1977 was also in France the start of punk and new wave. A lot of artists who started then made their breakthrough in the eighties. Groups like Stinky Toys (with Jacno and Elli Medeiros in it) and Metal Urbain were amongst the first punk bands. But it was Téléphone that would turn out to be a supergroup in the eighties. Fairly new on the scene are artists like Etiene Daho, Jeanne Mas, Catherine Lara, Murat and Charlélie Couture. Groups like Les Rita Mitsouko and Indochine start their long lasting careers in this era. But it’s not all new blood that feeds the music scene in the eighties. Artists like Alain Bashung, Daniel Balavoine, Alain Chamfort, Hubert-Félix Thiéfaine and Jacques Higelin finally get more recognition during this period. This does also apply to actress/chanteuse Valerie Lagrange although her career is more a restart then a follow up (she initially stopped singing in 1968). The new generation can be summed as the Chanson Rock. They have a too positive vibe to be totally punk or new wave, but they are not disco either. Although singers like Lio and Elli Medeiros come close.

The eighties are also the era of the big rockshows. We already mentioned Telephone, but also artists like Jean Jacques Goldman and Patrick Bruel make music for big venues in mind. Grand gestures that can be witnessed from afar (if you sit in the back). The eighties are the glorious days of the top 50 artists who usually only score one hit (remember Desireless, Jakie Quartz and Guesh Patti). The eighties also give room for a lot of ‘niche’ and experimental artists. Artists like Buzy, Jean Guidoni (with a total new version of the old variete music), Sapho (mixing arab and chanson), L’affaire Louis Trio, to name just a few of the many many groups and artists that emerge. Even to the extent that they grow out in mega selling superstars like Mylène Farmer who creates her own strange universe of gothic, mythologie and erotic fantasy and stays popular upon today.

Is the old fashioned chanson completely dead and gone in the eighties? No, of course not. A lot of the oldies still make records. Like Frances Gabrel, Johnny Hallyday, Sheila, Sylvie Vartan. With sometimes dubious results due to bad productions, bad management or plainly bad material. This and the incapability to blend in with Chanson Rock. The better leave that to some new artists handling old fashioned chanson in a pop manor like Patricia Kaas and Elsa.