Axelle Red

论坛:寻音觅影作者:日落酒馆发表时间:2002-12-20 15:12

Axelle Red collects platinum discs like other people collect stamps or parking tickets. After only 3 CD's and a side step in Spanish, she has already earned herself the sort of enviable reputation that you would usually only expect from an artist who's been around a long, long time: three number one's, a dozen top ten hits, and more gold and platinum discs than there's room for on her wall. And undoubtedly they'll be joined by more soon, because after nearly 500 concerts the time is now ripe for Axelle's first live CD release, recorded earlier this year during her sold out tour in France.

Those who saw Axelle live - and who didn't - know that she's a born performer. Not only does she keep her fans guessing by time and again reinventing the term 'stage show', she also surrounds herself with the sort of musicians who have to be seen, and naturally heard, to be believed into the bargain! Musicians who not only play soul music, but appear to have been part of its invention.

It says a lot about Axelle's talent when you know that Isaac Hayes' musical director professed his willingness to work with this lady from Limburg, and the results speak for themselves. "I thought it was important to make an album which showed just how much my songs have evolved in the last couple of years", says the singer. "When you're on tour it's only natural that the numbers start to take on another shape. It's not only good psychology for myself and the band, but the audience gets a kick out of it too". In fact she's right, a lot of the hits included on 'Alive' have gone through a natural metamorphosis. Take 'Le Monde Tourne Mal' for example. The lyrics are still there, but the music has lost something of its original feel and has become harder hitting. 'Aretha et Moi', another firm live favourite, has said hello and goodbye to probably ten different arrangements over the years, but wait till you hear this one - it's really come home to roost. The new, rethought version of 'Sensualité' has a more playful edge to it than the original that once topped the French hit parade.

"The fans have been asking for a live CD for so long, and I must admit even I felt the time had come to record a few concerts. A gig situation is so different, you can let yourself go and you have the space to express yourself completely differently and experiment with tried and trusted songs that are crying out for that extra injection. Coupled with all that, I've been touring and recording for ten years now, so it seemed the perfect moment to look back and take stock of things." And yet Axelle will tell you that she's not really a fan of live CD's. But on hearing Bill Withers' masterly 'Live at Carnegie Hall' she decided that whatever limitations there might be to a live project, they were nothing compared to the excitement of recording live.

"The music had to sound warm and human, and not as if has been recorded in one or another concrete bunker. Atmosphere is all important during a concert, and this had to come over on the album." If the audience's vocal participation is anything to go by, it would seem that an Axelle Red concert is one huge party, and Alive is no exception. You get a tingling down the spine when you hear a few thousand French fans singing along, word for word, on the verses of 'Je 't Attends' and 'Rester Femme'. "It was an incredible kick" she remembers. The sort of description that perfectly fits the way she felt for the two exclusive concerts she gave in Antwerp and Paris. Singing soul, with soul, with soul's greats.
The heroes and heroine of those two fantastic nights - Ann Peebles, Wilson Pickett, Sam Moore and Percy Sledge - are not to be heard on 'Alive', although 'Just the two of us', a cover that was first graced the repertoire during the two shows, did make it onto the CD and sparkles like a polished diamond. That fact that many of Axelle's own songs can stand up and be counted along with this great soul classic says a lot about the enormous evolution she's been through as a composer.

In fact it was already written in the stars ten years ago. That was the time that Axelle Red (born in the heady year of '68') signed, after a few successful singles, a worldwide deal with Virgin Records. The first CD, the appropriately entitled 'Sans Plus Attendre', which was only released in '93, easily exceeded everyone's wildest expectations. The album spurned 5 hit singles and went platinum more than once in both France and Belgium. For the follow-up, A Tâtons, our redhead took the plane to Nashville, where, together with Isaac Hayes, Steve Cropper and Roger Hawkins, she gave a new definition to the phrase, European soul.

Switzerland then woke up to her bubbling talent, and not much later a few billion people, yes billion, watched and listened while she and the Senegalese superstar Youssou N' Dour sang their way through the opening ceremony of the World Cup Football competition in Paris. That same year she released a CD of her greatest hits sung in Spanish, and started preparatory work on Toujours Moi, a CD full of surprises, on which she created the perfect melting pot of soul and classic sixties pop music.

Axelle will not only remember 1999 as the year her daughter Janelle was born but also as the year she was awarded the prestigious 'Victoire De La Musique' Award. That same year she began a European tour that would take her well into 2000 and which would supply the musical harvest for the new CD. And if you didn't catch her in concert, help is on its way, for the limited edition of Alive includes a bonus DVD, hailed by a number of specialised magazines as DVD of the month. Value for money, but then again, that's nothing new to Axelle.

Axelle Red:
Sans Plus Attendre ('93)
Belgium: quadruple platinum-
France: platinum and double gold-

A Tâtons ('96)
Belgium: double platinum-
France: double platinum-
Switzerland: gold-

Toujours Moi ('99)
Belgium: double platinum-
France: platinum-
Switzerland: gold-

Top 10 singles
Parce que c'est toi (#1)-
Rester femme (#1)-
Sensualité (#1)-
Le monde tourne mal-
Ce matin-
Je t'attends-
Ma prière-
A tâtons-
Rien que d'y penser-
A quoi ça sert-
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