William Sheller, whose real name is William Hand, is a French singer-songwriter who spent part of his childhood in the United States as the child of an American soldier father, who took him to live there when he was not is only 3 years old. The stage name Sheller would come from the mixture of names of 2 writers that are Shelley and Schiller.
An American parenthesis that will be brief since he returned to France at the age of 7, then taken care of by his maternal family. A maternal family which includes in particular a grandmother who opened up the Théâtre des Champs Elysées and a grandfather who was the head decorator at the Opéra Garnier. Ideal situation which allows little William to be able to freely attend hundreds of shows, with a view both from the hall side and the dressing room side. He does not need more to decide his future destiny, he will also be an artist.
More inclined towards music than towards studies, he stopped studying in the second and found himself studying serial music, a musical concept which did not really correspond to his real aspirations. It’s by listening to Beatles songs that he can be sure he’s not made for classical music, but for rock. His first rock experience will be with a group called Worst, a small group from Nice that lives up to its name. Experience without a future ...
Then came the year 1968, a pivotal year for the young man of 22 years who was going to experience his first - real - success with the title "My year is a day", a work that he composed not for himself but for a group called Les Irrésistibles, a group whose members are exclusively Americans living in Paris.
Building on this success, he thought it might be time to stand on his own feet. But the few solo attempts will end in failure. So he continues to compose for others and it is the meeting with singer Barbara that will change the situation somewhat.
Indeed, the latter sees in him an obvious talent and strongly encourages him to persevere. Not only does she encourage him but she will also help him find a record company. Done in 1975, which allows him to finally release his first album "Rock'n'Dollars", produced in collaboration with the musicians of the group Alice.
And this time it's the right one. The first single from the album which bears the same name as the latter will be a hit, sell more than 500,000 copies and literally explode the notoriety of the artist. Album which will produce another big success with the title "Photos-souvenirs" always the same year.
A year later in 1976 the album "Dans un vieux rock'n'roll" was released, an album that was going to be as strong as its predecessor. Album from which will be extracted the two flagship singles "Dans un vieux Rock'n'roll" and "Le carnet à spirale". Two successful albums in quick succession that make the artist one of the biggest phenomena of the moment.
Then came the year 1977 and the release of the album "Symphoman". A failed album, in part due to a flagrant lack of inspiration on the part of the artist. Indeed, he is exhausted by the incessant number of interviews, TV shows and radio and this is indisputably felt in the quality of what he produces.
It will take him 2 years to find a certain balance. He therefore returned from 1979 with two flagship titles which are “Fier et fous de vous” and “Ho ! J'cours tout seul”, two titles that show that inspiration is indeed back. He even took the opportunity to make a detour to the United States to record his new album "Nicolas", an album which would be released a year later in 1980.
A beautiful 80s which will also see him treading the stages of Bobino and Olympia for the first time, 'live' experiences which will give him faith in what he does.
New album "J'suis pas bien" in 1981, album in notch below the previous one in terms of quality but from which will be extracted two titles of certain quality that are "Une chanson noble et sentimentale" and "Pourquoi t'es plus new wave ?".
The following year will mark a turning point in the artist's career. Indeed, the latter is forced during a concert to play alone on the piano without his musicians following a customs problem. And this type of performance, and especially the pleasure he takes in it, will condition the rest of his career.
It was not until 1984 to see the release of the album "Simplement", an album which ended in failure despite the presence of titles such as "Les filles de l'aurore" and "Mon dieu que j'l'aime".
Following this setback, the artist therefore decides to radically change direction and is now moving towards music bordering on classical or clearly more experimentalist. This is how the album "Univers" was released in 1987, an album which this time will perform very well, more than 300,000 copies sold, but which will struggle to produce any hit.
In 1989, he even took his fantasy to the point of mixing symphonic music and traditional Japanese music in the album "Ailleurs". A subtle blend which unfortunately will not be to the public's liking. A painful end of the decade which saw him increasingly marginalized ...
But unbelievably, what was his weakness at the end of the 80's will make his success in the early 90's, and what a success. The album "Sheller en solitaire" which came out in 1991, mixing only piano and voice, was a hit and sold over 800,000 copies. An album carried at arm's length by the incredible title "Un homme heureux" (the only unpublished title of the album), a title with exceptional inspiration and which will remain as one of the most beautiful titles of this end of XXth century on the French side.
Return to rock from 1994, losing return because the album "Albion" which came out that year did not know the success of the previous album. A final dropout that will eventually marginalize the artist, who will never get back to the leading pack despite the production of new albums thereafter.
To discover or rediscover.
Discography (among others ...) :
She opened the door 1970
Rock’n’roll dollars 1975
Photos souvenirs 1975
Dans un vieux rock’n’roll 1976
Le carnet à spirale 1976
Une chanson qui te ressemblerait 1976
Elle dit soleil, elle dit... 1977
J'me generais pas pour te dire que j't'aime encore 1978
Fier et fou de vous 1979
Ho ! J’cours tout seul 1979
Une chanson noble et sentimentale 1981
Pourquoi t’es plus new wave ? 1981
Rosanna banana 1982
Les filles de l’aurore 1983
Mon dieu que j’l’aime 1984
Le nouveau monde 1987
Les miroirs dans la boue 1988
Un homme heureux 1991
Maintenant tout le temps 1994
La navale 1994
Centre ville 1999
1968 ... the totally surrealist beginnings. Against a background of psychedelic delirium, the young William delivers his first compositions. Without much success behind unfortunately ...
1970 ... he is found in English two years later. Unfortunately, that won't change much ...
1975 ... then a big 5 years air hole. But it was worth the wait ! The singer returns completely transformed and delivers here one of the most emblematic titles of the decade. A title that launched his career in a sensational way. HU-GE !
1975 ... the machine literally gets carried away. The singer delivers in the wake of a sumptuous Intimist title which proves that he is anything but an amateur. It promises !
1976 ... the singer literally walks on water. Each title released becomes a top hit almost instantly. His level of inspiration is truly among the best of the moment and his star status of the moment is anything but usurped
1976 ... he never stops ! The hits follow one another at a truly astounding speed and literally scotch the competition there which had better watch out. MAS-TER-FUL !
1976 ... predispositions for the Intimist evident and above all very above average. Once again the proof with this title which literally floats in the air. MA-GIC !
1977 ... very simple titles but with formidable efficiency. When the melody is good, everything unrolls behind with disconcerting ease ...
1978 ... further demonstration of his immense talent in the 'emotional' register. He surprises us in every way. And yet, he did not deliver his ultimate Masterpiece, which would only come years later, that is to say ...
1979 ... an end of the decade which ends in apotheosis with 2 new titles of very high caliber. Already 5 years of familiarity with the stars, what a nice feat !
1979 ... an inspiration which is constantly renewed and which places him well above the average of what is done at the time. A truly extraordinary talent !
1981 ... as much as the 1970s saw him explode, the 1980s saw him sink slowly but surely. As paradoxical as it may seem, his extraordinary talent will not be able to take the measure of this decade which is also extraordinary ...
1982 ... he saves the furniture at the beginning of the decade but the level of success has nothing to do with what he experienced a few years before. An incredible reversal of the situation ...
1983 ... his quirky style worked wonders during the 1970s but the 1980s saw so many innovations and musical novelties that the comparison with his style, which has relatively little changed, is necessarily against him ...
1984 ... and yet he does not demerit, far from it. The quality of his compositions is always of a high level but it is above all the gap in relation to what others offer that increasingly marginalizes him in a blatant way ....
1987 ... the artist suddenly begins a musical turn for the less risky and especially highly risky at the end of the 1980s. Even if it means being out of step, you might as well be until the end !
1987 ... the artist really does not manage to find his place in the 80s. We really have the impression that he remained stuck in the 70s. And the worst part is that the quality is there. But does not correspond to what the public now expects ...
1988 ... yet another pretty composition which shows once again that he has lost nothing of his excellence in the Intimist field. But he lives on another planet, that's clear ...
1990 ... here he comes somehow in the following decade. Well, there we say to ourselves that mass has been said and that we have definitely lost him. This is without counting on the amazing sequel that is on the horizon ...
1991 ... the WONDER of WONDERS ! He is making a resounding comeback here by simply signing one of the most beautiful titles of the decade and of the end of the twentieth century period. A hallucinatory piece, where only voice and piano mingle, a real musical feat. Here, we are simply talking about MASTERPIECES !
1994 ... he even tries to stick to the standards of the moment but the young audience does not necessarily follow. This former glory of the 70s does not speak to them and the Masterpiece composed a few years earlier will not have allowed to put him back in the race in a lasting way ...
1994 ... that does not prevent him from continuing his little fellow of his way without worrying, neither about criticisms, nor about his level - very relative - of success. We can only praise his strength of character...and especially resistance !
1999 ... an extraordinary Intimist talent which allows him to write a new page of great beauty with this title which however will go completely unnoticed. 30 years after its debut, it is still moving. The mark of the Great ! And it's not quite over ...
Greatest Hits :