French rock  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

French rock is a form of rock music produced primarily in France, but also in other francophone countries.

One of the difficulties for French rock has been that, during the 1960s and 1970s, it was a copy of variety music, contrary to the English Easy listening music which was the primary source of money in the French music scene at the time.

In the yé-yé period of the 1960s, the groups were satisfied with simply singing, without any great imagination or adaption and without offending a very conservative public, the songs of successful American and British artists. At this time, when English speakers spoke of French rock, it was Johnny Hallyday they spoke of.

In the next decade, the 1970s, France saw the arrival of Alan Stivell's Breton folk-rock as well as a wave of progressive rock bands like Ange, Shylock, Magma, Eskaton, Atoll and Pulsar. French punk rock also appeared, including bands like Oberkampf and Metal Urbain. It was during this period that a few other variety music artists - Catherine Ribeiro, Jacques Higelin, Bernard Lavilliers and others - flirted with Rock, but without completely changing over.

Things changed course in the 1980s. The changing of the political culture was accompanied by an explosion in youth culture. This helped the emergence of a distinct French rock that could match the lucrativeness of American and British rock music. At this time, French progressive rock was peaking, with the bands Dun, Terpandre and Emeraude achieving the most success. Telephone (pub rock), Telex (synth pop) and La Muerte (psychobilly) also took French rock to new levels.

In the following lists, artists and groups are classified by their decade of origin, even if their career spans multiple decades, or if they took time to become famous.


The 1960s

  • Danny Boy et ses Pénitents
  • Dick Rivers
  • Eddy Mitchell
  • Françoise Hardy
  • Johnny Hallyday
  • Les Chats sauvages
  • Les Chaussettes noires
  • Les Pirates
  • Sylvie Vartan

The 1970s

Before Punk

After Punk

The 1980s

The 1990s

The 2000s

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "French rock" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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