraud, La Petite, which describes a young girl coveted by a friend of her father. The controversy over this performance overshadowed her release that year of Gainsbourg's poetic Néfertiti. Her next single was recorded with the orchestration of English composer David Whitaker. New authors Frank Thomas and Jean-Michel Rivat were brought on board. They wrote Bébé requin (Baby Shark), a song which met with some success for Gall.

Psychedelic era and transition to adulthood

Even some of her children's songs recorded in 1966, for example, Les Leçons particulières ("private lessons"), have not been spared pernicious assumptions. It was not helpful when Jean-Christophe Averty choreographed a troupe of men on all fours to illustrate her children's song J'ai retrouvé mon chien ("I've found my dog") on his television program Les Raisins verts ("Green grapes").[12]

The public furor over Les Sucettes would throw Gall's career off-track for years, and Gall was not left unscathed by the experience. She belatedly understood that she had been used: the song was deliberately conceived with the aim of attracting publicity. All her records which followed, even expunged of the Gainsbourg signature, would be suspiciously viewed as having crass commercial motivations. Sullied by her association with Gainsbourg, her songs failed to chart for a long time afterwards.

At the beginning of 1965 Gall released Baby pop, another song written by Gainsbourg, the lyrics of which Gall once described as "brutal", but whose dark undertones are not easily perceived when one hears the song as sung by the then 18-year-old girl. However, the undertones in her next hit song were not so easily missed, and caused a scandal when it was released. Gainsbourg deliberately filled the song Les Sucettes ("Lollipops") with double-meanings and strong sexual innuendo. On the surface, the lyrics tell the innocent tale of a girl named Annie who enjoys lollipops. However, it is clear that Gainsbourg intentionally created the theme as a metaphor for oral sex. Although a big hit, the song sat in stark contrast to genuinely innocent songs on the same album such as Je me marie en blanc ("White Wedding") and Ça me fait rire ("It makes me laugh").


In a feature film titled Gainsbourg (Vie héroïque) released in France in January 2010, based on the graphic novel by writer-director Joann Sfar, Gall is portrayed by Sara Forestier.

In 1966 Gall appeared in the television film Viva Morandi, made in the same psychoanalytical mould as the (1965) Federico Fellini film Giulietta degli Spiriti ("Juliet of the Spirits"). Gall played "La Grâce" alongside Christine Lebail who plays "La Pureté", both singing Les Sucettes in a segment which was prominently labelled "Fantasy", in a clear reference to the song's sexual undertones. She was approached by director Bernardo Bertolucci for the leading female role in Last Tango in Paris (1972). However, she firmly rejected this offer. Gall once again considered appearing on screen in 1993 for a cinematographic collaboration with her best friend, screenwriter Telsche Boorman. Like the Disney film, this planned project was never completed due to the death of Boorman in 1996.

After a TV film directed by Jean-Christophe Averty and dedicated to the songs of Gall was distributed in the United States in 1965, Gall was sought by Walt Disney to appear as Alice in a musical film version of Alice in Wonderland, after having already made Alice into a cartoon in 1951. Although Gall had insisted she did not want to become involved in film work, this was the only project which appealed to her. The project was cancelled after Disney's death in 1966.

Film opportunities

[A]lthough many dismissed Gall as a Francophone Lesley Gore, making fluffy and ultra-commercial pop hits with little substance, Gall's hits from this era stand up far better than most. Only Francoise Hardy was consistently making records up to these standards during this era. Though Gall's high, breathy voice was admittedly somewhat limited, she made the most of it. Even dopey hits like "Sacre Charlemagne," a duet with a pair of puppets who were the stars of a children's show on French TV, have an infectious, zesty charm; meatier tunes, like the sultry jazz-tinged ballad "Pense a Moi" and the brilliant rocker "Laisse Tomber les Filles," were as good as any single produced in the U.S. or Great Britain at the time.[11]

Stewart Mason sums up this early period of Gall's career, culminating in the Eurovision win:


In 1965, Gall toured France for several months with "Le Grand Cirque de France" ("The Great Circus of France"), a combination of radio show and live circus. Her singles continued to chart successfully, including the Gainsbourg-penned "Attends ou va-t'en" ("Wait for me, or go away") and "Nous ne sommes pas des anges" ("We are not angels"). She also had a hit with the song "Amérique" ("America") by Eddy Marnay and Guy Magenta.

Summer tour

Sylvie Simmons, in her biography of Gainsbourg, wrote that on the surface, the song appears to be nothing but catchy Eurovision fodder, but "closer examination revealed perspicacious lyrics about the ironies and incongruities inherent in baby pop. That the songs young people turn to for help in their first attempts at discovering what life and love are about are sung by people too young and inexperienced themselves to be of much assistance, and condemned by their celebrity to be unlikely to soon find out."[10]

Although the delivery during the live show may not have been Gall's strongest performance—one critic writes that Gall's performance was "far from perfect",[6] another notes that her voice was out of tune and her complexion pale,[7] and when Gall called her lover at the time Claude François immediately after the performance, he shouted at her, "You sang off key. You were terrible!"[8]—the song impressed the jury and it took the Grand Prix.[4] Success at Eurovision ensured that Gall became even more known outside Europe and she recorded "Poupée de cire, poupée de son" in French, German, Italian, and Japanese. There appears to be no English version released by France Gall herself, although there was an English cover by the English 1960s star Twinkle.[9]

Gall was then selected to represent Luxembourg in the Eurovision Song Contest 1965. Out of the 10 songs proposed to her, she chose Gainsbourg's "Poupée de cire, poupée de son."[4] On 20 March 1965, Gainsbourg, Gall, and Goraguer attended the finals of the song contest in Naples, where the song was "allegedly booed in rehearsals for straying so far from the sort of song usually heard in the Contest at this point."[5]

Eurovision Song Contest 1965 – Serge Gainsbourg, France Gall & Mario del Monaco



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