Original released on LP Riviera 75479
Intransigent and independent, Nicoletta’s career has been punctuated by various experiments and successes. After her triumphant début in the sixties, this singer with an impressive voice chose to go it alone and manage her career herself. Nicole Grisoni was born in the French Alps, in Vongy in Savoie, on April 11th 1944. She was brought up for the most part by her grandmother, a vital figure in her life and about whom she has often spoken during her career. The young Nicole completed her college education and went to the School of Fine Arts in Lyon. But her talent and passion for singing were already coming to the fore. Jazz, blues and gospel were by far her favourite musical styles and despite her very "variety" orientated career, these genres have constantly re-surfaced in her repertoire. At the beginning of the 60s, Nicole, still very young, "went up" to Paris where, she got jobs a disc jockey in some famous clubs in Saint-Germain-des-Prés. One thing led to another, Leo Missir, artistic director of one of the most powerful record labels, Barclay, spotted her at the time. She recorded her first single in 1966, a cover version of the famous Edith Piaf number, "L’Homme à la Moto", which was itself an adaptation of an American song. On the same album, there was also a cover version of Nino Ferrer's first release, "Pour Oublier Qu’on S'est Aimé". Nevertheless, Nicole, now called Nicoletta, did not feel at home with the realist repertoire of the great French singer, who died three years before. The following year, she brought out a second 45, "La Musique". But it was above all "Il est mort le soleil", released the same year, which marked the her entry into the big league. The title was such a hit that the American singer Ray Charles decided to record an English version. From then on, Nicoletta earned her reputation as a singer with a demanding, even difficult temperament. The conventions of show business did not always suit her, in particular singing in playback, against which she was opposed. On the other hand, the public enormously appreciated her for her exceptional voice and her joyous and rebellious personality.
Alongside her recording success, Nicoletta was also an excellent live performer. Very popular, she established genuine communication with her public and her strong artistic temperament fulfilled itself during these moments. Every year, she toured France, but also appeared at prestigious festivals such as San Remo in Italy or the MIDEM in Cannes (Marché International du Disque). Her popularity had crossed frontiers and she was even known even in Japan. In 1970 came another hit, "Ma vie, c’est un manège", an adaptation of an American song. Then, in 1971, she released another of her biggest hits, "Mamy blue". Written by Frenchman Hubert Giraud, this song was very influenced by gospel and Nicoletta’s rendition of it confirmed her talent, rare in France, for this type of music. Numerous cover versions of the hit were recorded during the following years by artists including Demis Roussos, Dalida and the Golden Gate Quartet. The album Nicoletta released that year, "Visages", was already her third. Accompanied by the group Zoo, she included a Leo Ferré number, "Dieu est nègre", and a song by Gilbert Bécaud, "La solitude ça n’existe pas". Julien Clerc wrote the lyrics of another song on the album. Having begun her career with a cover version, Nicoletta carried on recording already well known material. The beginning of the seventies was a period of constant touring for Nicoletta. In 1972, she toured in Turkey and Africa, did a 100-date tour of France during the summer and autumn and then performed in Japan and Brazil at the end of the year, accompanied at all these engagements by an eight-man group, T.N.T.H.
During this period, she was also appearing frequently on TV, and she stepped up her fight against the virtually obligatory playback in the studios and which most of the in-vogue artists willingly complied with. This same independent spirit led her to start her own record label, Rapa Nui in 73. But more than promoting herself, her aim was to help young artists. She also began to write some of her own lyrics. On this album "Nicoletta 73", there was a cover version of Brazilian Jorge Ben’s "Fio Maravilha". This French adaptation by Boris Bergman was a huge hit. Let's notice the theme tune of Jean-Claude Brialy’s film, "Les volets clos" as well. Nicoletta continued to tour the world and record discs in different languages. In 1974, she received the Charles-Cros award for her album, "Enfants venez chanter l’espoir". She also sang the theme song of the French version of Franklin J. Schaffner’s film, "Papillon". Finally, having already toured throughout France and the world, Nicoletta appeared as top of the bill artist at Paris’s most prestigious music venue, l’Olympia.