Déshabillez-moi is a song from Mylène Farmer’s second studio album, Ainsi soit je… (1988). It is chosen to become the second single from the live album Avant que l’ombre…à Bercy (2006).
It was on television on TF1 on October 21, 1987 during the “Oscars de la Mode” that Mylène sang Déshabillez-moi for the first time (Mylène had just released her new single Sans contrefaçon and was working on her second album , Ainsi Soit Je…).
Funny connection between the lyrics and reality: For this very first rendition of Déshabillez-moi , at the end of her performance as she raises her arm a small piece of Mylène’s right breast is uncovered without her noticing.
To start off the story I want to tell you today, let me offer you a quote from the interview Elsa Trillat gave to the Fanzine Mylène Farmer Magazine in 2004. Photographer, she worked for the weekly Paris Match from 1980 to 1994. She currently works for Prisma Presse
We are in July. Mylène asks me what I do for the holidays: “We rented a house with Laurent (Boutonnat, editor’s note) in the South, at La Garde Freinet, do you want to come? There are plenty of rooms!”. We’ve only really known each other for three weeks! Spending a month together seems a bit early to me. For me, it’s the best way to get angry. I therefore decline the invitation. At the same time, I really want to go there! Mylène insists, telling me that I don’t have to stay the whole month. Anyway, we had fun.
I really had a great vacation. Often alone with Mylène, moreover, because Laurent spent most of his time with a friend of his, Gilles Laurent. Mylène was also very happy to tell me: “He was the one who did the voice of Pinocchio in the film with Gina Lollobrigida when he was little!”. The two men were working on the screenplay for what I believe would become Giorgino a few years later. So they spent their days in the office while Mylène and I were lounging by the pool.
Besides, we dropped the swimsuit after two days! I remember we often put the radio by the pool. One morning DÉSHABILLEZ MOI by Juliette Gréco came on and I started to do a little striptease by the pool while Mylène was in a deck chair. We had a good laugh. Mylène did the song a few months later on the album Ainsi soit je…. Before that, she sang it at the Opera for the Fashion Oscars. It is in October 1987. If you know the images, you know that we saw her nipple sticking out at one point. Mylène was sick of hearing it!
Juliette Gréco had great success in the 60s with Déshabillez-moi and even recorded versions in Spanish, Italian and German.
She also shocked: for some of her television appearances on this song, channels did not hesitate to embed the famous “white square” (which at the time signaled programs prohibited for minors).
Of course, once the song comes along as perfectly written as this, it magnetizes others as well. Frankly, Patti Layne’s reggae version was way just unmemorable.
But do you knot that Mylène had played the model with Patty Layne for a photo shoot for François Darmigny in 1985.
For whatever reasons but Mylene felt compelled to breathe another life into the song with such a high potential to manifest and proclaim the Feminine Eroticism and Sexuality.
For the version proposed in 1988 on the album Ainsi Soit Je… (and on the B side of the single Sans contrefaçon in 1987) the arrangements were made by Laurent Boutonnat who will also rearrange the title for the stage on the Tour 89 .
It ‘s Yvan Cassar who will ensure the arrangements of this title for a new live version offered during the thirteen concerts Avant que l’ombre… at Bercy in 2006. And this is an amazing performance! In fact that very energy inspired me to create this website as a homage to Mylene.
Mylène includes Déshabillez-moi on the setlist of her first tour, Tour 89 , from May 11 to December 8, 1989 . Musically, this version is very close to that of the album Ainsi Soit Je… but visually the spectators were probably a little disconcerted, Mylène playing paradox and humor while singing Déshabillez-moi prisoner of a kind of camisole of strength in black latex created by Thierry Mugler.
Photographer: Marianne Rosenstiehl
A first version of Déshabillez-moi interpreted by Mylène is proposed on a single support of the single Sans contrefaçon, the maxi 45 turns France released on October 16, 1987 then we find it from March 14, 1988 in the album Ainsi Soit Je…
Here is how Mylene explains the choice to record the cover.
“An idea in the air. I ran to the Drugstore to buy Juliette Gréco’s record. And the next day, we had created a new version. ” ( Mylène Farmer – France Soir – November 13, 1987 ).
Déshabillez-moi was planned to be released as a single as a prelude to Mylène’s second studio album, but the creation of Sans contrefaçon during the summer of 1987 by Laurent Boutonnat to lyrics by Mylène modified these plans.
Mylène had a cold during the night recording of the song and she sneezes while recording the song and it has been preserved on the studio version of the song – joker Boutonnat 🙂
Mylène gives a second life to Déshabillez-moi by avoiding trying to compete with Juliette Gréco and preferring to attribute to the song a mischievous tone sometimes interspersed with real touches of humor, in particular by her attitudes or her facial expressions during live interpretations.
We also note that Mylène changes the tone of her voice a lot, going from the little girl to the dominatrix without forgetting to sprinkle seductiveness over this already delicious version.
“I want to emphasize the humorous side of the process. (…) Everyone knows Déshabillez-moi because parents, even grandparents know. I wanted to disguise, “dress up” this song.” ( Mylène Farmer – L’Est Républicain – October 30, 1988 )
AVANT QUE L’OMBRE… IN BERCY 2006
What a surprise for us all to see new arrangement of Déshabillez-moi on stage again during her thirteen concerts Before the shadow… at Bercy. And that performance is truly unforgettable.
Mylene is once again Joan of Arc and steers quite a revolutionary spin on the song that became almost an untouchable (no pun intended) classic.
Juliette Greco set the bar already so high with her sultry and rich vocal eroticism which made the song everything that we would expect from the French classic chanson. Perhaps, playfully taking it one step further than her time…back in 1967. The song indeed has created a small scandal because of its very provocative lyrics.
She owns it! She turns us ALL ON, regardless of gender or the age. She knows exactly what she is doing with it and the reaction she is creating. As She is yearning to Liberate Herself and screams out loud that Woman’s Desire is REAL, the message is loud and clear: Women are sexual beings and do demand and command Sex.
The 2006 Bercy performance takes the cake. Spirit of the New millennium, New Femininity, New Sexual identity is in the air. Such a beautiful evolution since the modest and soft Juliette Greco delivery. Subsequently, Juliet herself has witnessed Mylene’s performance in 2006. The circle is complete! How, you’d ask?? Read on…
On January 27, 2006 , Juliette Gréco is present at Bercy and attends the concert of Mylène who does not fail to dedicate a few words to her at the end of Déshabillez-moi :
“I simply wanted to share with you my joy at having Juliette Gréco in this room. I stole her song. I must admit that it is a great pleasure and I love this artist very much.“
What else is there to wish for the Song to become a Legend. No offence to Amanda Lear who gave it a try in the same 2006. It was nothing but the elevator music; although inoffensive, would make me feel nothing but bored.
Tonight, put the classic Mylene’s Déshabillez-moi on and make it the night to remember.
The album and the video of the thirteen concerts Avant que l’ombre… à Bercy that Mylène proposed in January 2006 at Bercy have been in stores since the beginning of December 2006.
It’s a real triumph since the DVD was sold over 100,000 copies in one week. It then became in a few days the best-selling music DVD of all time in France for an artist.
The clip of Déshabillez-moi (Live) is broadcast from February 15, 2007 on the music channels. It is simply the extract from the film of the concert Avant que l’ombre… à Bercy directed by François Hanss.
MYLENE FARMER / JULIETTE GRECO – MUTUAL ADMIRATION
Mylène has regularly cited Juliette Gréco among the artists she appreciates:
“I love Depeche Mode, I love David Bowie, I love Archive, Juliette Gréco etc… There is a lot of artists that I appreciate of course. And these are generally artists who have their own universe on stage, who want to offer the public incredible things even if they remain very very intimate if we are talking about a Juliette Greco, for example. But it’s such a presence, such a universe of words and deep people that touch me a lot.” ( Mylène Farmer – RTL – September 12, 2009 )
In December 2006, in an interview on RFI radio, Juliette Gréco talks about Mylène and her version of Déshabillez-moi :
RFI: Tell me Juliette, anyway, have you always been a very free woman? And you’ve always done what you want… Even singing Déshabillez-moi before 68… it wasn’t that simple, no…
Juliette Gréco: The only one who’s doing quite well, it’s… what’s her name?
RFI: Mylène Farmer…
Juliette Gréco: Yes, she has a bit of a sardonic side like that… (laughs). She has a winning side. She has a little leather side… with this fragile physique like that, illuminated by candles and suddenly, she throws that. I like it.
RFI: It’s a bit like the flavor of this song, to be a bit leathery and dominating…
Juliette Gréco: To her… You can tell she’s motivated. I don’t think domination is the right word
In September 2009, during an interview with Mylène Farmer on RTL:
Anthony Martin: Juliette Gréco whom I met about two months ago in an interview on the occasion of the release of her new album spoke to me of you in an interview telling me all the good, the admiration she had for you.
Mylène Farmer: It’s nice, it touches me.
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LYRICS WITH TRANSLATION
Déshabillez-moi, déshabillez-moi Oui, mais pas tout de suite, pas trop vite Sachez me convoiter, me désirer, me captiver Déshabillez-moi, déshabillez-moi Mais ne soyez pas comme, tous les hommes, trop pressés. Et d'abord, le regard Tout le temps du prélude Ne doit pas être rude, ni hagard Dévorez-moi des yeux Mais avec retenue Pour que je m'habitue, peu à peu... Déshabillez-moi, déshabillez-moi Oui, mais pas tout de suite, pas trop vite Sachez m'hyptoniser, m'envelopper, me capturer Déshabillez-moi, déshabillez-moi Avec délicatesse, en souplesse, et doigté Choisissez bien les mots Dirigez bien vos gestes Ni trop lents, ni trop lestes, sur ma peau Voilà ça y est, je suis Frémissante et offerte De votre main experte, allez-y... Déshabillez-moi, déshabillez-moi Maintenant tout de suite, allez vite Sachez me posséder, me consommer, me consumer... Déshabillez-moi ! ! ! Déshabillez-moi Conduisez-vous en homme Soyez l'homme... Agissez ! Déshabillez-moi, déshabillez-moi Et vous... déshabillez-vous !
Undress me, undress me Yes, but not right away, not too fast Know how to lust for me, desire me, captivate me Undress me, undress me But don't be like all the men, in a hurry. And first of all, the look All the time of the prelude Must not be rough, nor haggard Devour me with your eyes But with restraint So that I get used to it, little by little... Undress me, undress me Yes, but not right away, not too fast Know how to hyptonize me, wrap me, capture me Undress me, undress me With delicacy, suppleness, and tact Choose your words well Direct your gestures well Neither too slow, nor too light, on my skin Here it is, I am Shivering and offered With your expert hand, go ahead... Undress me, undress me Now at once, go quickly Know how to possess me, consume me, consume me... Undress me!!! Undress me Behave like a man Be the man... Take action! Undress me, undress me And you... undress yourself!