Words

Album: Words (1983)
Charted: 2
  • F.R. David (birth name Elli Robert Fitoussi) is a Tunisian-born French singer. He began his career as singer and guitarist with French garage band Les Trèfles, who mutated into Les Boots, but achieved very little commercial success. Fitoussi went solo in 1967 and enjoyed minor hits with the Éric Charden penned "Symphonie" and a cover of The Bee Gees' "Sir Geoffrey Saved the World." He worked with Vangelis in the early 1970s, appearing as vocalist on some of the Greek electronic musician's early solo recordings, and then joined rock outfit Les Variations in 1974, the only French band signed direct to an American label. "We had two managers, it was too much," Fitoussi recalled to Mojo magazine in 2012. One of those managers was David Krebs whose other clients included Aerosmith.

    Kerbs' eyes were on David, who he thought had potential. After the band folded, David was back in France. He remembered to Mojo: "Krebs wanted me to write more melodic songs than Variations, to change, to quit the rock. Among the demos I had was 'Words.' It could remind you of Roy Orbison, It's a mellow song, but the reactions were so strong. They made me an offer I couldn't refuse. But it synthesized a lot of experiences I had."
  • The demo was issued as a single, whereupon it ascended the French charts. It went on to sell 8 million records across the world, topping charts around Europe in late 1982. The song also went to #1 in South Africa and spent 25 weeks on the charts there. It remains his most well known song. Fitoussi told Mojo he was "caught in such a big promotion, but I didn't feel like following the big hit. I never want to do the same thing the next time."
  • The plaintive ballad reached #2 in Britain in the spring of 1983. The song's eventual UK success was caused by its exposure on BBC TV's Top of the Pops. The disc was featured on the first edition of a special Euro-slot incorporated in the program.
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