L’AUTRE


Collage curtesy of MYNA MORAMENTO RAFI

L’autre Is a third title from the third studio album with the same name L’autre and the best selling Mylene’s album of all times. I like how the number 3 has a very strong numerical meaning for her. If you are familiar with numerology, you know that combining digits of your birthdate you will get your primary numeric signature.

Combine September 12 (9 + 1 + 2 = 12 = 1 + 2 = 3) and you will get the number 3 as an outcome. Plainly put, this number is a very significant through her life. To spook you a bit, take this: she turned 30 the year the album came out and it was release in the triangular (pyramid like) box – 3 corners. Hmm…lucky coincidence?

I hope turning 60 (30 * 2) will be as well a fortunate year for Mylene.

Number 3 was always considered to be the perfect number, the number of harmony, wisdom and understanding. It was also the number of time: past, present, future; birth, life, death; beginning, middle, end; it was the number of the divine. Holy trinity, Triangle of David’s star…and list goes on and on…

Number 3 represents creativity, inspiration, expansion, inner guidance, and manifestation. The energy of joy and faith is embodied in this spiritual number. Many artists have an energy of 3 in their birth dates. Including me 🙂 No wonder, Mylene’s song L’aure has a double energy of 3 in it…It is indeed a representation of the “other influence” over her – the one she keeps looking for all her life and the one you can only access by feeling from within. Hugs to all of you folks with the 3 energy!

“The song, it speaks of the presence very volatile from someone! It is someone in particular for me but who has no name, who has no flesh. ” (Mylène Farmer – ” Podium “- September 1991)

The song is perfect in its unity, elegance and prayer like simplicity. It is although not descriptive per se, paints a very clear picture as well as communicates a message of love beautifully.

No wonder the song touched hearts of so many.

It is a perfect Soul Mate song for those who are open to perceive it like that. It is when you are looking for your counterpart in this lonely Earthy journey. You know deep in your heart such person does exist, you know you will meet again recognizing each other at the first glance, but the waiting is long and at times unbearable. It is also a declaration of love to the Soul mate from another realm (perhaps an angel, perhaps some other form of divine energy) but it is something she keeps yearning for all her life, it is something she is hoping to find in another human and I sincerely hope she does or did already.

Mylène may have been inspired by Prayer to Death a poem by Lou Andreas-Salomé in which we can read the following lines: “But don’t forget: in the foreign coffin / I only rest in appearance / Because ‘in you my life has taken refuge / And now I am all yours “which reminds us of a part of the chorus of the song:” But who is the other / In you my life has taken refuge “.

The album L’autre was released on April 08, 1991 Sales in France# 1,800,000 copies / 2 million worldwide Certifications Diamond (France), Platinum (Belgium), Gold (Switzerland)

L’autre … was recorded and mixed in France, the studio Mega Thierry Rogen as the previous album, Ainsi soit je… The recording took place in 1990 and lasted about four months.

“The album took about six months to complete. Four months in the studio, with some songs that were remixed several times. There are songs that are a little more difficult to achieve, but it’s mostly about the mixing. We are picky about everything, and the mixing, as I noted we did it several times for certain songs. Sometimes, we can also take the wrong direction, so we can change a melody, we can change … the text in some cases.” (Mylène Farmer – RTL – 04/08/1991)

“Laurent had doubts on a daily basis, but great confidence in the overall project. Mylène, she was more discreet about her emotions. Despite everything, the atmosphere was tense at the beginning because the stakes were high after the enormous success from the previous album.” (Thierry Rogen – Styx Magazine special L’autre,.. – 2011)

“Mylène is very focused on her vocal work in the studio, but with L’autre… , we spent a lot of time finding a color that later became so specific. We found a formula very original of the compilations of voices in the choruses, which gave this big sound to the finale. She doubles her vocals tremendously, which means that at the end, we have this impression of block. Without going into too much details, we would sometimes do ten vocal tracks, which I compiled on two tracks to form these famous blocks. Came other blocks of thirds, fifths, which formed the whole. It must have made thirty or forty tracks of voice in the end! A huge job … especially for her! ” (Thierry Rogen – Styx Magazine special L’autre …- 2011)

photo by Marianne Rosenstiehl of Daniele Thompson and Mylene Farmer

Photos by talented Marianne Rosenstiehl immortalized these moments. The photos are iconic indeed of Mylene in the early 90s. She turned 30 (another “3” significance when the success finally became undoubtful).

Mylène will start to get more involved in the mixing and in the production.

“I love to follow closely everything that is production in the studio. I never stray from the production of an album.” (Mylène Farmer – Podium – September 1991)

Laurent Boutonnat composed all the music for the album, and it can be found on keyboards as well as in programming. He also provides flutes and harps under the pseudo Pol Ramirez del Piu. (haha! How charming)

Slim Pezin is the guitarist of the album as he had been on Cendres de Lune, Ainsi soit je… and also on the concerts of Tour 89.

Bruno Fontaine, musical director of Tour 89, participates in the piano album for Désenchantée . Bernard Paganotti provides the acoustic bass as on the previous album. All the backing vocals of the album are provided by Mylène.

Only the Désenchantée song will require the participation of choristers.

” We never called on choristers except for this title, where despite the seriousness of the text, we wanted a rather joyful chorus. The work of reverbs, delays … in the mix gave the final color. ” (Thierry Rogen – Styx Special Magazine L’autre,.. – 2011)

We find for this title the two choristers of Tour 89, Carole Fredericks (you member her the most by Maman a tort role En Concert 1989) and Beckie Bell accompanied by Debbie Davis.

Let’s talk about Carol for a bit here as she was a big part of Mylene’s starting years.

In 1979, 27-year old Carol Fredericks left the United States for Paris to pursue a singing career. At the time she did not speak a word of French. Although Carole left her mother country, she never left her roots. Carole was steeped in the fertile music traditions of our parents, striving professionals from the Carolinas and the West Indies.

By the late 1980s, Carole had emerged as a powerful singer who wove the passionate threads of blues, gospel and R&B into a uniquely French tapestry. She began as a background singer. A dazzling array of French stars hired her for session work and concerts: Serge Gainsbourg, Michel Berger, France Gall, Johnny Hallyday, Mylène Farmer, Hubert-Félix Thiéfaine, Patricia Kaas, Mireille Mathieu, Florent Pagny, Véronique Sanson and even Celine Dion. She was a recognizable influence in French music. She passed away June 7, 2001 at age of 49. RIP, dear Carole. 🙁

Sophie Tellier (famous for her evil roles in Tristana and Libertine) and Dominique Martinelli also took part in the choirs on Désenchantée , who had notably been dancers on Tour 89 and who are thanked in the album libretto by their first names.

“(Mylène and Laurent) have always heard me sing during dance rehearsals. So, I think they wanted me to come and put a little voice on one of their songs. It was quite symbolic, a collaboration friendly. The recording of the choirs, it was very short, it took us a day’s work all together. Mylène was there during the recording, she intervened a little to direct us. But all the work upstream was done. The atmosphere was very pleasant.” (Sophie Tellier – Styx Magazine special L’autre … – 2011)


The jacket worn by Mylène for the interview and her performance on L’autre is from Issey Miyake‘s fall-winter 1990 collection. This “Horsehair” model was made of horsehair.


Issey Miyake’s fall-winter 1990 collection

All the lyrics of the album are again written by Mylène. The writing spanned between the end of Tour 89 and entering the studio. More precisely, Mylène immediately thought of a new album after being on stage but waited about four months before starting to work on it with Laurent Boutonnat. She took advantage of this period to travel and read.

“She had finished her lyrics long before we finished recording the music. In any case, she already had the plot in her head.” (Slim Pezin – 2006 )

As for the writing, she hasn’t bluffed! I haven’t often seen her modify her lyrics in the studio, it was often definitive. ” (Thierry Rogen – 2011 – Styx Magazine special L’autre …)

“L’autre …, a title which suggests that Mylène could finally open up a little more to others: “Ideally, I would prefer not to identify myself with the title. But it’s true that The Other … suggests a lot, so everyone will take what they want.” (Mylène Farmer – RTL – 04/08/1991)

I love such a gentle approach of hers. She never imposes, she never controls our train of thoughts, she just invites us in, allured by her unlimited imagination we chose to follow again and again. I personally love her un-spoken, un-described and un-defined. I love that she lets me draw my own connecting lines, my impressions and own my feeling on the subject. Thank you my dearest, you are my L’autre. 😊

“The Other supposes many others. It can be the other me. It can be this thing which has no physical envelope, and which is above you and who will help you, lead you sometimes, upset you too. It could be the other, another person. I tried to find a word that could evoke a lot of things. It could also be schizophrenia, why not? ” (Mylène Farmer – Hi – 04/10/1991) and here we go…

“Love and death are my favorite themes, it’s the fear of tomorrow, a certain melancholy, sadness … Maybe my gaze has changed, my words too, compared to what I could live in the meantime. ” (Mylène Farmer – Hi – 05/08/1991)

“The only thing I can say is that it is the same vein. It is the same person who wrote, the same person who composed. There is probably a change, not in substance, but perhaps in form. The themes remain the same. Every creator repeats himself tirelessly and inexorably. This is normal.” (Mylène Farmer – Hi – 04/10/1991)

Mylène will indeed collaborate for the first time with Claude Gassian who will be the set photographer for the filming of the clip Je t’aime mélancolie

Claude Gassian‘s first collaboration with Mylène Farmer dates back to November 1991 on the set of the video Je t’aime mélancolie .
Since then, he has regularly photographed Mylène for photo shoots, on music videos or at concerts. He has also been a photographer on all of Mylène’s shows since the 1996 Tour.

Mylène Farmer – Stars 90 – TF1 – May 13, 1991

By the way, the crow on Mylène’s shoulder in the  photos, including that of the album cover is a stuffed crow and the life one. Poor birdy ☹

“I like this paradox. The crow being a bird of doom or ominous omen, and I chose him as someone to protect. It could be the other. And I like the contrast of black and white. But there are multiple symbols for the crow.” (Mylène Farmer – TF1 – 04/10/1991) Plus no doubts a reference to the famous Raven poem by Edgar Poe whom Mylene adores. “And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor Shall be lifted—nevermore!” On that note, does she read Poe in English (as it is just so melodical) or in French? Hmm…

Promotion level changes for this album. Mylène’s appearances will begin to become rarer.

For television appearances, broadcasts with high exposure are preferred. So for the release of the album, Mylène will only grant two interviews (a very long interview with Laurent Boyer on the set of the clip Désenchantée broadcast on M6 on April 07, and Mylène is for the first time invited to a newscast of 20 hours, namely that of TF1 with Patrick Poivre d’Arvor on April 10). She will also sing Désenchantée four times in prime time for French televisions, not missing any of the variety shows then the most watched on TF1.

Radio level Mylène will give interviews to NRJ, RTL and Europe 1 in France.

It should also be noted that she is the guest of honor on the show “Studio 22” broadcast on RTL on May 25  and in which she performs no less than four songs.

Finally, for the press there are many headlines, in particular for TV magazines and those intended for teenagers to whom Mylène will give some interviews.

“Ideally, my wish would be to make a clip for all the songs on the album. But, it’s true that it’s a bit difficult and a bit expensive.” (Mylène Farmer – NRJ – 05/04 / 1991)

Mylène Farmer – Stars 90 – TF1 – May 13, 1991

The reception of the album is generally good even if critics reproach Mylène for taking pleasure in a certain darkness. Well, maybe they are fans of milk chocolate 😊

Mylène Farmer – Stars 90 – TF1 – May 13, 1991

The album goes directly to the first place of the Top albums in France and it will stay there twenty consecutive weeks (!!!) WOW. That’s unbelievable!

It will sell more than 1,800,000 copies and will be certified diamond album in 1992 (the second for Mylène after Ainsi soit je… ). L’autre … is also very successful in French-speaking Belgium (number 1 for three weeks and a platinum record for more than 50,000 sales) and in Switzerland (the album is certified gold for more than 25 000 sales).


TOUR 1996


L’autre was sung on all dates of the 1996 Tour. Arrangements for the stage: Laurent Boutonnat.



Notice how she looks up as she sings L’autre… and tears up. Every time her voice breaks making the public go crazy


Avant que l’ombre … IN BERCY



L’autre was sung on ten out of the thirteen dates of the show Before the shadow … at Bercy in January 2006. Stage arrangements: Laurent Boutonnat. Pretty amazing how she raises the crowd so high into the emotional heaven by singing Rever and L’autre back to back…I became so emotional I need to get an emergency hug from my family. She is truly unique and her emotional nakedness is as disarming as it is enlightening.

Why are we so afraid to show others how we feel?… It is the most precious thing we can share with each other, no?..


Mylène sang Ainsi soit je… on the first two dates of this residency in Bercy on January 13 and 14 but, suffering from laryngitis, she seems to have experienced some vocal difficulties on this track. She proposes L’autre instead in the setlist from January 15 (note that she sang Ainsi soit je.. again on January 21). It is the other that we will find on the album and in the film of the show.


Another “3” numeric energy is also present in Benoit di Sabatino birthday which is August 30 1965: the year is also combined “3” vibration. No wonder they get along so well 😊 Check your numerology, my friends – some things might surprise you. I think I should bring  the astrology up next, what do you think?

with French lyrics


MY POETRY INSPIRED BY THE SONG


Who’s body is a shelter for your Soul
What color skin is covering your senses
Who’s hands a channeling your touch
Which frequency is meant to catch
Your laughter…

How many years will your body live
Before it finally reveals
It’s sacred wholeness of yourself
To me?
What scent will wrap around your essence?

Who’s eyes will give the glimpse of you away?
Which language will express your silence?
When I’ll be able to decode your smile?
What chemicals my body will produce
To make it clear once for all that
This is YOU?….


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lyrics with translation


Quel émoi devant ce moi
Qui semble frôler l'autre
Quel émoi devant la foi
De l'un qui pousse l'autre
C'est la solitude de l'espace
Qui résonne en nous
On est si seul, parfois
Je veux croire alors qu'un ange passe
Qu'il nous dit tout bas
Je suis ici pour toi et toi, c'est moi

Mais qui est l'autre?
Quel étrange messager
Mais qui est l'autre?
Ton visage est familier
Mais qui est l'autre?
En toi, ma vie s'est réfugiée
C'est un ami, c'est lui

Toi et moi du bout des doigts
Nous tisserons un autre
Un autre moi, une autre voix
Sans que l'un chasse l'autre
J'ai dans ma mémoire mes faiblesses
Mais au creux des main
Toutes mes forces aussi
Mais alors pour vaincre la tristesse
Surmonter ses doutes
Il nous faut un ami, l'ami c'est lui

Mais qui est l'autre?
Quel étrange messager
Mais qui est l'autre?
Ton visage est familier
Mais qui est l'autre?
En toi, ma vie s'est réfugiée
C'est un ami, c'est lui

Mais qui est l'autre?
Quel étrange messager
Mais qui est l'autre?
Ton visage est familier
Mais qui est l'autre?
En toi, ma vie s'est réfugiée
C'est un ami, c'est lui
Mais qui est l'autre?
Quel étrange messager
Mais qui est l'autre?
Ton visage est familier
Mais qui est l'autre?
En toi, ma vie s'est réfugiée
C'est un ami, c'est lui
What a stir before me
Who seems to brush against the other
What a stir at the faith
Of one who pushes the other
It is the loneliness of space
Which resonates in us
We are so alone, sometimes
I want believing then that an angel passes
That he tells us in a low
voice I'm here for you and you is me

But who is the other?
What a strange messenger
But who is the other?
Your face is familiar.
But who is the other?
In you, my life has taken refuge.
It's a friend, it's him (her)

You and me with your fingertips
We will weave weave other
Another me, another voice
Without one chasing the other
I have my weaknesses in my memory
But in the palm of
my hand All my strengths too
But then to overcome sadness
Overcome doubts
We need a friend, the friend is him

But who is the other?
What a strange messenger
But who is the other?
Your face is familiar
But who is the other?
In you, my life has taken refuge
It's a friend, it's him (her)

But who is the other?
What a strange messenger
But who is the other?
Your face is familiar
But who is the other?
In you, my life has taken refuge
It's a friend, it's him (her)
But who is the other?
What a strange messenger
But who is the other?
Your face is familiar
But who is the other?
In you, my life has taken refuge, he's
a friend, he is him (her)

The page last edited July 15, 2022

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