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Gillian Hills Zou Bisou Bisou - The Ye-Ye Years 1960-1965 (CD)

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(2017/Ace) 22 tracks in mono. Ultra-chic yé-yé from the cult movie star. Booklet features a new... more

Gillian Hills: Zou Bisou Bisou - The Ye-Ye Years 1960-1965 (CD)

(2017/Ace) 22 tracks in mono. Ultra-chic yé-yé from the cult movie star. Booklet features a new exclusive interview with the artist.

Ultra-chic yé-yé from the cult movie star. Booklet features a new exclusive interview with the artist.

In the early 1960s Gillian Hills was at the heart of a cultural shift that saw French popular music evolve from the chanson tradition to embrace modern pop and rock influences. Indeed, she may well have acted as a catalyst for that change, incorporating both American and British influences in her recordings when she could. And yet, by the time Gillian was 21, her recording career was all but over and she would return to acting. That she was able to embrace all the emerging opportunities in the era of “the teenager” ensured she was a popular presence on television, radio and in magazines – in France at least.

Discovered by film director Roger Vadim, Cairo-born Gillian is best known for her roles in cult movies such as Beat Girl (1959), Blow-Up (1966) and A Clockwork Orange (1971). Her parallel career as a teen singer-songwriter saw her record for the Paris-based Barclay label and, buoyed by her appearance in 1962’s Les Parisiennes and touring alongside Johnny Hallyday, Gillian became popular on the burgeoning yé-yé scene. Working with maestros Paul Mauriat, Jean Bouchéty and Mickey Baker, Gillian’s recordings benefitted from superb arrangements and top-notch orchestration. Encompassing sentimental ballads, beaty numbers plus Gillian’s own compositions, this 22-track best-of comprises original material and cover versions.

Having worked latterly as an illustrator, the spotlight was once again thrown upon Gillian when 'Zou Bisou Bisou' featured in Season 5 of ‘MadMen’ in 2012. This spawned a cover version by actress Jessica Paré and also saw Gillian’s recording played out in the coveted closing credits spot. Since then her rendition has been used as the soundbed for an international L’Oréal shampoo campaign. Highly regarded by yé-yé aficionados, Gillian Hills is a welcome addition to Ace’s French pop compendium.

SAM SZCZEPANSKI 

Article properties: Gillian Hills: Zou Bisou Bisou - The Ye-Ye Years 1960-1965 (CD)

  • Interpret: Gillian Hills

  • Album titlle: Zou Bisou Bisou - The Ye-Ye Years 1960-1965 (CD)

  • Genre Beat

  • Year of publication 2017
  • Label Ace Records

  • Artikelart CD

  • EAN: 0029667084529

  • weight in Kg 0.11
Hills, Gillian - Zou Bisou Bisou - The Ye-Ye Years 1960-1965 (CD) CD 1
01 Tut, Tut, Tut, Tut (Busy Signal)
02 Oublie
03 Qui A Su
04 Rentre Sans Moi (Leave Me Be)
05 Un Petit Baiser (The Kiss)
06 Ma Première Cigarette (Smokin' My First Cigarette)
07 Zou Bisou Bisou (Zoo Be Zoo Be Zoo)
08 Cha Cha Stop
09 C'est Bien Mieux Comme Ça
10 Tu Mens
11 Je Partirai
12 Le Paradis Pour Toi (A Kookie Little Paradise)
13 Si Tu Veux Que Je Te Dise
14 Jean-Lou
15 Les Jolis Coeurs (Kiss 'n' Run)
16 Ne Crois Surtout Pas
17 Mon Coeur Est Prêt (Don't Treat Me Like A Child)
18 Ne T'en Fais Pas
19 C'est Le Garçon
20 Avec Toi
21 Rien N'est Changé
22 Maintenant Il Téléphone
Gillian Hills In the Early 1960s Gillian Hills was at the heart of a cultural shift that saw... more
"Gillian Hills"

Gillian Hills

In the Early 1960s Gillian Hills was at the heart of a cultural shift that saw French popular music evolve from the chanson tradition to embrace modern pop and rock influences. Indeed, she may well have acted as a catalyst for that change, incorporating both American and British influences in her recordings when she could. And yet, by the time Gillian was 21, her recording career was all but over and she would return to acting. That she was able to embrace all the emerging opportunities in the era of "the teenager" ensured she was a popular presence on television, radio and in magazines - in France at least. For some she is best-remembered as the feral-eyed Jennifer in Beat Girl; here we focus on a selection of her recordings predominantly made for Barclay in the years which put ye-ye on the map. Today her name is known, tomorrow she will be celebrated. So enthused the copy on the back of Gillian Hills' debut EP. It was November 1960 and she was still only 16, yet during the 18 months prior she had already racked up column inches (and a Paris Match cover) as the new "British Bardot", inadvertently fanning the flames of controversy after director Roger Vadim cast her as Cecile in his modern-day adaptation of Pierre Choderlos de Laclos' Les Liaisons Dangereuses.

The ensuing tabloid furore ("would you let a 14 year-old be another Brigitte?'), coupled with the intervention of her mother, led to Gillian taking on a more minor role, but the die was cast. Spotted whilst out walking in Nice by actor Christian Marquand (Bardot's co-star in And God Created Woman), Gillian was, in her own words, "just a kid" with no particular aspirations to become an actress; "I wanted to draw." Tousled mane and good looks aside (by her own admission she looked nearer 16 than 14, her early upbringing had something in common with the ingenue role Vadim had had in mind for her. Raised in convents from the age of two, as a youngster Gillian led a similarly cloistered if nomadic life, while her parents' peripatetic marriage foundered. And yet the prospect of acting did not come altogether out of the blue. Gillian was born on 5 June 1944 in Cairo. Her father, Denis Hills, was an English adventurer and journalist, very much in a Boy's Own daredevil mould, who wasn't averse to cycling across Europe or Siberia on a whim. In 1975, whilst working as a university lecturer in Uganda, Hills was sentenced to death by Idi Amin after likening the dictator to a "village tyrant" in his book The White Pumpkin (and famously received a stay of execution after the Queen intervened).

Gillian's mother was the Polish-born stage actress Dunia Legrnian, whose father, Boleslaw Legmian, was an influential avant-garde poet and founder of an experimental theatre (Gillian's maternal grandmother was the artist Zofia Chylitiska). With such exotic lineage it is hardly surprising that Gillian's life was destined to be shaped by an innate creative drive. The notoriety which Les Liaisons attracted left Gillian in turmoil; she was obliged to leave school, something that upset her greatly.

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Tracklist
Hills, Gillian - Zou Bisou Bisou - The Ye-Ye Years 1960-1965 (CD) CD 1
01 Tut, Tut, Tut, Tut (Busy Signal)
02 Oublie
03 Qui A Su
04 Rentre Sans Moi (Leave Me Be)
05 Un Petit Baiser (The Kiss)
06 Ma Première Cigarette (Smokin' My First Cigarette)
07 Zou Bisou Bisou (Zoo Be Zoo Be Zoo)
08 Cha Cha Stop
09 C'est Bien Mieux Comme Ça
10 Tu Mens
11 Je Partirai
12 Le Paradis Pour Toi (A Kookie Little Paradise)
13 Si Tu Veux Que Je Te Dise
14 Jean-Lou
15 Les Jolis Coeurs (Kiss 'n' Run)
16 Ne Crois Surtout Pas
17 Mon Coeur Est Prêt (Don't Treat Me Like A Child)
18 Ne T'en Fais Pas
19 C'est Le Garçon
20 Avec Toi
21 Rien N'est Changé
22 Maintenant Il Téléphone