05 July 2016

Alain Souchon

Alain Souchon (1944) is a French singer-songwriter and actor. He has released 15 albums and has played roles in a dozen films, most notably opposite Isabelle Adjani in the sensual thriller L'été Meurtrier/One Deadly Summer (1983).

Alain Souchon
French postcard by Edition Lyna, Paris, no. 2094. Photo: Pierre Guyot / RCA.

Alain Souchon
French postcard by Éditions Damilla, Paris, no. 95025. Photo: G. Schachmes / Sygma.

Isabelle Adjani and Alain Souchon in L'Été Meurtrier (1983)
French postcard by Ebullitions, no. 17. Photo: publicity still for L'Été Meurtrier/One Deadly Summer (1983) with Isabelle Adjani.

Love on the Run

Alain Souchon was born Alain Kienast in Casablanca, French Protectorate of Morocco (now Morocco), in 1944. His family on his mother's side is Swiss, and he has dual French-Swiss nationality.

Six months after he was born, his family moved to France. When he was 15 his father died in an accident. His mother sent him to a French college in England, but due to problems registering he decided to stay in London and work.

Upon returning to France he took up the guitar, influenced by English and American music. In 1970, he married and had his first son. He continued to play in the cabarets and bars in the Rive Gauche of Paris. Souchon signed his first contract in 1971 with the Pathé-Marconi label but had no success.

Bob Socquet, the artistic director of RCA encouraged him to perform his song L'amour 1830 at the Rose D'Or of Antibes contest. Souchon then began to collaborate with composer/arranger Laurent Voulzy. They would write together, but each released albums under his own name.

Souchon's first hit was J'ai 10 ans (1974), from the album of the same name. He continued releasing albums and in 1978 wrote the theme for François Truffaut's film L'amour en fuite/Love on the Run (1979). At this time his second son was born. In 1980, he was invited to perform at Paris´s most famous music hall, the Olympia.

Alain Souchon
French postcard by La Roue Tourne, Paris.

Alain Souchon
French postcard by Editions F. Nugeron in the Signes Zodiaque series, no 14: Alain Souchon - Gemeaux (Gemini).

Alain Souchon
French postcard by Editions Humour à la Carte, Paris, no. A-C 375. Photo: Frédéric Schall / Virgin France. Caption: C'est comme vous voulez.

One Deadly Summer

In 1980, Alain Souchon also began his acting career with a part in the romantic drama Je vous aime/I Love All of You (Claude Berri, 1980) as one of the four former lovers, who Catherine Deneuve for dinner of New Year's Eve at the same time in her house. Next he appeared in the action comedy Tout feu, tout flamme/All Fired Up (Jean-Paul Rappeneau, 1982) with Yves Montand and Isabelle Adjani.

His most notable film is the thriller L'été Meurtrier/One Deadly Summer (Jean Becker, 1983), in which he starred opposite Isabelle Adjani. The film was a massive hit in France gaining 5,137,040 admissions and was the 2nd highest grossing film of the year. The film won several awards. Souchon was nominated for the César, the French Oscar, but did not win. Craig Butler in his review at AllMovie: “the surprising performance comes from singer Alain Souchon, who is just about perfect as the man with whom Adjani becomes involved.”

Later, he appeared in Jane B. par Agnès V./Jane B. By Agnès V (1988), Agnès Varda’s personal documentary about Jane Birkin, and in the TV film Le soldat Rose/The Pink Soldier (Jean-Louis Cap, 2006).

Following the album On avance, he left RCA and signed with Virgin Records. In 1989 La beauté de Ava Gardner was voted best title of the year by the Victoires de la Musique, an annual French award ceremony. Then came Souchon's biggest hit Foule sentimentale from his million-selling album C'est déja ça (1993). The #1 hit became one of the most emblematic songs of the singer. At the 20th anniversary of the Victoires de la Musique in 1995, Alain Souchon received the award for best ´Chanson Originale´ for Foule Sentimentale.

In 1996, he received the ´le Prix Vincent Scotto´ award given by the SACEM (Societe des Auteurs Compositeurs) for his song Sous les Jupes des Filles. Souchon returned in 2005 with the hugely successful album La vie Théodore which contained the hit single ...Et si en plus y'a personne. In 2014, his joint album Alain Souchon & Laurent Voulzy reached the top of the charts in both France and Belgium.

A fan-made music video for L'été Meurtrier/One Deadly Summer (1983). Source: Cine, film, movie (YouTube).

Clip of Foule sentimentale. Source: Alain Souchon (YouTube).

Clip et si en plus y'a personne. Source: Alain Souchon (YouTube).

Sources: Craig Butler (AllMovie), Wikipedia, and IMDb.

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