- Audio CD
- Language: English
- Number of Discs: 2
- Format: Double CD, Import
- Label: 101 DISTRIBUTION
- ASIN: B0034DBRKW
- Other Editions: Audio CD | Vinyl
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
Best of Vanessa Paradis (2 CD Set) Double CD, Import
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Description for Best of Vanessa Paradis (2 CD Set)
UK pressing. 2009 two CD collection from the French model and Pop chanteuse featuring new tracks, hits, rarities and so much more. The Best of Vanessa Paradis spans her entire career, starting with her late '80s hits 'Joe Le Taxi' and 'Marilyn & John' and ending with tracks from her 2007 Divinidylle album plus new material only available on this double disc set. Disc One features her most popular tracks while Disc Two contains live recordings, acoustic versions, rarities and unreleased recordings. 33 tracks. Barclay.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
I recomend this album to everybody who's been following her career, and to those who are not familiar with her but are eclectic like me, take the risk and buy it, you will enjoy every single song, I purchased the deluxe version, wich is beautiful but I was expecting a few pages with details about her long career and albums, but there are only pictures. Anyway, I love this album and listen to it frequently.
Vanessa Paradis finally claims her rightful place in the canon of recorded French Music with her first ever Greatest Hits Collection. Considering she's been a recording artist for the last twenty years, this was a long time coming. Along the way, she gets to thank Alain Souchon, Jane Birkin, Mathieu Chedid, Serge Gainsbourg, Albin de la Simone, Franck Monnet and Franck Langolff for their indispensable contribution to her amazing catalog, most of which find their way onto this 2-CD set.
To understand Vanessa Paradis' effect on the world of French music, one must travel back to the very beginning, in 1987 when 'Joe Le Taxi' came out and transfixed the world. Unfairly for her, that song is perhaps all she is known for in various parts of the world. Which is why her decision to release this 2 Disc Set of her best and least known track is a wise decision, one that will perhaps finally set to rest doubts about her immense contribution to the world of French music.
Any follower of Paradis' musical output will know that her studio albums are few and far between, and that she barely has any recognizable singles that have 'stood the test of time' with the mainstream commercial audience. My personal choice for her best album is 1990's "Variations sur le meme t'aime", recorded for her by Serge Gainsbourg, which of all her recordings is both the 'oldest sounding' as well as a timeless setpiece. Her live albums, especially "Au Zenith" still sound fresh and appealing today, despite being a decade old.
Her return to form in the 2000s with her albums "Bliss" and "Divinidylle" were welcomed, only because of the sheer artistry contained within - for once Vanessa was getting more adventurous and recording songs with different producers. My own opinion is that her work has improved greatly since her involvement with both Mathieu Chedid and Franck Monnet, both of whom are stellar recording artists in their own right.
This double-disc, when first announced, didn't set very well with many long term followers of Paradis' music. Most clearly, it did away with some of the more emphatically essential songs of her catalog - prime amongst these being "Au Charme Non Plus", "L'Amour a Deux", and "Amour Jamais" from 1990's "Variations Sur Le Meme T'aime". Also missing are "L'eau et la vin", and "L'air du temps" from 2000's stunning "Bliss" album. And of course, the fact that they didn't include "Chet Baker" and "Irresistiblemen" from "Divindylle" is just unbelievable - the latter especially was the song Vanessa used to open all her 2008 concerts and has since become a staple.
The reasoning behind this 2 disc set is this - Disc 1 works as a 'Greatest Hits' compilation, collecting all of her 'best' singles onto one disc (since shes been recording for 23 years, there are bound to be omissions). Disc 2 works as a "Rarities, Acoustic, and B-Sides" Compilation. This had the potential to be stunning, but instead comprises of a very weird and bizarre songlist. For example, Paradis won new legions of fans over when she serenaded Jeanne Moreau with her own masterful rendition of "Les Tourbillons de la vie", and she even recorded a classy studio version for the out of print "Mes Chansons Enfances". That song, often considered a mainstay of her concerts, is sorely missing.
The Second Disc also does away with most of her great collaborative work and instead gives us acoustic versions of "Marilyn and John", and inserts "When I Say" (a weak song from 'Bliss') into the mix. While 'Atomik Circus' remains an underrated French science fiction film, they've chosen to disregards its hit single 'Ma Petroleuse' (a moderate hit for Paradis), and pick "Concia" instead. Now listen, all of these songs are beautiful, but if you have a once in a lifetime chance to put together a B-side compilation for Vanessa Paradis, at least they could have put some thought into it.
On the bright side, Disc 2 does include those rare "Edition Noel" tracks that were released for "Divinidylle". These are "I Wouldn't Dare" and "Abracadabra", and the much publicized "I Love Paris" is here as well. While the first set is notably devoid of duets, the second gives us some great songs. First up is the thrilling song with M (Mathieu Chedid). Bless this man for every entering Paradis' musical sphere, as he knows what to do with her even when she is lost. "Johnny Jane", always an oddity even on French TV, was a fun, nostalgic duet between Vanessa and Jane Birkin - a sweet, cloying track that sounds rather out of place in this environment.
Thankfully, we have the little known "Les Filles Electriques", her duet with Alain Souchon, to balance things out. One of the most underrated album tracks from 1987's "M&J" album was "Scarabee", a lush piece that sounded almost Beatlesque in patches. This has now been given the 'acoustic' treatment and sounds even better than before. I like that the album ends with the hugely unknown "Varvara Pavlovna" (this was originally the B-Side to the LP of "Joe le Taxi" in 1987 and is now officially out of print!), so its great to have this rarity remastered and officially available after almost 22 years.
As any of my acquaintances within the French music world would know, I have long held that the greatest French song ever written would have to be 'Pourtant', from Vanessa's 'Bliss' album. This was written by the amazing Franck Monnet (another underrated singer/songwriter who has four beautiful albums out: 'Playa', 'Les Embellies', 'Au Grand Jour', and 2007's 'Malidor'), and the visual imagery is stark and revealing. The very fact that they included this song (and made it Track 2!) is testament to the fact that some things were done right on this one.
Vanessa Paradis' musical output may not be comparable to lets say Jane Birkin, Julien Clerc, or Serge Gainsbourg, but at the very least she has carved out a wonderful niche for herself in the world of French music. Any Paradis enthusiast should pick this one up, and if you haven't heard her music yet, this is indeed the best place to start. Get this, and then get the remainder of her studio albums.
1. Il y a
3. Marilyn &John
4. Dis-lui toi que je t'aime
5. Joe le taxi
7. Sunday Mondays
9. Natural high
11. Be my baby
12. Divine idylle
13. Dès que j'te vois
14. Just as long as you are there
15. Que fait la vie
1. Marilyn &John (version acoustique)
2. Dans mon café
3. La Déclaration d'amour (duo avec -M-)
5. I love Paris
6. Emmenez-moi (live)
7. La Ballade de Johnny Jane (duo avec Jane Birkin)
8. When I say
9. Concia chachacha
10. St Germain
11. This will be our year (live)
12. Les Filles électriques (duo avec Alain Souchon)
13. Made in Asia
15. I wouldn't dare
16. Scarabée (version acoustique)
17. Varvara Pavlovna