Nicole Croisille


9 October 1936

Singing and dancing started at a young age for Croisille. Convincing her parents she followed a course at the ballet of the Comédie française. At the end of the fifties she already worked with established professional artists like Marcel Marceau and Josephine Baker. In her free time she sings in the bars in Saint-Germain-des-Prés and New York (when on tour there). Inspired by soul music she records her first record ‘Halleluya, I love her so’, a cover of a Ray Charles song. The single is followed by a self titled debut in 1961 filled with jazzy chanson. She opens for Jacques Brel at the Olympia but doesn’t seem to break through at that time.

In 1964 she dances and sings at the revue of the Folies Bergère and she does a small tour through America. She sings jazz, soul and French chanson. After returning to France she is asked by cineaste Claude Lelouch to sing the title song for the movie ‘Un home et une femme’. The track, also known as ‘Dabadabada’ and composed by Francis Lai. Not only is the song a mayor hit in 1966, it also will stay Nicole’s signature song and is the starting point of a longlasting friendship between Lai and Croissille.

In 1968 she records an English album, 'Tuesday Jackson', of which the song 'I'll never leave you' accompanies the movie 'Les jeunes loups' by Marcel Carné. In 1970 she performs at the Théâtre de la Porte Saint-Martin with the musical comedie 'La Neige' together with Mouloudji and Régine. In the seventies Croisille sees her star rise with hit songs like 'Une femme avec toi', 'Téléphone-moi', 'Parlez-moi de lui (Il ne pense qu'à toi)', 'Je ne suis que de l'amour',  'Je n'ai pas dit mon dernier mot d'amour'. In 1981 she is again asked by Lelouch and Lai to sing a title theme. This time for the big budget movie 'Les uns et les autres'. Croisille is also featured as an actress in the movie. In the eighties she is less productive then in the seventies but has one final hit in 1985 with ‘Le blues du businessman’ a song from the Michel Berger musical ‘Starmania’. Although not performing in the musical itself it will be a succesfull hit.

After this she is mostly singing in musicals like 'Deux mamans' pour Noël and Rose d'or with Dave, Esther Galil and Christian Delagrange. She irregularly releases an album. After the millennium she returns with a chanson program in the theatres as support for the compilation 'De vous a moi'. In 2006 she brings a tribute program to her friend Nougaro in the tiny Parisian Théâtre de Dix Heures. In April 2008 she releases the album 'Tu me manques', a collection of songs from Quebec.

On the web:

- Nicole's website: http://nicolecroisille.site.voila.fr

If you like this, you probably like... / european counterparts:

Ornella Vanoni (Italy)

What do we think:

DB: The first thing I ever heard of Croisille is 'Donnez-nous de l'eau' from Black & blanche (1990). It sounded like a bad musical shownumber for a live aid benefit. Due to this track it took me a while to fully appreciate Nicole. Yes, she has the vocal power to do musical as she has shown (maybe a bit too much) on several live albums in the seventies. Croisille's power however lies in the fact that she can also sing very soft and intimate. The DVD 'De vous à moi' recorded in the intimate 'Théâtre des Dix Heures' is proof of her full talent. And with a songbook of some great songs she recorded over the years, going from jazz to musical to pop. She comes across as a very nice and friendly person as well. How's that for a star.

PR: Nicole is truly an international variety artist. She did not dedicate herself exclusively to the traditional French chanson, but integrated a variety of jazz and musical sogs to her repertoire as well. Maybe for commercial reasons, maybe - more likely to me - because she has the capacities and talents to sing them perfectly. And listening to Nicole, one cannot but come to the conclusion that she must enjoy singing. This lady can sing and even when she is singing songs that I usually would not appreciate (esp. musical songs) she is completely convincing. If you have not listend to La Croisille yet, please do so; this lady is worth discovering.

Recommended albums:

♪♪♪♪ - Nicole Croisille - 1961

♪♪ - Si l'on pouvait choisir sa vie - 1976

♪♪♪ Jazzille - 1987

♪♪♪♪ - Black & blanche - 1990

♪♪♪ - Cinéma - 1992

♪♪♪ - Jazz 'n Croisille - 1995

♪♪♪♪ - ...une femme - 1997

♪♪♪♪- De vous à moi (best of) - 2001

♪♪♪ - Nougaro, le jazz et moi - 2006

♪♪♪♪ - Tu me manques - 2008

♪♪♪♪♪ = outstanding album, an absolute must-have
♪♪♪♪ = great album, highly recomended
♪♪♪ = nice album
♪♪ = be careful, requires listening before buying
♪ = best to be avoided