Various A Tribute to Polnareff

Although arguably never achieving the fame of contemporaries like Serge Gainsbourg and Jacques Dutronic, Michel Polnareff still remains one of the most colourful and fun artists to come out of France during the ’60s. Long known for his campy stage presence and flamboyant controversy, Polnareff never strayed too far from controversy, whether it was being physically assaulted on stage or being fined for gross indecency for bearing his ass on a tour poster. Originally released in 1999, A Tribute to Polnareff is essentially a reissue and on paper at least, is a wonderful idea. Unfortunately, the disc is lost in modern, campier versions of the originals, which include a plethora of horrible ’80s-style synthesisers and the nauseating wailing, in French nonetheless, of that other guy from Tears for Fears, Curt Smith and Marc Almond. The first 28 seconds of Pulp’s opener, "Le Roi Des Fourmis,” features a classic cabaret style intro that leads you to think this could really be classy. It then cuts to the same recycled glam keyboards of mid-’90s Brit-pop, with Jarvis singing en Français. Saint Etienne make an unmemorable appearance and even some of the decent songs, usually by the male-female duos, are only good in an ’80s Love Boat kind of way. In "Tout Les Bateaux,” you can even hear seagulls. Definitely forgo this compilation for some of Polnareff’s original albums, like the 1971-classic Polnareff’s. (Fusion III)