Requiem for a youth idol...
Johnny Hallyday, whose real name is Jean-Philippe Smet, was a French singer who, apart from the exceptional talent that was his, could boast of having happily exceeded the 50-year career to date and sold no less than one a hundred million records, just that.
And yet, life starts off badly for little Jean-Philippe. Indeed, his father Léon Smet, Belgian actor, singer and dancer left his mother when the little one was only 8 months old. And it is his paternal aunt who will act as a double mother because his natural mother is forced to resume a professional activity which prevents her from raising him.
A double mother who also has children, daughters, who are classical dancers. An artistic career that sent the whole family to London in 1946, an adventure that would last two years. It was there that one of the girls, Desta, met and married an American dancer known by the stage name Lee Halliday. A couple, but also a duo, which will perform throughout Europe from 1949 under the name Les Halliday.
And it is precisely this famous Lee Halliday, who will serve as adoptive father to little Jean-Philippe and who will affectionately nickname him Johnny. Hence his future Johnny Halliday stage name. It is also thanks to this famous Lee that he will go on stage for the first time in his life, then aged just 9 years. Indeed, the latter allows him to do the opening act of their show in Copenhagen and this is how he can perform the song "The Ballad of Davy Crockett", dressed as a cowboy and guitar in hand. We are then in 1956.
The family therefore returned to Paris after a few months and little Jean-Philippe began to appear in series, advertisements and some TV shows. But it was above all the discovery at the age of 14 of a certain Elvis Presley that would change his life forever. He has THE revelation : he wants to be like his idol, which is to sing rock'n'roll.
And it is always the famous Lee who will put the foot in the stirrup by allowing him to be inspired by rock'n'roll records then totally unpublished in France and which he matters especially for him from the United States.
Things accelerated from 1958 when he began to frequent the Golf-Drouot with some then totally unknown accomplices such as Long Chris, Dany Logan, Jacques Dutronc and other Eddy Mitchell. Hall that would quickly establish itself as one of the temples of rock'n'roll. At the same time, he tries to perform in clubs, but refusals and failures are common. He then fell back on the American bases where he sang for the Gis.
Then came 1959, a year that finally brought him luck. Indeed, he participates in a tele-hook called Paris Cocktail and performs a title called "Viens faire une partie". A performance noticed in particular by two songwriters named Jil and Jan who present him in the wake of the Vogue label. Label which made him sign a year later, we are then in 1960.
A first title "T’aimer follement came out in stride with the artist name Johnny Hallyday, a name misspelled. An uncorrected mistake that will remain his trademark forever. But the French public is not yet ready for this kind of music and the title is a failure.
All is not lost because the singer still attracts the attention of Daniel Filippacchi and Frank Ténot, presenters of one of the biggest radio shows of the moment, namely 'Salut les copains'. Which ones decide to support him. He also made his first TV show in 'L'école des vedettes' and stood out there singing "Laisse les filles" while playing guitar and rolling on the floor.
A year 1960 which also saw him release the title "Souvenirs, souvenirs", a title which this time would make a real hit in France and launch the artist's career for good. The galas will follow one another and he will even do the first part of Sacha Distel's tour. Galas enamelled with several incidents because its first fans are somewhat hysterical and degrade the rooms in which he occurs. Degradations unanimously condemned by the press which shoots red balls on the young artist.
Collective hysteria which continued in 1961 during the 1st international rock festival organized at the Palais des sports in Paris. Festival punctuated by numerous fights and police interventions but which confirms that the rock wave is indeed launched in France. The year 1961 also saw the release of the artist’s first 33 Tours album "Nous les gars, nous les filles".
A rock wave which is emulated and which creates above all competition. In particular Les Chausettes Noires. The singer then asks for more means from his record company, and especially more musicians to face it. Vogue refuses, the singer slams the door then just 18 years old. Despite his young age, he already has 36 songs on the record and more than a million and a half records sold already to his credit, just that.
He then went under the Philipps label and recorded “Viens danser le twist”, a title which launched the twist in France. An exit followed shortly after by a first stint at the Olympia. New album "Salut les copains" also at the end of the year. Album from which will be extracted the now famous "Retiens la nuit", a song which finally allows him to have a semblance of recognition on the part of the critics.
The year 1962 was devoted to the recording and release of an English-language album "Sings America's rockin 'hits", an album which received little echo in France. This is not the case abroad where it will be rather well received. New Olympia at the end of the year where he throws the mashed potato this time. An Olympia openly hailed by critics, especially in relation to the artist's stage performance.
Despite this, he is not done with the controversy. In fact, the following year, in 1963, he tried to go sing in Lebanon after having been to sing in London. Unfortunately, he is not welcome in Beirut because his arrival creates political unrest and he is forced to leave without having performed any concert. A controversy that will be debated even within the benches of the National Assembly after his forced and forced return.
The same year, a mega free concert was organized by the magazine 'Salut les copains' place de la Nation in Paris, a concert which notably brought together him, Sylvie Vartan, Richard Anthony and Les Chats Sauvages. We expect 30,000 people, there will be almost 200,000 ! The concert went rather well but serious incidents broke out in the suburbs and many "blousons noirs" were arrested, making the scandalous press.
Comes in the wake of "Da dou ron ron", another huge success of the singer and which confirms the new name "yéyé" (in reference to the many onomatopoeias used in their songs) given to this generation. And new controversies with a revisited Marseillaise rock version during a concert in Trouville on July 14 and which will unleash the fury of the veterans. An incident that will make the headlines of the evening television news. A year that will still end on a high note with two new big hits: "D'où viens-tu Johnny" but also, and above all, "Pour moi la vie va commencer".
The year 1964 saw the release of "Les guitares jouent" recorded with his new group Joey and the Showmen. A year 1964 which rhymes with military service and which saw him put his artistic career on hold for the time of incorporation. An incorporation that La Grande Muette uses to use the artist in promotional films and some variety shows produced within the barracks itself. He is exceptionally authorized to continue recording from the moment he poses in military uniform. It was under these special conditions that a title was released which would become one of his greatest successes, namely "Le pénitencier".
Marriage to Sylvie Vartan a year later in 1965 and resumption of full-time career. New album "Hallelujah" and "Johnny chante Hallyday". A comeback that rhymes with a change of sound more typical of Rhythm & Blues, a musical reorientation that will quite disturb the fans of the first hour.
The sanction is immediate : drop in significant sales from 1966 and concerts which are played in half-empty rooms. Added to this is the duel from a distance with a new wave of singers played by Antoine, who is not shy to openly ridicule the artist. Which will answer him in the famous song "Cheveux longs et idées courtes".
Business picked up at the end of the year, notably thanks to a meeting with a certain Jimi Hendrix. So totally unknown, the latter will open for the artist during the tour that will follow. But the upturn is short-lived as rumors of separation with Sylvie Vartan are rife despite the birth of her son David. To this is added a heavy dispute with taxes concerning several arrears. Too much is too much, the artist tries to end his life only a few hours before performing at the Fête de l'Humanité and is urgently hospitalized. A particularly dark period that coincides with the release of "Noir c'est noir".
He still returns at the end of the year and seems transformed : musical style, behavior on stage and way of singing have nothing to do with it. His new "vocal power" impresses and puts him back in the race for a long time. A winning comeback accompanied by the release of the hugely successful "La génération perdue" album.
New major success at the beginning of 1967 with the release of "Hey Joe" which he interprets in the company of Jimi Hendrix, cover of a title by Billy Roberts dating from 1962. A year that sees the Hallyday-Vartan couple getting back on their feet. So much so that they embark on a joint tour of South America. The more soul music oriented album "Johnny 67" was released immediately. Which contrasts completely with a much more hippie-oriented end of the year, against a backdrop of psychedelic delusions. In particular during a Musicorama organized at the Palais des Sports and during which screens are used on which are projected delirious images. A show during which the artist delivers a landmark performance.
New album "Jeune homme" in 1968 followed by "Rêve et amour", albums which will produce several big hits that are "Entre mes mains", "Fumée" and "Cours plus vite Charlie". And tour in South Africa during which he broke his foot when he fell off the stage. Back in France, another incident in Lyon where he is uneasy in the middle of a concert. A year that ends in forced rest.
Back in force in 1969 when concerts followed one another, new look concerts which saw him perform on several stages at the same time, a particularly innovative concept for the time, notably at the Palais des Sports in Paris. Another striking fact is that he includes in his musicians a certain Jean-Pierre Azoulay, whom he met a few months earlier at the Golf Drouot. Musician who will be determining in the years to come concerning the musical evolution of the singer. But this is also the year of release of the title "Que je t'aime", one of his most iconic titles. A title that will literally unleash the crowds and provoke scenes of hysteria and swarms ...
The transition to the 1970s rhymes with new artistic collaborations, in particular that with journalist-writer Philippe Labro. A collaboration that takes the artist on a more muscular, even more aggressive musical path. Notably on the track "Jesus Christ", where the singer is wracked by the Vatican when he sings "if Christ was still alive today, he would be a hippie". The controversy is such that the Vatican is threatening to excommunicate the singer. The disc will even be removed from several stores and banned from air.
The album "Vie" which came out the same year is a reflection of this new path taken with more militant and engaged song lyrics, especially on themes such as ecology or the post-sixty-eight shock of young and old.
The year 1971, like the previous ones, brought its share of controversy. The poster used for his tour of the West Indies and Canada is a poster showing him crucified on a guitar. This will provoke numerous demonstrations of indignation which arrived on the spot. In terms of success, it will be the year of "Oh, ma jolie Sarah", a title that will be a real hit that year.
Another change of course a year later in 1972 with the collaboration with singer-songwriter Michel Mallory. Collaboration that brings him back to more peaceful ways and a less hard rock. The singer also tries a foray into the Country style, an attempt which will prove to be a failure. Just like his new show combining circus and music. After years of all-out success, the artist seems to have reached a first major crossroads in his career.
It is Mallory who will allow the singer to bounce back thanks to the album "Insolitudes", album which was released in 1973 and which notably contains "La musique que j'aime". A huge success that calls for another, a certain "J'ai un problème". A title that he performs in a duet with Sylvie Vartan and which shows once again that the duo-couple still works as well.
The year 1974 will be the year of the release of the album “Je t'aime, je t'aime, je t'aime”, a very ballad-oriented album as well as “Rock'n'slow”, an album which made the share well with the covers of standards of Berry, Cochran and other Presley. It’s also the year of gigantic concerts that sees a Johnny pushing his limits every time and often, beyond.
The following year he flew to the United States to record a new cover album, this time on standards from the 1950s. He also produced the album “La terre promise” with a very Country rock-oriented sound. A year 1975 decidedly very American because he is squarely thinking of settling there following the showdown between the French tax services, which are demanding huge sums of money due to unpaid arrears.
He still returned to France in 1976 and began a new collaboration, this time with Jacques Revaux. The new musical ‘variety’ direction is obvious and this in an attempt to further strengthen the popularity of the artist. It is with this in mind that titles like "Requiem pour un fou" or "Gabrielle" are coming out, two major titles of the year which will finish at the top of the charts. It is also a pivotal year for the setting up of extraordinary concerts, full of special effects and various finds, almost a first in France. The double album "Hamlet", which came out at the end of the year and which was among the very first rock operas to be released in France, was a failure.
A failure quickly forgotten the following year in 1977 when the album "C’est la vie" was released. Album from which will be extracted one of his greatest titles namely "J'ai oublié de vivre", followed shortly by "Elle m'oublie". The singer Antoine returns to the charge and once again provokes Johnny, who this time, does not reply.
New album "Hollywood" in 1979, followed by a new series of mega concerts. Concerts which see him on the one hand performing a new one that will become one of his biggest standards, namely "Ma gueule". He also took the opportunity to bring his son David on stage for the first time when he was only 13 years old. Nice duo which will see the father singing and the son playing the drums on the title “Rien que 8 jours”. In total, his concert series will attract more than 250,000 people, a near record for the time.
The turn of the 80s was smooth, and painful, because the album "A partir de maintenant" that came out that year was only a limited success. Album which will not produce any major hits and which nevertheless contains a title written by a certain Daniel Balavoine. This title is none other than "Je ne suis pas un héros", title which will be taken over by Balavoine and which will become one of its flagship titles. A year 1980 when the bad news accumulated with the official announcement of the singer's separation from Sylvie Vartan.
A strong takeover in 1981 with the release of the album "En pièces détachées, an album which sees Johnny returning to a darker and more aggressive rock, notably with the titles "Guerre" and "Lady divine". Followed up at the end of the year by the album "Pas facile", an album through which the singer decides to settle accounts with part of the tabloid press who have not spared him until then. Only this last album would produce two major hits, namely "Je t'ai aimée" and "J'en ai marre".
A sluggish start to the decade which was confirmed in 1982 with the release of 2 albums "Quelque part un aigle" and "La peur", albums which achieved significant sales scores but which also struggled to produce notorious hits. On the private side, on the other hand, the good news follows. In particular, the formalization of the relationship he has with one of the leading actresses of the moment, namely Nathalie Baye. A union that will culminate in 1983 with the birth of Laura.
The year 1983 saw the release of a single album "Entre violence et violon". Who also struggles to find his audience and who does not produce the expected results. So mixed success on the album side, but which is largely counterbalanced by the success of several concert events, one of the most incredible of which will be 'FantasmHallyday'.
In terms of albums, we will have to wait for the year 1984 and the album "Drôle de métier" to see the singer finally get back to the top of the pack, notably thanks to the title "Mon p'tit loup (Ca va faire mal)". But it was especially from 1985 that the tide turned and this time in the right direction.
Then came the album "Rock'N'Roll attitude", an album written by a certain ... Michel Berger. The album is a hit and will produce two of Johnny's most iconic tracks : "Le chanteur abandonné" but also, and above all, "Quelque chose de Tennessee". An album which also makes it possible to reach a part of the public which until then had no more interest than that in the artist.
Then it was Jean-Jacques Goldman's turn to offer the album "Gang" on a platter a year later in 1986. And even if the album did a little worse than its predecessor, it produced all the same three new titles of very, very large caliber that are "J'oublierai ton nom" (in duet with the English singer Carmel), "Je te promets" and finally "Laura", in homage to her daughter born a few years earlier.
During the years 1987 and 1988, the singer spent his life mainly on tour or to play the actors in particular for the television series David Lansky.
Music side, new album "Cadillac" in 1989. Album produced this time by Etienne Roda-Gil. The album was a hit but produced only one major hit with the hugely massive "Mirador".
The transition to the 90s is made in the company of a new partner, namely Adeline Blondieau, daughter of her old friend Long Chris. A 90 year that will be blank in terms of the album.
So we had to wait until 1991 to see the album "Ca ne change pas un homme" released. An album this time with multiple composers and not the least : Art Mengo, Patrick Bruel, Jon Bon Jovi, among others. Once again thanks to this pool of talent, the album is a huge success. The main titles will be extracted from it "Ca ne change pas un homme" and "Dans un an et un jour", title which he owes to Mort Shuman and which was his last composition. It is also the year in which he interprets on stage one of the most striking titles of his career, namely "Diego, libre dans sa tête", in truth a luxury cover of a title by Michel Berger and performed for the first time by France Gall in 1981.
New 3 years air hole on the album side and back in 1994 with "Rough Town". An album exclusively in English, it allows the singer to embark on a European tour this time. But mainly in small rooms. The English language orientation and small venues will not allow this opus to remain as one of his most iconic.
The year 1995 saw the release of the album "Lorada", album which saw the participation once again of Jean-Jacques Goldman. But this time only on 2 titles. Either way, one of the 2 tracks, "J'l'a croise tous les matins", gives Johnny a new hit. A year 1995 which also sees the singer meet a certain Laeticia ...
We will have to wait 3 years and the year 1998 to see a new studio album come out. This time under the leadership of Pascal Obispo. Album "Ce que je sais" from which the single of the same name will be extracted. But who will also produce another single called ... "Allumer le feu", single that will remain as one of the singer's most iconic.
The 90s ended in style and especially, with the family, when his son David produced the album "Sang pour sang" for him in 1999. The album was to be extremely successful and will remain as his best-selling album of the decade, notably thanks to titles such as “Vivre pour le meilleur”, “Un viendra” and “Sang pour sang”.
The artist was then at the height of fame and success. With a 40-year career on the clock, you'd think it might be time for the artist to bow out and walk out the front door. Not only will he not, but the 2000s will see him continue his dizzying ascent to the stars, with nothing and no one being able to stop him. Except perhaps the disease ...
To discover or rediscover.
Discography (among others ...) :
T’aimer follement 1960
Souvenirs, souvenirs 1960
Kili watch 1961
Tu parles trop 1961
Tutti frutti 1961
Viens danser le twist 1961
Retiens la nuit 1962
I got a woman 1962
Pas cette chanson 1962
L’idole des jeunes 1962
Elle est terrible 1963
Da dou ron ron 1963
Pour moi la vie va commencer 1963
Excuse-moi partenaire 1964
Les mauvais garçons 1964
Le pénitenicer 1964
Quand revient la nuit 1965
Cheveux longs et idées courtes 1966
Noir c’est noir 1966
Hey Joe 1967
Les chevaliers du ciel 1967
San Francisco 1967
A tout casser 1968
Que je t’aime 1969
Oh ! Ma jolie Sarah 1971
Sauvez-moi ! 1972
La musique que j’aime 1973
J’ai un probleme 1973
Prends ma vie 1974
Hey lovely lady 1975
Requiem pour un fou 1976
Derrière l’amour 1976
Le cœur en deux 1977
J’ai oublié de vivre 1978
Elle m’oublie 1978
Le bon vieux temps du rock'n'roll 1979
Ma gueule 1979
Je t’ai aimée 1981
Je suis victime de l'amour 1982
L’amour violent 1983
Mon p’tit loup 1984
Le chanteur abandonné 1985
Quelque chose de Tennessee 1985
Je t’attends 1986
J’oublierai ton nom 1987
Je te promets 1987
Ca ne change pas un homme 1991
Dans un an ou un jour 1992
Et puis je sais 1992
Je veux te graver dans ma vie 1993
Je serai là 1993
J'l'a croise tous les matins 1995
Ne m'oublie pas 1995
Quand le masque tombe 1995
L'hymne à l'amour 1995
Ce que je sais 1998
Allumer le feu 1998
Vivre pour le meilleur 1999
Un jour viendra 1999
Sang pour sang 1999
On a tous besoin d’amour 2001
Tous ensemble 2002
Je n’ai jamais pleuré 2003
Tout au bout de nos peines 2004
Ma religion dans son regard 2005
Mon plus beau noël 2005
Le temps passe 2006
La loi du silence 2006
La quête 2006
Ca n’finira jamais 2008
Jamais seul 2011
La douceur de vivre 2011
Devant toi 2012
20 ans 2013
Regarde nous 2014
De l’amour 2015
Des raisons d'espérer 2016
J’en parlerai au diable 2018
Pardonne moi 2018
1960 ... the first steps of a young unknown whom no one has ever heard of. At this stage, who could imagine for a single moment the amazing sequel that awaits him ...
1960 ... then comes THIS title. And there, something is happening, it's clear. An inspired melody, a Johnny who already shows a very interesting potential, in short, this young man has something more than the others, it's obvious
1961 .... France finally discovers that this young rocker has real talent and the magic begins to operate. An osmosis with the public which has only just begun ...
1961 ... a year 1961 which will see the young singer literally explode on the front of the stage. The hits follow one another at an impressive speed now ...
1961 ... the luxury covers of American standards will allow a good number of French artists to flourish, even to explode. For the young Jean-Philippe, it will be rather the 2nd version with this cover of the title of Little Richard dating from 1955 !
1961 ... his first top hit. In just a few songs, it has become one of the biggest musical phenomena of the moment in France. A trend that is never going to stop !
1962 ... some might have thought he would pass like a shooting star in the French musical landscape. Not only is it just the opposite that will happen but above all he shows in a brilliant way with this title that he is there to last. MAS-TER-FUL !
1962 ... luxury covers follow one another. This time, he takes again a title of Ray Charles of 1954. A title which spins at the speed of light and which, paradoxically, will find little echo in the public ...
1962 ... a slight air gap that only lasted for a moment. The singer is back in force, or rather gently, with this title which allows him to immediately catch up with the leading pack
1962 ... he literally knocks out the competition with this new title, a title which literally raises him to the rank of star. A title which will remain as one of his most emblematic and which will have profoundly marked the decade. MO-NU-MEN-TAL !
1963 ... the rise in power is linear and above all regular. A dynamic that is not ready to weaken and that nothing, and no one, can stop
1963 ... another luxury cover this time of the Crystals title dating from the same year. Success now goes beyond the borders of France and the Hallydaymania begins to reach Europe
1963 ... a truly exceptional year 1963 with a plethora of mega hits and a leading position which is inexorably growing. MAS-TER-FUL !
1964 ... after an exceptional year in all respects, 1964 will surprisingly appear somewhat pale. However she starts off rather well with this new luxury cover of the title of another Johnny, namely Johnny Guitar, on a title dating from 1961
1964 ... the level of success in France remains particularly high but it is above all the European public that no longer follows. No matter, it continues to unfold quietly but surely
1964 ... a year slightly below but when we see the level of titles released, he is whatever happens well above the general average of the competition. The proof with this new luxury cover, a cover of a title from American folklore, the oldest version of which dates back to 1934. The singer signs here one of his most emblematic titles, one more. HU-GE !
1965 ... the artist’s incredible strength is as much his ability to perform hard rock as he is to perform high caliber Intimist. Here he delivers a sumptuous ballad which allows him to show one of the most astonishing facets of him ...
1966 ... when 2 of the biggest musical phenomena of the moment settle their accounts by interposed songs, it gives this result. A verbal joust boosted with testosterone that will make a huge buzz. But for what result in the end ...
1966 ... one more cover, but what a cover ! This time on the title "Black is black" by the Spanish group Los Bravos, he signs here one of the major titles of his career. But at this point, he doesn't know it yet. MAS-TER-FUL !
1967 ... a series of endless luxury covers that pay off. This time, it's a Billy Roberts track from 1962 that allows the young singer to start this new year in the best possible way !
1967 ... cult credits for cult television series. Even in this particular area of the credits of the series, he manages to make an impression and deliver a title that will make a milestone
1967 ... we continue in the covers this time with a Scott McKenzie track released the same year. It is true that at some point the public could criticize the artist for his lack of musical innovation. But as long as it works, why change ...
1968 ... after the credits of the series, he arrived in the soundtrack of the film. And whatever field he goes into, it always works. A truly extraordinary talent that leaves only crumbs for the competition ...
1969 ... he ended the 1960s in a brilliant way with a title that would deeply mark the public and France itself. He delivers here a sumptuous Intimist title which should have been played with finesse. But paradoxically, he interprets it with a truly astounding vocal power. Challenge that he takes up in a masterly way. We touch the MASTERPIECE !
1970 ... after a decade of the 60s which saw him literally explode, one can wonder if the sequel will prove to be as interesting as everything he has been able to offer until then. A bet that he will win hands down. Starting with this title !
1971 ... surprisingly, 1971 will be poor in titles, things that do not really resemble him. But it will be rich in quality, that's the main thing !
1972 ... the year 1972 on the other hand will be rich in titles but it is the quality this time that will leave something to be desired. But even a lower quality in Johnny corresponds to Premium quality in others ...
1973 ... after this slight qualitative air gap of the year 1972, we find the artist in an Olympic form in this year 1973. An Olympic form which allows him to deliver a piece that will make a date. One more !
1973 ... when one of the most glamorous couples of the moment pushes the song, the result can only be glamorous too. The magical duo signs here one of the two-person titles that will remain among the most emblematic of the decade ...
1974 ... a title which will not necessarily remain as its best known and which will nevertheless finish 1st of the charts. Now everything he interprets immediately turns to gold ....
1975 ... another year slightly a notch below, it happens to him, little, but it happens to him. We will especially remember this title which will remain as the best ranked of the year
1976 ... no reason to worry because the title he will deliver here is once again truly stunning. A hallucinatory comeback thanks to this sumptuous Intimist title. All in force, as he knows how to do so well now. No one can compete, that's clear !
1976 ... another exceptional vintage that this Cru 1976. As much as the year 1975 was somewhat disappointing, the year 1976 will prove, if it was still necessary, that he is the taulier ! Three titles this year and three titles ranked No.1. Who says better ?!
1976 ... the most famous Gabrielle in France. A name immortalized forever thanks to this song which will remain as one of the most emblematic of the decade. But which Johnny song isn't iconic ...?
1977 ... roughly speaking, it's every other year now when the Johnny war machine goes off the rails. How to blame him when you see everything he has already produced !
1978 ... since 1977 will have been a cut below, 1978 should hold some nice surprises. Which is the case starting with this title, an amazing song where Johnny delivers an image of him for the less astonishing ... and for the less stripped and sincere
1978 ... one of the very rare collaboration between Johnny and Didier Barbelivien, a brilliant composer who wrote very little for the artist. As much as the 1960s were the decade of rock'n'roll mega hits, the 1970s will be the decade of Intimist mega hits. A truly extraordinary talent that allows him to explore all styles, all areas and all tempos. The brand of the Very Great !
1979 ... the exception that makes the rule. Here he suddenly returned to rock'n'roll mode and the least we can say is that it pulses. Pure Johnny juice !
1979 ... a decade of 70 which ends in apotheosis with this title. A title that will become legendary, just like its performer. Thanks to this totally extraordinary vocal performance which proves once again that no one can compete with this alien endowed with absolutely extraordinary vocal cords !
1981 ... a change of decade that takes place smoothly, following on from the previous decade. A decade of the 80s which will further amplify the legend but which, paradoxically, will see him slightly drop in the Charts. A dropout that can be explained by excessive competition and especially new sounds to which Johnny will have to adapt, quickly, very quickly, too quickly ...
1982 ... even if the beginning of the decade is somewhat sluggish, the singer's talent is enough on its own to keep him in the lead. But it is clear that the level will have to rise a notch to avoid a stall which could be fatal ...
1982 ... we find a Johnny in pure rock mode on a track that works very well. Nothing fancy, but a good job. It's already that !
1983 ... another sweet break and this time in Ultimate Slow mode, an area he hadn't explored so far. An adaptation to new trends that will inevitably pay off at one time or another ...
1984 ... we start again in pure rock'n'roll mode on a track which spins at the speed of light. The problem is that we are in 1984 and this style of music, moreover very nice, is slightly out of step with what the competition offers ...
1985 ... then comes THIS title. A sumptuous Intimist track composed by a certain ... Michel Berger. A pivotal title which will allow the artist to bounce back in a spectacular way and especially to start the second part of the decade under ideal conditions. MAS-TER-FUL !
1985 ... but it was without counting on THIS title there. Berger does it again and offers the singer an absolutely unique gift with this musical jewel that will deeply mark the decade. A title that allows Johnny to give the best of himself and further establish the legend. Quite simply, MASTERPIECE !
1986 ... when the best of the composers of the time put themselves at the service of the singer, we see the result ! This time, it's Jean-Jacques Goldman who takes up the torch and takes up the challenge hands down. Of course, this title will not have the same level of success as those written by Berger but it's a good job anyway !
1987 ... on the other hand, on this one, the Goldman-Hallyday tandem, and especially the Goldman-Hallyday-Carmel trio, will work much better and offer the singer one of the biggest hits of his 80s version discography. HU-GE !
1987 ... a truly mind-blowing second part of a decade with a flood of exceptional hits. It will simply be enough to find the right composers to allow Johnny to finally find his true place in this blessed decade. MAS-TER-FUL !
1987 ... 1985 was an exceptional Berger-Hallyday vintage. 1987 will be that of the Goldman-Hallyday tandem. Goldman here presents Johnny with a stunning bespoke ode to celebrate his then 3-year-old daughter. You couldn't find a more beautiful message from a father to his daughter !
1988 ... as paradoxical as it may seem, this title will remain as one of the singer's most cult titles but it will not remain as the best ranked of all. A title that will have improved with age, just like a good wine !
1989 ... a breathtaking end to the decade with this title which will remain as the best ranked title of all those released during the 1980s. New shocking tandem, this time made up of father and son. David, whom he had with Sylvie Vartan, comes back full force and especially in a masterly way in the career of his father. A collaboration which has only just begun and which will reach new heights during the 1990s
1990 ... he will have passed through the 1960s, then the 1970s, then the 1980s and here he is in the 1990s. An incredible longevity reserved exclusively for the best of the best. Of which he is necessarily part !
1991 ... 10 years after the original version sung by France Gall was born on a composition by Michel Berger of course, Johnny delivers here a hallucinating version, totally sublimated and which will remain as the most beautiful version of this title. New MASTERPIECE !
1991 ... new renowned composer on this track with Art Mengo this time at the helm. Johnny will have known how to surround himself with the best to necessarily obtain the best. A formidable alchemy that lasts and lasts for years and which will have brought together what we do best on the singer side but also on the composers side
1992 ... the last composition of Mort Shuman, to the skies by a Johnny at the best of his form. What could be better as a posthumous gift !
1992 ... not necessarily Johnny's best known, but a title with surprising lyricism and depth. A title that he sublimates of course by its vocal power to make it an extraordinary title. One more !
1993 ... yet another absolutely astonishing display of vocal strength. The older he gets, the more power he gains, an extremely rare thing since it is rather the opposite that we see with most singers. All the more so when you know your level of smoking. But how does he manage to keep such a voice ?
1993 ... he always masterfully alternates punchy pieces with sumptuous Intimist titles. One of the very few to have alternated the tempos so much with so much brio. But he is well worth it !
1995 ... Goldman, the return. And as soon as Jean-Jacques hangs around, whatever the artist, it's guaranteed mega success. He had already proven it for Johnny the previous decade. He is setting the scene again in this new decade and the result is up to the task, once again !
1995 ... that's for sure that we are not ready to forget it. The dying artist left the status of legend to become a demigod, demigod who will be venerated for years, decades, centuries ? It's History with a capital H that will decide ...
1995 ... a succession of sumptuous Intimist titles which maintains the artist at a level of excellence far above the average. He will have taken some time to adapt to the 80s but since it is done, he unfolds with an ease that leaves no chance for the competition
1995 ... only legend could equal legend. When Johnny takes Piaf again, we suspect that the result will be beyond comprehension. The proof !
1998 ... he will have had as composers all the best composers of this 20th century. It is now Pascal Obispo's turn to join in the dance. Starting with this title. And what a title. MO-NU-MEN-TAL !
1998 ... a particularly inspired collaboration which produced THIS title, a now cult title which will go down in history as one of Johnny's titles among the most used at events, whether sporting or otherwise. A hymn dedicated to exploits of all kinds and tailor-made for the artist. Guaranteed posterity !
1999 ... the Obispo parenthesis being closed, it's David's turn to get back into the dance. And the father-son duo will walk godly fire on an album that will remain as one of the most emblematic of the artist. Usually, it is the father who sublimates the son. This time, it will be the other way around !
1999 ... every single from the album written by David will experience record sales levels. In fact, these will be the best sales figures of the decade. Dad can be proud of the son !
1999 ... the end of the 90s which ended in fireworks with this record-breaking album and which positioned Johnny could not be better for the following decade. A Johnny at the height of his art ready to start his 5th decade as an artist, just that !
2000 ... with David still at the helm at the start of the 2000s, the momentum does not weaken from an Iota. A dynamic that has unfolded for 5 decades, driven by an inspiration constantly renewed and transcended by the gratin of the composers of the moment. The perfect recipe !
2001 ... an improbable duet to say the least with on one side a very young girl with a frail voice and on the other side an old fellow with the voice of a stentor. Two extremes that blend together to perfection and make this piece a lovely moment of tenderness, as if the father was singing with the daughter, quite simply
2002 ... when Johnny works for the French football team. With this time a Catherine Lara in charge of the composition side. Unfortunately, the goodwill and talent of the artists will not be enough to save the team from the fiasco ...
2002 ... who could have imagined that de Palmas would deliver such a lavish gift to the singer. We know the immense talent of the composer, but targeting so precisely the ideal song for Johnny, it is extra-lucid ! The single will sell in staggering proportions and add another chapter to the legend. MASTERPIECE !
2003 ... it's Marc Lavoine's turn to return his copy. Admittedly, this title will not be Johnny's biggest hit but the trendy sound at least allows the singer to stay in the race without forcing himself too much. It's already that !
2004 ... he will have done little, shocking duets, but above all charming. This one will remain as one of the most memorable with this Intimist title tailor-made for the 2 artists. Time is suspended as if by magic ...
2005 ... the shock of the generations! On this title there, it is the Kyo group which works and which offers to the owner a magnificent title, once again tailor-made. Another title of soft strength that sublimates the artist with a truly unique know-how !
2005 ... he is far, very far the Johnny rocker. When we think back to its beginnings, the contrast is striking. What makes a mundane career different from a legendary career: the ability to adapt. And at this level, he will have really understood everything !
2006 ... another generation shock ! An immersion in the world of rappers totally improbable and which nevertheless works perfectly. Another new facet of the artist who never hesitates to tempt the intangible. HU-GE !
2006 ... back in rocker mode which contrasts radically with the previous title. It is true that we love the punchy Johnny but seeing him in worlds totally inaccessible to him as in the previous title shifts the lines. We want more !
2006 ... time stands still as if by magic. A new legendary title sung by the legend. This time, Johnny takes up the mythical title 'The impossible dream (The quest)', the flagship title of the musical 'The Man from La Mancha' which made the heyday of Broadway in 1965. A standard repeated over and over again times around the world. But the version of Johnny will undoubtedly remain as one of the most beautiful. MA-GIC !
2007 ... the production of titles slows down, it is obvious. The 2000s were not the most prolific for the singer, but quality is better than quantity. We will largely be satisfied with it !
2008 ... at the rate of only one title per year, we feel that the Hallyday war machine is starting to weaken somewhat. The singer is aging and making the artist stick to new trends is becoming more and more complicated. The extraordinary talent is still there, but the dilemma is to find a new lease of life. Not easy ...
2011 ... extremely rare, not much for 3 years. The artist's level of productivity is weakening from year to year and the 2010 decade which has just started will not help matters. And the Chedid-Nucci tandem in charge of this title will not be able to change much ...
2011 ... we take the same ones and start over. And the result will unfortunately be the same as for the previous title. Johnny lands in the Charts and it's gone to last ...
2012 ... change of composer but when it doesn't want it anymore, it doesn't. There is quality, of course. But that has nothing to do with the inspiration of previous decades ...
2012 ... and yet there was plenty to. When we see the quality of this title, we find a punchy Johnny and perfectly in tune with the times. A piece which however will go completely unnoticed in the album 'L'attente'. Sacred casting error as they say ...
2013 ... the compositions for Johnny are now too smooth and too stereotypical. No more risk-taking, everything is limited and precise. Too much elsewhere ...
2014 ... the years go by and Johnny slowly but surely disappears from the radar. A smooth end to his career, but one that sees the Lion pulling in his teeth and enduring more and more things. Too bad...
2015 .... a renewed inspiration from his composers allows the singer to sign a last notorious hit. Unfortunately, it will indeed be the last ...
2016 ... reasons to hope that things will start again and that Johnny finally finds titles at the height of his incredible talent. Unfortunately, fate will not give him the time. After more than 5 decades of an absolutely oufissime career, the adventure will come to an abrupt end when the artist still had things to say, and especially to sing. But so is life. The legend, the one with a capital L, is on the move and nothing can stop it now ...
2018 ... same gone, Johnny is still here. An incredible discography, to say the least, which will undoubtedly remain one of the densest of all time on the French side
2018 ... to the end titles with more than certain quality. And recorded under the conditions we know. Hats off to the artist !
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