French Songs

The Best French Songs from the 1980s

Bienvenue à notre blog musical! Welcome to our musical blog dedicated to the enchanting world of French songs from the 1980s! 

The 1980s were an era of extraordinary musical innovation, and France was no exception. In this blog post, we embark on a nostalgic journey through time, rediscovering the timeless melodies and iconic tunes that made the ’80s a remarkable period for French music. The 1980s brought us legwarmers, neon fashion, and an unforgettable wave of pop, rock, and chanson française that continues to inspire and captivate audiences worldwide. 

From pop superstars to underground legends, the French music scene of the ’80s was a melting pot of creativity and expression. So, let’s dust off our old vinyl records and dive into the world of the best French songs from the 1980s, where every note carries a piece of that vibrant decade’s spirit. 

Prepare to be transported to a time when synthesizers ruled the airwaves, and lyrics told stories of love, passion, and rebellion. C’est parti! (Let’s go!)


Top 10 French Songs From The Eighties

“Il Jouait du Piano Debout” – France Gall

 “Il Jouait du Piano Debout” by France Gall is a beloved French pop song from the 1980s. The song, translated as “He Played the Piano Standing Up,” tells the story of a man who was unique in his approach to music, playing the piano while standing, quite literally. This catchy and upbeat track was a departure from France Gall’s earlier bubblegum pop image, and it demonstrated her versatility as an artist.

“Marcia Baila” – Les Rita Mitsouko

“Marcia Baila” is a landmark song by the eccentric French duo Les Rita Mitsouko. The song pays homage to the Argentine choreographer and dancer Marcia Moretto, who died of AIDS. It combines elements of new wave, pop, and punk, creating a unique and infectious sound that became a defining track of the 1980s French music scene. Les Rita Mitsouko’s innovative style and expressive performances left an indelible mark on the era.

“L’Aventurier” – Indochine

 Indochine’s “L’Aventurier” is an iconic French rock song that narrates the story of an adventurer. The lyrics tell of a journey filled with daring exploits and intrigue, and the song’s energetic, post-punk sound perfectly captures the spirit of adventure. Indochine was a leading band in the French New Wave movement, and this song remains a fan favorite and a symbol of the era’s rebellious spirit.

“Toute Première Fois” – Jeanne Mas

 “Toute Première Fois” by Jeanne Mas is a quintessential ’80s French pop track. The song is a celebration of the emotions surrounding a first love, capturing the excitement and anticipation that comes with such a momentous experience. Jeanne Mas’s emotive vocals and catchy melodies made her a pop sensation during this era, and the song remains a nostalgic reminder of young love.

“New York Avec Toi” – Téléphone

 “New York Avec Toi” by Téléphone is a heartfelt homage to New York City. The song vividly describes the city’s energy, its iconic landmarks, and the emotions it evokes in those who visit. Téléphone, a rock band with a strong following in France, created a beautiful ballad that captures the universal allure of the Big Apple. The song reflects the band’s ability to blend rock elements with poetic lyrics.

“L’Aziza” – Daniel Balavoine

 “L’Aziza” is a moving ballad by Daniel Balavoine that carries deep emotional weight. The song is a tribute to a woman named Aziza, symbolizing love, freedom, and social justice. Balavoine’s powerful vocals and the song’s meaningful lyrics made it a significant part of the French musical landscape. Tragically, Daniel Balavoine passed away in a helicopter accident shortly after releasing this song, adding a poignant layer of history to his legacy.

“Les Démons de Minuit” – Émile & Images

“Les Démons de Minuit” is a fun and infectious dance-pop song by Émile & Images. The song’s lyrics speak of a group of young people who come to life and dance under the moonlight, and the chorus “Les démons de minuit” translates to “The demons of midnight.” This song became an instant classic of French dance music and is known for its catchy melody and lively atmosphere.

“Voyage Voyage” – Desireless

“Voyage Voyage” is an enchanting synth-pop song by Desireless. The title itself means “Travel, Travel,” and the song carries an ethereal, dreamy quality. It reflects a yearning for adventure and far-off places. An interesting fact about this song is that it achieved international success, with its otherworldly sound and French lyrics resonating with a global audience. Desireless’s haunting vocals and the song’s mesmerizing synth arrangements make it a timeless gem.

“Là-Bas” – Jean-Jacques Goldman

 “Là-Bas,” a song by Jean-Jacques Goldman featuring the voice of Sirima, is a heartfelt ballad that touches on themes of longing and a search for a better place. It reflects a desire to escape and find refuge in a distant and more promising destination. Jean-Jacques Goldman’s poetic lyrics and emotional delivery have made him one of the most celebrated French songwriters of his generation.

“Joe le Taxi” – Vanessa Paradis

“Joe le Taxi” is the debut single by Vanessa Paradis and a pop sensation that catapulted her to stardom. The song tells the story of Joe, a taxi driver in a Caribbean town who knows all the secrets of the streets. Its catchy melody and Vanessa Paradis’s youthful, innocent image captured the hearts of the French public and beyond. Interestingly, the song was co-written by Étienne Roda-Gil, who had previously written songs for French music legends like Julien Clerc and Michel Sardou. Vanessa Paradis’s success with “Joe le Taxi” marked the beginning of her enduring career in the entertainment industry.

Ready For Some Music?

These songs not only reflect the musical diversity of the 1980s but also reveal the cultural and emotional richness of French music during that time, leaving a lasting legacy in the world of music.

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