Enough to put balm in the hearts of his fans, who will commemorate the sixth anniversary of his death on Tuesday. As announced, a second unreleased track by Johnny Hallyday is now available to listen to, two weeks after the release of Un cri, a song from 2017. Graven Me the Heart appeared on Friday on Youtube and streaming sites. This track is a French adaptation of Elvis Presley's hit Love Me Tender.
Recorded in 1996, Grave-moi le cœur appears on the double album Johnny Hallyday Symphonique, which brings together all the songs of the singer of Allumer le feu reworked in a symphonic version by the arranger Yvan Cassar.
Grave moi le cœur is a ballad, adapted in French by Jean Fauque, Alain Bashung's famous lyricist, of Elvis Presley's standard Love me tender. The song had been rehearsed and put on tape, originally, in anticipation of the 1996 Las Vegas show and one of the records that would follow, Destination Vegas. But Johnny Hallyday didn't choose this song either for the live show or for the album. Le Taulier prefers to perform it in original version on stage.
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Maturity and abandonment
As crazy as it sounds, it was on a rehearsal tape and it hadn't been digitized. Johnny had never spoken to me about it, he must have forgotten it himself," Cassar told AFP. Yet, the two men talked for hours about the title of "King". A seminal anthem for Johnny who had seen and heard him as a teenager in the film The Twilight Horseman, starring Elvis as an actor-singer
After isolating the track from the voice, Yvan Cassar set it with a new orchestration, while keeping Johnny's "breath". "You can feel in this song his relationship to life, there is a maturity, an abandonment," notes the arranger.
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According to a connoisseur, interviewed by AFP, other unreleased tracks could come to the surface, "given the mass of recordings of the singer in his career". As Xavier Perrot of Universal Music explained to Le Figaro, Grave moi le cœur was inadvertently found. "We discovered it when we went in search of live vocals to allow Yvan to add his symphonic arrangements to classics of the repertoire." By emphasizing the piano rather than the guitar, by adding minor chords, Cassar gives it a new status," praised Le Figaro critic Olivier Nuc.