French Pop Songs during the 1980s
Largely influenced by the predominance of the image on the music, the 1980s is a strange decade. It is also during the period that Georges Brassens died (1981), three years after the death of Jacques Brel. Is it a sign? Probably, it was at least the end of a glorious period.
The disposable artists have appeared in France like in so many other countries, with single hits, and then disappeared. France did not have Margaret Thatcher at the power and punk music had difficulties to set in; it is the first time that a Socialist became President for more than forty years. The social and societal environment inevitably impacted the French pop music of the period. Sometimes unworried, but often critical. The French music still kept an entity. A diverse generation of artists will be produced, with great songwriters, such as Jean-Jacques Goldman and Alain Souchon, and great voices such as Daniel Balavoine.
But the 1980s is also the democratization of music videos, which will have huge consequences on the music, music "consumption" particularly: the promotion of pop music had been greatly affected by the rise of Music Television channels like MTV, which favoured Anglos-Saxons artists who had a strong visual appeal.