Francis Cabrel is a French singer-songwriter who, apart from being one of the greatest contemporary composers, can also boast of having sold around 20 million records to date.
Legend has it that he got THE revelation when he was 13 when he listened to Bob Dylan's song "Like a rolling stone". And that he would have started to compose at that time in an attempt to overcome his sickly shyness.
We find him at 17 in a few groups more oriented folk-rock, adventures without tomorrow. Then at 19 in the group Ray Frank and the Jazzmen. Group which quickly renamed itself Les Gaulois, in reference to the mustaches worn by all members.
But it was in 1974 that things took a whole new turn when he participated in a tele-hook organized by Sud Radio. Despite the presence of 400 competitors, he won the competition and the 2,000 francs involved thanks to his song "Petite Marie". Song written especially for his wife Mariette Darjo.
The CBS label signed him in the process and toured it throughout France, as well as abroad until 1977, when he finally released his first record "Ma ville". Extract from his first album "Les murs de poussière" which also contains "Petite Marie". But the label bridles him, tries to hide as much as possible his southern side and Cabrel sees it more and more badly.
This did not prevent him two years later in 1979 from releasing the album "Les chemins de traverse". Album from which its first jewel will be extracted, namely the sublime "Je l'aime à mourir". Title which will sell more than 500,000 copies and which remains to this day its biggest single sale. The album will sell over 600,000 copies !
He did it again the following year with the release of the album "Fragile" which was even stronger than his predecessor. Sold more than a million copies (!), it will produce a new jewel with the title "L'encre de tes yeux", and to a lesser extent "La dame de Haute Savoie".
As paradoxical as it may seem, the following 3 albums will not at all meet the same fate as the previous ones. “Carte postale” in 1981, “Quelqu'un de l'intérieur” in 1983 and “Photos de voyage” in 1985 were only relatively successful. Relative crossing of the desert which will last until 1989. The only notable success during this period, the title "Il faudra leur dire" which came out in 1986 and which he interpreted in the company of the Children of Asnières.
Shattering return to the dawn of the 90s with the album "Sarbacane", an album which will sell more than 2 million copies ! Album at the 3 Victoires de la Musique, he produced no less than 4 hits including "Animal", "Sarbacane" as well as the sumptuous "C'est écrit" and "Tout le monde y pense".
The supreme consecration came five years later in 1994 when the album "Samedi soir sur la terre" was released, which sold 4 million copies !! The absolute record for the artist. Exceptional album which remains to this day the 2nd best selling album in France. "La corrida, "Samedi soir sur la terre" and the sublime "Je t'aimais, je t'aime, je t'aimerai" will be the main extracts.
New success 5 years later in 1999 when the album "Hors-saison" was released, an album which still exceeds double million copies in terms of sales ! But that will only produce a single flagship single with the title "Presque rien".
Another small crossing of the desert, wanted or suffered, at the start of the new millennium with a slight rebound in 2004 with the album "Les beaux dégats".
It was not until 2008 that the artist returned to success once again thanks to the album "Des roses et des orties", the best selling of the year in France in terms of albums. Album which will sell more than 800,000 copies, a record for the time.
Atypical artists with many talents and a composer with limitless inspiration, the artist still has not finished surprising us ... the proof with his last album released in 2015. And which still creates the event ...
One of the very rare French artists to have recorded so many successes spread over 3 distinct decades ! A real feat ! And it's not over, far from it...!
To discover or rediscover.
Discography (among others ...) :
Petite Marie 1977
Les murs de poussière 1978
Je l’aime à mourir 1979
Je rêve 1979
L’encre de tes yeux 1980
Je pense encore à toi 1980
La dame de Haute Savoie 1981
Carte postale 1981
Répondez moi 1982
Ma place dans le trafic 1982
La fille qui m’accompagne 1983
Question d'équilibre 1984
Encore et encore 1985
Je te suivrai 1986
Il faudra leur dire 1986
C’est écrit 1989
Tout le monde y pense 1990
La corrida 1994
Je t’aimais, je t’aime, je t’aimerai 1994
La cabane du pêcheur 1994
Samedi soir sur la terre 1995
Presque rien 1999
Hors saison 1999
Le monde est sourd 2000
Bonne nouvelle 2004
Qu'est-ce que t'en dis ? 2004
Tu me corresponds 2004
Les gens absents 2005
Gardien de nuit 2006
Le gorille 2007
La robe et l'échelle 2008
Le chêne liège 2008
Des hommes pareils 2009
Né dans le bayou 2009
Comme une femme 2012
Je te veux 2012
Partis pour rester 2015
Dur comme fer 2015
A chaque amour que nous ferons 2015
Le pays d'à coté 2016
Le fils unique 2017
Te ressembler 2020
Peuple des fontaines 2021
A l'aube revenant 2021
Rockstars du moyen âge 2021
1977 ... the shattering arrival of a youg unknown man who will not stay that way for very long. In a minimalist musical style and completely outside the standards of the time, he immediately shows the enormous talent at his disposal. Not to mention a level of inspiration that already promises to be extraordinary ...
1978 ... he immediately confirms all the good we could think of him. Simple melodies, just like the lyrics, all incredibly effective. The Cabrel recipe, one of a kind !
1979 ... his 1st WONDER. THE title that will change everything and propel him at the speed of light to the top of recognition. He simply signs here one of the most beautiful ballads of the end of the 20th century on the French side. Just that !
1979 ... an exceptional year which literally exploded its notoriety. And still this surrealist look, also totally outside the standards of the time. This does not prevent him from signing exceptional Intimist titles, all on an often minimalist musical background. An incredible feat !
1980 ... his 2nd WONDER. One would have thought that he would pass like a shooting star in the French musical landscape. Oh no. On the contrary, he delivers a new gem which already consecrates him as one of the biggest phenomena of the time. A phenomenon that will last !
1980 ... each title becomes an event in itself. An inspiration constantly renewed and which produces Intimist title on Intimist title of a level well above the average of the competition !
1981 ... from time to time, it happens to suddenly accelerate the tempo. And it also works. Versatility reserved only for the greatest !
1981 ... chase the natural, it comes back at a gallop. Here he is back in his favorite field and once again, he delivers us exceptional. One more time !
1982 ... one would have thought that he would never have his place in the 1980s, a decade with a crazy and totally unbridled side. Exactly, like a UFO, he settled there with disconcerting ease and a unique style of its kind which makes all its strength
1982 ... where most groups and singers use synths and drum machines, he, on the contrary, retains a musical style of disconcerting simplicity. And that is precisely why he does not face competition from anyone in truth !
1983 ... an annual production of minimalist titles but which says rarity in its case, says quality. And Premium !
1984 ... of course, this title will not remain as his greatest Masterpiece, but everything about him is inspired, no matter what
1985 ... still one of his most emblematic titles. He confirms, year after year, a writing talent that few other French artists can match
1986 ... once again, a title with the simplicity of a formidable efficiency. A style of which he has truly become the undisputed and indisputable Master
1986 ... like Pierre Bachelet in his time, he signs here a title of incredible freshness thanks to the presence at his side of a troupe of children who brings a rare and precious touch of humanity...
1989 ... little air hole of 3 years and he is back in great shape, in a style that has evolved, that's clear. End of the 80s obliges ...
1989 ... his 3rd WONDER. 10 years after a sensational debut, he continues to deliver mind-blowing titles from which one really wonders where he will seek inspiration ...
1990 ... 4th WONDER. A turn of the decade negotiated to perfection and which definitely confirms him as one of the greatest of the end of the 20th century on the French side. A title well deserved !
1994 ... air holes begin to accumulate. This time it will last 4 years. Regenerating air holes because he comes back every time in great shape and in a style that has evolved in one way or another
1994 ... 5th WONDER. It was well worth the wait. And at each Wonder, what is truly incredible is that the musical accompaniment is still minimalist. And this since its beginnings. It's the exceptional melodies that make the difference every time !
1994 ... a decidedly exceptional 1994 with a succession of sumptuous titles. As often, the withdrawal - wanted or forced - is not necessarily a statement of failure, far from it. But rather a mandatory phase to better reborn behind ...
1995 ... new exceptional ballad, all in simplicity, in the purest Cabrélien style. It passes through time and through fashions without anything affecting or destabilizing him. A real feat !
1995 ... while the 90s are a decade where everything changes very quickly, even too quickly, the artist continues his adventure quietly but surely. Far from the mundane hustle and bustle of show biz. It is also its strength !
1999 ... new 4-year chip jump. 20 years after his debut, he is still there when many others of his generation have long since disappeared. Its secret : a simple life, quite simply !
1999 ... he will have crossed the decade 70, the decade 80 then the decade 90. He will have crossed all the currents and all the modes. And he will be adapted every time. A truly unique style that produces WONDERS after WONDERS. The proof with this new title. And it's not over, see you the next decade ...
2000 ... here he is, beginning its 4th decade. Will he manage to surprise us, will he still succeed in moving us, the future will tell us...
2004...we're not going to lie to each other, the best years are now behind him. The adventure will continue during this decade in the best possible way but without reaching the heights encountered previously...
2004...the gap widens more and more with the younger generations and his style becomes more and more hermetic to them. Afterwards, not sure that he is targeting this type of audience...
2004...and always this minimalist orchestration which will forever remain its trade mark. We won't do it again as they say...
2005...he will remain straight in his boots until the end and nothing, nor anyone, will force him to change anything in his way of doing things. He is one of the very few in this case...
2006...here he arrived in Louis Chédid's musical 'Le soldat rose'. A universe that is not so far from his, it is clear...
2007...a very free version of the title by Georges Brassens but which at least has the merit of completely revisiting the title. Anyway, a nice tribute !
2008...which will surely remain as one of his most accomplished titles of the decade. And who comes above all at the right time to show loud and clear that we will still have to count on him in the years to come...
2008...some titles completely out of time and standards imposed by record companies. He is surely one of the only ones to play in this atypical category during the 2000s...
2009...in the end, a great decade which saw him stay at the top of the bill without too much difficulty. It must be said that with such a talent, the opposite would have been surprising...
2009... come on, it's not quite over for this 2000 decade. There is still this title with strange lyrics and a sound far removed from what he usually does...
2012... he will decide to start this new decade 2010 by covering some Bob Dylan titles. Daring bet once again but which once again corresponds well to his personal universe...
2012...after 'Just like a woman', he now covers 'I want you'. His French versions work perfectly and above all allow him to pay a more than obvious tribute to an artist he particularly likes...
2015...he still manages to surprise us with basic melodies. He really is one of the only ones who can do it and this unique talent is rare, very rare...
2015...on some tracks it really feels like going back decades. Nothing changes in him and especially in him...
2015...the years pass, so do the decades and he remains the same immutably. And as he remains the same his music does the same...
2016...his exceptional career through the decades and above all fashions commands undeniable respect. He is always there to compose and offer his songs, which is not the case for a bunch of 'colleagues' of his time...
2017...and as long as he has things to tell and above all to sing, he will come back inexorably. And in the meantime singers who will have started well after him will have already hung up their gloves, mighty paradox...
2020...and here he begins its 6th decade. Nothing, nor anyone, will dare to tell him that it may be time to retire. And he has no intention of taking it, that's for sure...
2021... extremely simple titles which have this incredible ability to resist all the fashions and all the musical dictates of the moment. A singer who understood everything from the start...
2021... not to mention that there is quality but there is also quantity. An endless inspiration that is constantly regenerated and that has never abandoned him, which is extremely rare...
2021...we therefore suspect that he will surely not stop on such a good path and that he will inevitably come back later. To be continued as they say...
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