Savoir aimer

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"Savoir aimer"
Single by Florent Pagny
from the album Savoir aimer
B-side "Combien ça va"
Released October 1997
Format CD single,
Digital download (since 2005)
Recorded France, 1997
Genre Pop
Length 4:40
Label Polygram
Writer(s) Lionel Florence, Pascal Obispo
Producer(s) Caroline Molko
Certification Diamond France, 1997
Florent Pagny singles chronology
"Oh Happy Day"
"Savoir aimer"

"Savoir aimer" is a 1997 song recorded by the French singer Florent Pagny. It was the first single from his album of the same name, on which it features as first track, and his 14th single overall. Released in October 1997, it was a smash success in France and Belgium, topping the chart for several months, and remaining Pagny's most successful single.

Background and writing[edit]

The song was composed by Pascal Obispo, who also participated in other two songs on Pagny's album, and written by Lionel Florence, who had also worked for many French singers.[1] In the music video, Pagny is in front of the camera and transcribed the song in the universal sign language.

The song has been performed on Pagny's concerts tours in 1998, 2004 and 2005, and is thus available on the singer's live albums En concert, Été 2003 à l'Olympia and Baryton - L'Intégrale du spectacle. It is part of Pagny's 2008 compilation Les 50 Plus Belles Chansons.

In 2001, the song has been covered by Pagny himself in a duet version with Souad Massi on his album 2 (14th track), which contains songs originally performed by Pagny or other artists overdubbed as duets.[2] As the song was a great success in France, it was included throughout the years on many famous compilations in France, such as Hit Express 5, Les Plus Grandes Chansons du Siècle, vol. 1 (released in 1999), Lionel Florence: des Rencontres et des Mots, Les Plus Belles Victoires de la Musique (2002), Les 100 Plus Belles Chansons (2006) and Hits de diamant (2007).

Chart performances[edit]

In France, the single went straight to number one on the singles chart on 25 October 1997, which was very rare at the time (it wad the fifth). It was disloged the week after by Aqua's huge hit "Barbie Girl", but managed to reached again number one the week after, and remained at the top for a total of nine weeks. It then dropped first slowly, then more quickly and featured for 19 weeks in the top ten, 23 weeks in the top 50 and 24 weeks in the top 100.[3] It achieved Diamond status[4] and was ranked sixth on the 1997 Annual Chart established only ten weeks after the single release.[5] With over 1,2 million units, "Savoir aimer" is the 35th best-selling single of all time in France.[6]

In Belgium (Wallonia), the song entered the chart at number 21 on 8 November, climbed to number two two weeks later and stayed at this place for five weeks, behind "Barbie Girl". Then it topped the chart for four weeks, then almost did not stop to drop. It totaled 14 weeks in the top ten, 19 weeks in the top 20 and 24 weeks in the top 40.[7] It was the fifth best-selling single of 1997, with only nine weeks on the chart.[8]

Track listings[edit]

  • CD single
  1. "Savoir aimer" — 4:43
  2. "Combien ça va" — 3:40
  • Digital download
  1. "Savoir aimer" — 4:40
  2. "Savoir aimer" (1998 live version) — 5:26
  3. "Savoir aimer" (2004 live version) — 7:22
  4. "Savoir aimer" (2005 live baryton version) — 4:18
  5. "Savoir aimer" (duet with Souad Massi) — 4:09

Charts and sales[edit]


Country Certification Date Sales certified Physical sales
France[4] Diamond 1997 750,000 1,234,000[11]

Chart successions[edit]

Preceded by
"Something About the Way You Look Tonight / Candle in the Wind 1997" by Elton John
French SNEP number-one single (first run)
25 October 1997
Succeeded by
"Barbie Girl" by Aqua
Preceded by
"Barbie Girl" by Aqua
French SNEP number-one single (second run)
8 November 1997 – 27 December 1997
Succeeded by
"Vivo per lei (je vis pour elle)"
by Hélène Ségara and Andrea Bocelli
Belgian (Wallonia) number-one single
20 December 1997 – 10 January 1998
Succeeded by
"Hasta siempre" by Nathalie Cardone


  1. ^ Elia Habib, Muz hit. tubes, p. 399 (ISBN 2-9518832-0-X)
  2. ^ 2, track listing and charts (Retrieved 16 June 2008)
  3. ^ a b "Savoir aimer", French Singles Chart (Retrieved 16 June 2008)
  4. ^ a b 1997 certifications in France (Retrieved 16 June 2008)
  5. ^ a b 1997 French Singles Chart (Retrieved 16 June 2008)
  6. ^ Best-selling singles of all time in France (Retrieved 16 June 2008)
  7. ^ a b "Savoir aimer", Belgian (Wallonia) Albums Chart (Retrieved 16 June 2008)
  8. ^ a b 1997 Belgian (Wallonia) Singles Chart (Retrieved 16 June 2008)
  9. ^ 1998 Belgian (Wallonia) Singles Chart (Retrieved 16 June 2008)
  10. ^ 1998 French Singles Chart (Retrieved 16 June 2008)
  11. ^ Les certifications depuis 1973, database (Retrieved 16 June 2008)