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Alain Bashung is a Actor, Sound and Compositor French born on 1 december 1947 at Paris (France)

Alain Bashung

Alain Bashung
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Birth name Alain Baschung
Nationality France
Birth 1 december 1947 at Paris (France)
Death 14 march 2009 (at 61 years) at Paris (France)
Awards Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur

Alain Bashung ([alɛ̃ baʃuŋ]; born Alain Baschung 1 December 1947 – 14 March 2009) was a French singer, songwriter and actor. In France, he is considered one of the most famous singers in French chanson and French rock. He rose to prominence in the early 1980s with hit songs such as "Gaby oh Gaby" and "Vertige de l'amour", and later had a string of hit successes from the 1990s onward, such as "Osez Joséphine", "Ma petite entreprise" or "La nuit je mens". He has had an influence on many later French artists, and is the most awarded artist in the Victoires de la Musique history with 12 victoires obtained throughout his career.


Alain Bashung was the son of a Breton mother working in a rubber factory and an Algerian father, whom he never knew. His mother remarried, and at the age of one, Bashung was sent to Wingersheim, near Strasbourg to live with his stepfather's parents. He spent his childhood in the countryside, in a rather conservative environment, alongside a grandmother who did not speak French. He discovered music during his childhood, notably Kurt Weill's Mahagonny, and began to practice with a Rosebud harmonica offered to him when he was five. He also practiced basketball and cycling and sang in the church choir of Wingersheim.

He came back to Paris in 1959, where he discovered the great chanson artists, and then rock artists such as Gene Vincent, Buddy Holly (whom he admired deeply), and Elvis Presley. While studying (before dropping out after he was awarded a BTS in accountancy from the École nationale de commerce in 1965), he formed a band called Les Dunces playing folk music and rockabilly.

Long beginnings
He later formed a band with musicians met in Royan, and then began to tour in restaurants, hotels and American military bases. He begins his career with his first EP,"Pourquoi rêvez-vous des États-Unis ?" in 1966, which he wrote and composed. At the same time, he joined the RCA label to become a music arranger. He wrote songs for French artists such as Claude Channes, Évelyne Courtois (whose nom de scène was Pussy Cat) or Noël Deschamps. In June 1967, at the Palais des Sports of Paris, he was the opening act (alongside Noël Deschamps and Ronnie Bird) of artists such as the Pretty Things, the Troggs or Cream. In 1968, he released his first single, "Les Romantiques" (which is now extremely hard to find) which was ignored by the public. Around that time, he dropped the "c" from his name and spent some time at the house of fellow singer Christophe.

From 1972 to 1974, he composed some of the music and cowrote three albums and three singles (including "Marilou") for French rock singer Dick Rivers. In 1973, he plays Robespierre in the musical La Révolution française by Claude-Michel Schönberg.

In 11 years, he released no less than four EPs and ten singles, one under the moniker of David Bergen, and two others in 1976 and 1977 as Hendrick Darmen, composer for a band called Monkey Bizness. All of them failed to have any impact.

Boris Bergman and first successes
He then met sound engineer Andy Scott and lyricist Boris Bergman. Together, they realized his first album Roman-photos, with a country and rockabilly sound, which was a commercial failure as punk rock was rising.

In 1979, he produced another album, Roulette russe, darker and leaning more openly toward rock. In 1980, he released the single "Gaby oh Gaby", which became his breakthrough success (selling more than a million copies). His critical and commercial success was confirmed with his next album, Pizza, which allowed him, thanks to his second hit success, "Vertige de l'amour", to tour in prestigious locations, such as the Olympia. However, he broke with Bergman at the time.

Artistic turn
In 1982, Bashung released an album called Play blessures, written by Serge Gainsbourg. The album, in high contrast with its immediate predecessor, is dark, not very accessible and minimalistic, as an attempt to break away from his unexpected success. It was a commercial and, at first, critical failure, Bashung being called by some the "Johnny Hallyday of new wave". Yet, it is now considered a classic album in France.

In 1983, he produced another dark album, Figure imposée, to little success as well. However, in 1984 he made peace with Boris Bergman, and the lyricist wrote for him "SOS Amor" which was a surprise hit. In 1985, he sang "Touche pas à mon pote", a single for the association SOS Racisme.

In the wake of the success of "SOS Amor", he released in 1986 the album Passé le Rio Grande, which allowed him to get his first Victoires de la musique award.

In 1989, he went back to his dark experimentations with the album Novice, from which the singles "Bombez !", "Pyromanes" and "Étrange été" were released. The album marked his first collaboration with lyricist Jean Fauque and his definitive breakup with Boris Bergman.

Mainstream and critical success
In 1991, he released another album with Fauque as lyricist, Osez Joséphine, which also included some American classics covers. The album helped him achieve mainstream success, selling 350.000 copies and "Osez Joséphine" became his first real popular success since "Vertige de l'amour". On the same album is featured "Madame rêve", another classic in a different, more atmospheric style, which would be a trademark of his future releases.

In 1992, he covered the French pop classic song "Les Mots bleus", from the album by the same name by Christophe, for an AIDS research support compilation. In 1994, he released Chatterton, which he called a "new age country" album. For this album, he worked with artists such as Sonny Landreth, Ally McErlaine, Link Wray, Marc Ribot or Stéphane Belmondo. The single "Ma petite entreprise" was a new popular success. Following the album, he toured for two years and in 1995 released the double live album Confessions publiques.

From 1994 onwards, Bashung began to spend more time for his acting career (which he started in 1981 with Nestor Burma, détective de choc), for instance with Ma sœur chinoise by Alain Mazars.

After recording a duet with Brigitte Fontaine, "City" for her Les Palaces album, he came back to music in 1998 with Fantaisie militaire. For this album, he notably collaborated with Jean Fauque, Rodolphe Burger, Les Valentins, Jean-Marc Lederman and Adrian Utley of Portishead. The arrangements and strings were done by Joseph Racaille. The first single from the album was "La nuit je mens" which was another hit for Bashung. For the album, he received 3 more Victoires de la musique awards in 1999 (and in 2005, he received another for the "best album of the last twenty years"). For Bashung, it was a huge commercial and critical success.

In 2000, he released the compilation Climax, on which some songs are rerecordings as duets with notable artists from the French scene (most famously, the song "Volontaire" from Play blessures with French band Noir Désir). That same year, he cowrote "L'Eau et le vin" for Vanessa Paradis' album Bliss.

In 2002, he released another album, L'Imprudence to critical acclaim, which is considered one of the darker albums of his discography. The album is not easily accessible and features strings and electronic arrangements, with sometimes nearly spoken lyrics, and was inspired according to Bashung by old black and white movies. That same year, he recorded the album Cantique des cantiques with his new wife, singer Chloé Mons, the song was written for their wedding in 2001 by Rodolphe Burger, from a new translation of Solomon's Song of Songs by Olivier Cadiot. In 2003, he sang the French chanson classic "Avec le temps" by Léo Ferré for a tribute album to the late artist, Avec Léo ! and wrote the preface to a book about that artist.

In 2004, the double live album La Tournée des grands espaces was released. In 2005, he sang "Le Sud" on a tribute album to Nino Ferrer, On dirait Nino. In 2006, he recorded a Charles Trenet song, "Que reste-t-il de nos amours ?" as a duet with Françoise Hardy for her album (Parenthèses...).

In June 2006, in the Cité de la musique in Paris, he got the opportunity to sing for several days. There he brought on stage artists such as Christophe, Dominique A, Rodolphe Burger or Arto Lindsay.
In early 2007, after a small break, he was involved in the Les Aventuriers d'un autre monde tour alongside rock and pop artists Jean-Louis Aubert, Cali, Daniel Darc, Richard Kolinka and Raphaël. He sang for a couple of evenings in the Salle Pleyel in Paris, and played the role of Jack the Ripper for the song "Panique Mécanique" on Dionysos' album La Mécanique du Cœur.

That same year, he played with Belgian singer Arno in the movie J'ai toujours rêvé d'être un gangster, by Samuel Benchetrit. They appear as themselves, arguing over the authorship of a song.

In 2008, he sang "L.U.V." as a duet with Daniel Darc for the latter's album, Amours suprêmes. He was also involved in Étienne Daho's Daho Show, covering "I Can't Escape from You" as a duet with Daho. He also rerecorded Serge Gainsbourg's classic album, L'Homme à tête de chou, for a show.

On 24 March 2008, he released the album Bleu pétrole, collaborating notably with Gaëtan Roussel of French band Louise Attaque, Arman Méliès, M. Ward or Gérard Manset (covering the latter's song "Il voyage en solitaire" as the final song on the album). He then began to tour for the album. The 10th of June 2008, he sang several times at the Olympia although he was undergoing a chemotherapy for his lung cancer. Jean Fauque claimed that a new album was underway.

Final months and death
On 1 January 2009, Bashung was made Chevalier (Knight) of the Légion d'honneur. On 28 February 2009, he received three prestigious Victoires de la Musique awards for his final album Bleu pétrole. The 2009 award ceremony was his last public appearance. He appeared frail, but still performed "Résidents de la République." He won the Best male artist of the year, Best album and Best tour awards.

Bashung died in Paris on 14 March 2009 from lung cancer at the age of 61 at the Hôpital Saint-Joseph in Paris. After a religious ceremony at the Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, he was buried on 20 March 2009 in the Père Lachaise Cemetery.

Posthumous events
The 12th of November 2009, the opening of a ballet using a rerecording of L'Homme à tête de chou, a 1976 Serge Gainsbourg album, by Bashung as the soundtrack, occurred at the Maison de la Culture de Grenoble, with a choreography by Jean-Claude Gallotta who approached him in 2007 to adapt the work.

On the 27th of November 2009, a box set called À perte de vue, which contained the entire output of Bashung so far (on 27 discs), was released. The box set features his twelve solo albums so far, his five live albums, his two duet albums with Chloé Mons, two albums of instrumentals and three albums of covers, duets and rarities. Alongside this box set a double live album documenting his last tour, called Dimanches à l'Élysée and recorded at the Élysée Montmartre on the 14th of December 2008, was released on the 16th of November. That same day, a live video recorded at the Olympia the 10th and 15 June 2008 was released. This DVD was awarded the 2010 Victoires de la musique award for best musical DVD of the year. At the same Victoires ceremony, French singer Benjamin Biolay, who was awarded the Best male artist of the year award, paid tribute to Bashung.

He can be heard singing La nuit je mens in the closing scenes of the final episode of the French television series Les Bleus: premiers pas dans la police (2006 - 2010).

The 26 April 2011, a tribute album called Tels Alain Bashung was released. It features twelve covers of Bashung songs by various artists and bands, with a documentary called Alain Bashung - Faisons envie directed by Thierry Villeneuve. On the 7th of November 2011, his rerecording of L'Homme à tête de chou was released on Barclay Records.

Best films

Usually with

Source : Wikidata

Filmography of Alain Bashung (19 films)

Display filmography as list


Jack and the Cuckoo-Clock Heart, 1h30
Origin France
Genres Drama, Musical theatre, Fantasy, Adventure, Animation, Romance
Actors Jean Rochefort, Rossy de Palma, Olivia Ruiz, Marie Vincent, Grand Corps Malade, Arthur H
Roles Jack l'éventreur (voice)
Rating69% 3.4615453.4615453.4615453.4615453.461545
In Edinburgh, Scotland 1874, Jack is born on the coldest day ever. Due to the extreme cold he is born with a frozen heart which will not beat. The attendant midwife Madeleine saves his life by replacing his heart with a fragile but working cuckoo clock. She then advises him of three rules to prevent his untimely death; he must never play with the hands of the clock, he must never lose his temper, and finally he must never fall in love. Jack's mother, for reasons known only to her, quickly decides her child would be better raised by Madeleine and departs, leaving Jack. Madeleine, incapable of bearing her own children, raises and loves him as her own.
I Always Wanted to Be a Gangster, 1h48
Directed by Samuel Benchetrit
Origin France
Genres Drama, Comedy, Comedy-drama, Mob film, Crime
Themes Gangster films
Actors Anna Mouglalis, Édouard Baer, Jean Rochefort, Jean-Pierre Kalfon, Bouli Lanners, Laurent Terzieff
Roles Alain Bashung
Rating70% 3.5474053.5474053.5474053.5474053.547405
Quatre histoires se déroulent dans ou autour d'une cafétéria, au bord d'une nationale.
Arthur and the Invisibles, 1h43
Directed by Luc Besson
Origin France
Genres Fantastic, Fantasy, Adventure, Animation
Themes Films about magic and magicians, Children's films
Actors Freddie Highmore, Madonna, Snoop Dogg, Mylène Farmer, David Bowie, Ron Crawford
Roles Additional Voices (voice)
Rating60% 3.01243.01243.01243.01243.0124
In the year 1960, protagonist Arthur lives with his grandmother Daisy in a quiet farm house. His grandfather Archibald has recently gone missing and he sees little of his parents. Daisy entertains Arthur with stories of his grandfather's adventures in Africa, featuring the tall Bogo Matassalai and the minuscule Minimoys, of whom the latter now live in Archibald's garden, protecting a collection of rubies. Arthur becomes enamoured of a picture of Selenia, the princess of the Minimoys. When Daisy receives a two-day deadline to pay a large sum of money to a building developer named Ernest Davido, who plans to evict the two, Arthur looks for the rubies to pay off the debt, and discovers various clues left by his grandfather. He is met in the garden by the Bogo Matassala, who reduce Arthur to Minimoy size. From the Minimoys, Arthur learns that they are in danger from Maltazard, a Minimoy war hero who now rules the nearby 'Necropolis', after corruption by a weevil, by whom he has a son named Darkos.
The Curious Boy
Genres Comedy
Themes Films about children
Actors Jean-Claude Dreyfus, Alain Bashung, Andréa Ferréol, Josiane Lévêque, Christian Morin, Sonia Rolland
Roles The police inspector
Rating53% 2.6673452.6673452.6673452.6673452.667345
Clément, fils unique d'une maman divorcée depuis presque autant que son âge, est un petit garçon de neuf ans intelligent mais aussi très curieux. Lorsqu'il n'est pas à l'école, ne se déparant jamais de son appareil photo il sillonne inlassablement les vieilles rues de sa petite ville (Loches, magnifique petite cité médiévale d'Indre-et-Loire aux maisons de tuffeau serrées autour du château de Charles VII et d'Agnès Sorel). Dans ce petit quartier où tout le monde se connaît, son passe-temps favori est d'observer les différentes grandes personnes, les photographiant sur le vif lorsqu'il est avec elles, et parfois aussi à la dérobée, pour essayer de comprendre le mode de vie des adultes, leurs comportements, les liens qui les unissent dans un même quartier, et découvrir les mystères de l'âge adulte et les secrets du bonheur au travers de ces rencontres. Il ne veut pas grandir mais il est très amoureux de son amie Astrid, un sentiment réciproque et tous les deux vivent une profonde tendresse l'un pour l'autre, au point de s'être déjà mutuellement promis l'un pour l'autre. Sans le vouloir, alors que Noël approche, la curiosité de Clément va le mêler à une sordide affaire policière car un meurtre puis un deuxième puis un troisième, les trois victimes étant toutes des femmes, sont commis dans cette petite rue d'une bourgade provinciale où la vie est d'ordinaire si paisible.
La bande du drugstore, 1h33
Origin France
Genres Drama, Romance
Actors Mathieu Simonet, Cécile Cassel, Alice Taglioni, Aurélien Wiik, Matthias Van Khache, Alain Bashung
Roles Le prof de philo
Rating59% 2.9988852.9988852.9988852.9988852.998885
Dans les années 1960, juste avant les évènements de mai 68, les minets du Drugstore étaient les mieux sapés, ne croyaient qu'en eux-mêmes et s'imaginaient tout réinventer. La drague, les boîtes, les premiers joints, les vacances sur la côte normande, mais aussi l'amour et la frime. Philippe et Marc font les quatre cents coups. Charlotte et Nathalie en font de même de leur côté.
Felix and Lola, 1h29
Directed by Patrice Leconte
Origin France
Genres Drama
Actors Philippe Torreton, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Alain Bashung, Philippe du Janerand, Muriel Combeau, Didier Cauchy
Roles le chanteur
Rating58% 2.9020652.9020652.9020652.9020652.902065
Félix (Philippe Torreton) est propriétaire d'un manège d'autos-tamponneuses. Un jour, il est intrigué par une fille silencieuse, seule et triste. Elle s'appelle Lola (Charlotte Gainsbourg) et sans s'en rendre compte, Félix tombe amoureux d'elle. Il va essayer de la comprendre, tenter de l'aider, tout faire pour lui rendre le sourire qui lui va si bien. Mais elle semble liée à un mystérieux passé. Un passé que Félix va devoir affronter.
L'origine du monde, 1h37
Directed by Jérôme Enrico
Origin France
Genres Crime
Actors Lubna Gourion, Roschdy Zem, Ángela Molina, Alain Bashung, Maurice Garrel, Albert Dray
Roles Richard
Rating51% 2.557992.557992.557992.557992.55799
Sami, un flic ayant rapidement gravi les échelons, se retrouve face au cadavre d'un garagiste au fond d'une piscine. L'enquête le ramène peu à peu sur les traces de son propre passé.
Confusion of Genders, 1h34
Directed by Ilan Duran Cohen
Origin France
Genres Drama, Comedy, Romance
Themes Films about sexuality, Bisexuality-related films, LGBT-related films, LGBT-related films, LGBT-related film
Actors Pascal Greggory, Nathalie Richard, Julie Gayet, Alain Bashung, Cyrille Thouvenin, Bulle Ogier
Roles Etienne
Rating62% 3.1406653.1406653.1406653.1406653.140665
Les désirs d'Alain, avocat de quarante ans, sont confus. Il balance entre la sécurité des relations stables et l'ivresse de rencontres fantasmées. Que doit-il faire ? Epouser sans amour Laurence, avocate elle aussi, vivre avec Christophe, un jeune garçon, laisser libre cours à ses fantasmes avec Marc, détenu dont il assure la défense, ou céder à la tentation de Babette, la fiancée de ce dernier ? Ces personnages en pleine confusion, en quête d'absolu, entrent dans une ronde désenchantée, tendre et cruelle.
Retour à la vie
Directed by Pascal Baeumler
Origin France
Genres Drama
Actors Emmanuelle Laborit, Alain Bashung, Marisa Berenson, Sophie Forte, Marius Colucci, Richard Bohringer
Roles Yann
Rating60% 3.045043.045043.045043.045043.04504
Louise, jeune comédienne sourde et muette, vient d’être désignée meilleure actrice de l’année. Elle est mariée a Yann, de vingt ans son aine. Mais leur relation est conflictuelle. Il semble que Yann éprouve un malin plaisir a torturer psychologiquement Louise. Tourbillon d'incertitudes ou le rêve se heurte au cauchemar, a l'angoisse, a la soumission, au sadisme... Louise se confie a Stéphanie, sa meilleure amie, qui lui conseille de fuir. Louise refuse, persuadée d'un avenir meilleur. Un soir, alors que Yann la torture une fois de plus, elle le tue...
My Father, My Mother, My Brothers and My Sisters, 1h30
Directed by Charlotte de Turckheim
Origin France
Genres Comedy
Themes Films about children
Actors Victoria Abril, Charlotte de Turckheim, Alain Bashung, Rudi Rosenberg, Élodie Bollée, Marc Andreoni
Roles Guy
Rating52% 2.6246552.6246552.6246552.6246552.624655
Anne, brillante biologiste, est mère de trois enfants qu'elle a eus avec trois hommes différents. Les enfants ne connaissent pas leur père et les pères ignorent qu'ils ont eu un enfant avec Anne. Or un jour, Victor, onze ans, décide qu'il est temps pour lui de rencontrer son père. C'est alors que la grand-mère entre en jeu et organise un séjour surprise de quinze jours au Mexique avec Anne, ses enfants, les pères et leurs familles.
I Want It All
Directed by Patrick Braoudé
Genres Comedy
Actors Elsa Zylberstein, Frédéric Diefenthal, Alain Bashung, Élisabeth Vitali, Patrick Braoudé, Sonia Vollereaux
Roles Marc
Rating53% 2.678462.678462.678462.678462.67846
Eva, ravissante jeune femme d'une trentaine d'années, n'avait jamais projeté de vivre sa vie avec un mari et des enfants. Pourtant, aujourd'hui, elle nage en plein dedans ! Elle aime, elle allaite, elle câline, elle cuisine pour toute sa petite famille... En effet, Eva, architecte, est mariée à Philippe, qui travaille comme designer. Ils ont deux enfants en bas âge... Cependant, un jour, un grand challenge professionnel surgit : Eva doit retravailler sur un ancien projet, qui risque de déstabiliser son existence. Mais elle ne veut pas choisir, elle veut tout : le travail, l'amour, les enfants, le sexe, et le reste encore !
My Chinese Sister, 1h35
Origin France
Genres Drama, Comedy-drama
Actors Alain Bashung, Jean-François Balmer
Roles Robert Chantegris
Rating61% 3.0531353.0531353.0531353.0531353.053135
En 1977, un an après la mort de Mao, un Français (Bashung) revient en Chine comme instituteur avec sa fille. Il outrepasse vite l'interdiction d'entrer en contact avec les Chinois et se voit entraîné dans de mystérieux rendez-vous au Pavillon Rouge.
A Shadow of a Doubt, 1h47
Directed by Aline Issermann
Origin France
Genres Drama
Themes Films about sexuality
Actors Mireille Perrier, Alain Bashung, Sandrine Blancke, Michel Aumont, Emmanuelle Riva, Josiane Balasko
Roles Father
Rating61% 3.0955153.0955153.0955153.0955153.095515
Alexandrine, douze ans, porte plainte contre son père pour inceste, mais revient sur ses propos. Elle fait alors une fugue avec son petit frère.
Nothing But Lies, 1h26
Directed by Paule Muret
Origin France
Genres Drama
Actors Fanny Ardant, Alain Bashung, Jacques Perrin, Stanislas Carré de Malberg, Christine Pascal, Alexandra Kazan
Roles Adrien
Rating60% 3.0039453.0039453.0039453.0039453.003945
Plus de vingt ans après les évènements, que sont devenus les quelques romantiques de Mai 68 dont la vie amoureuse fut bouleversée par la révolution sexuelle ?
Le Beauf
Le Beauf (1987)
, 1h42
Directed by Yves Amoureux
Origin France
Genres Drama, Comedy, Comedy-drama, Crime
Themes Heist films, Gangster films, Escroquerie
Actors Gérard Jugnot, Gérard Darmon, Marianne Basler, Didier Sauvegrain, Zabou Breitman, Boris Bergman
Roles Self
Rating54% 2.7114752.7114752.7114752.7114752.711475
Gilbert est employé à l'incinération des billets usagés à la Banque de France. Serge, son ami d'enfance, revient d'un prétendu long séjour en Australie. Avec Marc, le frère de Gisèle (l'épouse de Gilbert), ils vont tenter d'obtenir l'aide de Gilbert pour voler les billets destinés à la destruction afin de rembourser leur créancier, en manipulant Gilbert.