by David Page
Article published on the 2009-03-20 Latest update 2009-03-22 12:11 TU
Less legendary than the Stax Studios or Cotton Row, Ardent had become hot in the 80s and 90s. Many major recording artists such as ZZ Top would create there.
Ardent also produced top quality videos for ZZ Top and Robert Plant and Jimmy Page, among others.
Bashung came to Memphis with a concept album that was unique including what are now two of his trademark songs, “Madame Rêve” and “Osez Josephine”.
His songs always had an eerie surreal effect incorporating in most instances violin and cello with traditional rock instruments:. electric guitar, bass, keyboards and drums.
In 1994 he released a very prophetic album which featured the hit “Ma Petite Entreprise”
The lyrics include the refrain “Ma petite Entreprise ne connaît pas la crise” (My Small Business is not in crisis) - rather prophetic, n’est-ce pas?
The song goes on to demonstrate how a small businessman is working so much that he never has and never will have the time to enjoy life.
Bashung had an elegance on stage that was unique. Perhaps lesser known internationally than other great popular French language songwriters such as Jacques Brel, Leo Ferré, Charles Aznavour or Serge Gainsbourg, Bashung produced less, perhaps because he was a perfectionist.
One of his last great songs released just before his death is entitled “Residents de la République”, as opposed to Président de la République, which in a very subtle way indicates that perhaps the latter should think more about the former, but without any political editorialising, which Bashung always avoided.
Bashung was a great French artist.