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(born 3 July 1957, Paris - died 6 November 2009)

Born as Denis Quillard in Paris he already stood out at the junior school playground where his favourite hobby was hanging out chain-smoking Gauloises. This is how he earned his nickname - and later stage name – Jacno. (Marcel Jacno was the name of the illustrator who drew the famous winged helmet logo that appeared on Gauloise packets). Up until the age of 15, Jacno enjoyed several turbulent years under the supervision of the Marist Brothers at Notre-Dame-de-Bury (a religious school in Margency, in the Val D’Oise region). Here, he learnt to play the flute (at lessons he later claimed had put him off the instrument for life) and attended music classes where he discovered he had a perfect ear. After his time with the Marist Brothers, Jacno went on to attend a variety of Parisian 'lycées', while experimenting with as wide a range of drugs as possible. He maintained his track record of getting expelled from every school he attended - including the Lycée Rodin where he was sent down after locking the headmaster in his office! At the start of the seventies, inspired by the work of the Who and the Rolling Stones, Jacno set up a series of short-lived rock bands including one called Bloodsuckers in 1973. Later that same year, Jacno met his (musical) partner Elli Medeiros (born un Uruguay) during a demonstration against French minister Debré. Together with some friends they started the punk band Les Stinky Toys and played their first live gig together on 4 July 1976, appearing at La Pizza du Marais for which they were paid 60 francs.

Success had to come from across the channel when Malcolm McLaren saw them at his Paris boutique and brought the band to London’s 100 club. Their reputation as bad boys grew strong after riotlike concerts at the Palais des Glaces (Paris) and a wedding crash at the wedding of Yves Saint Laurent's muse Loulou de la Falaise. Polydor saw a way to jump the punk-wagon and signed the band. A first single entitled "Bozy Creed" was followed by a debut album that sold 20,000 copies. Jacno himself wasn’t to pleased with the punk-label and after a second album and a meeting with German electroband Kraftwerk he decided to disband the band in 1979. Jacno turned to electronic experiments and released the EP ‘Rectangle’. At first it did nothing but when director Olivier Assayas used is as a soundtrack the single shot to No 1 and was even used in a Nesquick ad. After this success, Elli and Jacno teamed up as a duo, creating a sound that mixed the innocence of sixties teenage pop with modern electro-pop. The duo became a huge succes. Meanwhile Belgian singer Lio had a big hit with the Stinky Toys composition ‘Lonely Lovers’ (translated as ‘Amoureux solitaires’). Jacno himself turned his hand to producing, manning the studio controls at the making of Etienne Daho's debut album, "Mythomane." By 1982 the musical and private relationship between Elli & Jacno came to an end and Jacno went solo. In 1989, after releasing a number of singles on his own account, Jacno finally got round to recording his debut solo album, "T'es loin t'es près." Followed by "Une idée derrière la tête" in 1991. Jacno also produced material for Daniel Darc (ex lead singer of Taxi Girl) as well as albums for Mathématiques Modernes ("Disco Rouge" in 1981) and Jacques Higelin ("Tombé du ciel" in 1988). In 1995 Daho returned the favours with producing ‘"La part des anges" for Jacno. In 2002, Jacno re-emerged with a new album entitled "French Paradoxe" which featured contributions from a.o. Helena Noguerra, Miossec and Arthur H. Succes wasn’t as easy as before though. In this period he also appeared as an actor in several movies. In 2004 he had a suprise hit with the band Stupeflip called ‘J'fume du d'shit’. In 2006 he released what was to become his last album "Tant de temps". A biography "Jacno: itinéraire du dandy Pop" was released later that year and he worked on an album from former Miss France Mareva Galenter, entitled 'Ukuyéyé by Mareva'. Jacno unexpectedly died from cancer in a Paris hospital on 6 November 2009, at the age of 52. In 2011 a tribute cd ('Jacno Future') is released on which Etienne Daho, Jacques Higelin, Benjamin Biolay, Dominique A, Miossec, Arthur H, Brigitte Fontaine and many more cover a Jacno song.

On the web:

- Sadly Jacno has no website dedicated to his legacy

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

Ideal & Neonbabies (Germany)

Idoli (Serbia)

Arno (Belgium)

What do we think:

DB: If Gainsbourg was the bad boy of the sixties and Biolay of the new age Jacno is definitely the bad boy of French New Wave. Always ahead of things, always doing the opposite the public expacts him to do. For non-french he will not be a well known figure but his presence on the French new wave was quite influencial. His own records sometimes sound like a rough demo but even then he has a sophisticated style. With Elli Medeiros he had his biggest succes but fact is that his later solo records, especcially his last ones are much more timeless.


♪♪♪ - Stinky Toys – 1977

♪♪ - Stinky Toys - 1979

♪♪♪ - Jacno - 1979.

♪♪ - Rectangle - 1980.

♪♪♪ - Tout va sauter (with Elli) – 1980

♪♪♪ - Boomerang (with Elli) – 1982

♪♪♪ - Les Nuits de la Pleine Lune (with Elli) - 1984

♪♪♪♪ - T'es loin, t'es près - 1988.

♪♪♪ - Une idée derrière la tête -  1991.

Faux témoin - 1995.

♪♪♪♪ - La Part des anges - 1999.

French paradoxe -  2002.

♪♪♪♪♪ - Tant de temps -  2006.

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


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