Joe Le Taxi

Album: M&J (1987)
Charted: 3

Songfacts®:

  • Vanessa Paradis was just 14 when she recorded this song about a Parisian taxi driver.
  • This was #1 in 14 countries and spent 11 weeks on top of the French charts.
  • This was the first French-language song to make the top three in Britain since Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg topped the UK charts in 1969 with "Je t'Aime (Moi Non Plus)."
  • The international success of this song propelled Vanessa Paradis into an acting, modeling and further singing career. Her debut acting performance in 1989's Noce Blanche won her a César (the French equivalent of an Oscar) award for most promising actress. Still a teenager, in 1991 she landed a £300,000 contract with Chanel to appear as a caged bird in a swinging cage in a television advertisement promoting their Coco fragrance. In 1992 Paradis had a further UK Top 10 hit with "Be My Baby," which was written by her then boyfriend Lenny Kravitz. Since 1998 she has partnered the actor Johnny Depp.
  • Singer, actress and TV host Angélica's Portuguese language remake was a chart-topper in Brazil.
  • Paradis claimed in a 2011 interview with UK newspaper The Daily Telegraph that her teenage fame was an accident of fate, rather than a result of burning ambition. "If you listen to [Joe le Taxi], it is a very simple rumba; it wasn't meant to be a big pop song at all. I have no idea why it was so successful. It was just one of those moments," she said.

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