воскресенье, 21 февраля 2010 г.
Patrick Juvet rocketed to fame in the 70s with a series of romantic pop ballads and disco classics. Fame quickly went to his head however and the mid-70s found Juvet living an excessive pop-star lifestyle, cruising around in limousines, popping drugs and drinking champagne cocktails. In the 80s the Swiss star came down to earth with a bump and attempted - rather unsuccessfully - to reinvent himself. Fortunately for Juvet a disco revival came along in the 90s and revived his early popularity.
Born in the Swiss town of Montreux on 21 August 1950, Patrick Juvet became a passionate music fan at an early age - doubtless influenced by the fact that his father owned a shop which sold radio and television sets. At around the age of 7 Patrick began learning to play the piano. The budding young musician turned out to be an assiduous pupil, honing his skills at the local conservatoire and also taking piano lessons at home. In his teens Patrick was lured away from the sound of classical music after discovering the Beatles and actually considered giving up the piano altogether. However, his parents finally persuaded him to continue with his studies.
After turning 18 Patrick began dreaming of moving to Paris, but lacked the financial wherewithal to carry out his plan. Fortunately, a friend contacted him around this point and offered him some modelling work in Germany. Patrick's height, his svelte figure and his boyish good looks made him a hit on the modelling circuit in Germany and he ended up living in Düsseldorf for two years. During this time he managed to save a large part of his earnings and in 1970 finally achieved his dream of moving to Paris.
Things Get Off to a Flying Start
It took Patrick a few months to get involved in the French music scene after his arrival in Paris. The young musician's first major break came when he met the well-known French producer Eddy Barclay in Saint Tropez. Impressed by Juvet's talent, Barclay arranged for him to go into the studio in the autumn of '71 and record a debut single entitled "Romantiques pas morts".
Juvet soon went on to prove himself as a songwriter too, penning "le Lundi au soleil" for French disco star Claude François. Juvet rapidly followed this up with his own hit, rocketing to the top of the charts with "la Musica" - a single which went on to sell a staggering 1 million copies! Following the success of "la Musica", Juvet went on to record a whole string of hit singles, making a name for himself on the French music scene with pop classics such as "Ecoute-Moi", "Au même endroit, à la même heure" and "Sonia". In 1973 Juvet took part in the Eurovision Song Contest, performing "Je vais me marier, Marie" (a song written by the prominent French lyricist Pierre Delanoé).
With his long blond hair and his romantic image - not to mention his sentimental pop tunes - Juvet rapidly became a teenage heartthrob and his face was soon plastered up on thousands of bedroom walls up and down the land. However, Juvet felt deeply unhappy with this media image, complaining that it had nothing to do with his real personality and he soon decided to try and move things in a different direction. Shortly afterwards, Juvet met a young French songwriter by the name of Jean-Michel Jarre and the pair started writing new material together. This new material featured on Juvet's debut album, "Love", which was released in 1973. This album, which featured innovative new songs such as "Unisex", revealed a little more of Juvet's real personality.
Fame and Pop-Star Excess
In November 1973 Juvet performed at the Olympia for the first time, taking part in "Musicorama", a famous music programme broadcast on popular French radio station Europe 1. Playing to an enthusiastic audience of 3,000 fans, Juvet appeared on stage wearing full Ziggy Stardust-style make-up and brought the house down with a vibrant performance. His metamorphosis from teenage heartthrob to experimental musician appeared to be firmly underway. However, at the beginning of '74 Juvet brought out another highly commercial single, rocketing to the top of the French charts with "Rappelle-toi Minette". But at the end of the year fans rediscovered the Olympia-style Juvet on a more innovative album entitled "Chrisalyde". (Interestingly enough, a young unknown by the name of Daniel Balavoine performed backing vocals on one of the tracks on Juvet's new album and earned himself a recording contract with the Barclay label in the process).
Juvet continued his musical experimentation with Jarre over the following years, writing a stack of interesting new material. In 1976 he released a new album entitled "Mort ou vif" which went on to spawn another Juvet classic, "Faut pas rêver".
The mid-70s was a period of total excess for Juvet. The young singer, by then at the height of his fame, indulged himself in a totally pop-star lifestyle, cruising around in limousines with his sidekick Jean-Michel Jarre and squandering huge amounts of money on clubbing, partying and alcohol. Swept up on the wave of disco fever unleashing itself on Europe, Juvet soon went on to record a string of dancefloor hits including "Ou sont les femmes" (1977), "I Love America" (1978) - a single which rocketed to n°1 in no less than 15 different countries including the United States! - and "Lady Night" (1979). After performing a memorable show at the Olympia in 1979 (which resulted in an excellent live album), Juvet went on to perform his first European tour in 1980.
The Death of Disco
Inevitably, disco fever eventually subsided in the 80s and a host of new musical styles surged in to take its place, forcing Juvet to change musical direction once again. The Swiss star returned to the French music scene in 1982 with an eclectic new album entitled "Rêves immoraux" (featuring songs written by Jean-Loup Dabadie and Nicolas Peyrac). This album failed to match the commercial success Juvet had known in the past, however, selling mere 200,000 copies.
The early 80s were a particularly dark period in Juvet's career, the singer spiralling into bouts of depression and alcoholism. Although copyright fees continued to come in from his earlier hits, Juvet's personal finances were not what they once were and in 1982 he exiled himself in London, then moved on to Los Angeles two years later. Juvet's cashflow eventually dried up completely and the singer returned to Switzerland to live with his family (1985-1990). In the early 90s Juvet re-emerged on the European music scene, earning himself a bit of extra cash by performing on the gala circuit.
In 1991, when most music fans had forgotten him completely, Juvet moved back to Paris and made an unexpected comeback with a new album entitled "Solitudes". Moving away from the frantic disco beats which had once made his name, this album marked the return of Juvet as a songwriter and composer. The songs on the new album (which featured contributions from major stars such as Françoise Hardy, Luc Plamondon and Marc Lavoine) expressed some highly personal sentiments and emotions, almost as if Juvet were baring his soul in an attempt at some form of public therapy. Unfortunately, "Solitudes" failed to clock up the expected sales figures, French music fans appearing reluctant to let Juvet escape his past as a disco idol.
In 1995 Juvet was invited to perform at Le Zénith in Paris at a fund-raising concert organised by the AIDS charity "Aides". Juvet played a hugely popular 20-minute set at "Aides", working the 8,000-strong audience into a frenzy with a hi-energy run-through of his disco classics - which earned him a (well-deserved) standing ovation! Following his success at Le Zénith, Juvet's record label went on to release a Greatest Hits compilation. However, while this "Best of" album has certainly renewed Juvet's popularity on club dancefloors and the TV chatshow circuit, it has not really re-launched his singing career as yet.