C'EST MA CHANSON brings together 18 classic French-language songs from Petula Clark.
It's doubtful that any future singer will ever record as many songs as Petula Clark has in her career -- the number of just her English language recordings is many hundreds, and then there are the many hundreds more of French-language discs, and that doesn't end the list. C'est Ma Chanson is a collection of 18 of her better French language songs, done for the Vogue label between 1961 ("Romeo") and 1967 ("C'Est Ma Chanson"). The amazing thing is that she doesn't sound like the same singer that exploded out of England during this period; whether emoting to the boundless passions of "Chariot" (better-known in America as "I Will Follow Him") or turning in a torch-song version of "Needles and Pins" (here sung as "La Nuit N'En Finit Plus"), she has a completely different enunciation here than she does on her English recordings for Pye Records from the same period. Much of the material ("Elle Et Finie," "O O Sheriff" etc.) is more closely associated with France than America. Whatever the origins of the material, Clark throws herself into it with a bracing, vibrant abandon that is even more startling than the power she brings to her English-language material. Highlights include a stunningly sensual rendition of "Petite Fleur," but Clark even acquits herself decently on potentially lethal numbers like "Hello Dolly." "Downtown" also shows up here, incidentally, as "Dans Le Temps," sung differently enough to make it worth hearing. ~ Bruce Eder