From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
At 12 he started playing drums and listening to Otis Redding songs. By the end of the 60's, he was fascinated by, among others, Jimi Hendrix, Carlos Santana, and Blood, Sweat & Tears. At 17, he convinced resort owner Gilbert Trigano to hire rock bands for Club Med (Club Mediterranée). Cerrone became the A&R (artist and repertoire) scout for 40 Club Med vacation villages around the world. His first recordings as a part of Kongas were released on Barclay, where he released his first hit, Boom. His song "Anikana-O" was co-written and produced by Alec R. Costandinos. A remix by Tom Moulton was done for the US and international releases on Salsoul Records.
Based in Paris, Cerrone recorded, composed and performed his solo debut "Love In C Minor", again with Costandinos. Released, in 1976, on his own Malligator imprint, and distributed by Warner Filipacci in France, it shocked audiences with its controversial erotic cover, which was soon to be a Cerrone trademark. It was later released with a new, tamer cover. Likewise, label censors edited out some racy commentary from the album. It also featured a cover of Los Bravos' "Black Is Black" and "Midnite Lady", a dramatic and anthemic, almost soundtrack directed instrumental piece that closed his brilliant debut. Cotillion Records released the album through Warner distribution in the U.S. The album was released un-edited in Canada, using the original master tapes.
The album was recorded and mixed at Trident Studios in London, which was to become the mainstay of French disco producers for the year that followed as it was one of the first 48-track recording studios in the world. This was the final collaboration between Cerrone and the Egyptian-born Costandinos, who went on to create such legendary dancefloor hits such as "I've Found Love" by Love & Kisses and the disco opera re-telling the story of "Romeo and Juliet".
Cerrone's Paradise, released in 1977, was recorded with Raymond Donnez, aka "Don Ray". The original French album cover featured a naked model but had a tamer cover for the US release (Cerrone wearing a Hawaiian shirt). His third album Supernature sold over eight million albums worldwide. A departure from the lush orchestration with dizzying electronic instrumentation added to the mix, it was co-written by pop-punk chanteuse Lene Lovich and arranged by Alain Wisniak.
The ten-minute song "Supernature" (about genetic engineering gone wrong), which crossed over to the Billboard Hot 100, had a three-minute drum breakdown. "Supernature" was used as the theme to Thames TV's "The Kenny Everett Video Show", which was shown across the UK on the ITV network. Cerrone IV: The Golden Touch included the songs "Je Suis Music", "Look For Love" and "Rocket In The Pocket", and the electronic Latino flavored "Music Of Life".
He did the music score for Brigade Mondaine, a French film. Alternate mixes of his hits such as "Give Me Love", "Phonic" (originally released as a 12" single on the Crocos label). The "Striptease" mix was introduced to international audiences through the Disconet subscription service for DJ's. In Cerrone V, he emphasized his singing. Moving from Cotillion to Atlantic Records in the US, "Rock Me" was the first single. Cerrone co-wrote "Call Me Tonight" with producer Bob Esty and vocalist/lyricist Michelle Aller.
His sixth album, Cerrone VI, released in 1980, was the first of his albums to not be released in the US, due to the unexpected Disco backlash. It was issued on Malligator and Unidisc in Canada. This non-rhythmic album used new electronic synthesizers such as the Fairlight CMI computer. The instrumental, Herb Alpert-inspired "Rendezvous" received some adult contemporary play in Canada. Cerrone also returned to the erotic album covers.
For his seventh album, he added American vocalist Jocelyn Brown for songs like the funky "Hooked On You" and the rhythmic "Cherry Tree". A 12" single, "Tripping On The Moon", sung by Kay Garner got club play. Montreal-based Nanette Workman had a 1973 hit with the song "The Queen" on Big Tree Records. Canadian born Claudja Barry did a cover version of "Trippin'", released on Personal Records.
His ninth album, Your Love Survived had Arthur Simms singing. Pamela Forrest wrote the lyrics on the album. Re-recordings of hits such as "Give Me Love", "Look For Love" and "Call Me Tonight" were included on this double LP set. His 10th album, Where Are You Now? was sung by Carole Rowley and released on Malligator in France. Hi-NRG producer and mixer Ian Levine mixed "Club Underworld" which was released as a single in France and the United States on Personal Records.
Cerrone's label, Crocos, undertook a number of independently produced projects, including "Africanism" by Kongas, and Revelacion, a studio act. He also produced singles "Tonight The Night" for percussionist Mo Cooper and "Phonic" by Phonic.
The band Goldfrapp (Alison Goldfrapp & Will Gregory) paid homage to Cerrone by entitling their 3rd album "Supernature" which was released in 2005. Many of Goldfrapp videos/artwork have also included the theme of mixing human and animal forms which were prominent in the video for Cerrone's Supernature. Their fourth album "Seventh Tree" also features a song called "Cologne Cerrone Houdini".
- Love in C Minor (1976)
- Cerrone's Paradise (1977)
- Cerrone III - Supernature (1977)
- Cerrone IV - The Golden Touch (1978)
- Cerrone V - Angelina (1979)
- Cerrone VI - (1980)
- Cerrone VII - You Are The One (1981)
- Cerrone VIII - Back Track (1982)
- Cerrone IX - Your Love Survived (1983)
- Where Are You Now (1983)
- The collector (1988)
- Way In (1989)
- Dream (1991)
- X-XEX (1992)
- Human Nature (1993)
- Hysteria (2002)
- Celebrate! (Fall 2007)
Collaborations / co-productions
- Don Ray - Garden of love (1978)
- Best of Remixes (1995)
- Best of Remixes, Vol. 2 (1997)
- Cerrone by Bob Sinclar (2001)
- Best of Remixes, Vol. 3 (2006)
- Live: Paris (1978)
- Live: Paris (1983)
- Dancing Machine (1991)
- Vice Squad
- La secte de Marakech
- Voudou aux Caraïbes
- Orange Mecanique (The Score) (2006)