Michel Delpech, whose real name is Jean-Michel Delpech, was a French singer-songwriter who started his artistic career at the age of 17 by setting up a small orchestra with high school friends.
High school that he left prematurely the following year, without having passed the Bac, to devote himself solely to music. Intuition happy since he managed to join the Vogue label the same year. Label which allows him to release his first 45 rpm "Anatole", first disc which will unfortunately go unnoticed.
And it is in thinking back to his high school years and especially the places he frequented at the time that he comes up with the words of a little song that will be called "Chez Laurette". Song which was born in 1965 and which, despite its nostalgic side (while we are in the middle of the Yéyé period), will propel him in a shattering way to the front of the French music scene.
Happiness never arriving alone, he joined the cast of the musical 'Copains-clopant' in the same year, a musical which will remain on the bill for 6 months and further increase his fame.
Success amplified a year later in 1966 thanks to two combined actions : first, the release of the title "Inventaire 66" which is very successful. Then his presence in the opening act of Jacques Brel’s farewell to the Olympia for 38 performances, just that !
The following year, in 1967, there was a new first luxury party, this time with its presence on Mireille Mathieu's international tour. He also took the opportunity to change label and move to Barclay.
In the years that followed, he had a series of hits with titles such as “Wight is Wight” in 1969, “Un coup de pied dans la montagne” in 1970 and “Pour un flirt” in 1971. Titles that sell for millions of copies and whose impact goes far beyond the borders of France.
The 1970s saw him first separate from his manager Johnny Stark. Then of his favorite composer of his very beginnings, namely Roland Vincent. And finally his wife Chantal Simon. A separation (to which is added that of his co-lyricist Jean Michel Rivat with his wife Christine Haas) which will inspire his now famous song "Les divorcés". Song which will deeply mark its time and considerably change mentalities on divorce.
These successive changes brought about an artistic revival which would allow him to reach an incredible level of popularity during the 1970s, in particular thanks to the release of flagship titles such as "Que Marianne était Jolie" in 1973, "Le chasseur" in 1974, "Quand j'étais chanteur” in 1975 but also, and above all, the enormous 45 rpm “Le loir-et-Cher” which came out in 1977.
A professional fullness that unfortunately masks a private life that is constantly deteriorating as the years go by. Indeed, he cannot recover from his divorce and the stormy relationship he has with his ex-wife only increases the growing discomfort linked to a completely unbridled and limitless artistic life. A gradual and above all dangerous withdrawal from reality to which is added a total loss of landmarks that gradually sink him into depression, alcohol and artificial paradises.
The end of the 1970s will therefore prove to be particularly complicated to manage and will be followed by a turn to the 1980s, which is disturbed and therefore missed. And to darken the picture even more, Chantal Simon, his ex-wife, ends her life at the beginning of the decade. He finds himself having to manage his 2 children on his own overnight, something that is impossible for him to do given his mental and physical state at the time. So it's his mother who will have to take over and raise them for him.
On the music side, the titles that came out at the beginning of the decade such as "Docker" in 1980 and "Home sweet home" in 1981 did not know anything about the success of the titles released in the middle of the previous decade. He will have to wait for 1984 and the magnificent “Loin d´ici” to finally get back into the race. A comeback confirmed by the single "Rock en URSS" which was released a year later in 1985 and which was also popular with the public.
But this return of success will be furtive and the artist will never again find the incredible level of popularity that he experienced during the 1970s. He will release other titles and other albums thereafter but these will not meet only a modest success.
In 2013, he was diagnosed with cancer of the tongue and throat, which he bravely fights but which he will not be able to get rid of and which will eventually overwhelm him on January 2, 2016 at the age of 69. Putting a definitive end to his career one of the most popular singers in France and who will have profoundly marked his time.
To discover or rediscover.
Discography (among others ...) :
Il voulait 1964
Copains clopant 1965
Chez Laurette 1965
Quand on aime comme on s’aime 1966
Inventaire 66 1966
Il faut regarder les étoiles 1967
Pour un coin de Pologne 1967
Poupée cassée 1968
Les petits cailloux blancs 1968
Quand la pluie tombe en été 1969
Wight is Wight 1969
Je suis pour 1970
Un coup de pied dans la montagne 1970
Pour un flirt 1971
La vie, la vie 1971
Fan de toi 1972
62, nos 15 ans 1972
Que Marianne était jolie 1972
Les aveux 1973
Rimbaud chanterait 1973
Les divorcés 1973
Je pense à toi 1974
Je l’attendais 1974
Le chasseur 1974
Quand j’étais chanteur 1975
Ce Lundi là 1975
Tu me fais planer 1976
La fille avec des baskets 1976
Le Loir et Cher 1977
Fais un bébé 1977
Vu d’avion 1978
Je cherche un endroit 1979
Animaux animaux 1983
Loin d’ici 1984
Rock en URSS 1985
Oubliez tout ce que je vous ai dit 1986
Nicholson & Co 1987
Ces mots là 1988
Pleurer le chanteur 1989
J’étais un ange 1990
Les voix du Brésil 1991
Terre amour 1992
Roi de rien 1997
Cartier Bresson 1998
Tu l’aimes 1998
Il faut que j’aime (Et les ennuis reviennent) 1999
Fuir au soleil 2004
Je passe à la télé 2009
La fin du chemin 2016
1964 ... very early 1960s. The sound, like the style, are perfectly trendy and correspond exactly to the requirements of the moment. And yet, it is not with this kind of title that the young singer will explode on the French music scene ...
1964 ... a first Intimist track which shows the singer's enormous potential in this register. And there is potential, that's clear !
1965 ... a light and airy title so typical of this decade. Young Michel is slowly but surely gaining strength. Rather a good omen for the rest of the events ...
1965 ... THE title that will change everything. The young singer delivers here a sumptuous Intimist title with a style that in no way corresponds to the musical standards of the moment. Regardless, the melody is beautiful and allows the artist to literally explode on the French music scene. MA-GIC !
1966 ... an Intimist mode in which he excels, that's clear. Even if this title will not have the incredible success of the previous one, its quality is certain !
1966 ... the singer continues his ascent to the top with this new success. An ascent that will see him reach the heights the following decade. Not before...
1967 ... title after title, year after year, he shows a talent well above the average. Talent that will inevitably at some point allow him to do very great things ...
1967 ... the Intimist fits him like a glove and every title he produces in this area is a real success. Once again the proof with this title !
1968 .... a homogeneous discography which mixes Intimist titles of high class and titles clearly more in tune with the times. A subtle blend that works perfectly !
1968 ... another light and airy track with a sound so typical of the end of the 60s. A 60s which saw him grow slowly but surely ...
1969 ... yet another title that literally floats in the air. A court of the great which is approaching quickly, especially when we see the level he has now reached ...
1969 ... an entry into the big leagues which is done in the most beautiful way with THIS title ! The singer proves with this title that he can now compete with the best of French song without any complex. MAS-TER-FUL !
1970 ... the 1960s saw him hatch and grow in spectacular fashion. The 1970s will see him literally explode and become one of the greatest French singers of the end of the 20th century, just that ...
1970 ... and always this Intimist touch which makes him one of the best in the field and this undoubtedly. A level of excellence that will only grow year after year ...
1971 ... not only THIS title will be a huge success in France but also in the rest of the world. The singer signs here one of his most emblematic titles and literally crushes the competition at the same time. MAS-TER-FUL !
1971 ... this title will not have the same level of success as its predecessor but it at least has the merit of giving energy as they say. It's already that !
1972 ... a dynamic of success that allows the artist to unroll in a more than impressive way. A year 1972 which will allow him to further increase its supremacy over the competition as a whole
1972 ... a competition that he outclasses title after title thanks to a know-how in the Intimist really well above the average
1972 .... a competition that he not only outclasses but also literally crushes with THIS title ! Here he signs a new exceptional title which confirms, if necessary again, a truly extraordinary talent. HU-GE !
1973 ... he goes through the decade like a prince. Each title delivered is highly inspired and tailor-made for him. The result is necessarily stunning every time !
1973 ... each title that comes out now becomes an event in itself. Everything he touches immediately turns to solid gold and nothing and no one at this point is able to counter him
1973 ... impossible to counter especially when he released this kind of title. A very simple title but formidably effective and which would become one of the most significant titles of the decade. And which decades later is still relevant !
1974 ... how to match the previous gem, impossible of course. Anyway, the sequel is once again inspired and that's the main thing !
1974 ... he takes us once again to lands of softness and lightness of which he has the secret. A truly unique know-how in this area !
1974 ... each year its flagship title. For the year 1974, it will be this one. Another title among his most inspired and emblematic. What talent !
1975 ... exceptional titles succeed exceptional titles ! Here he delivers a title that is as parody as it is visionary and, above all, formidably effective once again. The singer is then at the height of his art !
1975 .... he masters his subject so much that no title knows failure. Everything that comes out is immediately transformed into a notorious success, a success to say the least insolent and which leaves only a few crumbs to the competition ...
1976 ... his first Ultimate Slow worthy of the name. His mastery of the Intimist domain no longer being demonstrated, we suspected that the result would be up to the task. And he is !
1976 ... a year 1976 definitely placed under the sign of the register of emotions. Everything seemed so easy for him in the 1970s that we are no longer even surprised that each new title released is necessarily successful ...
1977 ... we say to ourselves that he cannot continue indefinitely on such a high level of success and that at some point, the decline will begin. What is certain is that it is not with this title that he risks anything. He delivers here a new title very simple, light and airy as he knows how to do so well but with formidable efficiency once again. The master of the world !
1977 ... new classy Ultimate Slow. The melodic inspiration does not weaken an iota and allows the singer to crush the competition once again. Class, the real one !
1978 ... surprisingly here he is in Dance mode, an extremely rare thing about him. In the middle of the Disco period, he delivers a track that largely holds up and shows truly incredible versatility !
1979 ... new foray into the field of Dance. The singer will have perfectly known how to adapt to the new trends of the moment. It will be a little more complicated for him the following decade ...
1980 ... after an absolutely exceptional 1970s decade for the artist, here he is entering the 1980s in the best possible way with a title that fits perfectly with new trends. All good !
1981 ... after a successful start to the decade, the rest will prove to be more complicated to manage than expected. Personal problems, a beginning of public disaffection, in short, the indicators are turning red ...
1983 ... after an empty year 1982, here he is back in this year 1983 with this sumptuous Intimist title. Unfortunately, this one will go totally under the radar and relegate the artist to the depths of the Charts. When it doesn't want anymore ...
1984 ... an unwavering talent in the Intimist which will allow him to save the furniture. Here he signs one of the most beautiful Ultimate slow of the decade on the French side and proves in a dazzling way that he is not 'has been' than that. MA-GIC !
1985 ... it really wouldn't have taken much for him to be able to come back to the race in a sustainable way when we see what he is still capable of offering. But his too typical '70s' image will unfortunately have irremediably marginalized him ...
1986 ... an indisputable mastery of Ultimate Slow. What a pity that young audiences are not more recognized for his incredible talent in this area ...
1988 ... it will undoubtedly remain one of the biggest suppliers of Ultimate Slow of the decade. Highly inspired Ultimate Slows and some of the best of the decade. But what will he have missed so as not to be recognized at his fair value ...
1989 ... an 80s decade which saw him fade away and slowly but surely disappear from the French musical landscape. A flagrant injustice because he will never be unworthy far from it. The proof with this new title !
1990 ... he hangs on and tries to resist until the end. To the point of attempting the transition to the 90s. Unfortunately, what did not work during the 80s will not work the following decade either ...
1991 ... he will try everything, including the return to Dance mode. But how to fight against competition from young people who are at least 20 years younger in terms of age. Impossible mission...
1992 ... new high class Intimist page in a career which produced a considerable number of them. Undoubtedly one of the very best of his generation in this field !
1997 ... big 5 years air hole followed by a comeback in a certain form. Unfortunately, the 1980s will have relegated him slowly but surely to oblivion, the 1990s will definitely seal its fate. And yet, when we see what he continues to offer, he is anything but a has-been, it's clear !
1998 .... almost 35 years of career and still there the guy ! He will have lived through the 1960s, then the 1970s, then the 1980s, then the 1990s. And here he is at the dawn of the 2000s. A longevity for the least exceptional !
1998 ... and what about this sumptuous ballad which once again takes us to the most original imaginary lands. Crazy talent until the end !
1999 ... he begins his 5th decade without qualms and above all simply for the pleasure of singing. A 5th decade which this time will indeed be the last ...
2004 ... the adventure continues for good. Simply for fun since there is almost no hope of appearing in any ranking of singles. Beautiful self-sacrifice !
2009 ... the end of the adventure. An incredible adventure for one of the greatest French artists of the end of the 20th century. Who of today's generations can still hope to make this kind of career ? Almost no one ...
2016 ... a last absolutely sumptuous title, which in every way resembles a personal testament and whose interpretation proves once again that this man really had an extraordinary talent ! Hats off to the artist !
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