France, 1990. Fun Radio, NRJ, Skyrock set a new pace, and their crushing hegemony irrevocably marks the end of the free radio utopia. The giants become vital in the hit industry and carry on fuelling France’s greatest invention: la variété. A quintessentially French version of British dance pop with a very specific tang to it, too coy to emulate trendy clubs’ and rave parties’ music, europop cautiously tests the waters of what will soon turn into a tsunami : house music.
Is house the soundtrack of the 90s? In Europe, it gave steam to comeback bands just as much as to the most memorable formations of the decade, while in France it paved the way for the global success of French Touch. “Real” house music emerges in early 80’s Chicago (where the Warehouse club, which allegedly gave its name to the genre, closes down in 1983). England’s acid house and Belgium’s new beat, its European offshoots, fed the cravings of tabloids in 1988 and 1989. The house music we’re interested in though, the type bound to soon overwhelm European charts, is already pretty far away from the afro-american music born in Chicago. So far away it inherited a new name: dance music. Just like it had been the case with disco a few years back, house and techno aren’t exactly in the good books - acid house and new beat even less so. And it’s precisely the genre’s mainstream iteration this compilation focuses on; the house en français, which strives to get on board the running train in 1990. The house which sports the all-over jean look, bandana, cap, chewing gum, peugeot 205 complete with snazzy beats on the radio. The big deal big fuss type, miles away from the original, underground house. It might not have been born in the nineties, but that’s clearly when house music became mainstream.
What underpins house music might even be what is to define the decade to come: jingles and pin’s, megaclubs and clips. That and the hits. Very soon house is everywhere: on the air of the big radio stations and on TV, creeping in as far as kids’ programs. The French may not even notice, but they’re all listening to it. Meanwhile, music producers smell the gravy and, willy-nilly with the earnest, enlightened amateurs, propose their very own club versions, cross breeding French variété and house. The result: a chart and club ready ersatz that is to quickly seduce young audiences. Hits, that’s what we want - or tubes for the French, like in House Tube, one of the landmarks of this compilation. The tracklist, like the soundtrack to a club night that never happened, fictitiously reconstructs the fleeting moment when house made its arrival in France, bridging the gap between variété and eurodance.
This product was added to our catalog on Wednesday 10 February, 2021.