French folk-rock composer and novelist Yves Simon has some interesting early stuff from the 1970s (I'm too chicken to try his stuff from the 1980s and '90s...) Hard to find in the United States, but worth looking around for...
Yves Simon "28 Grands Succes" (BMG-France, 1994)
A fine 2-CD set that collects the best of French avant-folkie Yves Simon's work on the RCA label, from 1973-77. Presented in chronological order, this kicks off with "Les Bateaux Du Metro," a moody, elegant piece with an arresting, innovative mix of acoustic melody and dynamic rhythm. The earlier tracks, taken from his 1973 album, Au Payes Des Merveilles De Juliette, have an immediacy and hunger to them, as well as a fascinating stylistic range and depth... I suppose he could be compared to Britain's John Martyn, an erstwhile acoustic folkie who was unafraid to admit commercial ambitions, and who paid dearly in aesthetic terms for his explorations into harder-edged pop-folk fusions. By mid-decade, thudding, jazz-tinged rock arrangements started to drown out Simon's softer tendencies, although he still exuded passion and a singular artistic presence... He's still certainly worth looking into, though, and this is a fine introduction to his work.
Yves Simon "Longue Distance: The Best Of Yves Simon" (RCA Victor, 1997)
Yves Simon "The Best Of: 1973-77" (BMG-France, 1998)
This single-disc best-of covers the same period as the 28 Grands Succes collection (above), but with half as many tunes. This might be all you need, but the other set gives more bang for your buck.
Yves Simon "The Best Of: 1978-85" (BMG France, 1998)
Yves Simon "J'T'imagine" (Sony-BMG France, 1998)
A 3-CD set...
Yves Simon "Au Pays Des Merveilles De Juliet" (RCA, 1973)
Yves Simon "Respirer, Chanter" (RCA, 1974)
Yves Simon "Raconte-toi" (RCA, 1975)
Yves Simon "Macadam" (RCA, 1976)
Yves Simon "Un Autre Desir" (RCA, 1977)
Yves Simon "Concert A Tokyo" (1977)
Yves Simon "Demain Je T'Aime" (1978)
Yves Simon "Une Vie Comme Ca" (1981)
Yves Simon "USA/USSR (Amazoniaque)" (1983)
Yves Simon "De L'Autre Cote Du Monde" (1985)
Yves Simon "Liaisons" (1988)
Yves Simon "Apres L'Amour" (Soundtrack) (1992)
Yves Simon "Autoportrait" (BMG, 1998)
Yves Simon "Intempestives" (Barclay, 1999)
Yves Simon "Climax" (Barclay, 2000)
A 2-CD set.
Yves Simon "Rumeurs" (Barclay, 2007)
French Music Index
French Rock Albums