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Several photos have been cropped for the requirements of the timeline.
All the photos are clickable and can be viewed in
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written by Christophe Aldin with the collaboration of Laurent Coly - Translation into English: Peter Bourne
The lists of record releases, concert dates and TV appearances included in these pages are a selection
of the most significant biographical landmarks, and are deliberately non-exhaustive.
Photos and bibliography of the period between 1944 and 1960 :
"Si je chante" - Sylvie Vartan - Editions Filipacchi (1981)
"Entre l'ombre et la lumière" - Sylvie Vartan - XO Editions (2004)
"Maman" - Sylvie Vartan - XO Editions (2016)
1944 - 1952
Sylvie Vartan enters this world the 15 August 1944 in Iskretz (Bulgaria). Her father Georges Vartan is press secretary for the French embassy. Her mother Ilona Mayer is Hungarian by origine. Her brother Edmond is 7 years her senior...
Sylvie grows up in Lakatnik then in Sofia, between the emotional peace that comes from a loving family and a latent feeling of insecurity stemming from a life of suffering under the communist regime...
At the age of 6, she appears as an extra in the film "Under the Turkish Subjugation" : from that point on, all little Sylvie wants is to become an actress...
But for the time being the Vartan family, who after the trails of the Nazi occupation now endure a difficult life under the Stalinist regime, has only one dream: to move to France, "the country of freedom" ... Thanks to their paternal grandfather, Robert , who used to live in France, the children are immersed in a world of French culture... After two years of administrative prevarications, the necessary authorisations for the long, one-way journey are finally in place...
• 15 August 1944: Sylvie Vartan is born in Iskretz (Bulgaria).
• 1950: At 6 years old, she appears in the film "Under the Turkish Subjugation".
• December 1952: The Vartan couple and their two children Edmond and Sylvie emigrate to France.
1952 - 1960
December 1952: After three days spent traversing Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Northern Italy and France in third class on the "Simplon Orient-Express", the four members of the Vartan clan arrive in Paris, with nothing but a few suitcases to their name... It's almost Christmas and food stalls fill the streets... This is the main memory that Sylvie will keep of her first steps on French soil...
Following a brief stay at the "Lion d'argent", the four of them move into a small room in the "hôtel d'Angleterre", rue Montorgueil, not far from the market hall where Mr Vartan quickly finds work as a warehouseman. They stay there for four years.
In 1956, the Vartan couple aquire on loan their first apartment situated in Clichy-sous-Bois, before returning to live in Paris in 1960, in the 12ème arrondissement. At each stage Sylvie attends the nearest public schools, namely: Jussienne primary school, Victor Hugo high school, Le Raincy pilot mixed high school, then the Hélène Boucher girls school with far more rigid teaching methods...
Sylvie is now 16. Her brother Edmond, who has become a trumpetist, (he now likes to be called Eddie) influences her considerably, between jazz and rock, in her first musical discoveries... In 1961, he abandons his law studies to take up a position as artistic director for Decca....
December 1952: The Vartan family arrive in Paris just in time for the Christmas festivities.
1953: In Paris, Sylvie Vartan enters the local public school where she learns the French language. After 2 years she speaks perfectly with no accent.
Carried by the triumph of the single "Si je chante", Sylvie Vartan is booked at the Olympia: 41 concerts over three weeks with one, two or three shows a day depending on the dates. The idea of the show, imagined by Bruno Coquatrix, is to bring together on the same booking the top acts of the time in England, France and the USA. Her name shines on the front of the famous Parisian music-hall alongside those of Trini Lopez and the Beatles. Three repertoires, three very different audiences, and the press who can't wait to criticize her…
Contrary to what her critics might have been hoping for, she is far from crumbling and her success forces them to restrain themselves…
On the orchestra side of things, she is supported by a solid group. To accompany her, her brother Eddie has recruited the English musicians Micky Jones (future leader of the band "Foreigner") and Tommy Brown. For her, they also compose several original songs.
At this Olympia, she gives the first performance of the song that Charles Aznavour just wrote for her for the film "Cherchez l'idole" and with which the public will soon associate her: "La plus belle pour aller danser". It will be the biggest success of her career.
Onstage, her style has evolved towards something more feminine and glamourous.
The newspaper "Le Provençal" nicknames her "L'ange bleu de la chanson française" (the blue angel of french song).
In the USA, "Life" magazine publishes an article titled "Hooray for the Yé-Yé girls" (of the three pages covered by the article, two are dedicated to her) following which she takes part in her first concert on Broadway.
In August, the women's magazine "Marie-Claire" states that "Sylvie Vartan has become the model to replace that of Brigitte Bardot"!
Even Catherine Deneuve temporarily surrenders to her as she declares to the "New York Times"(15 December 1964) : "It is Sylvie Vartan they copy, with her flying curls, not me".
From 1964, Sylvie Vartan becomes the best paid headline act in France. Her summer tour is a resounding success. In Marseille, her triumph at the Pharo theatre leads to the booking of five new dates in the autumn.
To conquer the German and Italian markets, RCA encourages her to translate her biggest hits.
In November she is once more in the USA, accompanied by her brother. This time, it's in New-York that she records in English the tracks from her album "Gift wrapped from Paris" (to which will be added several sessions recorded in Nashville at the end of 1963)
• 16 January TV News 8pm: Report on Olympia
• 16 January to 5 February: Olympia with Trini Lopez and the Beatles. She premieres on stage "La plus belle pour aller danser".
• February : Spain - TVE Gran Parada - Hosted by Ramón Díez and Carmina Alonzo - Sylvie performs "Si Je Chante"
• 27 February: Release of the film "Cherchez l'idole"
• March: EP "La plus belle pour aller danser" - RCA 86.046
• March: LP "Sylvie à Nashville" - RCA 430 154
• From March: Portugal, Spain and a first run in the US (3 June, Broadway Palladium, New-York).
• 27 May: First television appearance in Italy. Incontro a Roma - "Canta insieme a me"
• First single in Italian "Canta insieme a me / La più bella" RCA 45N-1406
• June: USA The Tonight Show
• June: EP "Mister moonlight" - RCA 86.054 (in German)
• June: EP "Sha la la" - RCA 86.060
• From July: Summer tour, with Franck Alamo as supporting act (around 30 dates mainly in casinos seaside resorts)
• October: EP "L'homme en noir" - RCA 86.071
• From October: Autumn tour (Belgium, France: about one month)
• 21 october: Release of the film "Patate" by Robert Thomas where she acts alongside Pierre Dux, Danielle Darrieux and Jean Marais
• 30 October : 7 jours du monde - Sylvie performs "Sha la la" + interview.
• 5 December: Hello Paris - Trio "Nous on est dans le vent" with Françoise Hardy and Petula Clark
For the last two years Sylvie Vartan has been on magazine covers all over continental Europe.
"La plus belle pour aller danser" (アイドルを探せ, "Cherchez l’idole" in Japanese) ranks N°1 in the charts for several weeks. It's an unprecedented hit amongst French songs in Japan. It will never be equalled.
Another trip the 8th November, this time in England for a prestigious concert, the "Royal Variety Performance" in the presence of Queen Elisabeth II. Her choice to wear a trouser suit for her performance before the Queen threw the English press into turmoil...
The union of the two idols was a huge deal, the biggest media event of the decade for French artists. It was seen as a real "modern day fairy tale" and can be viewed as the highest point of the Yé-Yé movement…
• January: EP "Dans tes bras" - RCA 86.084
• February: The tour includes Turkey (four concerts in Istanbul), Greece and Portugal.
• March: LP "A gift wrapped from Paris" (USA) - RCA LSM-3438 (Mono) and LPS-3438 (Stereo)
• 16 March: United States: Hullabaloo Show : "I made my choice" "Ne t'en va pas/Comin' home" (duet with Jack Jones)
• April: EP "Cette lettre-là" - RCA 86.096
• 12 April: Marriage to Johnny Hallyday
• May: Japan, 13 concerts
Vartan ready-to-wear collection (Seibu, Tokyo)
• 17 May Japan - Fuji TV : Music Fair
"La plus belle pour aller danser", "La vie sans toi",
"La La La", "Car tu t’en vas"
• 22 May Japan - NHK : Let's make a dream
"La vie sans toi / Dans tes bras"
• 26 May: Etats-Unis: Tonight Show (CBS) presented by Johnny Carson
• 3 June: Argentina, Two unique concerts at the "Teatro Opera" in Buenos Aires (8:15pm and 10:30pm)
• June: Uruguay two shows accompanied by Eddie Vartan.
• July: EP "Quand tu es là" - RCA 86.108
• July-August: Summer tour in France and excursions in North Africa (Marocco and Tunisia).
• August: Several concerts in Spain.
• October: Launch in France of the ready-to-wear collection.
• 11 November: United Kingdom : Royal Variety Performance in London in the presence of Queen Elizabeth II.
• 12 November United Kingdom: Ready Steady Go
• 14 November: Report on the Royal Variety Performance
• November: EP "C'était trop beau"
• 29 December: Show Johnny-Sylvie directed by Jean-Christophe Averty
If 1965 was a year of triumph, 1966 will be a year of reconsiderations and ruptures...
Pregnant, Sylvie cancels all her tour projects, including those planned in Japan in January, giving rise to tensions between her and certain members of her professional entourage.
It must be said that the artistic context is less than favorable to her.
Since the end of summer 1965, the press announced the end of Yé-Yé: to prove this point, between 1965 and 1966 Johnny and Sylvie, who were its biggest stars, passed brutally from first to last place in the Express's published ranking of most popular French singers.
Should this be seen as a consequence of media over-exposure during previous years? In her show "Discorama", Denise Glaser points out to Sylvie there isn't a single week where she doesn't feature in the press...
Her original manager, Johnny Stark, takes new artists under his wing, which seems to lead Sylvie and Johnny to break with him; he is replaced by Eddie Vartan.
This year, Sylvie records an album of sophisticated arrangements, concocted by her English musicians Micky Jones and Tommy Brown, that meet with relatively less success than those that came before.
Her song "Il y a deux filles en moi" written by Jean-Jacques Debout doesn't have the impact hoped for, however this doesn't stop it from ranking as RCA's second best selling EP of the semester.
For the time being, all Sylvie's energy is directed towards her impending motherhood and, to a lesser extent, her fashion collections.
Since the start of the year she has been sporting a new look, her emblematic blond square giving way to a "curtain fringe".
Gone are the chiffon dresses from Real, she now dresses from her own collections, or in the Haute Couture of Dior or Saint Laurent.
In November, at a time when people say music is far from her mind, she travels to Turkey for a 9 date tour, accompanied by a new band assembled by her brother. Her show is completely revamped, rhythmic, marked by the injection of R&B elements. For the first time, she brings two dancers on stage with her.
Upon her return, the Agence France Presse announces that Sylvie and Johnny are living together again. Concern for David seems to have been a deciding factor...
• 12 January: Germany - Concert in Munich broadcasted on TV
• February: EP "Il y a deux filles en moi" - RCA 86.145
• February: LP "Il y a deux filles en moi" - RCA 431 012
• 8 March: Belgium, Tienerklanken
• 26 March: Holland, Tien Tien
• 27 March: Discorama
(Denise Glaser Interview)
• July: EP "Mister John B." - RCA 86.170
• 14 August: Birth of her son David
• October: EP "Ballade pour un sourire" - RCA 86.181
• First single in Dutch SP "Ballade voor een glimlach (Ballade pour un sourire) / Het is voorbij (Cette lettre-là)" (Holland) RCA 55 1102
• First single in German SP "La chanson in German / Nur ein Lächeln blieb (Ballade pour un sourire)" (Germany) RCA 47 9741
• First single in Spanish SP "Balada para una sonrisa (Ballade pour un sourire) / La canción (La chanson)" (Spain) RCA 3-10205
• November: Turkey Tour.
9 concerts in 3 different cities. For the first time she appears on stage with two dansers, giving her show a 'Rhythm and Blues' feel.
• December: EP "Par amour, par pitié" - RCA 86.187
• 16 December: Holland , FanClub "Ballade voor een glimlach"
• December: Germany, "Nur ein Lächeln blieb"
• 25 December: 16 millions de jeunes - Sylvie Vartan special: 45 minute biography show where she sings 9 songs.
At the start of the year, a young songwriter, Michel Mallory, enters Sylvie's universe with "Loup", an adaptation of the track "Wolf" by Kenny Young. As SP (2 track singles) start to dominate the market, the song is the main title on a very pop-rock EP (4 track single) recorded in London with Chris Kinsey, sound engineer of the Rolling Stones. Sylvie will be one of the last artists in France to release 4 track EPs.
Johnny Hallyday doesn't take long to notice Mallory and bring him into his team.
Quickly becoming the preferred songwriter of the "Terrible twosome of French song", over the next 15 years Mallory will provide each of them with a huge number of tailor-made titles through which the two lovers will act out the constant back-and-forth of their relationship. These songs being a fairly accurate account of their life together, audiences require little effort to decrypt their meaning as the press already publish every aspect of their relationship year round...
The publicity for this disk brings Sylvie back onto TV screens. It's the first time she has appeared since her accident*. We find her distinctly slender, faithful to the high fashion of Saint Laurent but also open to edgier labels like Kenzo or certain American designers.
*One year off television excluding the broadcast of "Sylvissima" in December 1970
Her sophisticated and sexy image contrasts with an ever more reserved attitude in interviews; a divide that even draws the attention of the very selective "Vogue" magazine, that usually isn't interested in singers. For Sylvie, the sessions with the famous fashion magazine will give her the chance to meet legendary photographers such as Helmut Newton or Guy Bourdin.
For the first time since 1965, Sylvie returns to Japan, after "Les hommes qui n’ont plus rien à perdre" reached the top 10 in the sales charts at the end of 1970, a success quickly followed by that of an old track also written by Jean Renard, "Irrésistiblement" (#18 Oricon).
From the moment of her arrival at the airport, she is given three golden disks representing one million disks sold in one year. The tour is so successful that she signs another contract for the following year... Exclusively for the Japanese market, the show is released as a live double album titled "Sylvie à Tokyo" .
During this trip, she agrees to record a few tracks in Japanese including the bubbly "Koibito Jidai" that ranks #16 in the "All Japan" chart.
Her success encourages Japanese record labels to promote numerous French artists in the musical vein of "French Pop". For several years, Sylvie is portrayed as the queen of the genre, while Michel Polnareff is the prince.
Back in Europe at the end of the summer, she is busy with shooting for "Malpertuis", a fantasy film directed by Harry Kümel. For her first film appearance since "Patate" in 1964, she plays the part of a lady of the night alongside Orson Welles and Mathieu Carrière. The following year, the film is presented in Cannes without attracting much enthousiasm from the jury. With time, however, it obtains a "cult film" status amongst fantasy lovers...
As soon as the filming is over she presents two new original songs with the single "Annabel" in the hippie-rock vein of "Loup" (the previous single) preempting the release of a new LP...
The imminent release of the album "Sympathie" leads to two concerts at the Palais d’Hiver in Lyon the 11 and 12 December 1971. Sylvie is accompanied onstage by ten musicians and singers and eight dancers.
The show, taking the form of the 1970 Olympia concert and recent Japan appearances, is enriched by new tracks as well as the finale "Proud Mary", in an arrangement fairly close to the original version by Ike and Tina Turner.
The concert is broadcast live on RTL and offers itself up to the cameras of François Reichenbach for the documentary "Mon amie Sylvie", for which the famous filmmaker also follows Sylvie across France, the US and Mexico over the course of a whole year. It's the second installment in a series of two portraits, the first, "J'ai tout donné", dedicated to Johnny Hallyday...
The year ends in Italy where Sylvie records with Paolo Dossena a few songs in the "pop-baroque" tradition that is all the rage on the Italian peninsula. The single "Caro Mozart" is released at the end of the year and Sylvie busies herself with publicity for it. The 31 December, she sings once more at the Bussola (concert broadcast live on the RAI)...
• EP "Loup" - RCA 87.107
• 2 LP "Sylvie à Tokyo" - (Japan)
RCA SRA 9276-77
• 9 May to 26 May : Japan Tour . 6 cities, 21 concerts (Tokyo - Osaka - Sendai - Nagoya - Kyoto - Hiroshima)
• 19 April : "Marcel Amont sur la 2" : Loup, Je t'appelle.
• 2 May : "Télé dimanche" : Loup, Beaucoup d'amour, un peu de patience, Je t'appelle, L'herbe folle.
• 28 June : "Show Petula Clark" : Loup, Je t'appelle, L'annonce (duo avec Petula Clark).
• SP "Annabel" - RCA 49.148
• 3 October : "L'invité du dimanche" (with Paul Meurisse) : Parle-moi de ta vie, Annabel
• 9 October : "Aujourd'hui madame" (report) .
• 10 October - "Le grand amphi" , presented by Jacques Chancel : A l'eau de la claire fontaine (with Georges Brassens), Parle moi de ta vie
• 28 November : "Au risque de vous plaire", produced by J.C. Averty: Loup, Je t'appelle, Annabel, Parle moi de ta vie, Dilindam
• SP "Koibito jidai" - (Japan) RCA SS 2102
• SP "Caro Mozart" - (Italy) RCA 1655
• Lyon - Palais d'Hiver (2 shows).
• 31 December - Italie: Invito al Circo
• 31 December - Italie: "Benvenuto 1972", Concert at La Bussola.
In February 1973, Sylvie and Johnny take off for Brazil where they haven’t been together since 1969. They are the guests on the radio show ‘RTL non-stop’ broadcast live from the ‘Golden Room’ of Rio’s Copacabana Palace.
This year, couples and duos of all sorts are the height of fashion: Stone and Charden, Sheila and Ringo, Dalida and Alain Delon, and even the other ye-ye couple Françoise Hardy and Jacques Dutronc with the birth of their son Thomas.
This is a trend not overlooked by Jean Renard, artistic director of both Johnny and Sylvie, who sees a golden opportunity in the wake of the couple’s recent reconciliation to ‘strike the market hard’.
He writes ‘J’ai un problème’ on a text by Michel Mallory, a song of circumstance that he hopes to turn into a summer hit.
He will have to fight hard to overcome the contractual difficulties between Phillips and RCA but especially to convince the two parties to record this track that neither of them want anything to do with.
In the memory of all involved the recording sessions of these duos were laborious, between the artists unwillingness and bursts of laughter…
For the launch of the single, the 14 June, Guy Lux dedicates a ‘Cadet Rousselle’ to Sylvie and Johnny.
A week later it's the turn of the Carpentiers with the first and only ‘Top à Sylvie et Johnny’, a colour show during which Sylvie sings amongst other things her Brazilian track ‘Veglia Nega’.
With Johnny she performs a brand new duet, adapted from the American standard ‘Fever’.
In July the single ‘J’ai un problème’ takes the top spot in the charts. Jean Renard was right: ‘J’ai un problème’ becomes and still is to this day the best selling single in France of each of the two artists (more than 750,000 copies, however this was surpassed abroad for Sylvie by the Japanese single ‘La plus belle pour aller danser’, selling 1,250,000 copies by 1972).
What’s more, the single is released in several countries (Japan, Canada, Argentina, Turkey, Portugal and Germany - in a German version: ‘Vieilleicht bits du fur mich noch nich die grosse liebe’).
It won't be until 1975 that the single will be released in Italy, on the occasion, probably, of the TV series ‘Punto e basta’ of which Sylvie is the the star for several weeks. The two tracks are released in Italian versions (Il mio problema / Voglio tutto di te).
From the spring Sylvie enters into a long period of stage appearances, both alone and as part of her joint tour with Johnny.
During this period, she performs in every kind of venue: auditoriums, arenas, stadiums, Italian night clubs…
For her concerts with Johnny she performs the first half, Johnny the second, then they end with two or three duets.
Their joint tour takes them, amongst other places to Spain and indeed Italy for the festival of the paper ‘L’Unità’ in Milan. However, it’s in Greece that their most memorable concert takes place in the Panathenaic Stadium in Athens.
With nearly 40 dates, Sylvie and Johnny attract considerable crowds, estimated at 250,000 people. An album featuring all of the year’s singles is published on their return. It contains the two theme songs of the soap opera ‘Graine d’ortie’ composed by Eddie Vartan.
In October, for her fourth tour in Japan titled her ‘Tenth anniversary tour’, she takes the material from her last Olympia adding in new tracks and some of her biggest hits in the country.
For ages the promotors have hoped to organise a joint tour with Johnny, but the inevitable negotiations between the record labels ensued, Phillips do however succeed in timing the Japan release of ‘J’ai un problème’ with Sylvie’s tour.
The concerts are such a success that extensions are proposed, but alas Sylvie’s agenda includes engagements in France and can’t allow it.
Instead, a preview show is added in Tokyo at the very last moment, to be filmed for Japanese television and shown the 19 December on the channel ‘Tokyo Channel 12’.
A new tour is immediately planned for the following year and at the request of RCA Japan, Sylvie agrees to record an album exclusively for the Japanese market.
Back in France, she releases a new single - particularly important because it signals her solo return to the top of the charts.
A rare sight also - both sides feature equally on radio playlists: ‘Toi le garçon’ that renews the ambiance of the album ‘Sympathie’, adapted from the Helen Reddy’s country hit ‘Delta Dawn’; and the highly autobiographical ‘l’amour au diapason’ of the Renard-Mallory partnership that depicts with humour the paradoxes of the Vartan-Hallyday couple and sounds like the conclusion of a triumphant year for the two stars:
At the end of the year, we learn in the press that Sylvie is pregnant…
• SP "Non, je ne suis plus la même" RCA 40028
• 12 February Brazil: RTL Non-stop, live from the Copacabana Palace. With Sylvie Vartan, Johnny Hallyday, Gilberto Gill, Gal Costa, Jorge Ben ...
• 1 February Cadet Rousselle: "Non je ne suis plus la même"
• 7 February Channel 1 - Midi trente: "Non je ne suis plus la même", "Va si tu l'aimes"
• 17 February Devine qui est derrière la porte: "Non je ne suis plus la même", "Va si tu l'aimes"
• 22 February Channel 2 - Cadet Rousselle Jean Renard special: "2'35 de bonheur" (with Johnny and Guy Lux)
• 11 March Channel 1 - Soirée élections: "Non je ne suis plus la même".
• March: Iran - Italy: Gala concerts.
• 18 March Le Luron du dimanche: "Non je ne suis plus la même"
• 24 March Channel 1 - Du côté de chez... Sylvie Vartan. Program by Michel Polac
• 8 April Channel 1 - Sport en fête: "Non je ne suis plus la même", "Pour lui je reviens".
• 3 May Channel 2 - Cadet Rousselle JJ Debout special: "Comme un garçon", "Dilindam".
• SP "L'homme que tu seras / Ne m'attends pas" Songs from the TV film "Graine d'ortie" RCA 40046
• SP "J'ai un problème" Philips 6009384
• 23 June: Top à Sylvie et Johnny
Show produced by Maritie and Gilbert Carpentier, directed by André Freédérick, choreographed by Arthur Plasschaert.
• July-August: Summer tour (France-Italy-Spain-Greece).
• LP "J'ai un problème" RCA 440 763
• SP "La vie c'est du cinéma" RCA 40050
• SP "L'amour au diapason" RCA 42001
• SP "Vieilleicht bist du fur mich noch nich die grosse liebe" Philips 6009413
• SP "Noi ieri noi oggi / Ma Maramao" RCA 1675
• 4 September - Germany: Klimbim ep. 2 series 1 (Channel ARD)
• 15 September: La Une est à vous : "J'ai un problème".
• 15 September: Midi trente: Guests - Sylvie & Johnny
• Japan: Tour from 29 September to 14 October - 9 cities, 12 concerts.
• LP "Sylvie Vartan live in Japan" RCA 6179
• 17 November: Top à Petula Clark: "Dixieland" (with Sacha Distel and Petula Clark), "L'amour au diapason", "Toi le garçon".
• 29 November - Taratata: "Toi le garçon", "L'amour au diapason"
• 16 December - Dimanche Salvador: "Toi le garçon", "L'acupuncteur" (with Henri Salvador and Johnny), musical sketch with Henri Salvador
• Japan: 19 December "Love Sound Special" Tokyo Channel 12 - Sylvie Vartan at the Nakano Sun Plaza 50 mn.
• 30 December - Sports en fête (Sergio Leone special): "La vie c'est du cinéma", "L'amour au diapason", "J'ai un problème" (performed by Yves Lecoq & Sophie Darel).
Without showing any disappointment at the recent cancellation of her TV show, Sylvie Vartan makes several television appearances in January to promote her new LP, 'Shang shang a lang'. The first extract from the album has a successful but modest radio debut (# 8 RTL).
At the end of march, the famous "Sylvie Vartan Show" initially programmed for the evening of the 31 December is finally broadcast, after the scenes mentioning the new year were remade. RCA releases a single titled 'Tout au fond des tiroirs', extract from the album that was regrettably released four months too soon...
Sylvie now starts making a series of changes to her professional entourage. Firstly, she decides to break with Jean Renard who was her artistic director since 1967. He gives way to Jacques Revaux, producer of Michel Sardou, the new French number 1.
The first song that Revaux proposes for Sylvie, 'La drôle de fin', is a surprising pop tango: It's a success from the outset. (# 7 RTL, # 21 C.I.D.D.).
In March, Sylvie settles into the Hilton hotel in Rome. With the conducter Pino Calvi, she records an album in Italian which is used as the original soundtrack to the weekly series 'Punto e basta' that she prepares to co-present with the actor Gino Bramieri . The filming lasts eight weeks and involves two hundred people, extras and technicians as well as the fourteen dancers that surround Sylvie.
The "Teatro Vittorie" is sumptuously decorated in the style of the grand Italian cabarets like "La Bussola". The first show is broadcast the 26 April at 10:30pm. Seven shows are initially planned; an eighth is made with the outakes, while Sylvie is already back in France where she's starting rehearsals for her summer tour.
Every saturday for two months, Sylvie opens the show with 'Il veliero in bottiglia', each time in a different outfit. Over the course of the evening, she systematically performs two songs, including one past success. The show ends with 'Punto e Basta' as a duet with Bramieri, this sequence acting each week as the end credits theme.
Johnny goes to Rome to take part in Sylvie's show. They sing for the first time 'Il mio problema', the Italian version of their 1973 hit 'J'ai un problème' which Phillips opportunely releases as a single.
Arriving confidently in Italy, the memory of 'Doppia Coppia' still fresh in her mind, Sylvie is confronted with an ambivalent reception from the media who care mostly about how much she's paid, her private life and especially her provocative outfits. In fact the favourite photos of the Italian magazines come from a scene in a leather leotard and thigh-length boots that in the end is never broadcast. The 'servizio vigilanza' of the RAI would even accuse Sylvie of a falsely 'accidental' strip-tease, to the point of threatening her with a fine! If at the start she preferred to laugh off all this fuss, eventually it gets on her nerves:
The lack of rapport with her partner Gino Bramieri is palpable and their joint appearances are cut to a minimum. As soon as Sylvie has left, Bramieri doesn't hesitate to let loose his opinions on 'La Vartan', who he judges to be, amongst other things, "too French and lazy'. Maybe also, quite simply, he can't take being overshadowed in the media when this series of shows marks his big return to television after 2 years of absence...
The last "firework" of a cycle of big budget Italian variety shows, the "Punto e basta" series sees a limited number of re-showings and contrary to "Doppia Coppia" of 1969, doesn't stick in the memory of the Italians; however for the fans of Sylvie Vartan they're a "must", even if the broadcast in black and white robs them of some of the sparkle seen in the colour photos...
* * *
In the spring, the rumour starts to spread: Sylvie Vartan has reserved the Palais des Congrès for a month. Certainly, up to now, she is one of the rare singers to be able to pack out the Olympia for three weeks running; but between that and filling a hall that's twice as big for a month, there's a seemingly impossible leap... let alone for a woman: The industry slips between hilarity and concern...
Alain-Philippe Malagnac, at 24 years old, drifts in the entourage of writer Alain Peyrefitte. Self-proclaimed businessman, he sees in Sylvie Vartan the star that will allow him to make his big entry into show-business, the world who's lights draw him in irresistibly... To Sylvie, he brings unfailing support throughout her engagement... The media can't help taking an interest in this funny pairing that's creating a year-round buzz.
As soon as the shooting for Punto e Basta is over, Sylvie leaves to rehearse in Los Angeles before starting on a two month summer tour over the course of which she runs in her new show. The 27 July, a huge concert reunites Sylvie and Johnny in Narbonne.
She takes a day off to celebrate her Birthday in Biarritz with her family and later in Saint-Tropez that of Roger Peyreffite, alongside notably Romy Schneider and Annabel Buffet.
At the end of August she takes off with Johnny for Canada where they give three exceptional concerts together including one for the use of Quebec television. In Montreal and Quebec, Sylvie presents a simplified version of her upcoming Paris show...
At the Palais des Congrès, the troop consists of around seventy people of which thirty musicians, sixteen dancers, three mimes, twelve stagehands and nine lighting technicians. The show includes 9 sets and almost two hundred original costumes. A publicity campaign of fifteen thousand posters is launched in the whole Paris region.
The tension builds in her entourage and the evening of the premiere the Parisian elite throng to the Palais des Congrès to finally discover the show and see which way the scale will tip...
The show consists of two parts, each one hour long.
Over the course of the first half, the orchestra plays in a pit to allow the sets and choreographies to take up the immense entirety of the stage. There are five scene changes just for "La divine Lady Veine", a true show-within-a-show lasting twenty minutes. The most captivating scene is a dance routine with eleven bicycles flying around Sylvie.
In the second half, the platform under the orchestra is raised so that the musicians can be seen, drawing attention to the singer and her repertoire. She doesn't let off, though, on the spectacular stagings. The theatrical dance routine 'La drôle de fin', notably, sticks in the mind. She will perform it systematically on every stage for the next seven years...
Very few big hits are on the programme as 'Danse-la chante-la', number 1 on the radio, was dropped, which doesn't stop it from becoming Sylvie's biggest solo success since "La plus belle pour aller danser" with almost 500,000 copies sold...
The day after the premier, the critics compare her to her detriment either to Brassens, Brel or Barbara who are singer-songwriters that do nothing on stage but sing, or to the stars of cabaret revues like Lido, who have no repertoire to defend. At the time, a pop show with choreography and sets is hard to imagine. For many, Sylvie's show is doomed to fail...
The 31 October, a few days from the end of her run, Sylvie signs a poster for the hundred-thousandth spectator and the 23 November, on Guy Lux's show "Système 2", she receives a "Fauteuil d'Or" from the director of the Palais des Congres for 115,000 tickets sold. Extensions are announced for February 1976.
She is also the first woman in Europe**** to draw more than 100,000 spectators in one booking (28 dates). For comparison, from the 31 July to 28 August, Elvis Presley beat the record in the USA with fifty eight consecutive shows in one month, drawing a total of 101,509 spectators at the Las Vegas International Hotel.
By defining a new standard of success that singer Nicoletta is the first to acknowledge, the triumph of Sylvie Vartan at the Palais des Congrès marks an important point in show-business, but it won't be until the 80s that other female singers will rise to the level of the big stages (with the exception of six exceptionnal concerts by Véronique Sanson at the Palais des Sports in 1978...)
For the time being, Sylvie reigns alone.
Far from gloating, she distances herself even further from the industry:
• SP "Shang shang a lang" RCA PB 37 031
• 19 January: Système 2: "Shang shang a lang", "Bye bye Leroy Brown"
• 9 February: Les rendez vous du dimanche: "Shang shang a lang, Les chemins de ma vie, Toi mon aventure"
• SP "Tout au fond des tiroirs" RCA 42015
Choreography by Tony Ventura
• SP Italy "Punto e basta" RCA TPBO 7000
• SP Italy "Il mio problema/ Voglio tutto di te" (duets with Johnny Hallyday) Philips 6 0009 650
• LP Italy "Punto e basta" RCA TPL1 1138
• SP "La drôle de fin" RCA 42026
• 21 June Numéro Un Johnny Hallyday: Sketch with Eddie Vartan, "Tous mes copains", "La drôle de fin", "Da dou ron ron" with Johnny
• July-August: Summer tour (40 dates) including
3 exceptionnal concerts with Johnny Hallyday in Quebec and Montreal for 30,000 spectators
• SP "Danse-la, chante-la" RCA 42054
• 1 October: Un sur cinq
• Palais des Congrès 4 October to 4 November, 28 performances
• 2LP "Show Sylvie Vartan Palais des Congrès" RCA FPL2 0095
"La drôle de fin"
After fifteen years of an already very rich career, Sylvie Vartan, whose fall from fame has already been forecast countless times, achieves her greatest success yet, even greater than at the heart of the Ye-ye era.
In terms of commercial success, after the outstanding feat of the 1975 Palais des Congrès show, she is the only woman to match up to the song superstars Johnny Hallyday or Serge Lama. From now on the industry will look differently at her...
The critics feel pressed to shift positions and now concentrate their criticisms of Sylvie on her "distant" celebrity persona.
In February, after two years away, Sylvie heads back to Japan. The success of the tour, which includes four concerts in Tokyo and two in Osaka in the biggest venues, shows that the Japanese are keen on the "New Vartan" (That is to say the Star surrounded by dancers). Very widely reported, the Japanese press articles can't help regretting the smaller scale of the staging compared to the Palais des Congrès show…
After Japan, some stops on the tour take bizarre turns. In Korea where her records have been selling very well since the release of "La reine de Saba", Sylvie performs for the first time in Seoul. The show, deemed too erotic, has to be modified to avoid offending the prudishness of the Korean authorities. The skimpy dresses are cut and the red lights, considered aphrodisiacs, are banned.
* * *
Sylvie doesn't know it yet at the time of this interview, but life is about to throw her up against a wall. In February, the day before her departure for Japan, her producer Alain-Philippe Malagnac is confronted by the law. Unable to pay off a bank debt, he finds himself banned from exercising any professional activity. In two weeks, his empire collapses like a house of cards. Sylvie won't even be able to feature his name on her posters like she had planned to do to support him…
She has to resign herself to taking over production of her upcoming show planned for October at the Palais des Congrès. With two sell-out runs in 1975 and 1976 and nearly a million allbums sold over the two years together, she finds the necessary financial backing without too much trouble but is forced to put up her belongings as a deposit.
Back in Los Angeles, she catches up with choreographer Claude Thompson, with whom she worked on the abandoned TV show of December 1976 and begins with him a collaboration that will last six years. Thompson, who proved himself amongst others with Elvis Presley in 1969, will be the right man for the job. Together, for two months, they design and rehearse a "solar and sensual" show, according to Sylvie's wishes, in the tone of the new album that she has already recorded.
For this show, Sylvie controls everything, as much on an artistic level as logistically and financially. During her French summer tour, she takes a detour to Tunisia where she fills the ancient theatre at Carthage. This tour serves both to run in her upcoming Palais des Congrès show, and to try out her latest songs.
The first extract from the album, "Petit rainbow", hits the ground running in August. Adapted from the English track "Summer love sensation", it quickly finds itself at the head of the two main charts, RTL #1 and Europe 1 #1.
The 1977 album, produced by Jacques Revaux, distances itself noticeably from the more traditional style of the previous two. With sophisticated production, it consists of several original tracks and covers of American titles drawn from pop, rock and disco, as well as ballads which are the highlight of the album ... Among the songwriters contributing to this record, Tommy Brown and Gilles Thibaut, present since the start of the 60s, each write their last song for Sylvie. Like every time since Jacques Revaux showed up, this album is huge commercial success…
Hardly back from her tour, Sylvie picks back up the shooting of the TV show "Dancing Star" that had been interrupted in December 1976. The script is written by her friend the actor Jean-Claude Brialy: A young eastern girl arrives in Paris to follow her dream and become an artist. Along the way she meets several characters, an impresario, a lyricist, an adventurer... Contrary to the retro universe of the show "Je chante pour Swanee", "Dancing Star" is set right in the present and plays the glamour card with the obvious aim of taking advantage of Sylvie's photogenic nature. The program broadcast the 10 September becomes the showcase for her upcoming concerts. There are tracks from the two latest albums, dance scenes, and several orginal songs written for the show, notably the duets written by Michel Mallory and Eddie Vartan.
From October, the billboards for the new Vartan show invade the walls of Paris. The design is by a master of fashion photography, Helmut Newton. For Sylvie's poster, Newton maliciously transforms the logo of the Manpower brand ** into "Girlpower".
** ("The Vitruvian Man" by Leonardo da Vinci)
The force of these shots leaves a big impression. All over the posters and album covers, they reinforce the image of a strong and inaccessible woman, a particular vision of "The Star" that will guide the conception of the new show...
In this show that opens with the projection of Helmut Newton's photos on the gigantic stage curtain of the Palais des Congrès, Sylvie Vartan's silhouette, although miniscule at the centre of the immense stage, is spectacular from it's first appearance.
The costumes that Sylvie wore for the 1975 Palais des Congrès show didn't meet with unanimous praise, suffering from the comparison to Yves Saint Laurent's designs for the Olympia shows of 1970 and 1972. This time, for five of her ten stage outfits, she calls on the famous American costume designer Bob Mackie. In his hands, she becomes the very incarnation of a star through various outlines inspired by 40s Hollywood cinema, in particular Marlène Dietrich, a key reference for Sylvie...
Mackie replaces the muslin skirts with long dresses with plunging necklines, and with sequined torn leotards. Sylvie's reserve and the distance that she naturally imposes contrast with the audacious transparency of the designer... After Réal and Yves Saint Laurent, Bob Mackie leaves his mark on the stage image of Sylvie Vartan.
The performance is led at break-neck speed.
The scenes follow one another accompanied by cutting edge lighting effects and colour associations elaborated by the magic wand of a beginner that people will be talking about for a while: Jacques Rouveyrollis.
The staging plays on reflections, lighting, projection, leaving at the head the omnipresent orchestra of 25 musicians, sometimes disappearing behing a wall of smoke, mirrors or glittering tassles cascading from the rails...
The repertoire chosen includes Sylvie's most recent hits, but also covers from a wide range of genres, from jazz and swing to gospel, all with a hint of disco. Around the singer, Claude Thompson launches twelve dancers in routines from a tap number to a ballet on the soul track "You+Me=Equal Love", or indeed a disco-tango sequence including the now classic "Drôle de fin" directed by Walter Painter two years earlier.
During the second half, we find Sylvie all alone for a sketch imitating a slip-up with a spectator that takes the audience by surprise. It's the big moment of humour in a show that is otherwise above all else visual.
The evening of the premiere, Johnny Hallyday is in the front row to cheer on his wife, surrounded or followed over successive concerts by numerous celebrities, including Michel Sardou, Dalida, Joe Dassin, Henri Salvador, Barbara, Charles Trenet and a particularly important visitor, Mick Jagger in person.
From the very next day, the media praise the quality of the show, its effectivetess and especially its sumptuousness, highlighting Sylvie's beauty. All the same, the critics don't give up. No longer able to risk making fools of themselves by predicting a failure, they try to lend weight to the idea that Sylvie Vartan, in the middle of a plethora of dancers and decor, isn't the key ingredient of her own show...
But that doesn't stop the show from becoming a talking point across the whole of Europe, and even across the atlantic as the American magazine Variety dedicates a full page article to it, as much for the artistic performance that it represents as for its unprecedented success...
RCA has the first two evenings recorded for the rapid release of a live double LP, available from the second week. With "Georges" and the original soundtrack of the TV show "Dancing Star", no less than three new albums from Sylvie Vartan will be available at the end of the year. All will be successes.
In terms of turnout, with thirty two consecutive performances in 1977, Sylvie beats her own record from 1975. After a French tour in November and December, extensions are planned for spring 1978, just before a Japanese tour...
The structure of this new show works so well that Sylvie Vartan will keep it for nearly five years. Only the tracks from the new albums will replace the old ones...
• 17 January: Mexico Canal 13 Alta Tension Sylvie Vartan, Gladys Knight, Shawn Phillips (60')
• SP "Le temps du swing" RCA PB 8015
• 7 to 28 February: Japan tour (20 concerts)
• March: Seoul (Korea)
• 12 to 14 March: Tehran (Iran)
• 15 to 17 March: Damas (Syria)
• 20 March - Les rendez-vous du dimanche:
"Le temps du swing "
• 17 April - Les rendez-vous du dimanche : "Dieu merci"
• SP "Masculin singulier" RCA PB 8074
• 13 June: Mexico, Canal 13, Musica En La Noche (60')
• 2 July to 28 August: Summer tour, France
• 30 July: Concert at the Ancient Theatre in Carthage (Tunisia)
• SP "Petit rainbow" RCA PB 8128
• LP "Georges" RCA PL 37111
• 10 September - TF1 - Dancing star, TV Show by Maritie and Gilbert Carpentier .Guest Stars : Marie-Paule belle, Georges Chakiris, Jean-Claude Brialy, Carlos, Gérad Lenorman, Michel Sardou...
• LP "Dancing Star" PL 37021
• 2 October Les rendez-vous du dimanche: "Petit Rainbow"
• 5 October Un sur cinq Life rehearsals from the Palais des Congrès + "Petit Rainbow" "Arrête de rire"
• 8 October Numéro 1 Gérard Lenorman:
• 9 October TV News TF1 1pm
• 13 October Un taxi en or : "Petit Rainbow"
• 7 October to 9 November: Palais des Congrès, Paris (32 concerts)
• 2 LP "Au Palais des Congrès"
RCA PL 37116 (2)
• SP "Georges" RCA PB 8140
• 17 November to 15 December: Autumn tour, France (24 concerts)
Flashback: in 1965 , Sylvie released in the USA an album in English titled "Gift wrapped from Paris". This record gives her the opportunity to travel there for several prestigious television shows, all whilst generating a good number of articles in the press. We are at the height of the Ye-ye wave and clearly, what holds the attention of the Americans is Sylvie's look and fashion more than her music, which takes second place. Nonetheless, the arrival of this American LP leads to the US release of two French albums in 1967 and 1968 .…
At the start of 1979, Sylvie realises an artistic desire : to record a second album targeting the american market. The president of RCA Bob Summer personally provides the budget necessary to carry the project out. Denny Diante, member of the RCA staff and respected musician (Ike and Tina Turner, Johnny Mathis, Paul Anka, Liza Minelli, and later Barbra Streisand …) finds himself tasked with assisting Sylvie with the choice of her tracks. To begin with, the selection is purely disco, then evolves towards more eclectic rhythms. Denny Diante gathers a group of studio big-wigs, all of whom are now legendary: Lee Ritenour, Paulinho Da Costa, Paul Jackson Jr., Ray Parker Junior (not credited on the album), the Waters sisters for the backing vocals directed by top notch arrangers, Gene Page and the frenchman Michel Colombier. Michel is an old acquaintance of Sylvie, the two having worked together in 1968 for the TV show "Jolie Poupée". In 1973, he had set himself up in the USA where his career as an arranger reached new heights...
Once the album "I don't want the night to end" is recorded the time comes for publicity. In the USA from March to May, guided by her American agent Dick Grant of "Stones Associates", Sylvie participates in numerous parties and gives several interviews to the specialised press. The 1965 album isn't mentioned and this new record is presented as "the first in English".
She appears on three major television shows, the "Merv Griffin Show", the "Mike Douglas Show" and "Dinah!" ("Dinah Shore Show)" the "Jerry Lewis MDA Labor Day Telethon" (in september) and innovates by filming two music videos, probably the first by a French singer (aside from scopitones), effective even if they were produced with quite rudimentary means...
"I don't want the night to end" is released as a 7 inch and a 12 inch single the 20 April, the album a week later. The press reception is quite enthusiastic in "Cashbox" and "Billboard", more measured in "Stereo Review" and decidedly tepid in "Rolling Stones".
* * *
In June, Sylvie is back in France to present her record and launch her tour. Her music videos are shown on the TV shows of her friends Michel Sardou and Carlos. With the latter, she revisits her famous "2'35 de bonheur" in a jazzy version. For the rest, the French promotion for the American album remains discreet...
Around a cast as prestigious as it is eclectic, reuniting notably Georges Brassens, Françoise Hardy, Eddy Mitchell and even Henri Salvador, Sylvie takes part in the the recording of the original soundtrack of the children's musical “Emilie jolie” written by Philippe Chatel. For the role that's assigned to her, she is a “swinging ostrich” that echos her own “Dancing star” character...
Within France, in June, the single "I don't want the night to end" reaches eighth place in the RTL hit parade, which still isn't enough to make it a success.
On the other hand the tour is a triumph. Halfway through, Sylvie makes a few changes. The medley disappears, "I don't want the night to end" loses its choreography to be replaced by a sax solo, and "Toute Ma vie" is brought back for the finale.
The 25 July on RMC, she criticised the lack of professionalism of the agents. She come back to this a little later in an interview for Hit-Magazine:
The 28 July, Johnny attends his wife's concert in Nice with Yves Montand. An after-show dinner reunites the three of them in Saint-Paul de Vence...
At the end of August in the USA, "I don't want the night to end" makes its appearance in 78th place on the Top Billboard where it remains for two months, achieving its highest rank in October (#37) . The track also ranks in the Top 50 of "Record World" (#45).
It's at this point that a second phase of promotion would have been necessary but it never takes off. RCA has already lost interest in the album that "drops by the wayside".
For lack of publicity in the USA, Sylvie undertakes a tour of european televisions (Italy, Germany, Holland... Spain ...) before leaving for South America with an Argentinian version of "I don't want the night to end" up her sleeve. In Mexico, a special show is dedicated to her: "La Chica Maravilla". We even find her in Korea but information on this subject remains scarce...
When Sylvie completes promotion for her album in November, she knows it's a failure, even if RCA internally presents the producer Diante with a Golden record for more than 100,000 LPs sold internationally, of which two thirds were in France and Japan
One can wonder at the reasons for this failure. In 1979, several French artists take advantage of disco to gain international success, notably Patrick Hernandez, Patrick Juvet or even the ex Ye-ye girl Sheila whose group SB Devotion is a sensation in Europe.
"I don't want the night to end" was a good song with a definite disco orchestration but that didn't really fit into the typical style of the genre... It remains an album that has aged very well and is one of the jewels of Sylvie Vartan's RCA catalogue...
In 1979 we often still see Sylvie alongside her husband, apart from the now traditional cover of Paris-Match (beautiful but still just as cold), . At the end of the year, Johnny is onstage at the Pavillon in Paris. For the last show, he invites his closest friends to climb onstage alongside him, including Eddy Mitchell, Mort Shuman, Carlos, or indeed Michel Mallory. With the help of Johnny's drummer, Sylvie has prepared a surprise: at the end of the show, their son David, 13 years old, sits at the drums for "Rien que huit jours", to the great surprise of his father. Then she rejoins Johnny to perform together “Le bon temps du rock’n roll” . It's the first ever public appearance of the son of the most famous couple in French song. Paris-Match didn't hesitate to celebrate the event...
To honour her contractual obligations, Sylvie must quickly record another album in French, entitled "Déraisonnable" . Her brother Eddie is on production. Rock, notably absent during the Revaux period, makes a great comeback, featuring the traditional American covers as well as the unavoidable ballads, at the head of which is the very beautiful "Merveilleusement désenchantée".
Eddie Vartan deploys all his energy to convince his sister to record the adaptation of the hungarian track "Elmegyek" that becomes "Nicolas" . It's the fictional story of a child who stayed behind the Wall... Sylvie is reticent at the idea of exploiting this theme that isn't far from her "Maritza". Yet it's this track that will be pushed by RCA in the runup to the Christmas festivities. It's a sensation that assures the success of the album and becomes one of the most emblematic songs of Sylvie's repertoire...
• 20 January: TF1 - From the MIDEM in Cannes Sylvie announces the release of her american album.
• February: Private journey in Egypt with her mother and her son David (Photos by Tony Frank)
• 2 March: ZDF (Germany) 1977 Palais des Congrès Concert
• 8 April: At Long Beach Sylvie attends the U.S. Grand Prix where she meets french drivers Jean-Pierre Jabouille and Jacques Laffite .
• May: SP "I don't want the night to end" RCA PB 1578
• 31 May: LP "I don't want the night to end"
RCA PL 13015
• 1 June: Merv Griffin Show (USA) "I don't want the night to end" and "Please stay"
• 3 June: TF1 - Les rendez-vous du dimanche : "I don't want the night to end" and "Please stay" (Video clips)
• 10 June: Sports Première - Sylvie, Johnny and their son David at Roland Garros
• 26 June: Mike Douglas Show (USA)
• 30 June: Numéro Un Carlos : "2'35 de bonheur" (Jazzy new version), "Le petit pâtissier" (Rebroadcasting), "I don't want the night to end" video clip.
• 11 July: RTL Luxembourg - Hit parade
• From 1 July to 13 August: Summer tour (30 concerts in France, Switzerland and Monaco)
• 3 July: Dinah Show "I don't want the night to end" and "Please stay" (USA)
• 3 September: Jerry Lewis MDA Labor Day Telethon: "I don't want the night to end" (USA)
• October: SP "Easy love" RCA PB 8454
• October: Musik Landen (Germany) : "I don't want the night to end"
• October: Che combinazione "I don't want the night to end" (Italy)
• October: Fantastico "I don't want the night to end"(Italy)
• 28 October: (Mexico) La chica maravilla
• 13 October: BRTV (Holland) Hasselt : "I don't want the night to end", "Distant shores", "Easy love"
• 4 November: TF1 - Les rendez-vous du dimanche : "Easy love", "Please Stay"
• 12 November: Mike Douglas Show from Monte Carlo (USA)
• 25 November (Mexico) Canal 13: Sylvie Vartan
• 13 November: society evening at the Alcazar in Paris with Johnny Hallyday, Catherine Deneuve, Jacques Chazot
• + 25 November: Last Johnny Hallyday show at the Pavillon de Paris , duet "Le bon temps du Rock'n Roll", first public appearance of David
• 7 December: The special "Best 1979 soirée" organized in Rome brings together the 20 most elegant personnalities of the year, among them Sylvie Vartan.
• December: LP "Déraisonnable" RCA PB 37363
• December: SP "Nicolas" RCA PB 8492
• 9 December - Les rendez-vous du dimanche: "Seule sur mon île", "Pauvre Sylvie"
• 20 December - Bios Banhof (Germany): "I don't want the night to end" "Don't you worry"