|La Vie en Rose|
|Directed by||Olivier Dahan|
|Produced by||Alain Goldman|
|Written by||Isabelle Sobelman|
|Music by||Christopher Gunning|
|Edited by||Richard Marizy|
|Box office||$86.3 million|
La Vie en Rose (literally Life in pink, French pronunciation: [la vi ɑ̃ ʁoz];[note 1]French: La Môme)[note 2] is a 2007 French biographicalmusical film about the life of French singer Édith Piaf. The film was co-written and directed by Olivier Dahan, and starred Marion Cotillard as Piaf. The UK and US title La Vie en Rose comes from Piaf's signature song.
Cotillard's performance earned her several accolades including the Academy Award for Best Actress — marking the first time an Oscar had been given for a French-language role — the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role, the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy and the César Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role for her performance. The film also won the Academy Award for Best Makeup, the BAFTA Award for Best Makeup, Costume Design, Film Music, four additional César Awards and grossed $86.3 million worldwide.
The film is structured as a largely non-linear series of key events from the life of Édith Piaf. [note 3] The film begins with elements from her childhood, and at the end with the events prior to and surrounding her death, poignantly juxtaposed by a performance of her song, 'Non, je ne regrette rien'.
The film opens with Édith as a small child in 1918. Her mother stands across the alley singing, busking for change. Édith's mother writes to her child's father, the acrobat, who is fighting in the trenches of World War I battlefields, informing him that she is leaving Édith with her mother so she can pursue the life of the artist. Her father returns to Paris and scoops up a sick Édith, then in turn leaves the child with his own mother, who is a madam of a brothel in Normandy. Now living as a child in a brothel, surrounded by the often brutal and demeaning business of prostitution, Édith is taken under the wing of the women there, especially Titine, a young troubled redhead who becomes emotionally attached to the little girl. Titine sings to, plays with, and tenderly cares for Édith through travails including an episode of keratitis-induced blindness.
Years later, Édith's father returns for her. Despite anguished protests from both Titine and Édith, he takes the child away to join him as he works as a circus acrobat. As Édith is outside cleaning up after dinner one night, she watches a fire eater practicing, and in the flames sees an apparition of St Thérèse, who assures her that she will always be with her—a belief that she carries with her for the rest of her life.
When Édith is nine years old, her father leaves the circus after an argument with the manager and begins performing on the streets of Paris. During a lackluster performance of her father's contortionist skills while Édith holds a hat for coins, a passerby asks if Édith is part of the show and, with prompting by her father to 'do something' so the half-interested audience doesn't leave, she spontaneously sings 'La Marseillaise' with raw emotion, mesmerizing the street crowd.
Years later, a nightclub owner named Louis Leplée approaches Édith while she sings (and drinks) on the streets of Montmartre for supper money with her friend Mômone. He invites her to his club for an informal audition. Impressed, he hires her, after creating for diminutive Édith (1.47m in height) a stage surname of Piaf, a colloquialism for sparrow.
Soon, Leplée is shot dead, suspected by the police to be due to Édith's connections to the mafia through the pimp who has demanded a large portion of her street singing earnings. When Édith next attempts a show at a low grade cabaret, she is jeered and shouted off the stage by a hostile crowd. Things go from bad to worse when Mômone is forcibly taken away to a convent for girls on orders from her mother. Desperate, Édith turns to Raymond Asso, a songwriter and accompanist. Through harsh means, he enlivens her performances by teaching her to gesture with her 'great hands' while singing, and works with her on enunciation and other aspects of stage presence, including how to battle her initial fierce bouts of stage fright that almost prevent her from taking the stage for her first music hall performance.
While performing in New York City, Édith meets Marcel Cerdan, a fellow French national who is a boxer competing for the World Champion title. Though she quickly learns from him that he has a wife, who runs their pig farm while he's away, Édith tells Mômone that she is falling in love with Marcel. The affair that ensues (it begins shortly after he beats Tony Zale and becomes World Middleweight Champion), while supposedly secret, results in 'La Vie En Rose' being played for Marcel wherever he goes. The morning after Édith has persuaded Marcel to fly from Paris and join her in New York, she wakes up to his kiss. She joyfully hurries to get him coffee and her gift to him of a watch, while she mocks and exasperatedly shouts at her oddly subdued entourage as they listlessly stand around her apartment. They finally break the news to her that Marcel's plane crashed. Édith hysterically searches for the ghost of Marcel that was lounging on her bed just a few moments before, crying out the name of her lost lover.
The narrative bookends these scenes from Édith's middle life with repeated vignettes of an aged-looking Édith with frizzy red hair, being nursed and tended to. She spends much of her time sitting in a chair by the lakeside, and when she stands, she has the stooped posture and slowness of a much older person. Another set of fractured memories shows Édith with short curly hair, plastered to her face as though she is feverish, singing on stage and collapsing while she tries to sing, a moment when Édith herself realizes that her body is betraying her, when she is hosting a party at a Parisian bistro, and topples a bottle of champagne because of her developing arthritis, and to the severe morphine addiction that ultimately plays a large role in her demise, as she injects the drug with a young lover in her bedroom.
After her husband, Jacques Pills, persuades her to enter rehabilitation for her addiction, she travels to California with him, and the audience sees the sober but manic-by-nature Édith being driven around in a convertible, laughing, joking, teasing her compatriots and generally being the life of the party, until she takes the wheel and promptly drives into a Joshua tree. The hilarity is uninterrupted as Édith gets out and pretends to hitchhike—the whole episode appearing to be a metaphor for her lifelong frantic efforts to be happy and distracted by entertaining others, through all manner of disasters.
Years later, Piaf, now frail and hunched, squabbles with her entourage about whether or not she will be able to perform at the Olympia. No one but Édith thinks that she will be ready to attempt the feat, but she ultimately faces this reality herself. Then, a new songwriter and arranger shows up with a song, 'Non, je ne regrette rien', and Édith exclaims: 'You're marvelous! Exactly what I've been waiting for. It's incredible. It's me! That's my life, it's me.' She announces that she will indeed perform it at the Olympia.
Memories from prior to and during her last performance, when she collapses onstage, are interwoven through the film, foreshadowing the tragic end to a stellar but prematurely ended stage life. The memories appear to almost haunt Piaf. In one series, prior to what turns out to be her last performance, Édith is finally ready to go onstage after a series of delays, when she asks for the cross necklace that she always wears. As her staff rush away to get it, she sits and, in her quiet solitude, experiences more memories of her past, and after Édith puts on the retrieved cross and shuffles out onto the stage, the film presents more flashbacks as she is singing one of her signature songs, 'Je ne regrette rien.'
She relives a sunny day on a beach with her knitting, when an older Édith with an obvious stoop graciously answers the simple and polite questions of an interviewer: what is her favorite color? (blue), her favorite food? (pot roast), and then more poignant questions that she also answers without hesitation, again showing the longings of her life. If you were to give advice to a woman, what would it be? 'Love.' To a young girl? 'Love.' To a child? 'Love.'
As though he is carrying a swaddled infant, Louis easily carries Édith, tiny and wasted away at the age of 47, into her bedroom and tucks her into bed, while the subtitle removes any illusions that this is other than the last day of her life. She is afraid. She says she cannot remember things, but has a disjointed series of memories of the kind of small moments that somehow define all our lives more than the 'big moments' do—scrambled and fragmentary as a dying person might experience—her mother commenting on her 'wild eyes,' her father giving her a gift of a doll, and thoughts of her own dead child, Marcelle.
The film ends with Édith performing 'Non, je ne regrette rien' at the Olympia.
- Marion Cotillard as Édith Piaf
- Gérard Depardieu as Louis Leplée
- Sylvie Testud as Simone 'Mômone' Berteaut
- Jean-Pierre Martins as Marcel Cerdan
- Emmanuelle Seigner as Titine
- Pascal Greggory as Louis Barrier
- Catherine Allégret as Louise Gassion
- Jean-Paul Rouve as Louis Alphonse Gassion
- Clotilde Courau as Annetta Gassion
- Marie-Armelle Deguy as Marguerite Monnot
- Marc Barbé as Raymond Asso
- Caroline Raynaud as Ginou
- Denis Ménochet as Journalist in Orly
- Pavlína Němcová as American journalist
- Harry Hadden-Paton as Doug Davis
- Caroline Sihol [fr] as Marlene Dietrich
- Pauline Burlet as a young Édith Piaf
- Farida Amrouche as Emma Saïd Ben Mohamed
Cotillard was chosen by director Olivier Dahan to portray the French singer Édith Piaf in the biopic La Vie en Rose before he had even met her, saying that he noticed a similarity between Piaf's and Cotillard's eyes. Producer Alain Goldman accepted and defended the choice even though distributors TFM reduced the money they gave to finance the film thinking Cotillard wasn't 'bankable' enough an actress.
Four songs were entirely performed by 'Parigote' singer Jil Aigrot: 'Mon Homme' (My Man), 'Les Mômes de la Cloche' (The kids of the bell), 'Mon Légionnaire' (My legionnaire), 'Les Hiboux' (Owls) as well as the third verse and chorus of 'L'Accordéoniste' (The accordionist) and the first chorus of 'Padam, padam..'. Only parts of these last two songs were sung because they were sung while Piaf/Cotillard was fatigued and collapsed on stage. Apart from that, 'La Marseillaise' is performed by child singer Cassandre Berger (lip-synched by Pauline Burlet, who plays the young Édith in the film), and Mistinguett's 'Mon Homme' (My Man) and 'Il m'a vue nue' (He saw me naked) (sung in part by Emmanuelle Seigner) also appear. Recordings of Piaf are also used.
The film premiered at the 57th Berlin International Film Festival.
Box office performance
In theaters, the film grossed US$86,274,793 worldwide – $10,301,706 in the United States and Canada and $75,973,087 elsewhere in the world. In Francophone countries including France, Algeria, Monaco, Morocco and Tunisia, the film grossed a total of $42,651,334.
The film became the third-highest-grossing French-language film in the United States since 1980 (behind Amélie and Brotherhood of the Wolf).
The film received positive reviews from critics. On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film received an approval rating of 74% based on 149 reviews, with an average rating of 6.9/10. The site's critical consensus reads, 'The set design and cinematography are impressive, but the real achievement of La Vie en Rose is Marion Cotillard's mesmerizing, wholly convincing performance as Edith Piaf.' On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 66 out of 100 based on 29 critics, indicating 'generally favorable reviews'. Cotillard received widespread critical acclaim for her performance, with many critics citing it as the best performance of the year and one of the greatest acting performances of all-time. A. O. Scott of The New York Times, while unimpressed with the film itself, said 'it is hard not to admire Ms. Cotillard for the discipline and ferocity she brings to the role.' Carino Chocano of the Los Angeles Times opined that 'Marion Cotillard is astonishing as the troubled singer in a technically virtuosic and emotionally resonant performance..' Richard Nilsen from Arizona Republic was even more enthusiastic, writing 'don't bother voting. Just give the Oscar to Marion Cotillard now. As the chanteuse Édith Piaf in La Vie en rose, her acting is the most astonishing I've seen in years.'
Critic Mark Kermode of The Observer was less keen; while he felt there was much to applaud, there was also 'plenty to regret'.[note 4] Kermode agreed that the source material provided 'heady inspiration', and that Cotillard plays everything with 'kamikaze-style intensity', but thought the film lacking in structure and narrative, creating 'an oddly empty experience'.
Marion Cotillard won seven major Best Actress Awards for her portrayal of Édith Piaf in La Vie en Rose:
- The Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role
- The Golden Globe for Best Actress In a Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical
- The César Award (equivalent to the Oscars in France) for Best Actress in a Leading Role
- The Prix Lumière (equivalent to the Golden Globe in France) for Best Actress
- The BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role
- The Czech Lion (equivalent to the Oscars in the Czech Republic) Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role
- The Golden Space Needle Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role at the 2007 Seattle International Film Festival
Other award wins include:
- The César for Best Production Design (Olivier Raoux).
- The César for Best Photography (Tetsuo Nagata).
- The César for Best Sound (Laurent Zeilig, Pascal Villard, Marc Doisne and Jean-Paul Hurier).
- The César for Best Costume Design (Marit Allen).
- The Academy Award for Best Makeup.
- The BAFTA Awards for Best Makeup, Costume Design and Film Music.
- The Women Film Critics Circle Award for Best Foreign Film.
- The Czech Lion for Best Film score.
- Nominated for a further six Césars for Best Film, Best Director, Best Writing, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress and Best Editing.
- Nominated for Best Film Not in the English Language at the BAFTAs.
- Nominated Academy Award for Best Costume Design.
- Nominated Satellite Award for Best Editing.(Richard Marizy)
- Nominated for 2008 Ivor Novello Award for Best Original Film Score.
- Nominated for the Richard Attenborough UK Regional Film Award for Actress of the Year (Marion Cotillard).
- ^A literal translation of 'La Vie en Rose' is 'Life in Pink', a figurative reference to rose-colored glasses.
- ^La Môme refers to Piaf's nickname 'La Môme Piaf' (meaning 'baby sparrow, birdie, little sparrow')
- ^The audience ultimately learns that the events from the film are flashbacks from within Édith's own memory as she dies.
- ^A pun on Piaf's Non, je ne regrette rien (I don't regret anything).
- ^'LA MOME - LA VIE EN ROSE (12A)'. Icon Film Distribution. British Board of Film Classification. 27 March 2007. Retrieved 7 March 2014.
- ^'La Vie en rose (2005)'. en.unifrance.org.
- ^'Piaf star Cotillard's career blooms with Oscar nom for 'La Vie En Rose''. The Canadian Press. 14 February 2008. Archived from the original on 19 February 2008. Retrieved 6 March 2008.
- ^Secher, Benjamin (12 February 2008). 'Everything's coming up roses'. London: Benjamin Sesher, Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 12 May 2010.
- ^'La Vie en rose (2007)'. Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 16 February 2008.
- ^'La Vie en rose (2007) – International Box Office Results'. Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 13 January 2008.
- ^'Foreign Language, 1980-Present'. Box Office Mojo.
- ^ ab'La Vie en Rose (La Mome) (2007)'. Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved 16 February 2008.
- ^'La Vie en Rose Reviews'. Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 1 October 2018.
- ^'La Vie en rose: A French Songbird’s Life, in Chronological Disorder'. The New York Times. 8 June 2007. Retrieved 27 February 2008.
- ^Kermode, Mark (24 June 2007). 'La Vie en Rose'. The Guardian. UK. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
- La Vie en Rose on IMDb
- La Vie en Rose at Box Office Mojo
- La Vie en Rose at Rotten Tomatoes
- La Vie en Rose at Metacritic
|'La Vie en rose'|
|Single by Édith Piaf|
|from the album Chansons Parisiennes|
|B-side||'Un refrain courait dans la rue'|
|Songwriter(s)||Édith Piaf (lyrics)|
Louiguy and Marguerite Monnot (melody)
|Édith Piaf singles chronology|
'La Vie en rose' (French pronunciation: [la vi ɑ̃ ʁoz]; French: Life in pink) is the signature song of popular French singer Édith Piaf, written in 1945, popularized in 1946, and released as a single in 1947. The song became very popular in the US in 1950 with no fewer than seven different versions reaching the Billboard charts. These were by Tony Martin, Paul Weston, Bing Crosby (recorded June 22, 1950),Ralph Flanagan, Victor Young, and Louis Armstrong.
A version in 1977 by Jamaican singer Grace Jones was also a successful international hit. 'La Vie en rose' has been covered by many other artists over the years, including a 1993 version by American singer Donna Summer. Harry James also recorded a version in 1950 on Columbia 38768. Bing Crosby recorded the song again for his 1953 album Le Bing: Song Hits of Paris.
- 4References in popular culture
- 5Cover versions
- 5.1Grace Jones
Background and release
The song's title can be translated as 'Life in happy hues,' 'Life seen through happy lenses,' 'Life in rosy hues'; its literal meaning is 'Life in Pink.'
La Vie en rose (May 1945) is a song by Édith Piaf, with music by Louiguy, Édith Piaf being the lyricist, but not the composer, registered with SACEM. It was probably Robert Chauvigny who finalised the music, and when Édith suggested to Marguerite Monnot that she sign, the latter rejected 'that foolishness.' It was eventually Louiguy who accepted the authorship of the music. It was broadcast before being recorded. Piaf offered the song to Marianne Michel, who modified the lyrics slightly, changing 'les choses' ('things') for 'la vie' ('life'). In 1943, Piaf had performed at a nightclub/bordello called 'La Vie en Rose.' Initially, Piaf's peers and songwriting team didn't think the song would be successful, finding it weaker than the rest of her repertoire. Heeding their advice, the singer put the song aside, only to change her mind the next year. It was performed live in concert for the first time in 1946. It became a favorite with audiences. 'La Vie en rose' was the song that made Piaf internationally famous, with its lyrics expressing the joy of finding true love and appealing to those who had survived the difficult period of World War II.
'La Vie en rose' was released on a 10' single in 1947 by Columbia Records, a division of EMI, with 'Un refrain courait dans la rue' making the B-side. It met with a warm reception and sold a million copies in the US. It was the biggest-selling single of 1948 in Italy, and the ninth biggest-selling single in Brazil in 1949. Piaf performed the song in the 1948 French movie Neuf garçons, un cœur. The first of her albums to include 'La Vie en rose' was the 10' Chansons parisiennes, released in 1950. It appeared on most of Piaf's subsequent albums, and on numerous greatest hits compilations. It went on to become her signature song and her trademark hit, sitting with 'Milord' and 'Non, je ne regrette rien' among her best-known and most recognizable tunes. Encouraged by its success, Piaf wrote 80 more songs in her career.
English lyrics were written by Mack David and numerous versions were recorded in the US in 1950. Those that charted were by Tony Martin (reached the No. 9 position in the Billboard charts), Paul Weston (No. 12 position), Bing Crosby (No. 13 position), Edith Piaf (No. 23 position), Ralph Flanagan (No. 27 position) and Victor Young (No. 27 position). Louis Armstrong recorded C'est si bon and La Vie en rose in New York City with Sy Oliver and his Orchestra on June 26, 1950 and this reached the No. 28 position in the Billboard charts. Bing Crosby also recorded the song in French in 1953 for his album Le Bing: Song Hits of Paris.
The song received a Grammy Hall of Fame Award in 1998.
- 10' Single (1947)
- 'La Vie en rose'
- 'Un refrain courait dans la rue'
|US Billboard Hot 100||23|
References in popular culture
Two films about Piaf named after the song's title have been produced. The first one, a 1998 documentary, used archive footage and interviews with Raquel Bitton, and was narrated by Bebe Neuwirth. The biographical feature film La Vie en Rose(2007) won Marion Cotillard an Academy Award for Best Actress for portraying Piaf in the film from childhood until her death at 47.
As music in films
- Stage Fright (1950)
- Operation: Rabbit (1952) – instrumental only (uncredited)
- Duck! Rabbit, Duck! (1953) – hummed by a mischievous Daffy Duck
- By the Light of the Silvery Moon (1953) – instrumental only
- Sabrina (1954), the song appears as Sabrina Fairchild's song; it is mentioned and played many times throughout the movie, including a partial rendition by Audrey Hepburn
- Noches de Casablanca (1963) – sung by Sara Montiel
- The Cheap Detective (1978) – however, Eileen Brennan's character, Betty DeBoop, doesn't sing the words, and just sings 'La la la la la la la en rose'
- Bull Durham (1988)
- A Foreign Field (1993)
- Natural Born Killers (1994)
- Prêt-à-Porter (1994) Grace Jones' version
- French Kiss (1995)
- Sabrina (1995)
- Chloé (1996)
- A Soldier's Daughter Never Cries (1998)
- Summer of Sam (1999)
- View from the Top (2003)
- Love Me If You Dare (2003)
- Something's Gotta Give (2003), the song is played several times during scenes of Paris, and actor Jack Nicholson (Harry Sanborn) sings it during the closing credit roll
- Piaf starring Raquel Bitton Lionsgate film (2003)
- Modigliani (2004)
- A World Without Thieves (2004)
- Valiant (2005)
- Lord of War (2005)
- The Yacoubian Building (2006), chanteuse Christine (Yousra) includes 'La Vie en rose' in her repertoire, singing it on at least one occasion for Zaki el Dessouki (Adel Emam)
- La Vie en rose (2007)
- Mister Lonely (2007)
- Jellyfish (2007)
- Fred Claus (2007)
- The Bucket List (2007)
- The Wackness (2008)
- WALL-E (2008)
- Map of the Sounds of Tokyo (2009)
- X-Men: First Class (2011)
- Monte Carlo (2011)
- Midnight in Paris (2011)
- Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted (2012)
- The Hundred-Foot Journey (2014)
- The Other Woman (2014)
- A Star Is Born (2018)
- It is used prominently multiple times in BioShock Infinite's DLC BioShock Infinite: Burial at Sea.
(Alphabetical by author's surname)
- La Vie en rose is mentioned in John Boyne's novel The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas (2006).
- Lyrics from the song are quoted in Albert Cohen's 1968 novel Belle du Seigneur (chapter LVI).
- Ian Fleming references the song in his first James Bond novel Casino Royale, when Bond is eating with Vesper Lynd, and again in his fourth novel Diamonds Are Forever, when Bond chooses to skip it on the record player as it has 'painful memories.'
In music by other artists
(Alphabetical by artist)
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- Steampunk chanteuse Veronique Chevalier does a parody version – which turns out to be about a battle with slugs.
- American singer-songwriter Lucy Dacus released a cover version of the song in 2019, the first of a series of songs to commemorate major holidays. 
- American singer Lady Gaga performed 'La Vie en Rose' during her Cheek to Cheek Tour with Tony Bennett in 2015. She also performed the song in the 2016 television special, Tony Bennett Celebrates 90: The Best Is Yet to Come, and the performance was included in the soundtrack album of the programme. Later, Gaga recorded the song for the soundtrack to the 2018 film, A Star Is Born. It debuted atop the Billboard World Digital Songs chart.
- American singer/songwriter Madonna performed 'La Vie en Rose' during her Rebel Heart Tour in 2015–2016. The live recording of the performance was released on the album, Rebel Heart Tour.
- Dean Martin covered this song on his album French Style, recorded in 1962.
- French singer Anne Pigalle has sung 'La Vie En Rose' live since the beginning of her career and all over the world, including at Ronnie Scott's and the Café de Paris in London, Silencio club in Paris, Japan, Mexico, Chateau Marmont in LA, Danceteria in NY, and a fundraiser for Tin Pan Alley, the film
- Marina Prior and Mark Vincent covered the song on their album Together in 2016.
- Scottish singer/songwriter KT Tunstall recorded a cover, included as a digital bonus track of her second studio album Drastic Fantastic.
(Alphabetical by show)
- The main title song of the Korean television drama A Rosy Life is a Korean version aptly titled '장밋빛 인생' (Revised Romanizationjangmitbit insaeng, translated as 'rose-colored life'), which is also the original Korean title of the drama.
- Cristin Milioti performed the song in 'How Your Mother Met Me,' an episode of How I Met Your Mother.
- In the season 4 I Love Lucy episode 'Hollywood Anniversary', the song is played by a band in the final scene.
- La Vie en Rose was the name of a spaceship in Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam and Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ, as well as an episode title of Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory.
- Filipina actress and singer Zsa Zsa Padilla, who portrays the villanious Red Dragon, sings this song at a charity ball she organized in the Philippine political suspense-drama Wildflower.
American singer Donna Summer covered 'La Vie en rose' in 1993 for the tribute album called Tribute to Edith Piaf or Edith Piaf Tribute, on which several contemporary stars recorded interpretations of some of Piaf's best known songs. Released on both vinyl and CD, the American release of the album and single contain a different mix of Summer's synth-driven performance than the French release. These releases are among the most sought after of Summer's collectables. The U.S. single features a variety of remixes by DJ Chris Cox.
|'La Vie en rose'|
|Single by Grace Jones|
|from the album Portfolio|
3:35 (single version)
|Grace Jones singles chronology|
Background and release
Jamaican singer Grace Jones covered 'La Vie en rose' in 1977 for her debut studio albumPortfolio. It was the third and the last single off that album, and at the same time, her first single release on Island Records after having signed with the label.
The single version was heavily edited from its original album version being more than seven minutes long to a 3.5-minute track. Jones' fairly radical bossa nova interpretation of Édith Piaf's signature tune became her first international hit single and a staple of her repertoire. It was later performed as part of her 1981 A One Man Show, then the only track from her disco era to be included in the show. In Spain and Mexico the track was billed as 'La Vida en rosa' on the 7' single release, although it was not a Spanish version of the song. Jones' recording of 'La Vie en rose' was later re-released a number of times in the early 1980s and finally reached #12 in the UK charts when re-released as a double A-side with 'Pull Up to the Bumper' in 1985. The single was certified Gold in France and Italy.
Grace Jones about the song: 'That's a very special song to me. Oh God, I cry every time I sing it. I had quite a few French lovers, so every time I sing it I think about them.'
It has sold 158,700 copies in France. The music video for the song was made using the chroma key technique. It presents Grace dancing and singing the song with the famous 1978 montage picture of herself in the background, which was later used for the cover of her 1985 Island Life compilation. The video begins with Grace wearing a rose-patterned coat. Having removed it, the singer dances in a scant gold dress which reveals her right nipple as well as black underwear.
*sales figures based on certification alone
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- ^ abc'Piaf'. rfimusic.com. Retrieved 2010-02-11.
- ^No Regrets: The Life of Edith Piaf Carolyn Burke Chicago Review Press, 01.04.2012
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- ^Whitburn, Joel (1986). Joel Whitburn's Pop Memories 1890-1954. Wisconsin, US: Record Research inc. p. 537. ISBN0-89820-083-0.
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- Lyrics of this song at MetroLyrics
- Madonna performing 'La Vie en rose' in honor of the victims of the November 13th, 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris on YouTube