Dick Rivers, whose real name is Hervé Forneri, was a French singer who discovered rock'n'roll at a very young age thanks to his many trips to and from the United States.
His stage name Dick Rivers would actually be a reference to the character played by Elvis Presley in the 1957 movie 'Loving You'. A character named Deke Rivers.
He started his artistic career at an early age by founding the group Les Chats Sauvages in 1961 in Nice, when he was only 15 years old. Group that will literally set the whole of France on fire with titles like "Twist in St Tropez" or "Est-ce que tu le sais" during 1962.
A short-lived adventure as he decides to stand on his own feet the same year and releases his first single "Baby John". And for a first try, it is a real success. The disc will sell more than 200,000 copies.
Another success in 1963 with the title "Tu n’es plus là", a luxury cover of Roy Orbison's title "Bue Bayou". Followed in 1964 by "Va t’en va t’en". Then “Viens me faire oublier" in 1967. Among other things…
At the end of the 60s, he already had more than 5 million records sold. A late 1960s that saw the singer struggling, relegated to the background by a hippie wave that overwhelmed everything in its path.
During the 1970s, he began by rebuilding his health in Canada. Then returned to France where he worked with young promising talents, in particular a certain…Alain Bashung. Fruitful collaborations which allow him to renew with success on titles like "Marilou" in 1973, "Rock 'n' roll star" and other "Maman n'aime pas ma musique" in 1974. The second part of the decade will be, it, more country oriented.
The 1980s saw him come back in force thanks to several flagship titles, starting with “Cinderella” in 1982. Followed by “Nice baie des anges” in 1984, as well as “Baby doll” and “N'en rajoute pas mignonne” in 1986, three very large caliber tracks composed by a certain…Didier Barbelivien. And which unfortunately will be his last notable successes.
A magnificent adventure, anyway, which will unfortunately end definitively on April 24, 2019, the date of his death from cancer at the age of 73.
To discover or rediscover.
Discography (among others ...) :
Twist à St Tropez (Les Chats Sauvages) 1961
Est-ce que tu le sais (Les Chats Sauvages) 1961
Baby John 1962
Tu n’es plus là 1963
Rien que toi 1964
Je ne suis plus rien sans toi 1964
Va t’en va t’en 1965
Mon ami lointain 1966
Viens me faire oublier 1967
La couleur de l’amour 1969
Rock’n’roll star 1974
Maman n’aime pas ma musique 1974
Faire un pont 1976
Et toi tu t’endors 1976
J’ai pas tué j’ai pas volé 1977
5 H du mat’ 1978
Y’en a marre de ce western 1979
Pluie et brouillard 1980
Les yeux d’une femme 1983
Restons amis 1983
Nice baie des Anges 1984
Où est caché le pilote ? 1985
Baby doll 1986
N’en rajoute pas mignonne 1986
Où sont les hommes ? 1987
Ainsi soit elle 1989
Comme le loup de Tex Avery 1990
Y’a qu’ça de vrai 1992
Je pense à toi 1996
Dans le ghetto 1998
Ce qu'on raconte en ville 2001
La partenaire 2002
Attache moi 2008
1961 ... the shattering debut of a 16-year-old boy and his group of friends. Group which will produce one of the biggest hits of this year 1961 and return One Shot to the musical legend of the end of the XXth century on the French side. MAS-TER-FUL !
1961 ... very fashionable at the time, the luxury cover. The group takes again here the title 'What'd I say' of a certain Ray Charles released two years earlier. And the result is stunning, to such an extent that the French version is a real hit. The last title for the young Hervé at the breasts of Les Chats Sauvages ...
1962 ... the start of the solo career. The American influence is predominant, an influence that will stick to his skin for decades ...
1963 ... since luxury covers are doing quite well, why deny them. This time, it is Roy Orbison's title 'Blue bayou' released the same year that he resumes brilliantly. A linear and above all obvious rise in power !
1964 ... an obvious predisposition for the Intimist register. Here he delivers a title that fits perfectly with the times and that makes him one of the obvious rising values of the moment
1964 ... and what about that title ? An obvious mastery of the 'emotional' register which allows him to become a reference in the field
1965 ... another luxury cover this time of a Bessie Banks title dating from 1964. A French adaptation for the less successful, it is clear
1966 ... a title that spins at 200 km/h and sounds so typical of that time. A linear rise that allows him to deliver year after year titles of more than certain quality
1967 ... he is now part of the leading pack and it's gone to last a while or even a certain time ...
1967 ... unlike his little comrades who play mainly in the ass-shaking register, his skills for the Intimist once again work wonders on this highly inspired track
1969 ... we find him at the end of the 1960s in an astonishing musical fashion, a fashion to which he had not really accustomed us. Or the art of blurring the lines !
1973 ... change of decade and change of style. He will have shone by his atypical style during the 60s. It is more or less the same scenario which will unfold during the 70s
1974 ... a decade of 70 which will be more rock'n'roll, it is obvious. A reorientation assumed but which will somewhat drop him from the leading pack ...
1974 ... a unique style unlike any other and which is as much its strength as its weakness. But as long as it works, why change ...
1976 ... here he is back in Country mode. A style he has always been particularly fond of, all on a sumptuous luxury cover of John Denver's track "Take me home, country roads"
1976 ... a second half of the 1970s that was much more relaxed. A particularly successful return to Intimist mode on a track that works very well
1977 ... further proof of his talent far above average in the 'emotional' register. He delivers here a highly inspired title whose Country base is really marvelous. All good !
1978 ... we continue in the same register. What is particularly paradoxical about this rocker singer, pure and hard at heart, is that he will have produced his most beautiful songs in the Intimist field. Surprising no ...
1979 ... an end of the decade once again in Country mode. A completely atypical style for the time and which does not put him in the best conditions for tackling the next decade. An adaptation is urgently needed !
1980 ... luckily, at the same time, he continues to deliver high caliber Intimist. And as always, quality is essential !
1982 ... the artist became aware of the new trends of the moment and tries to adapt to them. And my faith, it is far from being ridiculous, it is clear !
1983 ... a very modern version of the cult "Twilight time" of the Platters dating from 1958, you had to dare this one ! It is clear that the adaptation is particularly successful and that it does not swear in this decade 80
1983 ... a perfect mix between old and new sounds. The singer is perfectly in the rhythm of the beginning of the decade and this despite a style once again atypical compared to the competition. In any case, a style that works !
1984 ... an atypical style that he amplifies in this title and which paradoxically will give him one of the biggest successes of his career. Like what, everything was possible during this decade 80. HU-GE !
1985 ... in the same vein. Where the competition relies heavily on the new instruments of the decade, especially synths, he remains on an 'old-fashioned' sound basis. And it works again !
1986 ... what will always have made its strength and its weakness is this visceral attachment to the sounds of the past. Old sounds that he knew how to perfectly modernize but which, at one point, will inevitably show their limits !
1986 ... as soon as Barbelivien points his nose somewhere, the result is necessarily up to the task. He had already proved it on the 2 previous titles. But it is surely on this title that the magic operates the most with this absolutely sumptuous title which will undeniably remain as one of Dick's greatest successes. MAS-TER-FUL !
1987 ... a collaboration which still works perfectly on this title and which allows the singer to stay afloat without too much difficulty. Hope it lasts ...
1989 ... he will have done everything to us ! Rock, Country, Intimate, and here it is in Ghospel mode ! Damn daring bet at the end of the 1980s. The result is far from being ridiculous but it is clear that this is not the kind of musical niche that allows you to reach the top of the Charts ...
1990 ... he will have gone through the 60s, then the 70s, then the 80s and here he is entering the 90s without any complex. Unfortunately, it will be the decade too many. A decade that will go way too fast for him ...
1992 ... the gap with the competition becomes really too obvious and the gap is widening more and more. A delay that becomes almost impossible to catch up ...
1996 ... paradoxical thing is that the qualitative level remains high. But we are in the 90s, a decade where Dance reigns supreme and delivering this kind of piece at this time is a gamble if not crazy, at least particularly risky ...
1998 ... the dropout is irreversible and the production of titles is in free fall. A particularly complicated end of the decade to manage and which will see the artist slowly but surely disappear from the radar ...
2001 ... this will not prevent him from coming back stealthily during the 2000s. Several titles of certain quality will be released, but which will unfortunately go completely unnoticed ...
2002 ... while keeping a style of its own, he still manages to go modern. But the public has long since turned the page. Difficult to exist even a little in these conditions ...
2008 ... the end of the road, at least musical. This time, the circle is well closed and the artist will not go much further. But how beautiful the adventure was !
Official Website :
Greatest Hits :