1001 Songs Challenge,  1990s,  Music

1001 Songs Challenge #784: French Disko (1993)

On 11 February 2019 I set myself the challenging of reading 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die by Robert Dimery (ed.) and following the book’s advice to the letter. I’ve previously read 1001 Films… and started 1001 Albums… but felt 1001 Songs… would be a sensible place to start for what I have in mind here.

My challenge is to read about one song per day and listen to it (YouTube and Spotify, I need you tonight!) before sharing my own thoughts. Some songs I will love, others I’ll hate, and I’m sure there will be those that leave me perplexed but listen to them I shall.

I’ll also try, and most likely fail, to pinpoint the best song from the 1001 on offer but I’m nothing if not foolhardy. Instead of one song, I’m predicting I’ll have about 100 favourites by the end and may have to resort to a Top 10 so far to maintain any semblance of sanity.

So long as I post everyday (including Christmas) then this challenge should come to an end on Wednesday 8 November 2021. Staying with the Barney Stinson theme I am hoping that the whole experience will prove to be…


Stereolab – French Disko (1993)

Jenny Ondioline – Wikipedia

Review scores Source Rating Allmusic [1] Jenny Ondioline is a 1993 EP by the Anglo-French band Stereolab, which served as the lead single from the album Transient Random-Noise Bursts with Announcements . It was released on CD and 10″ vinyl. Its tracks were later re-released on the Oscillons from the Anti-Sun compilation.


Lyrics (via Genius)
Learn more about this song (via Genius)


We’re leaving the US and returning to the UK today, dear reader. To London we must go and our guests today are actually a hybrid of Anglo and French musicians. Formed in 1990 Stereolab fused various genres into an avant garde approach and their lyrics were in both English and French to vary things up slightly. We join them in 1993 with the release of a single by the name of French Disko.

French Disko contains a stark message about the world and our place in it. It describes this planet we all share as “absurd” and that the natural response would be to withdraw within ourselves and away from all that can harm us. Instead, Stereolab beseech us not to retreat but to stand and to fight, fight for the world and for one another, to make it a better place. Only in resisting rather than bowing can such a reality hope to be manifest before our eyes.

When I saw this song’s title I was expecting dance music but it was anything but. Guitar driven with a catchy melody, French Disko would not be out of place in Brit Pop or indie band scenes that were on the horizon. The song was the group’s highest charting one in the UK but only landed at no.75. They have never achieved commercial success and went on hiatus in 2009 only to return ten years later in 2019 much to the delight of their loyal fans.


Favourite songs so far:

The Animals – House of the Rising Sun (1964)

Simon & Garfunkel – The Sounds of Silence (1965)

The Beatles – A Day in the Life (1967)

The Doors – The End (1967)

Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here (1975)

Meat Loaf – Bat Out of Hell (1977)

Ultravox – Vienna (1980)

Tracy Chapman – Fast Car (1988)

U2 – One (1991)

Suede – Animal Nitrate (1993)

My name is Dave and I live in Yorkshire in the north of England and have been here all my life. I hope you enjoy your visit to All is Ephemeral.

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