By the time of his breakthrough 1982 international hit single "Words," French singer/songwriter F.R. David (born Robert Fitoussi) had already been in the music business for nearly two decades. Beginning in the mid-'60s, David amassed a sort of journeyman career playing in garage, psych, and progressive bands before doing session work as a vocalist for Vangelis in the '70s and eventually joining well-established French rock group Les Variations. Following the dissolution of that group, he spent several years in America working as a session player for bands like Toto, Little River Band, and the Doobie Brothers while trying to launch his solo career. While still in America, David and former Variations bandmate Marc Tobaly recorded an album under the name King of Hearts but the project was short-lived and he returned to France not long after its 1978 release. Still trying to find his sound, David immersed himself in the popular Eurobeat style and recorded his solo debut Words. With his plaintive high tenor voice and strong sense of melody, the synth-pop style of the early '80s suited him well. Originally released only in France in 1981, the album's title cut, "Words," developed into a huge international hit over the following two years eventually reaching number one in many European countries and number two in Britain. Though clothed in the production style of the day, it's an extremely well-written, big-hearted pop song that would have had a chance in any era. Often overshadowed by that single's massive success are a number of other excellent tracks from his debut, like the lush ballad "Music" and the dynamic "Pick Up the Phone." Blending '70s soft rock sounds with a distinct '80s Eurobeat style, Words would have been a strong debut by any artist, but the veteran musician's long road to success gives it just a bit of added weight.
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