“L’Instant X” (English: “The X Moment”) is a 1995 song recorded by the French artist Mylène Farmer. It was the second single from her fourth album Anamorphosée and was released on 12 December 1995. Directed by Marcus Nispel in New York, the music video humorously depicts the apocalypse and shows Farmer bathing in foam. The song became the biggest hit from the album, reaching number six in France. In January 2004, the song was the subject of a remix produced by One-T and was released as promotional single.
The title L’instant X is present on the album Anamorphosée (1995), Live à Bercy (1996) , the best of Les mots (2001), RemixeS (2004) and Histoires de (2020)
After her fist single “XXL” and the relatively poor chart performances of the Anamorphosée album, Farmer decided to release a second single, “L’Instant X”, for the Christmas period. The song’s title comes from an expression in the first verse. The chorus is a callback to Tino Rossi’s Christmas song “Petit Papa Noël”,
as well as in the lyrics: “Papa Noël, quand tu descendras du ciel…”, which are also the lyrics of the chorus in Rossi’s song.
For the first time throughout Farmer’s career, all the remixes available on the various formats were not produced exclusively by Laurent Boutonnat and his team: only two of them were made by Laurent Boutonnat and Bertrand Châtenet, while the other two, in a style closer to Eurodance, were produced by Ramon Zenker.
The ‘Have an Instant X remix’ was considered by French author Julien Rigal “probably one of the best remixes” outside Boutonnat’s ones. The second track on the CD single is a jazz-oriented remixed version of “Alice“, another song from the Anamorphosée album. Unlike many of Farmer’s singles, there is no instrumental version on the various formats. The image used on the cover was likely influenced by Ross Hunter’s 1966 film Madame X: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0060645/
On 21 January 2004, the song was remixed by One-T for the compilation RemixeS. Devoted to discothèques, this version was released as 7″ maxi, becoming the third single from the RemixeS album, after “Sans contrefaçon” and “Je t’aime mélancolie“. It was the most broadcast single from the album.
As noted by author Erwan Chuberre, “L’Instant X” is different from Farmer’s other songs because the singer uses a deeper voice than usual, and lyrics deal with things of everyday life, not romantic literary references. Journalist Caroline Bee stated that it is “a rock song that recalls “JE T’AIME MÉLANCOLIE” in its construction and its cynicism”. Benoît Cachin said that the lyrics evoke the year 2000 with humor and irony, on the significance of which many people got lost in conjectures, but which Farmer herself sees as bringing much joy. He noted that in the lyrics, Farmer refers to group U2’s rock song “Sunday Bloody Sunday” in the phrase “Bloody lundi”.
The refrain it addresses to Father Christmas, comparing him to the Messiah, quotes André Malraux (who wrote “le XXIè siècle sera spirituel ou ne sera pas”), mentions the women’s magazine Elle, the River Styx in the Greek mythology, and the antidepressant Prozac (in verlan). According to Rigal, the lyrics can have multiple meanings: they seem to address “the lack of latent spirituality through a concentration of bad elements”, but they may also be “a pamphlet on women menstruation”. Huh? That’s where they lost me? So, the Moment X is the PMS? 😊
To me, the L’Instant X , XXL and frankly the entire Anamorphosée marks a beginning of the whole new era, new Mylenium (pun intended) in Mylene’s life way before the clock struck a midnight in December 1999. She survived an unimaginable Giorgino fiasco, she’s been resurrected like Phoenix from the ashes and what a glorious sight was that! She is confident, she is gorgeous, she even looks taller with the Californian tan that makes her simply invincible, Ms See-Me-Shine-Through-It-All! 😊👍✌😎 Go Mylene!
According to psychologist Hugues Royer, the song “talks about the state in which a person bogs down in the anticipation of the magic formula that will allow him to leave his torpor. He added that the song also contains some humor with such unexpected images as “J’ai un teint de poubelle” or “Mon chat qui s’défenestre”.
For whatever the mysterious reasons I could not find the full video anywhere on the net. The Dailymotion had a short fragment, and it is at least something:
As “XXL“, the video was directed by Marcus Nispel who also wrote the screenplay. This Requiem Publishing production was film in Los Angeles and New York for three days — one for Farmer, the two others for the extras — and cost about 80,000 euros. In addition to the version broadcast on television, there was another video of “L’instant X”, a first editing which only contains shots featuring Farmer, including some shots which were not included in the final video. The producer Anouk Nora explained: “We shot [the video] in February by -10 degrees [Celsius] in New York. Mylène was completely frozen and took a bath in foam as if she was under the Tropics”. The outfit worn by Farmer was made by French fashion designer Jean-Paul Gaultier.
In this video, Farmer, wearing heavy make-up, is lying on a cloud, and frolics in the foam. Under the cloud, the city of New York, the Statue of Liberty, the Twin Towers (yup! Those were still standing!) and all the buildings are in turn covered with foam, symbolizing the apocalypse. The singer, who is outside of the disaster, seems to delight in this situation. However, the video ends by showing survivors who go off into the sunset.
This video premiered on television on 17 December 1995 in the French show Déjà le retour; but in an early version in which only the singer appears, It was not much appreciated by her fans, and Rigal considered the video “disappointing”. In late 1995, Farmer featured in two television shows to promote the song without singing; she was only interviewed on Studio Gabriel (14 December, France 2) in which she announced her next tour, and on Déjà le retour (17 December, France 2). She lip-synched “L’Instant X” on two other programs: Le Bêtisier du samedi soir, (13 January 1996, France 2), and Top aux Carpentier (9 March 1996, TF1).
At this last occasion, Farmer shared a kiss on the mouth with her female dancer (Valerie Bony) during the musical bridge (similar to the kiss Madonna shared with Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera at the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards, which sparked a much bigger controversy in the USA seven years later). I guess she set the trend, huh? She did it first 😊 You go, girl!
“L’Instant X” was first performed on stage on the 1996 tour. The hall was fully in the dark when the song began, and only Farmer, who wore a flesh-colored pants, was then in the light. She performed a very suggestive choreography with her female dancers and moved throughout all the stage during the song. The song was also performed during the 2009 Mylène Farmer en tournée tour, only in stadium venues, during the Black and White act. Farmer wore a white tutu and pinstripe trousers, the stage was fully dark with two lights on her, and the screens started showing “X’s” and a countdown till she started singing. Susie Davis, who previously worked with Patti Smith and Sinéad O’Connor, participated in the background vocals of this live version.
In France, “L’Instant X” debuted at number 9 on 16 December 1995, and dropped the next three weeks. It reached again the top ten and peaked at number six on 20 January and remained for eight weeks in the top ten and 20 weeks in the top 50. The single was the best-selling single from the Anamorphosée album, with the longest chart trajectory. The song ranked 67th on the 1996 year-end chart. According to Royer, the song “allowed the singer to reconnect with success and to set the groundwork for a comeback on stage”. In April 2018, the song was re-edited under new formats then re-entered the chart at number eight.
“L’Instant X” remained for 21 weeks on the Belgian Ultratop 50 Singles Chart and reached a peak of number 12 on 17 February and 30 March. The single was Farmer’s second longest charting single in Belgium, behind “Slipping Away (Crier la vie)”. It was the 49th best-selling single of 1996 in the country. In 2004, the remixed version by One-T was aired in Russia.
The song was covered by Michał Kwiatkowski and Sofia Essaïdi, on 30 October 2003, in French show Star Academy France, but this version was not released as a single. B-side: “Alice“
The B-side of the CD single is a remixed version of another track of the album, “Alice” (this version appears as third track on the promotional CD maxi of “Comme j’ai mal” released in Germany, and under the name of ‘new mix’ as bonus on the Japan release of the album).
The song seems inspired by Ovid’s Metamorphoses. “Alice” is the personification of a spider to which Farmer speaks directly in the chorus. According to journalist Benoît Cachin, this arachnid is in the song “the friend of a depressive artist”, and Farmer explained in an interview that it represents “the self-destruction that prevents the artist to create”. The song includes neologisms, and the meaning is often difficult to understand. In the verses, Farmer is whispering and its super sexy!
The lyrics of the song L’Instant X were written by Mylène Farmer.
In L ‘instant X, through a funny and quirky text, Mylène tackles a very trendy theme at the end of the 20th century: what fate does the year 2000 have in store for us?
The front pages of magazines, like “Elle” for example, devoted to this theme are then innumerable and the articles are lost in more or less far-fetched hypotheses and predictions. There is another reference to the Styx. In Greek mythology, the Styx is a river which separated the terrestrial world from the world of the dead. Mylene loves it and used it at least a dozen (if not more…maybe I should count?) of times and her lyrics.
It is obviously Mylène who will shed the best light on the meaning of this text. “Autobiographical, in a way. It’s always difficult to get out of your text. Now, I talk about myself and I can also talk about the other, in these moments. ” (NRJ – 10/16 / 1995)
“The lack of spirituality is probably dangerous. I think that you have to elevate the spirit, change behavior, let go of yourself, but without necessarily celebrating a god or a religion. ” (Mylene Farmer L’Express – 02 / 11/1995)
“If a record doesn’t play, does that really mean you aren’t loved anymore or just that it just wasn’t a good time? This is what I tried to describe in The Moment X, for example, where there is all this concentration of elements that make something go or not be born. “(Mylene Farmer Le Soir – 10/25/1995) I can’t agree more – that’s why I think Giorgino “was not born” – it was simply ahead of its time. The audience was not ready yet.
“Zoprack: I had to. Prozac is prohibited. We do not have the right to advertise a drug. So, rather than kidnapping and killing him, I preferred to mutilate him and have fun.” (Mylene Farmer NRJ – 10/16/1995)
The instant X would become the single from Anamorphosée with the biggest success even if the start was difficult before it managed to impose itself during the first weeks of 1996 in the charts by remaining seven consecutive weeks in the top 10 of the. ranking of the best sales of singles in France. There are around 200,000 copies sold in France. Paradoxically, among the five singles taken from the album Anamorphosée, L’Instant X will be the one with the weakest radio broadcasts.
“Out of twelve titles, three seem to really stand out. L’Instant X, XXL and Rever . In L’Instant X , Mylène Farmer has chosen to sing in a more traditional way, almost like everyone else, without multiplying her own effects. ” (Le Soir – 10/18/1995
“Under the sign of the great megalomaniac’s surges on the introductions, followed by verses and refrains played in an irreproachable way, the slow songs […] alternate with more incisive, more rhythmic tracks, faster (Vertige, L’Instant X). ” (Temps Passion Magazine – December 1995)
The L’Instant X was performed in concert during the 1996 tour. Version close to that of the single but ending with the instrumental of “Santa’s hard remix” during which Mylène changes her outfit.
Arrangements for the stage: Laurent Boutonnat.
impro is just unbelievable! Magic!
In the Tour 2009 the song was performed live again but exclusively for the five stadium concerts from SEPTEMBER 4 to 19, 2009. Arrangements for the stage: Laurent Boutonnat .
Cinematographic influence with the horror film The Blob directed by Chuck Russell in 1988. Influence confirmed by the director of the clip Marcus Nispel: “I had read an article that said that when a fire breaks out inside an airplane, there is a system that completely fills the cabin with foam within seconds. I found the idea funny, not too much. complicated to do, and it reminded me of foam parties in Ibiza. In fact, I don’t really like special effects; I prefer to do everything in real life with my camera. For the locomotive (reference to the XXL clip) like for the foam, we could have done it with special effects, but it was more interesting to achieve concretely. We talked about it with Mylène, and we decided to use the foam on a large scale, a foam that would swallow the Earth, a bit like in the movie The Blob.”
No real script in this clip. Mylène is on a cloud of foam. Sequences of New York and its inhabitants gradually buried by this foam. Many saw it as a reference to the end of the world or a purification ending an old world before the new was discovered.
“I wanted to retrace not life, but a day, that we can have, where everything goes wrong. Everything is wrong. It’s a concentration of events, as soon as you get up and, everything is fine. bad, again. And, we wait for this moment. And, often it happens that or in a day, or in a month, when at the same time all the things come to be concentrated, to form a little like a puzzle, and this ‘is the moment when everything springs up, and this time springs back upwards, and not downwards. ” (Mylène Farmer – Paris Première 05/30/1996)
An original montage of images of the clip comprising only sequences with Mylène is offered for the first time on television on Sunday, December 17, 1995 in the program “Already the return” presented by Jean-Luc Delarue on France 2. Mylène was guest of this show. We also find in this montage unpublished shots of Mylène which were not kept in the final version of the clip.
In 2000, we find pictures of Claude Gassian of the filming of the clip L’Instant X” used” on the cover of the album I Poo Poo On Your Juju by the group The Third Eye Foundation.
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lyrics with translation
Bloody lundi Mais qu'est-ce-qui nous englue la planète et embrume ma comète C'est la loi des séries, le Styx, les ennuis s'amoncellent, j'ai un teint de poubelle Mais c'est l'instant X Qu'on attend comme le messie, comme l'instant magique C'est l'équation L' "ax + b" qui fait tilt Mais pour l'heure, dis Papa NoëI quand tu descendras du ciel Du fun, du zoprack et des ailes L'an 2000 sera spirituel, c'est écrit dans "ELLE" Du fun pour une fin de siècle Humeur killer C'est l'heure pour moi de prendre la pose, de penser à aut' chose C'est le cycle infernal, fatal, un rien devient l'Everest, mon chat qui se défenestre À, à quand l'instant X Qu'on attend comme le messie, comme l'instant magique C'est l'hécatombe Vernis qui craque, asphyxie Pied dans la tombe Papa Noël quand tu descendras du ciel Du fun, du zoprack et des ailes L'an 2000 sera spirituel, c'est écrit dans "ELLE" Du fun pour une fin de siècle Papa Noël quand tu descendras du ciel Du fun, du zoprack et des ailes L'an 2000 sera spirituel, c'est écrit dans "ELLE" Du fun pour une fin de siècle Papa Noël quand tu descendras du ciel Du fun, du zoprack et des ailes L'an 2000 sera spirituel, c'est écrit dans "ELLE" Du fun pour une fin de siècle Papa Noël quand tu descendras du ciel Du fun, du zoprack et des ailes L'an 2000 sera spirituel, c'est écrit dans "ELLE" Du fun pour une fin de siècle Papa Noël quand tu descendras du ciel Du fun, du zoprack et des ailes L'an 2000 sera spirituel, c'est écrit dans "ELLE" Du fun pour une fin de siècle
Bloody Monday But what's swallowing up the planet and clouding my comet It's the law of series, the Styx, the troubles are piling up, I've got a complexion like a garbage But this is the moment X That we're waiting for like the messiah, like the magic moment It is the equation The "ax + b" that clicks But for now, say When you come down from the sky Fun, zoprack and wings The year 2000 will be spiritual, it is written in "ELLE". Fun for the end of the century Killer mood It's time for me to take a break, to think about something else It's the infernal cycle, fatal, a little becomes the Everest, my cat who defenestrates When, when the X moment That we wait for like the messiah, like the magic moment It is the hecatomb Varnish that cracks, asphyxiation Foot in the grave Santa Claus when you come down from heaven Fun, zoprack and wings The year 2000 will be spiritual, it is written in "ELLE Fun for the end of the century Santa Claus when you come down from the sky Fun, zoprack and wings The year 2000 will be spiritual, it's written in "ELLE Fun for the end of the century Santa Claus when you come down from the sky Fun, zoprack and wings The year 2000 will be spiritual, it's written in "ELLE Fun for the end of the century Santa Claus when you come down from the sky Fun, zoprack and wings The year 2000 will be spiritual, it's written in "ELLE Fun for the end of the century Santa Claus when you come down from the sky Fun, zoprack and wings The year 2000 will be spiritual, it's written in "ELLE Fun for the end of the century