Born Jean-Marc Cerrone, May 24th 1952, Vitry-sur-Seine, near Paris, France, Cerrone was the youngest of three children of a small shoe manufacturer. Cerrone always heard music
in his head, a beat, a rhythm. "I was always being kept after school because I used to snap on my desk with a ruler to the music I imagined. At home, it was the same thing,
except with forks on the dinner table. My father finally bought me a small drum; then a second one; a bigger set, and so on" recalled Cerrone. Playing the drums at twelve and
working with local groups by fourteen, at seventeen he had already convinced Gilbert Trigano to start using rock bands for his resort chain, The Club Med. At eighteen, after
getting his diploma as a hairdresser, he decided that he rather do music than hair.
His band, Kongas, was regularly booked at the Papagayo Club in St. Tropez on the French Riviera. During this period, label owner and producer Eddie Barclay heard Cerrone and
his band and signed them to their first record deal record. Their first record, "Boom," was a minor hit and the group toured Europe, Japan and Africa. The exposure broadened his
musical concepts and gave him an opportunity to perform his own material. After three years, due to extreme personal conflicts, Cerrone left the group. He then pursued work as a
studio musician and found it disappointing and briefly left music as a performer.
The desire for a stable existence led him to open two record stores called "Import Records." He spent the next year selling American records to eager French music lovers, all the
while developing his own ideas about where music was heading and how he could profit from it. When he felt the time was right, he put in eight hard months in the studio,
personally financed, writing, producing, arranging, and recording what was to become his triumphant disco debut.
When French record companies passed on it he decided to press 20,000 copies himself and sell them through his store. He personally promoted them to D.J.'s in the club scene
and even asked his friends to buy copies. When the record created a buzz in the club scene he sold-out his entire pressing. Eventually it reached the ears of a Cotillion Records
executive who pursued Cerrone and signed a distribution deal with him for the American based Atlantic Records subsidiary.
"Love In 'C' Minor" was officially released in February of 1977 and quickly shot up the charts. It stalled at number three on Record World and Billboard's charts, but remained there
for over two months and eventually sold over 3 million copies worldwide. By this time his second album had already been recorded and was released on the heels of his debut
success. "Cerrone's Paradise" followed his formula and gained favor among American club goers. Sales were not as brisk as his first, but it still enjoyed a modest chart run.
Finishing out a banner year with the release of "Cerrone 3: Supernature" he was poised for his greatest success. The title track, and the breakout "Give Me Love," propelled
sales to eight million worldwide. At 1978's "Billboard Disco Forum 4" he swept the awards, prompting some to call it the "Cerrone Show." He took home an amazing six awards,
"Disco Artist Of The Year," "Male Disco Artist Of The Year," "Disco Composer Of The Year," "Disco Producer Of The Year," "Disco Arranger Of The Year," and "Disco
Instrumentalist Of The Year."
Without question, "Supernature" was a tough act to follow, and Cerrone knew better than to try to turn his fourth album into
Supernature: Part II. 1978's "Cerrone 4: The Golden Touch" is the lush Euro-disco album that fans of "Love in C Minor" and "Cerrone's
Paradise" were hoping for — but with a twist. The lyrics aren't entirely escapist; "Je Suis Music" addresses social political concerns while
winning the listener over with its irresistible groove. And on "Look For Love" and "Music Of Life," Cerrone provides a type of uplifting,
A diverse LP from 1979, "Cerrone 5: Angelina" finds the Parisian branching out into pop/rock without abandoning Euro-disco
completely. Unfortunately, "Angelina" marked the first time a Cerrone album was uneven and disappointing. The glossy "Call Me Tonight,"
which features vocalist Michelle Aller, is a Euro-disco jewel, but "Living On Love" sounds mechanical and stiff; and the tunes that combine
disco and rock elements are fairly catchy but far from remarkable. "Rock Me," in fact, ends up sounding like a poor man's version of Donna
Summer's "Hot Stuff."
Also in 1979, Malligator released a live Cerrone album in France. Recorded at the Paris Pavilion on December 1-2, 1978, this two-LP set
wasn't a major club hit. But for Cerrone's more devoted fans, "In Concert" serves as a generally pleasing document of what he could do on
stage with a live band. You can't expect the live Cerrone to sound exactly like the Cerrone of the studio, and sure enough, live
performances of his hits have a harder, grittier edge than the studio versions. Songs which were quite lush in the studio, become tougher
and more rock-influenced on stage.
By 1980 disco was dying and Cerrone's music was losing it's appeal, he seemed to be lost as to what direction he should go with it.
"Cerrone 6" was his most commercially unappealing record to date, audiences and dancers alike couldn't get with his program. A 12" single
of "Happiness Pill" didn't cure this ailing albums unevenness.
1981 saw some relief with the release of "Cerrone 7." Smartly recruiting a young, and yet-to-be discovered as a solo vocalist, Jocelyn
Brown to bring life to this offering. "Hooked On You," thanks to her searing vocals, brought Cerrone back to the clubs and dance floors
that he once dominated.
For "Cerrone 8: Back Track," Cerrone seems to have regained his musical footing and bounced back with stunning results. This 1982
gem featured the Top Ten title track as well as "Supernature 2" and "Trippin' On The Moon," which also became a hit for Claudja Barry.
Later that year "Cerrone 9: Your Love Survived" was released. A double album, one album of new material and one album of remixes featuring "Call Me Tonight," "Give Me Love" and "Look For Love" put Cerrone back
in the money and once again earned him worldwide recognition. 12" singles of "Club Underworld" and "Where Are You Now" continued his streak of good fortune as 1984's "Cerrone 10: Where Are You Now" climbed the
Released in France in 1985, "Cerrone 11: The Collector" is an uneven LP that ranges from futuristic Euro-dance music to commercial pop/rock. All of side one is devoted to the conceptual, three-part title track, which is
arguably the most "Supernature"-sounding thing Cerrone had recorded since "Supernature." Like "Supernature," "The Collector" is full of Kraftwerk type synthesizers and has a sci-fi theme; unfortunately, the piece ends up
sounding like a poor man's "Supernature." Employing various female singers, Cerrone fares somewhat better on side two, which contains three pleasant, if unremarkable, pop/rock tunes: "Forever," "Shame on You," and
"Where You Are."
After a remarkable five year absence Cerrone bounced back with 1990's "Way In." This collection featured one of my all-time favorite songs, the 12" single of "Never Let A Day Go By." The album featured a silver-haired
Cerrone looking his most natural ever. The songs on this release were more even and often reminiscent of the 1970's Cerrone we all knew and loved.
1992, 1993 and 1996 saw the releases of "Dream," "X-XEX" and "Human Nature" respectively. All were conceptual albums that explored several musical genres from rap to electronica with varying degrees of success.
The 1996 release of "The Best Of Cerrone" saw the days most popular remixers overhaul the Cerrone catalogue for a whole new generation. Featuring the talents of Frankie Knuckles, PWL, Danny Tenaglia and David
Morales among others, sales were once again favorable. This compact disc marked his 20th anniversary of recording.
2001 saw the release of "Cerrone By Bob Sinclair" which features the old and the new, remixes and hits. Cerrone collaborates with Sinclair, Liquid People, Modjo and more. And in 2002 he released the "Hysteria" album
marking his 16th original release. In 2007, he released the 12" single "Laisser Toucher," the lead single from his album "Celebrate!", released in early 2008. The second single from the album was "Misunderstanding." That
same year marked the release in July of "Love Ritual". The title track single was followed by the 12" singles of "It Had To Be You" and "Tattoo Woman", all three were hugely successful both here and abroad.
In March 2009 Cerrone released "Cerrone by Jamie Lewis" for free via his web site. The album compiles six years of his work with Swiss DJ-producer Lewis. The free week of the album resulted in a whopping 50,000
downloads and once again marked Cerrone as an innovator. The results are stunning and this has renewed interest in a true disco icon and garnered a new legion of fans. It's inspiring to see that after 34 years Cerrone and
dance music are both still going strong.
To learn more about Cerrone and his impressive career visit his web site at: www.cerrone.net