Welcome to my French pop and rock section... Here are a few recommendations to albums I've enjoyed that I think you might like as well, ranging from 1960s ye-ye to a few more contemporary albums from France's blossoming indie and electronica scenes. There is also a separate section for older musical styles, such as chanson and musette, if you like the old stuff, too!
Vince Taylor et Ses Play-Boys "Le Rock C'Est Ca!" (Barclay/Universal, 1961)
A French rockabilly rebel who took his cues from Gene Vincent, Taylor was in competition with teen heartthrob Johnny Halladay, although Taylor apparently sang all his songs in English, which kind of takes the fun out of it, at least as far as I'm concerned. On the other hand, he wrote the song "Brand New Cadillac," which definitely puts him on the radar, coolwise.
Vince Taylor et Ses Play-Boys "Volume 1" (Universal, 2000)
Vince Taylor et Ses Play-Boys "Vol. 2: Twistin' The Rock" (Universal, 2000)
Vince Taylor "Vince Taylor" (Magic, 2003)
Vince Taylor et Ses Play-Boys "CD Story" (Universal, 2006)
Ted Destroyer "Live Gibus '83" (EMI-France)
Ooh, la-la! A fun, thunderous, seven-song album from this short-lived punk band from Grenoble. There's a hardcore-ish feel to it (they called it "ultra-speed") but there's also a crunching, low-end bassline and melody to be heard, so I'd place them more in the same style as Fear or Black Flag, rather than all the tedious HC that followed... Anyway, I first found out about this band in 1987 from a different album that my old radio station owns (I'll look it up someday) but this album was the only thing I could find out about them on the Inter-Webs in 2009... You can hear MP3s of the album and also browse some old press clippings at: http://tom.joubert.free.fr... Man, I wish I could find a copy of the original album! Sounds good to me.
Telephone "Anna" (EMI-France, 1977)
One of France's first punkish hard-rock bands of note, Telephone were fun, but a bit limited. On this album, particularly, the crunchy AC-DC/Golden Earring-derived lead guitar work seems pretty static, although is does have real headbanger potential. Good-natured and appealling, this is certainly worth checking out, though perhaps best taken in small doses.
Telephone "Le Live" (EMI-France)
Telephone "Crache Ton Venin" (EMI-France, 1979)
Telephone "Au Coeur De La Nuit" (EMI-France, 1980)
Telephone "Dure Limite" (EMI-France, 1982)
Telephone "Un Autre Monde" (EMI-France, 1984)
Telephone "En Concert: Paris 1981" (EMI-France, 2000)
Live and in their prime...
Telephone "The Best Of Telephone" (EMI-France, 1997)
Although this is a best-of set, some of the versions it includes are from their live album, and not the original studio takes... So, be aware of that when you're considering this disc... Still plenty of cool tunes on here, but in a few cases, maybe not best rendititions.
Telephone "Le Meillheur De Telephone" (EMI-France, 1997)
Telephone "20th Anniversary: 1976-1996" (EMI-France, 2004)
A 6-CD box set covering their career from inception to reunion
Natacha Tertone "Le Grand Deballage" (PourquoiB?, 2000)
Fans of indiepop chantuese Francoiz Breut may also enjoy this album... Although it doesn't achieve the full, brooding grace of Breut's debut album, this is kind of in the same arena -- arty guitars, disjointed melodies, airy vocals, postmod sensibilities. As France's subterranean indie scene continues to boom, I'm sure we'll find more and more records such as this hitting out shores.
Tetes Raides "Not Dead But Bien Raides" (Tot Ou Tard, 1989)
Bal musette/agit-art-rock/ska/punk... from France! Although I'm sure these guys were a gas live, on record it's all a bit arch and theatrical for my tastes... But for folks who dig the Mekons, Chumbawamba, the Willem Breuker Kollektief, or the Dutch band, Ex, these guys may come as a real revelation. Accordion fans will want to check them out as well. And, golly, are there a lot of albums to choose from!
Tetes Raides "Mange Tes Morts" (Tot Ou Tard, 1991)
Tetes Raides "Les Oiseaux" (Tot Ou Tard, 1992)
Tetes Raides "Fleur De Yeux" (Tot Ou Tard, 1993)
Tetes Raides "Le Bout Du Toit" (Tot Ou Tard, 1996)
Tetes Raides "Viens" (Tot Ou Tard, 1997)
Tetes Raides "Chamboultou" (Tot Ou Tard, 1998)
Tetes Raides "Gratte-Poil" (Tot Ou Tard, 2000)
Tetes Raides "10 Ans De Tetes Raides" (Tot Ou Tard, 2000)
Tetes Raides "Tetes Raides Aux Boffes Du Nord" (DVD) (Tot Ou Tard, 2003)
Tetes Raides "Qu'est-ce Qu'on Se Fait Chier!" (Tot Ou Tard, 2003)
Tetes Raides "Live: 28-05-2004" (Tot Ou Tard, 2004)
Tetes Raides "Fragile" (WEA, 2005)
Tetes Raides "Aie" (WEA, 2006)
Hubert Felix Thiefaine - see artist profile
Les Torps "Un Coeur D'Artichaut" (TTC, 2005)
Les Torps "Remue-Meninges" (TTC, 2007)
Michele Torr "Tendres Annees 60" (Universal, 2004)
Kinda square, but kinda cute, Michele Torr was a dyed-platinum blonde, prefab pop gamin who touched lightly at the edges of the ye-ye phenomenon, sort of like how Dusty Springfield could be vaguely equated with girl-group music or rock. Definitely more on the mainstream pop vocals side of things, but fun nonetheless. Try trolling YouTube for some of her (older!) videos. Later I think she turned into one of many French versions of Olivia Newton-John.
Michele Torr "Tendres Annees 70" (Universal, 2004)
Yikes? Yes. Yikes. Tres yikes.
Tony Truant "Allo Brooklyn, Ici Montmartre" (Les Disques Poussinet, 2005)
Solo work from a former member of the French '70s punk band, The Dogs. Very Johnny Thunders-y.
French Music Index
French Chanson & Musette