SOUL COAXING (AME CÂLINE)

Raymond Lefevre and His Orchestra

Four Corners of the World 147, 1968
Billboard: #37

Perhaps it was all Paul Mauriat's doing. After his version of "L'Amour Est Bleu", retitled "Love Is Blue" for its late-1967 release on this side of the pond, spent five weeks at #1, the American record industry must have sensed that there was a market for French instrumental pop — although this really doesn't explain how Kapp Records' tiny "international" label got this song released the very day "Love Is Blue" first topped the charts. More to the point, "Soul Coaxing", a title inflicted on us because we presumably couldn't pronounce "Ame Câline", is a better song, an insistent piano tune surrounded by strings and wordless voices and more strings, and unlike the sappy words forced upon "Love Is Blue", composer Michel Polnareff's original French lyric is heartbreakingly lovely, even in English translation:

As for