Pop Archives

Marty Rhone - No No No No No (1967)

(Michel Polnareff - Franck Gérald - Geoff Stephens)
Australia Australia
#35 Melbourne #16 Brisbane #14 Perth

B-side on Spin, English-language version of Michel Polnareff’s La Poupée Qui Fait Non (see below).

Marty Rhone: singer, songwriter and actor, real name Carl Van Rhoon (b.1948), also teamed by Spin Records with Sydney band The Soul Agents.

Listen at YouTube

His biggest success as a solo artist came in the 70s, with such hits as Denim And Lace (1975) and his co-composition Mean Pair Of Jeans (1977). See also Every Minute Of You (1966) and his minor hit She’s Coming Home (1968).

Further reading: 1. Howlspace’s Marty Rhone & The Soul Agents page [archived].
2. The still-active Marty Rhone’s website at MartyRhone.com. 3. Marty’s YouTube channel – MartyRhoneDotCom – has videos of his recent work.

There are two variations of the English lyrics for this song, both of which seem to be credited to Geoff Stephens. Here are the opening sections of each one:

Thanks to Terry Stacey and Mike Robbins, and to Mat Van Rhoon for updates

Page revue et mise à jour avec la collaboration de Philippe Edouard 

Michel Polnareff - La Poupée Qui Fait Non (1966)

(Michel Polnareff - Franck Gérald)
France France
Original version
#1 France, #2 Belgian Flanders, #1 Belgium Wallonia, #15 Germany, #2 Netherlands

EP on Disc’AZ May 1966. See also alternative sleeve.

Michel Polnareff: French singer-songwriter with a countercultural image (b.1944).

Franck Gérald: prolific and distinguished French composer and lyricist (1928-2015), real name Gérard André Biesel. See also biographical notes at Discogs.com.

La Poupée Qui Fait Non = The doll who goes, No.

La Poupée Qui Fait Non was recorded in London at Southern Studios, arranged and conducted by Jean Bouchéty, with Jimmy Page (guitar), Big Jim Sullivan (rhythm guitar), Reg Guest (piano), John Paul Jones (bass), and Bobby Graham (drums). Polnareff’s vocals were recorded again back in Paris at Europa Sonor studios.

Polnareff’s original demo was in imperfect English, before the French lyricist worked on it. See International Lyrics Playground for the French lyrics.

Polnareff’s 1967 record Âme Câline YouTube (= cuddly soul) became known as an instrumental by Raymond Lefèvre And His Orchestra with the title Ame Caline (Soul Coaxing) YouTube (1968, #37 USA, #36 UK, #7 Adelaide, #8 Brisbane).

Notes: For session details see this page at MusicBrainz. There are Polnareff entries at French Wikipedia and English Wikipedia. The French have a separate and superior discography page. Chart positions from lescharts.com and French Wikipedia.

Further reading: Behind The Shades: Michel Polnareff by Andy Murray at We Are Cult (2018).

The Birds [UK] - La Poupée Qui Fait Non*

(Michel Polnareff - Geoff Stephens)

*The title is in French, and the disc credits Polnaroff alone, but this is the English version with lyrics by Geoff Stephens, also recorded by Polnareff as No No No No No (La Poupée Qui Fait Non) and by Saint Etienne as La Poupée Qui Fait Non.

The Birds were a well-regarded but commercially unsuccessful London beat band formed in 1964, first known as The Thunderbirds, later as Bird’s Birds.

La Poupée Qui Fait Non was unreleased at the time, but later appeared on the 1999 CD The Collector’s Guide To Rare British Birds.

Listen at YouTube

These UK Birds included Kim Gardner, later of Ashton, Gardner & Dyke, and Ronnie Wood, now famous as a Rolling Stone. Australian band The Birds is said to have been formed by two later members of a UK Birds touring line-up. See I Can’t Let Maggie Go.

Further reading: 1. The Birds page from British Beat Boom [archived]. 2. Bruce Eder’s biography of The Birds at All Music. Eder has also reviewed the Collector’s Guide album.

Johnny Hallyday - La Poupée Qui Fait Non (1980)

(Michel Polnareff - Franck Gérald)
France France
Later version

On 1980 album A Partir de Maintenant by “le seul vrai rocker frenchy” (1943-2017). YouTube

Further reading: 1. Johnny Hallyday biography at RFI Musique. (Or see Google Translate version in English, or an archived English version from 2014). 2. Hallyday.com.fr.

Scott McKenzie - No No No No No (1967)

(Michel Polnareff - Franck Gérald - Geoff Stephens)
Influential version

Single on Epic by former folkie, an associate of The Mamas & The Papas who joined a latterday touring version of that band. John Phillips of The Mamas & The Papas wrote Scott McKenzie’s 1967 hit San Francisco (Be Sure To Wear Flowers In Your Hair) (#4 USA, #1 UK). Phillips co-produced No No No No No.

Saint Etienne - La Poupée Qui Fait Non* (1994)

(Michel Polnareff - Geoff Stephens)
Later version

*In spite of the French title, this is an English version by British group formed late 80s, a track on the various artists album Tribute To Polnareff. English lyrics are by Geoff Stephens, as recorded by Polnareff himself as No No No No No (La Poupée Qui Fait Non), and by British band The Birds.

The track on the Tribute album credits French lyricist Franck Gerald, but the live version on Saint Etienne’s 1994 CD single Hug My Soul credits Polnareff and Stephens.

Listen at YouTube

Michel Polnareff - No, No, No, No, No (La Poupée Qui Fait Non) (1966)

(Michel Polnareff - Geoff Stephens)
Original English language version

Single on Vogue (UK) #VRS 7013, October 1966. French label distributed in UK by Pye.

English version of Polnareff’s European hit La Poupée Qui Fait Non.

The English lyrics are by notable British songwriter Geoff Stephens. They differ from the English lyrics on versions by Marty Rhone and by Scott McKenzie, also credited to Stephens (see above under Marty Rhone).

No No No No No on Kapp (USA) #786 is the French version, in spite of the English title.

See Knock Knock Who’s There for more about Geoff Stephens and his collaborators, and a list of some of his numerous songwriting credits.

Tony Barber - No No No (1966)

(Tony Barber)
Australia Australia
Red herring
#15 Melbourne #14 Adelaide #35 Perth


Solo single by Tony Barber, formerly with Billy Thorpe’s Aztecs 1963-65. He had a national hit with his own composition Someday (1965-66).

Not to be confused with: This is not the quiz compere Tony Barber.

Some other variations on the theme:

Crispian St Peters – No No No (Robert Peter Smith [Crispian St Peters])
UK 1966 #18 Melbourne #29 Brisbane

Richard Wright Group – No No No No (Don Fardon [Maughn] – Philip ‘Pip’ Whitcher)
Australia 1966 #28 Perth [More here]

The Sorrows – No No No No (Don Fardon [Maughn] – Philip ‘Pip’ Whitcher)
UK 1965

Bulldog – No (Billy Hocher – John Turi)
USA 1972 #2 Melbourne #7 Adelaide #13 Brisbane #5 Perth #17 NZ [More here]

Michel Polnareff - Una Bambolina Che Fa No, No, No… (La Poupee Qui Fait Non) (1966)

(Michel Polnareff - Franck Gérald - Herbert Pagani )
Italy Italy

Single on Disques Vogue July 1966, also on Disc’AZ, distributed by Disques Vogue.

Italian lyrics by painter, sculptor, songwriter and Radio Monte-Carlo disc jockey Herbert Pagani (1944-1988). YouTube

Also recorded by Italian beat band I Quelli, single on Ricordi, October 1966.

Michel Polnareff - Meine Puppe Sagt Non (1966)

(Michel Polnareff - Franck Gérald - Kurt Hertha)
Germany Germany

Single on Disc’AZ August 1966.

German lyrics by prolific composer and lyricist Kurt Hertha (1926-2007). YouTube

Jimi Hendrix - La Poupée Qui Fait Non (Instrumental)

(Michel Polnareff)

Track on early-2000s bootleg album The Studio Out-Takes….1966-1970. Its provenance is unclear to me, but some comments at YouTube and Amazon add some dimensions to the story, including the suggestion that Hendrix is on bass with Noel Redding on guitar.

Listen at YouTube

Mylène Farmer and Khaled - La Poupée Qui Fait Non (1997)

(Michel Polnareff - Franck Gérald)
France France
Later version
#26 Belgium Wallonia, #6 France

Live version on CD single recorded on tour in 1996 by Canadian-born French singer Mylène Farmer (b.1961) and Khaled (b.1960), an Algerian singer-songwriter in the folk genre räi.

Los Lord’s - La Muñeca Que Hace No “La Poupée Qui Fait Non” (1967)

(Michel Polnareff - Franck Gérald - José Carreras Moysi)
Spain Spain

On Polydor EP Love Me Please Love Me.

Spanish lyrics by frequent adapter of English-language songs José Carreras Moysi (1926-2001). YouTube

Note the slight difference between this title and the other Spanish version by Las Chic’s: hace (does, makes) vs dice (says).

Las Chic’s - La Muñeca Dice No “La Poupée Qui Fait Non” (1967)

(Michel Polnareff - Franck Gérald - Omero)
Mexico Mexico

On RCA Camden album Alto… Somos Las Chic’s…!.

Spanish lyrics by Homero González using his seudónimo Omero. La Muñeca Dice No = the doll says no. YouTube

❝Legendary lyricist and translator of North American hits, known as Mr. Muévanse Todos…❞ (Second Hand Songs). This refers to Omero’s Spanish adaptation of Twist And Shout as Muévanse todos (everybody move).

Serge Gainsbourg - La Poupée Qui Fait (1973)

(Serge Gainsbourg)
France France
Red herring


Track on album Vu De L’Extérieur by major singer-songwriter-producer on the French pop scene of the 60s.

Gainsbourg is possibly (and unfairly) best known in English-speaking countries for his association with Brigitte Bardot and Jane Birkin, especially as manifested in the hit Je t’aime moi non plus (1969, #1 UK). It was remade in Australia by TV soapie star Abigail on a single that somehow charted Top 10 (1973).

Further reading: Dave Thompson’s review of Vu De L’Extérieur at All Music. (The French have a word for it: scatologique. OK, so do the English.)

Bobby De Carlo - A Boneca Que Diz Não (La Poupée Qui Fait Non) (1967)

(Michel Polnareff - Franck Gérald - Marcelo Santos)
Brazil Brazil

B-side of 7″ 33⅓ single on Mocambo by Brazilian singer (Roberto Caldeira dos Santos, b.1945), also on album Bobby De Carlo (1967). The A-side Tijolinho was a hit for De Carlo, also known as Bobby Di Carlo. He was part of Jovem Guarda, Brazil’s late-60s youth movement that fused Anglo rock’n’roll culture with local Portuguese styles.

Portuguese lyrics by Marcelo Santos. YouTube

Also recorded by José Luiz on 1979 album.

Đorđe Marjanović - Lutka koja kaže ne (La poupee qui fait non) (1967)

(Michel Polnareff - Đorđe Marjanović)

Track on album Prijatelji, zdravo! by Serbian pop singer Đorđe Marjanović (1931-2021), a big star in 60s Yugoslavia. Serbo-Croation lyrics by the artist. Lutka koja kaže ne = the doll that says no. YouTube

Also on EP by Serbian pop singer Senka Veletanlić-Petrović (Yugoslavia 1967).