UN JOUR UN TUBE (31/32) - All summer long, Europe 1 invites you to discover a song that marked the summer every day. Today, "Lucie" by Pascal Obispo.

In 1997, Pascal Obispo revealed a new facet of his talent with a magnificent piano-voice ballad entitled Lucie. Let's go to the origins of this song which should have been called Marie and which almost did not make it into the album.

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Lionel Florence, the man behind "Lucie"

A real revelation of the 1990s, Pascal Obispo signed a contract with Epic records in 1991 and obtained his first double gold record, the following year, with Plus que tout au monde followed in 1994 by the album Un jour comme aujourd ' 'hui , sold over 370,000 copies. While the dynamic of success is underway, Pascal Obispo chooses to get involved in the fight against AIDS by working in particular on the album  Entre sourires et larmes , a charity record which in 1995 brought together several artists such as Jane Birkin, Alain Chamfort, Liane Foly, Kent, Stéphane Eicher or the Innocents.

And it was during the preparation of this disc that Pascal Obispo met Lionel Florence, a former drawing teacher from Lorraine, who wrote six texts for the album. Seduced by his writing style, Pascal sympathizes with Lionel and decides to ask him for texts for the fourth studio album he is preparing. It is then that Lionel Florence thinks back to a letter he had written some time earlier, to his niece Marie, then 12 years old.

In this letter, Lionel explained to the young girl how precious life was and how essential it was to take advantage of every moment. The author then decides to transform the missive into a song. Just before sending it to Pascal Obispo, Lionel Florence decides to change the title in order to avoid any religious connotation and confusion with the Virgin Mary. He therefore replaces the first name of Marie by Lucie which has the same number of syllables and which ends in i.

A tribute (by chance) to Obispo's great-grandmother

Happy choice, since without knowing it was the first name of the great-grandmother of Pascal Obispo, a very important person for the singer since it is with her, that he spent his first years and that he has learned to walk and to eat… We can imagine the emotion of Pascal Obispo, that evening, in his apartment in the rue de Parme, near the Place Clichy in Paris, when he discovered the text of this song on his fax machine which reminds him of his great-grandmother.

He immediately composes the music on the piano, with astonishing fulgurance. He then calls Lionel Florence to make him listen and tell him all his emotion and his happiness to be able to pay homage in song, to his grandmother.

The record company did not want to include it on the album

A few days later, Pascal Obispo recorded Lucie in the wake with other songs written by Lionel Florence. However, at the time of the final choice of the titles of the album, the record company opts for songs very "guitar", so that none of the songs written by Lionel Florence which are rather piano-voice ballads are retained. Given the emotional side of Lucie, Pascal Obispo will still do the forcing with his record company for this song to be included in the album.

To please Obispo, Lucie finds herself in 12th position on the album Superflu  which was released on October 29, 1996. Obviously, this title is not expected to become a single and yet, fate will decide otherwise.

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The springboard of the Victoires de la Musique

Indeed, during the Victoires de la Musique ceremony, on Saturday February 10, 1997, Pascal Obispo who is nominated four times, must sing with an orchestra one of his successes. Only, for a matter of time and setting up between two songs, the production asks the singer to change the title and instead perform a song where he would not need the orchestra. This is how Pascal will sing on the piano Lucie , causing a great moment of emotion in the evening.

The next day, the critics unanimously greet this song, insisting on the new side of the singer much deeper than in his usual repertoire. Suddenly, Pascal Obispo decides to release Lucie as a single and for that he re-records the voice because for him, on the version of the album, it was not present enough. Throughout the spring and summer of 1997,  Lucie  will break sales records reaching 80,000 copies per month and resulting in its success the album Superflu,  which becomes Diamond Disc with more than 1,250,000 copies sold. .

For the record, when Pascal Obispo performs for the first time on the stage of the Olympia, six sold-out evenings, he ends his singing turns by interpreting Lucie , causing great emotion in the public who left each evening in humming the words of this song, a true hymn to the happiness of existing.