The Rolling Stones
Exile on Main Street
“Exile on Main Street” was actually cut at four different studios, one of which was in the basement of Keith Richard’s rental house, Villa Nellcote, in the south of France. Recorded during the blistering summer of 1971 in Villefranche-sur-Mer, “Exile” is classic, down and dirty Stones. Just listen to “Ventilator Blues” or “Casino Boogie” and you can practically feel the sweat dripping off the walls. Today fans can find Villa Nellcote easily enough, but will have to settle for a photo by the front gate. It’s not possible to enter the grounds.
Take your pick
Bono, lead singer of the mega-super-group U2, has quite a connection to the south of France. He owns a house on a small strip of beach in Eze-bord-de-Mer and is frequently seen at Le Club 55 in St Tropez. Not a bad gig if you can get it. Just for the record, my two favorite U2 albums are “Boy” and “War”.
Make it Big
Elton John: Greatest Hits
Released in 1974, this greatest hits compilation includes all of Elton’s top ten classics including “Daniel,” “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me,” and “Bennie and The Jets.” Simply put, Elton at his very best.
Sir John has been a fixture on the French Riviera for some time now. He owns a palatial estate on Mt. Boron, a Nice suburb overlooking the city’s old port.
The Gipsy Kings
Volare! The Very Best of the Gipsy Kings
If you’re not familiar with the Gipsy Kings you should be. They are a superb group of French musicians who play an uplifting flamenco style of music with Spanish lyrics. Their musical chops alone easily earn them a spot on this list but they also deserve mention because I met the lead singer one night at a late night food joint in Nice. He was drunk as a skunk and began singing at the top of his lungs once he learned I had never heard of his group.
I didn’t think about it again until, months later, I was having dinner in a quiet restaurant and heard his voice in the background music. I’ve been a fan ever since.