One year after the success of his album “Terrien”, Julien Clerc returns with a cover record, “Les jours rire”, where we find classics by Bécaud, Barbara, Brel, etc. He will be in concert in Agen and Narbonne in March 2022 then at the Zénith in Toulouse in November.
To rediscover “Happy Days”, Julien Clerc invites Trenet (“Boom”), Bécaud (“The important thing is the rose”), Aznavour (“For me formidable”) or Montand (“A bicyclette”) to the party. ) in versions quite close to the originals which obviously give a smile. But as he is an incurable romantic, he does not forget either how much the melancholic classics have counted for him and a whole generation, from “20 years”, from Ferré, to “Say, when will you come back”, by Barbara. In adaptations, again faithful, which recall the intact strength of a repertoire that has become stainless.
You released an album of 14 covers when you sang very little on stage, except for “Laissons entre le soleil”, which marked your debut in “Hair”, and more recently, “C’est en Septembre” , by Bécaud …
It’s true. We can add “Working is too hard” (by Zachary Richard) or “Ballade pour un fou” (by Astor Piazzolla). From time to time, I also sang Charlebois or Ferré. Note that these covers will be the subject of a small passage of my new song tour. Three quarters will be made up of my repertoire!
What is the recipe for a successful recovery?
You have to choose a singer who suits you, who you know can sing, who corresponds to your sensitivity, to your heart. I have neither the desire nor the means to do all of Bécaud … or all of Aznavour. It can only work if you feel it 100%. Deep in your privacy.
How did you approach this album?
As there were no more concerts, I had time to think about it. I took songs that I liked by discarding songs that were very often taken up like “Ne me ne pas” or “Mathilde”. I didn’t see what I could bring them. The starting point was to focus on the piano-voice. Then, with director Benjamin Constant, we added musicians around. But I kept telling him: “Never quit this idea! He took this into account in his arrangements, which remain sober. It is also possible that we will both find ourselves on stage, in 2023, in this register.
You take up “Say when will you come back”, like Jean-Louis Aubert on his tour. What do you like about Barbara?
Music and performers are breathing. Some do it better than others. Barbara is a perfect match for me. And I realize today how much she influenced me as a composer. Aznavour and Brel, it’s more complicated. I listened to them for hours when I was doing my homework; they are part of my DNA but they are less close to me.
Have you seen all these huge singers on stage?
This is what links Bécaud, Barbara, Ferré, Brel, etc. : they were immense men and women of the stage, in the great tradition of French song. I appreciate how lucky people of my generation were to have such a generation before them. They inspired us, like the Anglo-Saxon groups of the 1960s, and made us artists what we are today.
Was Becaud the most superlative of all?
It was almost too much to go looking for people like he was doing. I saw him work very closely when I was doing his first parts. I was on the edge of the scenes and I was watching him: it was fascinating, an extraordinary way of learning… with what is good and what is less. He elicited the applause, made it last – his music hall side. Sometimes I would be told, “Take the applause” when I tended to follow through instead of enjoying it. I have tried to take this into account over the years.
What will your new show look like?
It will be more theatrical, which is good since my director for several shows, Ladislas Chollat, comes from there. The formation will be simpler, with 4 musicians, in a more electric, more rock style.