“She is timeless”: the singer Barbara disappeared a quarter of a century ago, but the career and work of “La dame en noir” still make sense to artists today.
“There is a renewal of generations that we do not find on other artists: a lot of young talents take over or are inspired by Barbara, it’s very surprising”, exposes Bruno Haye, project manager to AFP. for the release of a collector’s box.
“Barbara, complete 25th anniversary” consists of 29 CDs, bringing together for the first time all studio and live recordings.
The creator of “L’aigle noir” died on November 24, 1997 at the age of 67 but remains ultra-present in the current landscape of French song.
Pomme, crowned with the Victoires de la Musique in 2021, thus devotes a piece to Barbara, entitled “B”, in her third album “Consolation”, released in August. “Barbara, it was a shock when I was eight,” the singer, who is not yet 30, told AFP when her record was released.
“Say, when will you come back?”, one of the standards of the one who was also called “The brown lady”, was taken up on her social networks by Zaho de Sagazan, an emerging singer who the whole music industry is talking about while her first album is in preparation.
– “Messages” –
Nothing surprising for this artist between song and electro who has immersed herself in “inhabited” artists – Barbara, Jacques Brel, Janis Joplin – as she told AFP during her visit to the Rock en Seine festival at the gates of Paris at the end of August.
“Many of his songs have returned me well, + My childhood + is for me one of the most beautiful”, also admits to AFP Suzane, who intertwines songs with texts / electro and has just released a second album, “Caméo”.
“She has quite a history, as an artist and a woman, managed to speak brilliantly about many subjects in her songs, such as + L’aigle noir + (on incest, editor’s note) or + Göttingen + (Franco-German reconciliation after the Second World War)”, continues Suzane.
Beyond these “moving titles that everyone has decoded”, Bruno Haye underlines that Barbara was “most of the time carrying messages in almost all of her songs”. “If we listen carefully, we realize that she wrote strong things more than forty years ago like + Neither beautiful nor good +”. In this piece, Barbara plays with her image to talk about the games of love and the labels attached to women. In a bittersweet tone, with a very advanced sense of image for a title published in the 1960s.
– “Incarnation” –
Suzane even “read her biography” when she landed in Paris a few years ago from her native Avignon to work in a restaurant while dreaming of being a singer. “Barbara has emancipated herself through her art, she is timeless”, comments the stage revelation at the Victoires de la musique 2020.
The scene was precisely Barbara’s garden. The fervor of her audience pushes her to dedicate one of her most famous titles to him, “My most beautiful love story is you”. The intensity of his performances behind his piano in Parisian halls – Bobino, Olympia, Châtelet, Mogador – or in the suburbs – Pantin – have forged his legend.
“The incarnation of the songs obviously played a role in her myth, as in these videos where we see her crying on certain titles”, dissects Bruno Haye. And to conclude: “But this character from + The Lady in Black +, she also used it as a smokescreen; speaking with her musicians, we realize that she could be so funny in life , that she was going to have a drink with her friends at the bistro”.