The excellent mid-'60s Vogue recordings of Françoise Hardy
have only occasionally been available to those outside France, usually courtesy of either shady collections or pricey imports. The Vogue Years
solves that problem (at least temporarily, as long as it's in print), boasting everything the modern music connoisseur looks for: a lengthy, chronological track listing, crisp remastered sound, lengthy historical liner notes (by Bob Stanley
from Saint Etienne
), and an assortment of vintage photos. It hits most (surprisingly, not all) of her best recordings for Vogue from 1962 to 1967, beginning with "Tous les Garçons et le Filles," the multi-million seller recorded at her very first session. Disc two skips through her 1965-1966 material, during which she matured greatly as both a songwriter and performer, with productions that moved from the tinny sound of yeh-yeh pop into a fuller brand of rock arrangements. With no good retrospective also taking into account her extraordinary work from the late '60s (Comment Te Dire Adieu
) and early '70s (La Question
), The Vogue Years
takes the cake as the best Françoise Hardy collection available.