Ainsi soit je...

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Ainsi soit je...
Ainsi soit je.jpg
Studio album by Mylène Farmer
Released April 1988
Studio Studio Mega, Paris (France)
Genre Synthpop, baroque pop, darkwave
Length 45:47
Label Polydor
Producer Laurent Boutonnat
Mylène Farmer chronology
Cendres de lune
(1986)Cendres de lune1986
Ainsi soit Je...
(1988)
En concert
(1989)En concert1989
Alternative cover
Promotional edition - Europe
Promotional edition - Europe
Singles from Ainsi soit je...
  1. "Sans contrefaçon"
    Released: 16 October 1987
  2. "Ainsi soit je..."
    Released: March 1988
  3. "Pourvu qu'elles soient douces"
    Released: 12 September 1988
  4. "Sans logique"
    Released: February 1989

Ainsi soit Je... (a play on ainsi soit-il, which can mean either "so be it" or "amen") is the second album by Mylène Farmer, released in April 1988.[1][2] It contains the hit singles "Sans contrefaçon", "Pourvu qu'elles soient douces" and "Sans logique". Generally well received by critics, it was very successful and remains to date the second best-selling album of the singer.

Background[edit]

After the success of the album Cendres de lune and the hits "Sans contrefaçon" and "Ainsi soit je...", Farmer had no problem releasing a second album that would be well received by the public, enabling her to consolidate her growing popularity, thus preventing her from slipping back into anonymity. The album took from five to six months to be finished,[3] it was recorded at studio Mega, Avenue Maréchal-Maunoury, in Paris (XVIe arrondissement) under the leadership of Thierry Rogen, a renowned sound engineer who had already worked in particular with Michel Sardou.[4]

The cover of the album shows Farmer turned sideways, accompanied by the puppet used in the music video for "Sans contrefaçon", the photographs of the booklet were made by Elsa Trillat.

The album was released in April 1988 and met great success, both critically and commercially.

Lyrics and music[edit]

The texts, which contain many literary references to famous authors (such as Baudelaire, Poe, etc.), were written by Mylène Farmer, except "L'Horloge" (a poem by Charles Baudelaire), "Déshabillez-moi" (originally sung in 1966 by Juliette Gréco) and "The Farmer's Conclusion" (which is an instrumental song). The album has a melancholy and sad tone, and deals with death, suicide, madness with gloomy and desperate texts. Sexual ambiguity, sodomy and provocation are also tackled.[5][6]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4.5/5 stars[7]

The album was generally well received in the media and remains sometimes considered as "one of the most successful",[8] even the singer's "best album".[6] When the album was released, the press said: "Mylène shows an imagination and a new maturity in these charming libertine poems and her synthetic hits containing literary references" (20 Ans),[9] this "great" (Gaipied)[10] and "successful" (Les Dernières Nouvelles d'Alsace)[11] album has "an intellectual and musical universe always so creative" (Gaipied).[12] Its songs were described as "powerful, sometimes catchy and often spellbinding compositions" (Paris Nuit),[13] whose texts are "chiseled but perfectly licentious" (France Soir).[14] The "poetic quality of the texts" and "the sense of the melody" (Le Télégramme)[15] were also mentioned. Rock and Folk said this Laurent Boutonnat's production is "impeccable", demonstrating his "undoubted talent".[16] According to Télé Poche, "the time of success has come for Mylène Farmer" with this album,[17] the journalist Caroline Bee said this album is "an ambiguous, bright, romantic and beautifully produced gem".[8]

Some criticisms were also made against Ainsi soit je... For example, according to L'Humanité, this album uses an "old-fashioned stylistic mannerism to reinvent poetry" (L'Humanité).[18] Rock Land qualified this album as a "second collection of bad thoughts with a spectacular flippantly", whose "B-side is flat".[19]

Chart performance[edit]

In France, the album debuted at number 8 on April 1988, but it dropped to number 26 five months later. However, thanks to the successful single "Pourvu qu'elles soient douces" (number-one hit on December 1988), the album reached number one for two weeks on December 1988, the album managed to stay for eleven months in the top ten and about one year on the chart.[20] On 29 June 1988, the album was certified Gold disc by the SNEP for 100,000 copies sold, then Platinum disc for 300,000 sales, then Double platinum disc on 17 February 1989 for 600,000 sales, and eventually Diamond disc on 14 November 1989 for a minimum of 1,000,000 copies sold.[21][22] The album was also released in Germany, where it reached number 47.[23]

Track listing[edit]

# Title Length Writer(s) Composer(s) Comment, performances on tours and TV
1 "L'Horloge" 5:03 Charles Baudelaire Boutonnat
  • The song is the adaptation of the poem of the same name by Charles Baudelaire in Les Fleurs du mal. Very throbbing and gloomy, the music begins and ends with the sound of a clock pendulum, as well as cries of a baby, the words evoke the passage of time which leads to death. A male voice says repeatedly : "Souviens-toi!" (the French for "Remember", itself spoken in the song as well).[24]
  • It was performed during the 1989 tour and never on television.
2 "Sans contrefaçon" 4:07 Farmer Boutonnat It was performed during the 1989, 1996 tours, 1999, 2006 and 2009 and 2013 and 16 times on television.
3 "Allan" 4:46 Farmer Boutonnat It was performed during the 1989 tour and one time on television.
4 "Pourvu qu'elles soient douces" 4:52 Farmer Boutonnat It was performed during the 1989, 1999 and 2009 tours and 12 times on television.
5 "La Ronde triste" 4:13 Farmer Boutonnat
  • Although the title is in French, the lyrics are in English. The music is throbbing and lyrics evoke suicide and death. A male voice repeatedly says "Don't cry" (strangely listed in the lyrics as "Don't quite"), the song is the vinyl's B-side of "Sans contrefaçon".[25]
  • It was never performed on stage, but one time on television (Domicile A2, December 15, 1987, Antenne 2).
6 "Ainsi soit je..." 6:18 Farmer Boutonnat It was performed during the 1989, 1996 and 2009 tours and 12 times on television.
7 "Sans logique" 4:30 Farmer Boutonnat It was performed during the 1989 tour and five times on television.
8 "Jardin de Vienne" 5:17 Farmer Boutonnat
  • This melancholy song begins with a few notes of Richard Wagner's opera Tannhäuser. The text is both poetic and naive; in it, Farmer discovers a little boy who hanged himself in a garden of Vienna. In the refrain, the death is seen as a release.[26]
  • It was performed during the 1989 tour, but never on television.
9 "Déshabillez-moi" 3:45 Robert Nyel Gaby Verlor It was performed during the 1989 and 2006 tours and two times on television.
10 "The Farmer's Conclusion" 2:15 Boutonnat
  • This instrumental song contains many cries of animals mixed with sighs of Farmer. The title refers to the pseudonym chosen by the singer ("Farmer" means "fermière" in French language) and is a humorous reply to journalists who sometimes give her that name in a literal way.[27]
  • It was never performed on stage, nor on television.

Charts[edit]

Certifications and sales[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Belgium (BEA)[31] Gold 25,000*
France (SNEP)[32] Diamond 1,500,000[33][34][35]
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[36] Gold 25,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

Personnel[edit]

  • Mylène Farmer – lead vocals
  • Laurent Boutonnat – keyboards, synthesizer, producer
  • Thierry Rogen – sound, mixing, programming
  • Slim Pezin – guitar
  • Bernard Paganotti – bass
  • Pol Ramirez del Più  (a pseudonym for Farmer and Boutonnat) – pan flute, shakuhachi
  • Les Moines Fous du Tibet  (a pseudonym for Farmer and Boutonnat) – background vocals
  • Frédéric Rousseau – programming
  • Bertrand Le Page / Polygram Music – editions (tracks 1-8, 10), Intersong Paris editions (track 9)
  • André Perriat (Top Master) – mastering, engraving
  • Elsa Trillat – photo
  • Jean-Paul Théodule – model
  • Benoît Lestang – puppet
  • Bertrand Le Page – management
  • Recorded and mixed at Studio Mega

Release history[edit]

Date Label Region Format Catalog
1988 Polydor France CD 835654-2
Picture CD
12" 835564-1
Cassette 835465-4
Collector edition ?
Allemagne CD 835564-1
12" 835564-2
Canada 12" 835564-1
Promo 12"
Cassette 835564-4
Italy Cassette 835564-4
Japan CD POCP1001
Promo CD
Korea 12" RG2039
Netherlands Cassette 835564-4
Spain 12" 835564-1
1994 Polygram France CD 8355642
1998 Polygram France 835564
2005 Polydor Digital
2006 Universal CD - Digipack 9828262

Formats[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Ainsi soit je...". Le Progrès (in French). 18 April 1988. Retrieved 27 March 2008. [permanent dead link]
  2. ^ "Ainsi soit je...". Madame Figaro (in French). 3 June 1988. Retrieved 27 March 2008. [permanent dead link]
  3. ^ Pulsion (in French). May 1988. 
  4. ^ Violet, 2004, p. 93.
  5. ^ Chuberre, 2007, p. 26.
  6. ^ a b Cachin, 2006, pp. 28-29.
  7. ^ AllMusic review
  8. ^ a b Bee, 2006, p. 362.
  9. ^ "Ainsi soit je...". 20 Ans (in French). June 1988. Retrieved 27 March 2008. [permanent dead link]
  10. ^ "Skeuds de Noël". Gaipied (in French). 12 December 1988. Retrieved 27 March 2008. [permanent dead link]
  11. ^ "Ainsi soit je...". Les Dernières Nouvelles d'Alsace (in French). 14 May 1988. Retrieved 27 March 2008. [permanent dead link]
  12. ^ "Ainsi soit-elle". Gaipied (in French). 17 May 1988. Retrieved 27 March 2008. [permanent dead link]
  13. ^ "Ainsi soit je...". Paris Nuit (in French). April 1988. Retrieved 27 March 2008. [permanent dead link]
  14. ^ G., R. (19 November 1988). "Mylène Farmer: "Vivre avec trois amants"". France Soir (in French). Retrieved 27 March 2008. [permanent dead link]
  15. ^ "Ainsi soit je...". Le Télégramme (in French). 20 April 1988. Retrieved 27 March 2008. [permanent dead link]
  16. ^
    * "Ainsi soit je... (1)". Rock and Folk (in French). 1988. Retrieved 27 March 2008. [permanent dead link]
    * "Ainsi soit je... (2)". Rock and Folk (in French). 1988. Retrieved 27 March 2008. 
  17. ^ "Cherchez 'la' Farmer". Télé Poche (in French). 30 April 1988. Retrieved 27 March 2008. [permanent dead link]
  18. ^ "Ainsi soit je...". L'Humanité (in French). 2 June 1988. Retrieved 27 March 2008. [permanent dead link]
  19. ^ "Ainsi soit je...". Rock Land (in French). May 1988. Retrieved 27 March 2008. [permanent dead link]
  20. ^ "Albums chart trajectories in France, database" (in French). Infodisc. Archived from the original on 20 August 2008. Retrieved 9 September 2008. 
  21. ^ "Albums certifications in France, database". Infodisc. Archived from the original on 21 June 2010. Retrieved 1 August 2010. 
  22. ^ "Du diamant pour Mylène Farmer". Var Matin (in French). 3 March 1989. Retrieved 30 March 2008. [permanent dead link]
  23. ^ a b "Mylène Farmer - Ainsi soit je.." (in German). GfK Entertainment. Retrieved 15 June 2016. 
  24. ^ Cachin, 2006, p. 120.
  25. ^ Cachin, 2006, p. 234.
  26. ^ Cachin, 2006, p. 135.
  27. ^ Cachin, 2006, p. 105.
  28. ^ "Hits of the World (21 January 1989)" (PDF). Billboard. Retrieved 16 June 2016. 
  29. ^ "Les "Charts Runs" de chaque Album Classé" (in French). InfoDisc. Retrieved 15 June 2016. 
  30. ^ "Les Albums (CD) de 1988 par InfoDisc" (in French). InfoDisc. Archived from the original on 23 October 2014. Retrieved 16 June 2016. 
  31. ^ "50 Mid Price" (in French). Ultratop & Hung Medien. Retrieved 16 June 2016. 
  32. ^ "Les Certifications depuis 1973" (in French). InfoDisc. Retrieved 16 June 2016. 
  33. ^ Jonathan Hamard (3 January 2016). "Mylène Farmer : quel est son album le mieux vendu ?" (in French). Webedia. Retrieved 16 June 2016. 
  34. ^ "France best selling albums ever: Ainsi Soit-Je… by Mylène Farmer (1988)". ChartMasters. 12 March 2016. Retrieved 3 July 2016. 
  35. ^ "Les Meilleures Ventes de CD / Albums "Tout Temps"" (in French). InfoDisc. Retrieved 16 June 2016. 
  36. ^ "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (Farmer; 'Farmer')". IFPI Switzerland. Hung Medien.