Nino Ferrer

Nino Ferrer

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Deeply influenced by R&B and his years spent alongside Nancy Holloway, Nino Ferrer acknowledges his debt with this album. Like so many other French artists of that period, he covers some American hits, adding lyrics of his own. In particular, James Brown's "It's a Man's Man's Man's World" and the classic "Nobody Knows You (When You're Down and Out)," respectively, become "Si Tu M'Aimes Encore" and "Le Millionnaire." However, it should be noted that Ferrer is conscious of his limitations. On the opener "Je Veux Etre Noir" (I want to be Black), he humbly asks Ray Charles, James Brown, Wilson Pickett, and B.B. King what is their secret. Moreover, he should not be strictly considered a copycat for he has too much respect and love for R&B music. His voice also has enough grit to give the songs the necessary soulfulness. Musically, the songs appropriately feature some nice Hammond B-3 accents and are supported by a spirited horn section. The lyrics can be very facetious and nonsensical and they contributed to Ferrer's sudden success, but also wrongly cast him as a humorist, a reputation he would have a hard time shaking off later on.

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