Bandeau Sylvie Vartan au Japon
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La plus belle pour aller danser

La plus belle pour aller danser

The most successful French song in Japan

 

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The 21 November 1964, the film "Cherchez l'idole"  was released in Japan and it was the short appearance of Sylvie that captivated the public. The song "La plus belle pour aller danser" written by Charles Aznavour and Georges Garvarentz saw considerable success. As for the film it ended up 20th in the Box Office at the end of 1965. The song entered the chart "95 million inhabitants"  November 19 1964 in 16th place and by the 17 December it was number 1 ahead of the Beatles.  
Sylvie Vartan Classement de "La plus belle pour aller danser" N°1 Japon Billboard 6 mars 1965

Its success surpassed all expectations, particularly clear when, two months after its release, the single was the  N°1 bestseller. Its progress in the Tokushin charts was rapid, appearing in the top 20 in 5th place before taking 1st place in the chart for 5 weeks. It remained in the top 10 for more than 3 months. For a foreign artist such success is very rare in Japan.

 

 

LA PLUS BELLE POUR ALLER DANSER

VICTOR SS-1476

(First and second sleeve covers)

 
Sylvie Vartan 45 tours japonais "La plus belle pour aller danser" première pochette SS-1476  

Rond noir "La plus belle pour aller danser" is the bestselling French song in the history of Japan...

 

Rond noir In January 1966 in their annual statement, Tokushin ranked "La plus belle pour aller danser" third best selling single of 1965 with nearly a million sales (Other foreign artists ranked: The  Beatles 6th with "Rock'n roll music", France Gall 9th with  "Poupée de cire, poupée de son")

 

Rond noir In 1971, when Sylvie Vartan's single "La plus belle pour aller danser"  went out of production by RCA it had sold 1.2 million copies and with the reeditions of the 70s it would have reached 1.5 million. It's without a doubt Sylvie Vartan's biggest success, culturally and commercially.

 

Rond noir Sylvie Vartan is one of four foreign artists to rank N°1 in Japan in the 60s (with Elvis Presley, the Bee Gees and Simon & Garfunkel).

 

Rond noir Sylvie Vartan is one of only four female foreign artists ever to rank N°1 in the Japanese charts.

Sylvie Vartan 45 tours japonais "La plus belle pour aller danser" deuxième pochette SS-1476

 

 

 

 

 

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40 years later the television programme "Song to soul" (in which each edition retraced the history of a song that left a profound mark on Japan) dedicated an episode to "La plus belle pour aller danser" to try and get to the heart of the reasons for such a success.

 

It was suggested that its success lay in the blend of the "left bank" spirit (brought by Charles Aznavour) with the "Pop Phenomenon" incarnated by Sylvie Vartan. Although a ye-ye icon, Sylvie Vartan possessed all the qualities that the Japanese expected from the French, elegance and sophistication of course...

 

Since the 60s the term "idole" (see "history" chapter) passed into common usage in Japanese to mean young singers that become a star overnight.

 

 

 

Sylvie Vartan Hit-parade journal japonais 1964 Classement "La plus belle pour aller danser"

 

 

An amusing fact: most Japanese people probably haven't heard of the song "La plus belle pour aller danser", try asking them about "Cherchez l'idole" as that's its title in Japanese!

 

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Billboard

 

 

                                            

                     INTERNATIONAL NEWS REPORTS

                     MUSIC CAPITALS OF THE WORLD

                     TOKYO                           

                     No. 1 singer in Tokyo, where she has

                     sold 800.000 disks, 20 year-old

                     Sylvia Vartan is booked for a

                     tour of Japan in May where she

                     will play 17 concerts in 19 days.

                     Meanwhile, Sylvia plans to record

                     two of her biggest successes in

                     Japanese-“La plus belle pour

                     aller danser" and “Dans tes rras

                     je veux l'oublier."

                     MIKE HENNESSEY

                     Billboard - 3 avril 1965

 

 

 

 

 

 

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