Annie Philippe: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — January 23, 2022

328) Annie Philippe — “Plus Rien”

“Plus Rien,” a ’67 B-side, is another wonderful exercise in yé-yé by Annie Philippe (see #206). It has a soaring melody but bitter lyrics that say good riddance to a lover.


a**ez de mots et de promesses
Fini de me mentir sans cesse
Tes pensées sont trop loin de moi
Tes pensées sont trop loin
Il ne reste plus rien de nous
Plus rien
Après toi, j’ai cru à ma chance
Mais cela n’a plus d’importance
Le destin s’est moqué de moi
Le destin s’est moqué
Il ne reste plus rien de nous
Plus rien

Il m’aura fallu tant de jours
Pour que je te comprenne
Mais tout ça est fini
Bien fini, bien fini !

J’ai découvert la solitude
J’ai retrouvé mes habitudes
J’essaierai d’oublier ton nom
J’essaierai d’oublier
Il ne reste plus rien de nous
Plus rien

Here’s a Google translation:

Enough of words and promises. No more endlessly lying to me. Your thoughts are too far from me. Your thoughts are too far. There’s nothing left of us, nothing left. After you, I believed in my luck. But it no longer has any importance. Fate laughed at me. Fate laughed at me. There’s nothing left of us, nothing left. It took me so many days for me to understand you. But it’s all over. Well over, well over! I discovered loneliness. I found my habits. I will try to forget your name. I will try to forget. There is nothing left of us, nothing left.

What is yé-yé? —

Yé-yé pop showcased young, cherubic-voiced female singers framed against dance-ready beats and rock & roll hooks in songs often riddled with thinly veiled sexual innuendo. It was bubblegum pop meets softcore porn and it was massively successful in Europe from the late ’50s through the ’60s.

Matt Collar, All Music Guide

Of “Plus Rien,” Matt Collar says in All Music Guide that:

[N]o amount of money was spared in a song’s production, and subsequently many of Philippe’s cuts, including tracks like . . . “Plus Rien[]” . . . are lush productions replete with orchestral flourishes, ripe horn parts, vibrant backing vocals, and, as always, the fertile guitar buzz of an electric rock quartet underpinning it all.

Richie Unterberger, All Music Guide’s master of the putdown and the backhanded compliment, says this of Philippe:

[She was a] secondary French pop-rock singer of the 1960s who had her moments . . . [Her songs were characterized by] consciously over-cute girlish delivery, bouncy tunes, and (perhaps inadvertently) eclectic production, in which Spectorian arrangements, American girl-group influences, smooth mainstream French pop orchestrations, melancholy ballads, groovy jazzy organs, bad Dixielandesque show tunes, and more all swam in the same stream. Philippe was not quite as overtly childish in her vocal style as [France] Gall was. On the other hand, her material was not quite as interesting.

SMOKE!!! But I’m not sure the comments are justified. For me at least, Annie’s best songs — such as “Plus Rien” — reach the absolute pinnacle of yé-yé. Maybe I’m a sucker for bad Dixielandesque show tunes?

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