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William Sheller

William Sheller is one of France's most technically and musically accomplished songwriters, capable of leading symphonic orchestras as well as handling the stage alone with a microphone and a piano or writing elaborate classical pieces. In the pop music domain, and since the beginning of his official career in 1968, he's had a bunch of hit singles, from Les Irrésistibles' "My Year Is a Day" to "Rock'n'Dollars," "Symphoman," or the famous "Un Homme Heureux," all displaying strong songwriting and melodic skills and fragile, gentle vocal parts.

Born in Paris in 1946, Sheller was the son of an American father and a French mother, and spent his childhood in the U.S.A. Raised to the sounds of jazz music and to the teaching of classical music, his parents encouraged him to follow a promising musician career at the early age of 16. But Sheller only met his true master when he heard the Beatles for the first time, an experience that would imprint his entire career. Sheller sought his inspiration in this passion without ever copying their works in any way. In 1968, he formed a first band, the Worst, and hit his first success that same year with "My Year Is a Day," a song he had written for the band Les Irrésistibles. After the release of a couple of commercially deceptive singles, he got back to the studio as an arranger for Dalida and Barbara. On the side, he kept writing film music and classical pieces, showing a tendency to mix classical elements with pop music elements in a very personal way. Encouraged by Barbara, who was a strong believer in his talents, he recorded a debut LP in 1975, Rock'n'Dollars, that would be his breakthrough record. Reassured by this success, he went on releasing four other records (Dans un Vieux Rock'n'Roll, Symphoman, Nicolas, and J'Suis Pas Bien), but only hit the stage in 1981, in Bobino, and in the Olympia one year later, leading to the release of a first live album. He kept on juggling with his various skills and inspirations throughout the '80s, performing on-stage with the Halvenalf Quatuor in 1983 and recording 1989's Ailleurs record. In 1991, a recording of a piano/vocals series of career-spanning live shows was released under the title Sheller en Solitaire. The record featured Sheller's most successful and popular song to date, "Un Homme Heureux," an utterly beautiful track, but one that unfortunately channeled a distorted, less challenging image of Sheller's works. An ambiguous situation that was to be illustrated by 1994's Albion's cold public welcome, in spite of general critical praise. In 2000's album Les Machines Absurdes, Sheller synthesized most of his various musical obsessions, only to come back in 2004 with a home-recorded, critically acclaimed piano/vocal intimate LP, Epures. In 2005, a career-celebrating concert was released on DVD, and Sheller kept on working on Ostinato, a classical piece to be interpreted by the Ostinato Orchestra. ~ Olivier Duboc
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Gold

Disc 1

1. Rock'n'dollars

2. Le Carnet À Spirale

3. Photos Souvenirs

4. Dans Un Vieux Rock'n'roll

5. Une Chanson Noble Et Sentimentale

6. Les Petites Filles Modèles

7. J'suis Pas Bien

8. Oncle Arthur Et Moi

9. Maman Est Folle

10. Mon Dieu Que J'l'aime

11. Oh! J'cours Tout Seul

12. Simplement

13. Nicolas

14. Darjeeling

15. Excalibur

16. Une Chanson Qui Te Ressemblerait

17. Les Millions De Singes

Disc 2

1. Un Homme Heureux (Live At Studio Davout)

2. Fier Et Fou De Vous

3. J'me Gênerais Pas Pour Dire Que J't'aime Encore

4. Vienne

5. Le Capitaine

6. Les Mots Qui Viennent Tout Bas

7. La Tête Brulée

8. Les Miroirs Dans La Boue

9. Basket Ball

10. Les Orgueilleuses

11. Le Nouveau Monde

12. A L'après Minuit

13. Les Filles De L'aurore

14. A Franchement Parler

15. Maintenant Tout Le Temps

16. Genève

17. Centre Ville

x

Track List: Olympiade

1. Les Petites Filles Modeles (Live Olympia 94)

2. Cuir De Russie (Live Olympia 94)

3. Une Depression D'Hiver (Live Olympia 94)

4. Les Orgueilleuses (Live Olympia 94)

5. Photos Souvenirs (Live Olympia 94)

6. C'Est L'Hiver Demain (Live Olympia 94)

7. La Navale (Live Olympia 94)

8. Un Homme Heureux (Live Olympia 94)

9. Le Nouveau Monde (Live Olympia 94)

10. La Tête Brulée (Live Olympia 94)

11. Basket Ball (Live Olympia 94)

12. Les Miroirs Dans La Boue (Live Olympia 94)

13. A Franchement Parler (Live Olympia 94)

x

Track List: Le Nouveau Monde

1. Vienne

2. Oh! J' Cours Tout Seul (Live)

3. Les Miroirs Dans La Boue

4. Basket Ball

5. Les Filles De L'aurore

6. "Encore Une Heure, Encore Une Fois"

7. Un Archet Sur Mes Veines

8. Une Chanson Noble Et Sentimentale (Live Olympia 84)

9. Le Capitaine (Live Olympia 84)

10. Chanson Lente (Live Olympia 84)

11. Cuir De Russie

12. Mon Dieu Que J'l'aime (Version Alternative)

13. Maman Est Folle

14. Un Homme Heureux (Live Palais Des Congrès)

15. Darjeeling

16. Guernesey

17. Excalibur

18. La Tête Brulée

19. Le Nouveau Monde

x

Track List: En Solitaire

1. Symphoman

2. Maman Est Folle

3. Basket Ball

4. Genève

5. Les Mots Qui Viennent Tout Bas

6. Les Miroirs Dans La Boue

7. Un Endroit Pour Vivre

8. Fier Et Fou De Vous

9. Nicolas

10. Oh! J' Cours Tout Seul

11. Chanson Lente

12. Une Chanson Qui Te Ressemblerait

13. Les Filles De L'aurore

14. Petit Comme Un Caillou

15. Un Homme Heureux

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