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26788 Columbia France, CD

  1. La Valse Des Lilas
  2. La Vie En Rose
  3. Que Reste-T-Il De Nos Amours
  4. C'est Si Bon
  5. Roses De Picardie
  6. Ne Me Quitte Pas
  7. Et Maintenant
  8. La Mer
  9. Douce France
  10. Hymne A L'amour
  11. Les Feuilles Mortes
  12. Le Soleil De La Vie

Caravelli shared a great deal of his creative genius with his fans by also reinventing standards from the world of French chanson for the 1980s – try DOUCE FRANCE from 1985 on either the French and US releases or the SONY/Epic version from Japan featuring an enigmatic cover illustrated by perfume bottle and transparent floral scarf set against musical sheets and a fountain pen.

You can guess, this is a salute as much to chanson, and Edith Piaf, Charles Trenet, Gilbert Becaud etc, as much as it is about Caravelli showcasing his range of fusing elements of big band, Broadway musical grandeur, sentimentality and 80s pop.

DOUCE FRANCE is indeed sweet from start to finish. La Valses de Lilas opens up with a flourish of hard rock guitars, heavy pop beat, and saxophone solo before the strings subtly breeze into consciousness. This tune is of course better known in English as Michel Legrand's composition Once Upon a Summertime – and what a summertime it is, done up for the 1980s. The other mind-blowing rendition is of Et Maintenant ("What Now my Love") which is given a refreshing insistent pop beat that puts drums front and centre of the arrangement before the brass, trumpet solo, strings take turns singing the main melody. This evokes a pop music 'heartbeat' that can sit alongside 80s ballads of the likes of Madonna's Crazy for You, any ballad by Phil Collins, and certainly anything balladic by Dionne Warwick and Whitney Houston.

In tune with the new sounds, Caravelli reworks La Mer, Ne Me Quitte Pas, Hymne a L' amour and Que Rest-T-il de Nos Amours into mid-tempo string laden songs more at ease with an evening on the verandah where you sip champagne looking over the city lights. C'est si Bon turns up an even bigger surprise with a big band sound that evokes a loud fashion parade or the entrée into a stadium sized concert. And one unforgettable tune is Roses des Picardie where Caravelli conjures up the slow-motion beauty of ballet in the arrangement – beckoning the listener to be still in a fast-moving world, and just admire beauty.