Pierre Bachelet

Born : 25/5 /1944 in Paris (France)
Dead : 15/2 /2005
Country : France
Language : French
Category : Composer / Male Artist / Songwriter
Style of music : Chanson

Pierre Bachelet is a discreet man. He started his singing career a bit late after having tried various activities, notably the composition of film soundtracks. Nothing surprising in that he has travelled slowly but surely on the road of French music.

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Pierre Bachelet is a discreet man. He started his singing career a bit late after having tried various activities, notably the composition of film soundtracks. Nothing surprising in that he has travelled slowly but surely on the road of French music.

Pierre was born in Roubaix in the North of France on May 25th, 1944. His family owned a laundry business and lived in Calais before moving to the Paris region. If young Pierre's studies were not terribly brilliant, he nevertheless enrolled a bit later in the film school on the rue de Vaugirard in Paris.

Diploma in hand, he left for Brazil to make a documentary "Bahio meù Amor". In Paris he turned towards advertising where he met future directors like Patrice Leconte and Jean-Jacques Annaud who would later give him work. He was hired in the middle of the 1960's as the soundman (sound effects, music) for a famous television series of the time Dim Dam Dom (which didn't prevent him from making several television reports when he had the chance).

Little by little, Pierre Bachelet created a musical universe that was his own and started writing the music for documentaries or advertising films directed by his friends. Among them Just Jaeckin, future director of erotic films who called upon the Bachelet's composer talent for his first full-length film "Emmanuelle". The film's success brought the soundtrack with it in its tracks: 1,400,000 copies of the album and 4,000,000 of the single. Other movie soundtracks would follow, from "Coup de tête" by Jean-Jacques Annaud in 78 to "les Bronzés font du ski" by Patrice Leconte in 79.

Mining Villages

In '74, he really made a go of singing with "l'Atlantique", a song which would give him his first success as a singer. But it was in '79 that two French producers François Delaby and Pierre-Alain Simon proposed that he do an album which would come out the next year "Elle est d'ailleurs". The 45 of the same name sold about 1.5 million copies. This song was co-written with Jean-Pierre Lang with whom Bachelet had worked many years. It is also with him that he would write "les Corons", a hymn of the North of France, a region with slag heaps and coal mines from where the singer orginates. An immense success, this song would become a true classic of the singer over the years and would appear on an album released in '82. That year and for the first time, Bachelet went on stage at the Olympia in Paris, opening for comedian Patrick Sébastien, and then he set off on tour in France, Belgium and Switzerland.

After a few months in the studio, Pierre Bachelet released a new album in '83 of which the two main titles "Quitte-moi" and "Embrasse-moi" were dedicated to his mother who had recently passed away. He logically followed this up by performing at the Olympia in '84, headlining this time, and on a tour of France.

Relatively shy, not really interested in showbiz life, rather inclined to travel, owner of a boat and holder of a pilot's license, Pierre Bachelet continued his life with his wife Danièle and his son Quentin (born in '77) still surprised by the consequences of his success and fame earned with "les Corons". In '85, the singer released a new album where you find songs like "En l'an 2001", "Marionnettiste" or "Quand l'enfant viendra". This followed by a tour of French-speaking European countries with a practically obligatory performance at the Olympia in Paris which enabled him to record a live album.

Nostalgia about his youth

The following year would see the release of another original album whose main tracks were "Vingt ans", "Partis avant d'avoir tout dit" and "C'est pour elle". His public was faithful and Bachelet never disappointed them because after each new opus he set off on tour with a show at the Olympia. A quiet man, in love with the sea, he proposed to the yachtswoman Florence Arthaud to record a duo entitled appropriately "Flo" which would appear on his double album "Quelque part, c'est toujours ailleurs" released in '89.

After a live "Bachelet la scène" in '91, a recap of his singing career came out the next year as a compilation of his 20 biggest hits entitled "10 ans de Bachelet pour toujours". Closely followed by a new original album "Laisser chanter le français" where we find songs like "les Lolas" and "Elle est ma guerre, elle est ma femme". Naturally a tour was planned which took him from the Bataclan in Paris to the islands of La Réunion, Madagascar and Mauritius, of course passing through Switzerland and Belgium. In '94, he also gave a concert in Montréal ( Québec ).

For several years now, Pierre Bachelet has worked with lyrics writer Jean-Pierre Lang. However in '95, an album was released whose lyrics were written by the author Yann Quéffelec (Goncourt 1985 - French Literary prize), who he had met a while before. Based on the theme of the city, there are ten songs which appear on "la Ville ainsi soit-il". The album and the booklet were done by Philippe Druillet, the science fiction painter and designer. The tours started up again because the stage remains a privileged place for the artist to have contact with his public.

The Quiet man

It wasn't until in '98 that the singer released a new album modestly entitled "un Homme simple". We find the lyrics by Jean-Pierre Lang but also by Yann Quéffelec. For the first time Pierre Bachelet wrote the lyrics of two songs "Au-delà des apparences" and "Tout ce qu'on se dit...". A song "le Voilier noir" was dedicated to the great French yachtsman Eric Tabarly who died at sea in '98. For the first time in a long time, Bachelet left the realization of this album to someone other than himself: his guitarist Jean-François Oricelli and his son Quentin Bachelet. In January '99, he returned to the stage at the Olympia in Paris after having written the musical soundtrack for "les Enfants du marais" the film by Jean Becker.

Far from the Parisian showbiz scene, this discreet man feels at ease on stage, close to those who come to hear him sing. The electrcity passes and that is what matters. The public has remained faithful despite a career with limited media coverage.

Two years later, Bachelet returned to the studio to record a new album entitled "Une autre lumière". This new album found the singer taking a distinctly more intimate approach, but sales remained disappointingly low. Bachelet had more success with his follow-up album, "Bachelet chante Brel, tu ne nous quittes pas" (Bachelet Sings Brel, You Haven’t Gone Away). This was released in 2003 to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the late great Belgian chanson star’s death.

In 2004 the singer - forever associated with classics such as "Vingt ans" and "Corons" - celebrated thirty years in the music business. Bachelet marked the occasion in style with a series of concerts at the Casino de Paris (19 - 24 October). From 1974 to 2004, Bachelet established himself as a popular singer (in the very best sense of the term!) And a core following of fans turned out to see him on each successive tour, singing along with his hits. Needless to say, Bachelet’s show at the Casino de Paris attracted an impressive turnout.

On 15 February 2005 Pierre Bachelet, who still had a number of musical projects on the go, died at his home in Suresnes in the Paris suburbs. In fact, the singer had been ill for a long time.

February 2005

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