L'amour est bleu

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"L'amour est bleu"
Vicky - L'amour est bleu.jpg
Eurovision Song Contest 1967 entry
Country Luxembourg
Artist(s) Vicky Leandros
As Vicky
Language French
Composer(s) André Popp
Lyricist(s) Pierre Cour
Conductor Claude Denjean
Finals performance
Final result 4th
Final points 17
Appearance chronology
◄ "Ce soir je t'attendais" (1966)   
"Nous vivrons d'amour" (1968) ►

"L'amour est bleu" (English title: "Love Is Blue") is a song whose music was composed by André Popp, and whose lyrics were written by Pierre Cour, in 1967. Brian Blackburn later wrote English-language lyrics for it. First performed in French by Greek singer Vicky Leandros (appearing as Vicky) as the Luxembourgian entry in the Eurovision Song Contest 1967, it has since been recorded by many other musicians, most notably French orchestra leader Paul Mauriat, whose familiar instrumental version became the only number-one hit by a French artist to top the Billboard Hot 100 in America.

The song describes the pleasure and pain of love in terms of colours (blue and grey) and elements (water and wind). The English lyrics ("Blue, blue, my world is blue …") focus on colours only (blue, grey, red, green, and black), using them to describe elements of lost love. The English version by Vicky Leandros also appeared as "Colours of Love" in some locations including the UK.

Eurovision[edit]

The song was performed second during the 1967 Eurovision Song Contest. At the close of voting, it had received 17 points, placing 4th in a field of 17, behind "Il doit faire beau là-bas" (France), "If I Could Choose" (Ireland) and the winning song, "Puppet on a String" (United Kingdom). Some forty years after its original release, "L'amour est bleu", along with Domenico Modugno's "Nel blu dipinto di blu" (better known as "Volare") and Mocedades' "Eres tú", still counts as one of very few non-winning Eurovision entries ever to become a worldwide hit.

Greek-born Leandros recorded the song both in French and English, and had a modest hit in Europe with it, but in Japan and Canada she had a big hit with this song. She also recorded it in German (as "Blau wie das Meer"), Italian ("L'amore è blu") and Dutch ("Liefde is zacht") . The song has since become a favourite of Contest fans, most notably appearing as part of a medley introducing the semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2006 in Athens, one of only three non-winning songs to be involved (the others being "Dschinghis Khan" and "Nel blu dipinto di blu").

It was succeeded as Luxembourgian representative at the 1968 Contest by Chris Baldo & Sophie Garel with "Nous vivrons d'amour". Vicky Leandros went on to win the Contest five years later with the song "Après toi", again representing Luxembourg.

Mauriat version[edit]

"Love Is Blue (L'Amour Est Bleu)"
Single by Paul Mauriat
from the album Le Grand Orchestre de Paul Mauriat - Volume 5
B-side "Alone in the World (Seuls Au Monde)"
Released 1968[1]
Format 7"
Genre Easy listening
Length 2:31
Label Philips
Writer(s) André Popp, Pierre Cour
Certification Gold (RIAA)
Paul Mauriat singles chronology
"Puppet on a String"
(1967)
"Love Is Blue (L'Amour Est Bleu)"
(1968)
"Love in Every Room"
(1968)

In late 1967, Paul Mauriat conducted an orchestral "easy listening" version that was a number-one hit in the USA for five weeks in February and March 1968, becoming the only performance by a French artist ever to top the Billboard Hot 100. Its five-week run at the top was second longest of any instrumental of the Hot 100 era next to 1960s Theme From A Summer Place. Not surprisingly, the song spent 11 weeks atop Billboard's Easy Listening survey, and held the longest-lasting title honours on this chart for 25 years. It is the best-known version of the song in the United States. The Mauriat recording also reached number 12 on the UK Singles Chart.

Mauriat's version was featured repeatedly in an episode of Chris Carter's television series Millennium titled "A Room With No View", which originally aired on 24 April 1998 on the Fox Network. During the episode, the omnipresent melody is used by a kidnapper to brainwash a group of youths.[2] His version is also briefly heard in The Simpsons episodes "There's No Disgrace Like Home" and "The Blue and the Gray." It was played over the closing credits of Mad Men's sixth season episode "The Flood".

Legacy[edit]

"L'amour est bleu"/"Love Is Blue" is noted as one of the most-covered and biggest-selling Eurovision Songs ever, and remains a widely familiar melody due in part to its continued recurrence in pop-culture mediums. Orietta Berti, Jeff Beck, Claudine Longet, Jackie Mittoo, The Dells, Ed Ames, Johnny Mathis, Marty Robbins, Al Martino, Frank Sinatra, Lawrence Welk, Chara, Michèle Torr, Future Bible Heroes and The Ventures are among the artists who have covered it.

  • Final song when the episode fades to black in season 6, episode 5 Mad Men episode, "The Flood" (aired 28 April 2013).
  • Jeff Beck recorded a "rock" interpretation of Mauriat's version in 1968. It reached number 23 on the UK Singles Chart. He also recorded an unrelated but similarly titled song called "Love Is Green" in 1976 for the Wired album.
  • This song was performed in Spanish by two great singers of the 1960s: the well-known Spanish singer Raphael – who performed it in one of his films in 1968 – and the Spanish female singer Karina, who recorded her version in the 1970s. Also, the version by Paul Mauriat's orchestra stayed in the Mexican hit parade from 1968 to 1971.
  • In 1968, Gábor Szabó covered the song for his album Bacchanal.
  • In 1968, a Macedonian version titled "Ljubovta e sina" was recorded by the Yugoslav singer Ljupka Dimitrovska and released as a track for her EP Dvajca mladići za edna devojka.[6]
  • In 1969, in Italy Maurizio Arcieri covered this song for the Saturday night show "Canzonissima". This was an evergreen in his repertoire.
  • In 1970, composer Saluri Rajeshwara Rao used the music for the Telugu language song "Ee reyi teeyanidi" picturized on actors Haranadh and Vanisri in the Indian film Chitti Chellulu. This song was remade for the Indian Telugu Johnny by composer Ramana Gogula and picturized on actor Pawan Kalyan.
  • There are at least three Mandarin Chinese language versions of this song. One is "憂鬱的愛情" (Melancholic Love), lyrics by Deng Deng (鄧登), covered by singer Sun Yi Hua (孫一華) on her 1969/70 LP 《忘不了的你》. Another is "失去的愛情" (Lost Love), lyrics by Xin Fan, covered by Hong Kong singer Betty Chung (鍾玲玲) on her 1968 LP 《Wild Flame》. A third is "等你到天明" covered by Singapore singer Rita Chao (凌雲) on her 1968 7-inch album 《告訴我、愛我》.
  • A Cantonese version "破碎了的心" ("Broken Hearts"), lyrics by Luo Bao-Sheng (羅寶生), was covered by Singapore singer Lisa Wong (麗莎) on her 1973 album 《思君怨》 with The Stylers. Also, the English lyrics version was covered by The Chopsticks on their 1970 LP Some Day, and by Hong Kong singer Felicia Wong (王愛明) on her 1974 LP Felicia's Folk Album II.
  • German band Scooter and Vicky Leandros made a brand new version of the song in 2011, called "C'est Bleu". It released as a single.

Sources and external links[edit]

References[edit]

Preceded by
"Green Tambourine" by The Lemon Pipers
Billboard Hot 100 number one single (Paul Mauriat version)
10 February 1968 (five weeks)
Succeeded by
"(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay" by Otis Redding
Preceded by
"The Lesson" by Vikki Carr
Billboard Easy Listening Singles number-one single (Paul Mauriat version)
17 February 1968 (11 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Honey" by Bobby Goldsboro