When reading anything about Daniel Bevilacqua, aka Christophe, you inevitably come across the terms "out of this world" and "dandy"... Born on the 13th of October 1945 in Juvisy-sur-Orge in Paris, Christophe is one among that special kind of genre defying French singers. One of those musicians who can attract both the general public and the critics. His repertoire is a kind of musical kaleidoscope that mirrors the life of its author: fascinating, troubling, and passionate above all else.
Passion came easily to Daniel Bevilacqua (Christophe's real name) in music but also in cinema, another art form he found totally inseparable from his own. Growing up at the end of the 50s, the young man, from Paris was fascinated by America and its legends: Elvis Presley, James Dean, John Lee Hooker, even Marlyin Monroe. Then, using guitar and harmonica as his first mediums, he threw himself into rock'n'roll, creating Danny Baby et les Hooligans in 1961. In this earliest foray, he sings his songs in "fake" English (known as "yaourt" in French), which he'll later baptise as "yop"... However, Christophe quickly finds his feet as a solo artist and records his first single (Reviens Sophie) two years later. In 1965, the ballad Aline turns him into a national star. The million copies sold will go towards producing more songs, which are more or less happy in tone: Les Marionnettes, J'ai entendu la mer, Excusez-moi, Monsieur le professeur... This success also allows him to pursue another of his passions: cars. Behind the wheel of Lamborghinis and Ferraris, Christophe roars down motorways and stacks up speeding fines. In 1967, he puts his name to the soundtrack of Georges Lautner's film Road to Salina with Mimsy Farmer, Robert Walker Jr. and Rita Hayworth. But the end of the 60s sees Christophe moving away from the spotlight, and into the wilderness.
New decade (70s), new look (mustache and yellow mane), new label (Motors, set up by Francis Dreyfus). Christophe moves away from the good-boy image of Aline, reappearing in the charts with Mal (Bad) and Mes passagères in 1971, as well as Oh mon Amour, Main dans la main, Belle et Rock Monsieur in 1972. It's at this time that Dreyfus introduces Christophe to a young lyricist called Jean-Michel Jarre, who writes him the album Les Paradis perdus. It's an overnight success, sitting at the top of the charts next to Gainsbourg, ahead of Manset, Polnareff and Dutronc. Another success comes in 1975 with the album and single Les Mots bleus. After these, Cristophe turns himself into more of a dandy, slightly decadent, who nonchalantly releases Le Dernier des Bevilacqua and the more hit-like Señorita. He then experiences a depressive phase which puts him on the quicksand of drug use. In 1976, Christophe works with Boris Bergman for Samouraï. Two years later the album Le Beau Bizarre - one of his favourites - is born, but unfortunately doesn't garner the same kind of success as his earlier releases, despite positive reviews from critics... In 1980, the singer collaborates with his step-brother Alan Kan for Pas vu pas pris. In 1983, he releases his third most successful single: Succès fou, which is also a ballad. The next year, he publishes Voix sans issue in "yaourt" English... Production begins to slow at this point: two titles for Corynne Charby, one cover album of anglo-saxon standards from the 40s and 50s (Clichés d'amour), some singles (Ne raccroche pas which is addressed to Stephanie of Monaco, or Chiqué chiqué in 1988). In 1995, Christophe moves from Motors records to Epic.
One year later, in 1996, Christophe brings out the very ambitious and avant-garde Bevilacqua, where he sings with Alan Vega from the band Suicide ! Passionate about synths and the possibilities that computers can offer, Christophe plays around, working on his voice, sound and music at his home studio. The classic song structures of verse/chorus are replaced by experiments of every kind, and these daring arrangements eventually make it onto a record, five years later, with the album Comm' si la terre. Christophe then announces his return to touring (after 26 years!) and sets up in the Olympia for a series of concerts. In 2004, he sings a duet with his friend Alain Bashung, on stage at the élysée Montmartre (Les Mots bleus and Amsterdam). Not many people know this, but the two men were inseparable when Motors started up, eating their meals together almost every day. Among his other notable appearances, Christophe is featured on Erik Truffaz' 2007 album Arkhangelsk, on the track L'un dans l'autre.
A year later in 2008, his most stunning and adventurous album is released by AZ records: Aimer ce que nous sommes. Christophe worked on this album for four years, recording in Paris, Seville and London. The record was produced by Christophe Van Huffel from the band Tanger, and features Isabelle Adjani, Daniel Filipacchi, Florian Zeller, Murcof, Jac Berrocal, Carmine Appice, as well as his old producer Francis Dreyfus. In 2011, Christophe works with Bashung's album Tels Alain Bashung, as well as one for Jacno (Jacno Future), is invited by Julien Doré to join him on stage at the Olympia, where he duets on the song Boby with the singer Loane. In March 2013, he releases Paradis retrouvé, the stunning compilation of tracks from the days of Motors records (13 songs from between 1972 and 1982), a record which is above all a homage to his friend Francis Dreyfus, who passed away in June 2010.
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French Music - Released January 1, 2006 | Disques Dreyfus
Pop - Released May 22, 2020 | Disques Dreyfus