“Disco, the French revolution”, on France 3: French-speaking fever on Saturday evening

Cerrone, Village People, Patrick Juvet… Welcome to Saturday Night Fever! A French-speaking fever, the stages of which are detailed in this documentary by François Chaumont

“Disco, the French revolution”, on France 3: French-speaking fever on Saturday evening

Cerrone, Village People, Patrick Juvet… Welcome to Saturday Night Fever! A French-speaking fever, the stages of which are detailed in this documentary by François Chaumont. In the 1970s, music made for dancing emerged across the Atlantic. “A movement much more anti-establishment than it seems, capable of transforming dance floors into machines for integrating all sexual and ethnic minorities,” says the voice-over of Emilie Mazoyer, the host of the show “ Decibels”, on France Bleu.

A mixture of pop melody and funk orchestration "joyful, disorderly, hedonistic, liberating", which will make the triumph of a "French sound" which Juliette Armanet, Clara Luciani, Izïa claim today...

In 1976, Love in C Minor, the first single by a young drummer, Cerrone (his first name is Marc), caught the ear of a New York DJ. The boy band Village People followed, the 1977 incarnation of gay New York from Greenwich Village. Its French creators, Jacques Morali and Henri Belolo, will flood the planet with hits like YMCA or In the Navy. The tandem will also propel the Swiss Patrick Juvet onto the dance floors with I Love America. Finally, Patrick Hernandez brought down the house in 1978 with Born to Be Alive, one of the most sold and listened to titles, still today.

The end of recess

Disco is “the first musical genre that really advocates narcissism, where everyone becomes their own star,” says Isabelle Morizet today, who renamed her stage name Carène Cheryl to Karen Cheryl to keep up with the times .

The aging stars of French variety will ride the wave. In 1977, Claude François, faithful to the language of Molière, convinced Etienne Roda-Gil to write Magnolias for Ever and Alexandria Alexandra for him. The lyricist of Julien Clerc and Juliette Gréco will flatter himself “on having introduced poetry into disco”. The same year, Sheila crossed the Atlantic to relaunch herself with a disco version of Singin'in the Rain, the song from the eponymous film. Dubbed by Gene Kelly, she says she is very proud to “hear on the radio in New York”. The American dream is on the move. In 1978, the Le Palace nightclub opened, “the disco cave”, a Parisian replica of the legendary Studio 54 in New York.

After a decade at 120 BPM (beats per minute), the “regulatory” tempo of disco, AIDS, at the dawn of the 1980s, signaled the end of recess. The gay community was the first to be decimated – Jacques Morali died at the age of 44 in 1991.

But disco, like a phoenix, is constantly reborn from its ashes, with the wave of electro-pop, then hip-hop and rap. Here again, French creators (Justice, Daft Punk, etc.) will cross the Channel and the Atlantic – before ending up cutting the Anglo-Saxon cord. French touch forever…