Johnny Hallyday

Tour 66: Stade de France 2009

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Tour 66: Stade de France 2009 documents the farewell tour of Johnny Hallyday, who announced his intention of retiring from the stage a couple years earlier. The album's title is an allusion to both the singer's advanced age and the iconic American highway. The tour commenced on May 8, 2009, and included a few sold-out shows at the 80,000-seat Stade de France stadium in Saint-Denis, as well as a free concert for 800,000 people at the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Unfortunately, the tour came to a premature conclusion when Hallyday experienced a series of health problems late in the year that became something of a controversy when he was treated in the United States after a botched surgery in France. While the tour didn't go ahead as planned, leaving many fans holding tickets for canceled shows, at least there is Tour 66: Stade de France 2009, a satisfactory document of the tour released in a variety of formats. The standard edition includes 34 songs spread across two CDs, including a good mix of greatest hits, cover songs, recent material, and the new song "Et Maintenant." The greatest hits include "Ma Gueule," "Joue Pas de Rock'n'Roll pour Moi," "Diego, Libre dans Sa Tête," "Que Je T'Aime," "Allumer le Feu," "Noir C'est Noir," "Derrière l'Amour," "La Musique Que J'Aime," and "L'Envie." The cover songs include "Je Veux Te Graver dans Ma Vie" (an adaptation of the Beatles' "Got to Get You Into My Life"), "Unchained Melody" (as popularized by the Righteous Brothers), "Blue Suede Shoes" (Carl Perkins), "That's All Right" (Elvis Presley), "La Terre Promise" (an adaptation of Chuck Berry's "Promised Land"), "I Got a Woman" (Ray Charles), and "Les Coups" (an adaptation of Stevie Wonder's "Uptight [Everything's Alright]"). The more recent material includes the chart-toppers "Ça N'Finira Jamais" and "Marie" from 2008 and 2002, respectively. Lastly, there's an encore performance of "Et Maintenant," a great new song released as the album's lead single. Beside this two-CD standard edition of Tour 66, there are a couple different DVD releases, plus a mammoth collector's edition box set that includes four CDs, two DVDs, and all kinds of bonus material. Though Hallyday is well past his prime here on Tour 66, he gives an impassioned performance that makes for a fitting farewell; moreover, the set list is nicely balanced between hits and covers.

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