The Life of Alain Souchon

Alain devoted himself more and more to writing the poetry and texts which he loved whilst at boarding school. Being a daydreamer, his mother decided to send him to a French college in England. Following problems with his registration he did not enrol but ended up staying in London where he worked in a pub. This time in London helped him to come out of himself. On returning to France, he took up the guitar and composed several songs. It became a passion. He lived in a squat whilst going for auditions but they came to nothing. He listened to all the great English and American singers of the period with admiration which also influenced him.

In 1969 he met his future wife, Françoise and they were married in 1970. The same year his son Pierre was born. He continued to sing in cabarets and bars of the Rive Gauche, the literary and intellectual quarter of Paris. He made very little money but his wife encourage him to persevere. Finally in 1971, he landed his first contract with the Pathe-Marconi label but he still did not find success.

1973 marked the end of the young singer’s hard work. He made the acquaintance of Bob Socquet, the artistic director of RCA who was very interested in the repertoire of the disillusioned Alain Souchon. Bob Socquet had just written “L’amour 1930” for a romantic Italian singer but he encouraged Alain to sing this song at the Rose D’Or of Antibes contest. It was his first success.

Alain then met Laurent Voulzy, a young musician born in 1948 and brought up on Anglo Saxon music whose career had not yet taken off. The relationship between these two singers immediately took off. Their personalities complemented each other and their work improved very quickly. Alain was the stronger at the lyrics whilst Voulzy provided the music. They cut their first album in 1974 called “J’ai 10 ans” 토토사이트  which emphasised the elegant style of Souchon and the modernity of Voulzy. After years on the cabaret scene, Alain Souchon is finally recognised for his talent and in 1975 cuts a second album called “Bidon” for which Voulzy wrote all the music. This was an enormous success. By 1977 he had continued success with the album “Jamais content”. The song “Allo maman bobo” headlines his style of male brittleness which the singer asserts. Another song “Poulailler’s Song” evokes racist humour. In spite of the fact that Souchon is an incorrigible dreamer, he liked to tackle certain problems.

The writing together of Souchon and Voulzy also had divided benefits for Laurent Voulzy who in 1977, obtained success with “Rockcollection” in collaboration with Souchon. The two men isolated themselves in Brittany for several weeks at a time to write new albums. They worked well together and in 1978 Alain Souchon brought out another album “Toto 30 ans”. This album is darker than usual but the public still warms to it. The singles “Le Bagdad de Lann Bihoue” and “Papa Mambo” are huge successes. This disc also marks the first step of Alain Souchon towards the cinema as the film director Francois Truffaut commissions him to write the title song of his film “L’Amour en fuite”.

In 1978, Alain’s second son Charles, was born. Several months later, in January 1980, Alain is invited to sing at l’Olympia which is indeed a triumph. In November he returned for nine nights where Laraunt Voulzy joined him once to sing two new songs together.

In 1980, the album “Rame” was released on which Alain Souchon’s old friend Michel Jonasz sang with him on the title song “Jonasz”. Since 1974, the two artists had been writing regularly together and shared the same vision. This year also sees his first forage into an acting career in “Je Vous Aime”. With Catherine Deneuve, Gerard Depardieu and Serge Gainsbourg, Alain Souchon plays a fragile and melancholic person. His acting is so much appreciated that Jean-Paul Rappeneau then called upon him to star in the film “Tout feu tout flame” with Isabelle Adjani and Yves Montand. This film is a success but it is in the 1983 film “L’Ete Meurtrier” where he plays a character fatally in love alongside Isabelle Adjani that brings him real fame.


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