My Favourite Stuff: Francoise Hardy Message Personnel box set

I was very lucky to get this little beauty for Christmas.  Message Personnel is amongst my favourite Françoise Hardy albums (not the favourite, that would have to be La Question, without a shadow of a doubt) so I was very excited to hear that a collectors’ edition of the album was being released in November 2013 in the form of a special 40th anniversary box set.  Here’s what I’ve been looking at and listening to over the holidays:

FH Box 2The box itself is like a piece of artwork – absolutely stunning to look at

FH box contentsThe box contains a vinyl reissue of the original album; a vinyl reissue of the Je suis moi 7″; a remastered Blu-Ray Audio CD version of the album; a bonus CD including the original album and 19 rare and/or previously unreleased tracks; a DVD featuring 6 TV performances from the period

FH print - CopyThere’s also a large lithographic print of one of Jean-Marie Perier’s beautiful photos of Françoise

Here’s a look at the DVD contents:

FH video menuFH Rever 3FH Rever 2FH Rever 1Françoise performing Rêver le nez en l’air on Dimanche Salvador 28/10/73, note she’s in incredibly skinny black leather trousers just 4 months after giving birth to her son Thomas!

FH MP 1FH MP 4FH MP 3Message Personnel on Sports en Fête, 11/11/73, getting her money’s worth out of those skinny black leather trousers!

FH pouce 1FH pouce 3FH pouce 2Why is Françoise holding that teddy bear?!  Pouce, au revoir on Taratata: Minuit chez vous 31/12/73

FH l'attente 1FH l'attente 2FH l'attente 3L’Attente (a joy to see one of my favourite Françoise songs performed on TV) on Top à Michel Delpech 16/03/74

FH l'amitie 1FH l'amitie 2FH l'amitie 3Françoise sings live for this duet of L’Amitié with Michel Delpech on
Top à Michel Delpech 16/03/74 – she looked like she was going to crack up laughing when he appeared over her shoulder to sing; it’s very cheesy (although Françoise was as excellent as usual, of course)

FH JSM 1FH JSM 2FH JSM 3Françoise doesn’t know what to do with her hands on this one! Je suis moi on Domino: Hommage à Vincent Scotto 16/05/74

I have hundreds of Françoise’s TV appearances but I can quite honestly say I hadn’t seen most of these, so the DVD was an excellent addition to my collection.  The absolute best thing about this box set, though, is the bonus CD with 6 instrumental versions of tracks from the album (so you can sing along, maybe?); the Je suis moi 7″ A side and B side (I had forgotten how good Demain c’est hier was); 3 English language versions of tracks from the album (Message Personnel; Pouce, au revoir; Première Rencontre) and a German language version of Première Rencontre; the German language Wenn wilde Schwäne flieh’n 7″ A side and B side; and 4 performances from radio (L’Habitude with Georges Moustaki; Les paradis perdus with Christophe; Peutêtre toi, peutêtre moi with Michel Berger; and an excellent cover version of France Gall’s La Déclaration d’amour) and one recording from TV (Message Personnel).  A lot of this has been previously unavailable, or at the least previously unavailable on CD.  I loved the duet with Christophe, of course.  In my opinion the purchase is worth it for this CD alone, but the package as a whole definitely makes this a must buy for any serious fan.  Buy it now!

FH contents sheet