Étienne Daho  

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Étienne Daho (born January 14, 1956 in Oran) is a French singer, songwriter and record producer who has released a number of synth-driven and rock-surf influenced pop hit singles since 1981.



He sings in a low, whispery voice somewhat akin to Leonard Cohen or Chet Baker and his music established him as a pop cult hero. He cites Serge Gainsbourg, The Velvet Underground, The Beach Boys and Syd Barrett as his musical influences. All his albums have been certified at least gold or platinum, including "Mythomane" in 1981, "La notte, la notte" in 1984, "Pop satori" in 1986, produced with a young William Orbit, "Pour nos vies martiennes" in 1988 and the double platinum "Paris ailleurs" in 1991, recorded in New York.

A best-selling recording artist in his own right in France, Daho is best known in Britain for his appearance on the number 2 Saint Etienne hit single "He's On The Phone", which is an English-language adaptation of his 1984 French-language big hit "Weekend à Rome". He also collaborated with Saint Etienne on the Reserection EP, his album Eden, and his single hit Le Premier Jour.

His collaborations and productions both on stage and in the studio with other artists have been extensive. He has worked with the likes of Arthur Baker, Air, Working Week,'80's new wave band the Comateens, Jane Birkin , Marianne Faithfull, Françoise Hardy and more. He had been remixed among others by Air, Fischerspooner, Amon Tobin and William Orbit.

His 1996 album Eden displayed a diverse array of electronic-oriented songs that included downtempo ballads, drum 'n' bass-influenced tracks, and HiNRG dance. He duetted with Astrud Gilberto ("Les bords de Seine") and was accompanied by The Swingle Singers on "Timide intimité". Backing vocals on several songs were provided by Lyn Byrd of the Comateens, Sarah Cracknell (who co-wrote "Les passagers"), and Elli Medeiros.

Eden was subsequently re-released for the anglophone market with great reviews with the song "A New World", which was an English language version of "Au Commencement". Daho played in a sold out I.C.A. He also played at the Marquee in 1989.

After a double platinum greatest hits compilation Best of Singles in 1998, the number one Corps & armes in 2000 saw Daho eschewing electronics in favour of a more orchestral sound fuelled by traditional instruments: piano, acoustic guitar, horns, directed by Wil Malone. One of the tracks included an English-language duet with Vanessa Daou ("Make Believe"). It includes also "Le brasier", "La baie" and the masterpiece "Ouverture".

Daho shifted gears once again for his dark and moody 2004 album Réévolution, which featured a guitar-heavy rock sound. He released the single hit "If" with Charlotte Gainsbourg as well as the Phil Spector influenced "Retour a toi" and "Les liens d'Eros" with Marianne Faithfull, reading her great uncle Leopold von Sacher-Masoch's Venus in furs.

In 2005, Daho released a live album Sortir Ce Soir, which featured all his greatest hits performed in concert. He is working on a project with David Roback from Mazzy star and a new album for 2007.

For records sleeves and music videos he collaborates with Pierre et Gilles, Michel Gondry, Nick Knight, Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Inez van Lamsweerde and Guy Peellaert among others.

Translations and covers

  • Daho re-recorded the song "Au Commencement" in English as "A New World" for the anglophone market.
  • He released dance mixes by remixers such as William Orbit of some of his '80s singles, such as "Épaule Tattoo", in the '90s.
  • Spanish singer Luz Casal recorded a cover version of "Duel au soleil" in Spanish called "Un Nuevo Dia Brillara" that became a hit song.
  • Saint Etienne's single He's on the Phone is heavily based on Daho's "Week end à Rome", and features his speech from the original recording. Daho also collaborated with the band on several other songs.



  • "Il ne dira pas" (1981)
  • "Le grand sommeil" (1982)
  • "Sortir Ce Soir" (1983)
  • "Week end à Rome" (1984)
  • "Tombé pour la France" (1985)
  • "Épaule tattoo" (1986)
  • "Duel au soleil" (1986)
  • "Bleu comme toi" (1988)
  • "Des heures hindoues" (1988)
  • "Caribbean Sea" (1989)
  • "Stay with Me" (1989)
  • "Le Grand Sommeil" (Live) (1989)
  • "Le Plaisir de Perdre" (Live) (1989)
  • "Saudade" (1991)
  • "Des attractions desastre" (1992)
  • "Les voyages immobiles" (1992)
  • "Comme un igloo" (1993)
  • "Un homme à la mer" (1993)
  • "Mon manege à moi" (1993)
  • "Jungle Pulse" (1995)
  • "Soudain" (1997)
  • "Au Commencement" (1996)
  • "A New World" (1997)
  • "Sur mon cou" (1998)
  • "Le premier jour (du reste de ta vie)" (1998)
  • "Ideal" (1998)
  • "Le Brasier" (2000)
  • "La Nage Indienne" (2000)
  • "Rendez-vous à Vedra" (2000)
  • "Ouverture" (2000)
  • "Comme un Boomerang" (with Dani) (2001)
  • "Retour à toi" (2004)
  • "If" (with Charlotte Gainsbourg) (2004)
  • "Réévolution" (2004)
  • "Sortir Ce Soir" (2005)
  • "Tombé pour la France" (Fischerspooner's remix) (2006)
  • "Le grand sommeil" (Sweetlight remix) (2006)


  • Mythomane (1981)
  • La notte, la notte (1984)
  • Tombé pour la France (mini album) (1985)
  • Pop satori (1986)
  • Pour nos vies martiennes (1988)
  • Live ED (1989)
  • Paris ailleurs (1991)
  • DahOlympia (1993)
  • Réserection (EP with St. Etienne) (1995)
  • Eden (1996)
  • Singles (1998)
  • Corps et armes (2000)
  • Daho Live (2001)
  • Dans la peau de Daho (long box) (2002)
  • Réevolution (2003)
  • Sortir ce soir (best of live) (2005)
  • Pop satori Deluxe (boxset) (2006)
  • L'invitation (2007)

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Étienne Daho" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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