Johnny Hallyday Discography (Slipcue e-Zine French Pop guide) Slipcue.Com French Music Guide

Portrait of Johnny Hallyday France's first rock'n'roll star, Johnny Hallyday was an unabashed imitator of American pop, rockabilly and R&B. Hallyday specialized in French-language cover versions of hits by artists such as Gene Vincent, Eddie Cochran, and Sam Cooke, etc. While (as a French singer) his performances could never hope to match the sizzle of the original artists, his commercial success in the late 1950s and early '60s opened the door which made rock music acceptable to French ears. Hallyday set the tone which other artists would follow-- some singers, like Claude Francois and Hallyday's then-wife, Sylvie Vartan, also stuck closely to cover versions, while others such as Francoise Hardy and Serge Gainbourg began to push the boundaries and made rock-pop music with a distinctly French character. In a later incarnation, Hallyday went on to make several Ricky Nelson-ish roots pop albums, though for the most part his post-'60s work is drekky, negligible Euro-pop.

Regarding this discography: I don't necessarily stand by any of the records listed here, especially the later ones. I just stumbled across a bunch of the titles and am listing them for the sake of passing the info on. I'm sure most of them suck, though, so keep that in mind. Also, if anyone has more information they'd like to add, please feel free to contact me and let me know...


Johnny Hallyday "Hello, Johnny" (Vogue, 1960)

Johnny Hallyday "Nous Les Gars, Nous Les Filles" (Vogue, 1960)

Johnny Hallyday "Tete A Tete Avec Johnny" (Vogue, 1961)

Johnny Hallyday "Salut Les Copains!" (Vogue, 1961)

Johnny Hallyday "Johnny Et Ses Fans Au Festival De Rock'n'Roll" (Vogue, 1961)
The first in a long, long, long, long, long, long line of live albums...

Johnny Hallyday "...Sings America's Rockin' Hits" (Philips, 1962)

Johnny Hallyday "A l'Olympia" (Philips, 1962)
His second live album... And you're keeping count, right...?

Johnny Hallyday "Les Bras En Croix" (Philips, 1963)

Johnny Hallyday "Johnny A Nashville -- La Fantastique Epopee Du Rock" (Philips, 1962)
Includes cover versions of "Be Bop A Lula," "Hello Mary Lou," "Maybelline", etc...

Johnny Hallyday "Les Rocks Les Plus Terribles" (Philips, 1964)

Johnny Hallyday "Olympia '64" (Philips, 1964)
Another live album... that makes three so far...

Johnny Hallyday "Halleluyah" (Philips, 1965)
A pretty upbeat album, including a lively cover of the Beatles' "She's A Woman" ("On A Ses Jours") as well as "Rock And Roll Musique," as well as a perky version of "My Babe" ("Va T'En") and a dismal rendition of "Michael Row The Boat Ashore" ("Pour Nos Joies, Pour Nos Peines"), which gives the album its title... All in all, good, kitschy fun, in the tried-and-true Hallyday way.

Johnny Hallyday "Johnny Chante Hallyday" (Philips, 1965)

Johnny Hallyday "La Generation Perdue" (Philips, 1966)
A good example of why some non-French people and some French people, of a certain generation, will never quite agree on their perceptions of "rock and roll." Yes, it's cool that Hallyday and his producers picked out some of the songs they did -- they were up on their hip hits -- but Hallyday's performances rarely rise above the level of competent, reverent kitsch. In terms of gut-ripping, high-energy rockin' out, Hallyday just doesn't have that special something... He's a showman, not a rock god. This disc features hearty, lusty, sincere renditions of '60s hits such as "When A Man Loves A Woman," the Troggs' "With A Girl Like You"; the Beatles' "Got To Get You Into My Life..." My favorite here is his Gallicized version of "Black Is Black," but again, the pleasure is in the joke, more than in the performance. This is an okay album, but I think you kinda had to "be there" to really get excited about it.

Johnny Hallyday "Johnny '67" (Philips, 1967)

Johnny Hallyday "Olympia: 1967" (Philips, 1967)
Another live album...

Johnny Hallyday "Au Palais Des Sports" (Philips, 1967)
And another...

Johnny Hallyday "Jeune Homme" (Philips, 1968)

Johnny Hallyday "Reve et Amour" (Philips, 1968)

Johnny Hallyday "Riviere... Ouvre Ton Lit" (Philips, 1969)

Johnny Hallyday "Que Je T'Aime" (Philips, 1969)
Johnny gets heavy on this Cream-influenced hard rock album, recorded live (?), or at least with crowd noise mixed in throughout. To tell the truth, Hallyday is pretty much just bellowing his way through the songs... But it's still amusing and should be of interest to students of le swinging Sixties... Includes covers of "Hush" and "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes" -- most of the rest of the tracks are Micky Jones/Tommy Brown creations. Ludicrous, but effective.

Johnny Hallyday "Nashville" (Phillips, 1969)

Johnny Hallyday "Vie" (Philips, 1970)

Johnny Hallyday "Flagrant Delit" (Philips, 1971)
(Produced by Chris Kimsey)

Many would consider this hard-rocking, hippie-era album to be one of Hallyday's masterpieces... It's certainly got funkier, wilder musicanship than one might imagine, with plenty of wicked, acid-laced boogie-rock jam riffs, courtesy of an all-star studio band: Gary Wright on keyboards, Jerry Donahue, Mick Jones and Hugh McCracken on electric guitars, and two members of the brass section used by the Rolling Stones and Joe Cocker, Jim Price and Bobby Keyes adding some punchy horn riffs as well. Hallyday went to London to record this set, and enlisted producer Chris Kimsey, known at the time for his work with the then-ascendant Stones, to helm the sessions. Depending on your viewpoint, it's either miraculous or torturous: Hallyday has certainly "rocked out" before, but the truth of the matter is, no matter how much sound and fury and funk and grit the musicians pump out, as soon as Johnny starts to sing, it's just another Frenchies-trying-to-imitate-Americans rock record. Interesting set list, with covers of hits by Joe Cocker ("Delta Lady" becomes "Fille De La Nuit"), Creedence Clearwater Revival ("Fortunate Son") and, interestingly enough, several songs by Gary Wright, who at the time was on hiatus from the band Spooky Tooth. I wouldn't say this is the world's greatest rock records, but for Hallyday, it's a pretty powerful effort. Worth checking out.

Johnny Hallyday "Live At The Palais Des Sports" (Philips, 1971)

Johnny Hallyday "Country-Folk-Rock" (Philips, 1972)
Although the album title promises a Ricky Nelson-ish soft-pop twangfest, really only the first song on here, "Ma Main Au Feu," is a for-real country-rock song. The rest of the album tilts towards a robust Muscle Shoals-style soul-funk sound, with Carol Kaye and a few members of the much revered Los Angeles "Wrecking Crew" adding their patented brand of hot licks. Sort of sounds like Moustaki meets Nino Ferrer and the Isley Brothers. All in all, this is one of Johnny's stronger albums; goofy, but kinda groovy -- at least it sounds like he was enjoying himself!

Johnny Hallyday "Insolitudes" (Philips, 1973)

Johnny Hallyday "Je t'Aime, Je t'Aime, Je t'Aime" (Phillips, 1974)
Ooooh, baby.

Johnny Hallyday "Rock'n Slow" (Phillips, 1974)

Johnny Hallyday "Rock A Memphis" (Phillips, 1975)

Johnny Hallyday "La Terre Promise" (Philips, 1975)
With a version of Kris Kristofferson's "Me and Bobby McGee." Whoo-hoo.

Johnny Hallyday "Derriere L'Amour" (Philips, 1976)

Johnny Hallyday "Hamlet" (Philips, 1976)

Johnny Hallyday "Palais Des Sports" (Philips, 1976)

Johnny Hallyday "C'est la Vie" (Philips, 1977)

Johnny Hallyday "Solitudes A Deux" (Philips, 1978)
Cute picture of Hallyday and a little fluffy dog, uh, I mean chien, on the cover... That's about the best thing about the record, though... On Side One, there are intriguing tints of country-rock and '70s-style soft-pop, this is mostly a pretty florid, overblown, schmaltzy pop vocals set, with a production style that's a bit too heavy on the string arrangements. Hallyday is such a ham, too! Side Two of the album has a harder feel to it, as Hallyday digs into a jaunty set of soul-tinged rock, material that I suppose makes up for the leaden feel of the other tracks.

Johnny Hallyday "Hollywood" (Philips, 1979)

Johnny Hallyday "Pavillon De Paris" (Philips, 1979)
Yup... it's another live one. Double album, this time!

Johnny Hallyday "A Partir De Maintenant..." (Philips, 1980)

Johnny Hallyday "En Pieces Detachees" (Philips, 1981)

Johnny Hallyday "Pas Facile" (Philips, 1981)

Johnny Hallyday "Live -- La Pantin: 1981" (PolyGram, 1981)

Johnny Hallyday "Quelque Part Un Aigle" (Philips, 1982)

Johnny Hallyday "La Peur" (Philips, 1982)

Johnny Hallyday "Palais Des Sports: 1982" (Universal, 1982)

Johnny Hallyday "Entre Violence Et Violon" (Philips, 1983)

Johnny Hallyday "Hallyday 84: Nashville En Direct" (Philips, 1984)

Johnny Hallyday "En V.O." (Philips, 1984)

Johnny Hallyday "Au Zenith" (Philips, 1984)
Live at the Zenith, that is...

Johnny Hallyday "Rock'n'Roll Attitude" (Philips, 1985)

Johnny Hallyday "Gang" (Philips, 1986)

Johnny Hallyday "A Bercy: 87" (Universal, 1987)

Johnny Hallyday "Cadillac" (Philips, 1989)

Johnny Hallyday "Dans La Chaleur De Bercy" (Universal, 1990)
A live album...

Johnny Hallyday "Ce Ne Change Pas Un Homme" (Philips, 1991)

Johnny Hallyday "Bercy '92" (Philips, 1992)
A 2-CD live set.

Johnny Hallyday "Au Parc Des Princes: 1993" (Universal, 1993)

Johnny Hallyday "Rough Town" (Philips, 1994)

Johnny Hallyday "Paroles D'Hommes" (PolyGram, 1994)

Johnny Hallyday "A La Cigale" (Universal, 1994)
A live album...

Johnny Hallyday "Lorada" (Philips, 1995)

Johnny Hallyday "Lorada Tour" (Philips, 1995)

Johnny Hallyday "Destination Vegas" (live) (Philips, 1996)

Johnny Hallyday "Ce Que Je Sais" (Philips, 1998)

Johnny Hallyday "Lorada/Ce Que Je Sais/Cadillac" (Philips, 1998)
Three 1990s albums "bricked" together in a 3-CD set...

Johnny Hallyday "Johnny Allume Le Feu: Stade De France '98" (Philips, 1998)

Johnny Hallyday "Sang Pour Sang" (PolyGram, 1999)

Johnny Hallyday "100% Johnny: Live a La Tour Eiffel" (Universal, 2000)

Johnny Hallyday "Olympia 2000" (Universal, 2000)

Johnny Hallyday "A La Vie, A La Mort" (Mercury-Universal, 2002)

Johnny Hallyday "Parc Des Princes: 2003" (Universal, 2003)

Johnny Hallyday "Ma Verite" (Universal-Mercury, 2005)

Johnny Hallyday "Flashback Tour Live" (Warner, 2006)

Johnny Hallyday "La Cigale" (Warner, 2007)

Johnny Hallyday "Le Coeur D'Un Homme" (Warner, 2007)

Johnny Hallyday "Au Palais Des Sports '69" (Universal, 2006)
And another...

Johnny Hallyday "Live At Montreux: 1988" (Eagle, 2008)


Johnny Hallyday "Serie Master, v. 1" (1991)
Johnny Hallyday "Serie Master, v. 2" (1991)

A curious 2-CD best of... Volume One is mostly horrid later Euro-pop, and the good(ish) stuff -- his old rock cover tunes -- are all on Volume Two. At the time, this was probably the best Hallyday CD retrospective available in the States, though it should be stressed just how much the first disc is really terrible...

Johnny Hallyday "Ses Premieres Succes" (Vogue, 1998)

Johnny Hallyday "Johnny Hallyday" (BMG, 1998)
A 2-CD set drawing on his early years... Two discs, but only 25 songs, so maybe not the first collection I'd go looking for if you wanted to check out Hallyday's rocker years.

Johnny Hallyday "Anthologie" (Mercury-France, 1997)
A multi-disc retrospective, also sold as individual discs, as seen below...

Johnny Hallyday "Anthologie: 1960-1963" (Philips, 1998)

Johnny Hallyday "Anthologie: 1964-1966" (Philips, 1998)

Johnny Hallyday "Anthologie: 1966-1969" (Philips, 1998)

Johnny Hallyday "Anthologie: 1970-1975" (Philips, 1998)
A fine overview of his work in the early 'Seventies, most of which is pretty hard to handle... Hallyday had, of course, flirted with psychedelia and moddishness in the late '60s, and he was still dabbling in trippy production at the start of the next decade, as evidenced by the kaleidoscopic arrangements by the likes of frogpop pro Eddie Vartan and the much-vaunted avantnik Jean-Claude Vannier. He quickly settled into a more pedestrian pop-vocals approach, and the primary defining characteristic is Hallyday's tendency to bellow forcefully in order to project emotion... His very flatness gives clever producers a readymade palette to work around, but even with the curlicues and musical textures, you still have to come back to the fact that the guy is yelling in your ear. A couple of tunes stand out, such as his gutteral cover of John Fogerty's "Fortunate Son" and a couple of acoustic-based country-tinged songs, which provide a welcome respite from the bombastic orchestrations of other tracks. I didn't hang onto this one for long.

Johnny Hallyday "Anthologie: 1975-1984" (Philips, 1998)

Johnny Hallyday "Anthologie: 1975-1997" (Philips, 1998)
A 2-CD set covering a wide swath of his later material...

Johnny Hallyday "Ballades" (Universal-Decca, 1999)

Johnny Hallyday "Rock'N'Roll Man" (Universal-Decca, 2004)
A 4-CD box set...


  • The Official Johnny Hallyday website is predictably garish, but has information on his life, music and film appearances... plus lots of photos, for a good glimpse of Le Roi...

  • ABC Johnny Hallyday is an impressive clearing house of Hallyday-related sites, although it has super-irritating navigational hazards imposed by the host site's advertising banners... other than that, this has a lot of great information on the Hallyday phenomenon. Slipcue is not listed on here, by the way... but I shall take no offense.

  • Like many of the French Music Database sites, their Johnny Hallyday page is a bit flat and irregularly ordered. It has album titles, but they are not dated or arranged chronologically. Plus, there is that ultra-scary photograph of Hallyday a bit later in life... YIKES. Still, considering the dearth of info on Hallyday on the internet, this could be of interest.

  • The Ye-Ye Girls Website has great profiles of several leading stars, as well as links to some other great websites... Nice French pop clearinghouse!

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