Luc Plamondon

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Plamondon at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival.

Luc Plamondon, OC, CQ (b. March 2, 1942 in Saint-Raymond, Quebec), is a French-Canadian lyricist[1] and music executive. He is best known for his work on the musicals Starmania and Notre-Dame de Paris.

He is the brother of Louis Plamondon, a long-serving member of the Canadian House of Commons.[2]

Plamondon has accepted honours from Canadian institutions and is also known as a francophone nationalist and Quebec sovereigntist. He is opposed to Internet music piracy.

Biography & Career[edit]

The 1970s: first collaborations and Starmania[edit]

Plamondon’s arts education began at a young age. He learned the piano and undertook classical studies at the Petit Séminaire de Québec. He later said that he went into the seminary to become a priest and left it a poet.[3] After seeing the show Hair on Broadway, Plamondon realized that the musical genre was to be his vocation.

His first success, in 1970, was the song “Les Chemins d’été” (better known to the public as “Dans ma Camaro because of the first line of its chorus). The music for the song was written by André Gagnon, and it was performed by the singer Steve Fiset, a celebrity at the time.

Following this, in 1972, Plamondon worked with four Quebecois singers: Emmanuëlle, Monique Leyrac, Renée Claude et Diane Dufresne. He wrote the lyrics for several songs by the first two, and penned a complete album each for Claude (Je reprends mon souffle) and Dufresne (Tiens-toé ben, j’arrive) He continued to write lyrics for Dufresne until 1984 and for Claude until 2006.

Beginning in 1972, besides his collaborations with those four, Plamondon wrote lyrics for numerous Quebecois and European artists, including Julien Clerc, Nicole Croisille, Françoise Hardy, Johnny Hallyday, Riccardo Cocciante, Claude Dubois, Nicole Martin, Robert Charlebois, Pierre Bertrand, Fabienne Thibeault, Nanette Workman, Martine St-Clair, Diane Tell, Éric Lapointe, Ginette Reno, Julie Arel, Donald Lautrec, Petula Clark, Murray Head, Catherine Lara, Garou, Julie Zenatti, Daniel Balavoine, Barbara, France Castel, Bruno Pelletier and Marie Denise Pelletier.

In 1976, Plamondon began collaborating with the composer Michel Berger on the rock opera Starmania. The ambitious project, billed as the first French rock opera, was released on vinyl in the fall of 1978 with the cooperation of both European French artists (Gall, Balavoine) and Canadian French artists (Dufresne, Thibeault, Dubois).

Over the years, Starmania saw several stage productions (Paris in 1979 and 1988, Montreal in 1980 and 1987). Some of the songs from Starmania, such as “Le Blues du businessman” and “Le Monde est stone”, have had a lasting success and are considered classics today.

The 1980s: first collaboration with Céline Dion[edit]

In the 1980s, Plamondon cowrote songs for the double album Lily Passion with Barbara. He also cowrote the risqué song “Call-girl” with Germain Gauthier; the song was performed by Nanette Workman and enjoyed great success in Quebec.lily

In 1982, Plamondon wrote his first song for Céline Dion, entitled “Le Piano fantôme”, which appeared on the album Tellement j'ai d'amour...

In 1983, at the ADISQ gala, Plamondon accepted a joint award with Robert Charlebois for the song “J’t’aime comme un fou”. During his acceptance speech, he sparked a controversy when he made a scathing attack on the attitude of certain figures in the industry concerning copyright law.

In 1985, he gave the use of his villa on the shore of Lake Magog to Denys Arcand to be used in the shooting of his film Le Déclin de l’empire américain.[4]

The 1990s: Wider recognition, tribute albums, Notre-Dame de Paris[edit]

In 1990, a stage production of La Légende de Jimmy, with music written by Michel Berger, ran for six months in Paris at the Théâtre Mogador before being staged again in Montreal and Quebec City. However, it enjoyed significantly less success than Starmania had.

In 1991, Plamondon wrote the lyrics for Dion chante Plamondon. (The European French edition of the album featured two extra songs and was called Des mots qui sonnent.)

A new version of Starmania was produced on October 1, 1993 at the Mogador, directed by Lewis Furey. Performers Judith Bérard, Michel Pascal, Patsy Gallant, Isabelle Boulay, Bruno Pelletier, Luce Dufault and others toured in France, Belgium, and Switzerland. The production won a Félix Award in 1994 and a Victoire Musical of the Year Award in 1995.[5] An album entitled Starmania, Mogador 94 was released,[6] went platinum[7] after selling 500,000 copies,[5] and included the single “Quand on n’a plus rien à perdre” featuring Bruno Pelletier.[8] · [9]

In the spring of 1995, Guy Cloutier and his team presented a compilation of songs dedicated to Plamondon (the content of which was chosen by the Quebecois radio network RockDétente). The compilation comprised two CDs and was called Les grandes chansons de Luc Plamondon – 25 ans de succès, 25 chansons.

In September 1998, Plamondon wrote the lyrics to Riccardo Cocciante’s music for the musical Notre-Dame de Paris, which was first staged in the Palais des congrès de Paris. The show enjoyed great success and was subsequently staged in Quebec, and then appeared in English translation in London. Several years later, it was remounted at the Mogador.

Plamondon was also inspired to write a hymn in Huguette Gaulin Bergeron’s honour after her self-immolation, during which she cried: “Vous avez détruit la beauté du monde!” The hymn, entitled “Hymne à la beauté du monde”, has since been sung by numerous famous French-Canadian artists, including Diane Dufresne, Isabelle Boulay, Garou, and Éric Lapointe.

The 2000s and beyond: Cindy, renewed collaborations, and retirement[edit]

Plamondon wrote the lyrics for the 2002 musical Cindy, a modern adaptation of the fable of Cinderella. The composer was Romano Musumarra. The album was released on February 26 and debuted at number 24 on the French charts and number 17 in francophone Belgium.[10] Despite the album having gone gold[11] with over 200,000 copies sold and a large promotion,[12] the show’s producer acknowledged that the production was a commercial failure, and it ended after a few months.[13]

In January 2006, Plamondon decided to mount a new production of Notre-Dame de Paris with new artists in the same theatre where it had had its debut.

In 2009, the right-wing political party UMP used the lyrics of a song Plamondon cowrote, “Tous ceux qui veulent changer le monde”, without permission.[14]

The album J’aurais voulu être un artist… pour pouvoir dire pourquoi j’existe, a tribute album to Luc Plamondon, was released in 2010. Diane Dufresne, Céline Dion, Robert Charlebois, Judith Bérard, Garou, Catherine Lara, and Ginette Reno were some of the artists featured on the four-CD compilation.[15]

In 2012, Plamondon returned to the fore when he collaborated once more with Céline Dion on the album Sans attendre, which was released on November 2. He wrote the lyrics for the song “Rien que toi”, which became “Que toi au monde”, with music by Davide Esposito. It had been some twenty years since Plamondon and Dion had last worked together.

Luc Plamondon lived for five years at the turn of the millennium in Ireland,[16] and now divides his time between the two cities in which he has an apartment: Montreux in Romandy (where he presides over the Freddie Mercury Live Music Awards),[17] and Paris, where his home is near the Eiffel Tower and has a view of the Champ de Mars. He spends each winter in Florida.[18]

Honours[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/index.cfm?PgNm=TCE&Params=u1ARTU0003926
  2. ^ Elizabeth Thompson, "Passion and Tears: Jean Sworn In", Montreal Gazette, 28 September 2005, A1.
  3. ^ Luc Plamondon: Il cultive le noir et est heureux d’écrire
  4. ^ Quelque chose en nous de Michel Berger de Yves Bigot
  5. ^ a b "Judith Bérard". tonik.ca. Retrieved 1 March 2014. 
  6. ^ Valérie Dudoit (1 August 1999). "Starmania – Fresque visionnaire de cette fin de siècle". regardencoulisse.com. Retrieved 27 February 2014. 
  7. ^ "Prix et distinctions". brunopelletier.com. Retrieved 27 February 2014. 
  8. ^ "Starmania - Quand On N'a Plus Rien À Perdre". Amazon.com. Retrieved 27 February 2014. 
  9. ^ "Judith Berard* & Bruno Pelletier / Luce Dufault – Quand On N'a Plus Rien À Perdre (Mogador 94)". discogs.com. Retrieved 27 February 2014. 
  10. ^ "Musical - Cindy: Cendrillon 2002 (album)". www.lescharts.com. Retrieved 17 February 2014. 
  11. ^ "Certifications Albums Or - année 2002". Syndicat national de l'édition phonographique. Retrieved 27 February 2014. 
  12. ^ Bérengère Adda (14 November 2002). "" Cindy " sauvée par ses interprètes". Le Parisien. Retrieved 27 February 2014. 
  13. ^ Michelle Coudé-Lord (2 July 2003). "Cindy: un échec". Le Journal de Montréal. Retrieved 17 February 2014. 
  14. ^ les Jeunes de l'UMP ont-ils menti à Luc Plamondon in Le Post.
  15. ^ "J'aurais voulu être un artiste… pour pouvoir dire pourquoi j'existe - Artistes Variés". Archambault. Retrieved 27 February 2014. 
  16. ^ http://www.ledevoir.com/culture/musique/115446/comment-luc-plamondon-les-stones-u2-et-d-autres-artistes-evitent-de-payer-des-impots
  17. ^ http://www.24heures.ch/vaud-regions/riviera-chablais/installe-ici-passer-retraite-paisible/story/23147742
  18. ^ http://www.francetvinfo.fr/replay-radio/tout-et-son-contraire/luc-plamondon-je-chante-mal-cest-pour-ca-que-jecris-des-chansons_1924083.html
  19. ^ "Luc Plamondon biography". Governor General's Performing Arts Awards Foundation. Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  20. ^ http://www.socan.ca/about/awards/2005-socan-awards
  21. ^ http://www.socan.ca/press-release/21st-annual-socan-awards-montreal-2010-%E2%80%93-winners-list
  22. ^ http://www.ispa.org/who/awards/558-luc-plamondon--2011-distinguished-artist-award-recipient

External links[edit]