Thursday, April 15

Patrick Juvet, ephemeral king of ‘disco’ music of the seventies, dies | Culture


The Swiss singer Patrick Juvet He was found dead at age 70 last Thursday in his Barcelona apartment and in circumstances yet to be clarified. Juvet was one of those artists who best exemplified the danger of enjoying a colossal success for a couple of years, perched at the top of the international music charts, and the poor assimilation of a subsequent failure. A vertiginous fall without a parachute from heaven to hell, which led to drug and alcohol abuse, an extravagant image.

Patrick Juvet, in France in 1972.
Patrick Juvet, in France in 1972.Michel GINFRAY / Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

Born in Montreux (Switzerland) in 1950, he represented his country without much success at Eurovision in 1973. It was in France where he developed his career, with a handful of international successes within the music scene. disco that at the end of the Seventies was imposed in the whole world. First with Where are the women (1977), a song co-written with his friend, producer and electronic musician Jean Michel Jarre, who curiously took care of the lyrics, leaving the artist to compose the catchy melody. Then they triumphed Got a Feeling and above all, I Love América, songs composed in English and designed for the international market, with the production of Jacques Murali and Henri Belolo. This last song would become his greatest success, a production whose original version would go no less than fourteen minutes, ideal to liven up the sessions disco and interpreted in that falsetto that at the time they had already canonized, as one of the hallmarks of the genre, the Bee Gees.

Juvet appeared on the television sets around the world with a powerful image: blonde hair blowing in the wind, a body covered in leather and nods to David Bowie in his most glam. This fleeting triumph would be immediately followed by the ostracism of a career that, except for some anecdotal and punctual success that would no longer cross French borders (the most remarkable thing, his participation in the sensual and beautiful soundtrack of David Hamilton’s film Laura, the shadows of summer), would immediately fall into oblivion. His few appearances would be reserved for the pages of the tabloid press. In these interviews, he recounted his unfortunate and tortuous love life (which would include from his colleague Jean Michel Jarre to actress Melanie Griffith), his fall into depression and alcoholism, and the ravages of that face that captivated men and women. women and that he was wasting in the repeated aesthetic operations that betrayed his inability to assume the passage of time.

During the last years, he would be seen walking around Barcelona, ​​hardly anyone recognizing the figure of that stellar singer, visiting with some frequency some art galleries in search of young painters whom he tried to help achieve their dreams by pulling an old woman. However, she seemed completely resigned to accepting that her best days would never return.

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