Her 1965 Eurovision victory for Luxembourg changed the contest forever. After a decade of fusty ballads and twee ditties, France Gall brought the competition into the 20th century with the upbeat and double entendre filled pop delight “Poupée de cire, poupée de son”.
Sadly, the French singer passed away earlier this month, following a two year battle with cancer.
Tributes flowed in from across the world, with President Emmanuel Macron leading the way. International names such as Elton John and Arcade Fire also paid their respects.
France Gall a traversé le temps grâce à sa sincérité et sa générosité. Elle laisse des chansons connues de tous les Français et l'exemple d'une vie tournée vers les autres, ceux qu'elle aimait et ceux qu'elle aidait.
— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) January 7, 2018
— Elton John (@eltonofficial) January 8, 2018
Sad news about France Gall https://t.co/WbFevuinsl
— Arcade Fire (@arcadefire) January 7, 2018
Her death has also sparked a renewed interest in her music. On Monday, SNEP published the top 200 singles in France for the week ending 12 January 2017. There, sitting alongside contemporary entries from the likes of Ed Sheeran and Camilla Cabello, were eight of Gall’s biggest hits.
#34 “Résiste” (1981)
Taken from her 1981 album Tout pour la musique, “Résiste” is France’s highest entry on this week’s chart. It was one of many hits written by her husband Michel Berger. He predeceased France, dying of a heat attack in 1992.
#41 “Ella, elle l’a” (1987)
Also written by Berger, “Ella, elle l’a” first appeared on Babacar, the album considered by many to be Gall’s magnum opus. Dedicated to the legendary jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald, the song tackles racism while also serving as an empowerment anthem. The track originally peaked at #2 in the French charts. In Germany and Austria it reached #1, while it also broke the top ten in Sweden, Spain, Switzerland and Argentina.
#57 “Il jouait du piano debout” (1980)
“Il jouait du piano debout” was written by Berger too. And like “Elle, elle l’a”, it was also dedicated to an American great — Jerry Lee Lewis. The track gave Gall a #1 hit in France and also made the Dutch charts.
#77 “Evidemment” (1987)
Another Berger penned single from Babacar, “Evidemment” reached #6 in the charts upon its original release. The song was a tribute to Daniel Balavoine, a French singer who had been a close friend of the husband-wife hit making duo.
#99 “Si, maman si” (1977)
Peaking at #15, “Si, maman si” was the third single from her Dancing Disco LP. Yet again, Berger was the one on songwriting duties.
#124 “La Déclaration d’amour” (1974)
“La Déclaration d’amour” was the first collaboration between Gall and Berger. Taken as the first single from her eponymous 1974 album, it reached #17 in the charts.
#152 “Musique” (1977)
#174 “Poupée de cire, poupée de son” (1965)
Composed by Serge Gainsbourg, “Poupée de cire, poupée de son” sold more than 500,000 copies in France alone. Following her Eurovision victory, the track scaled the charts all over Europe. It peaked at #2 in France, but managed to secure the top spot in both Spain and Norway.
Are these your favourite France Gall tracks? What other songs will you remember her by? Let us know in the comments below.