In 2005 Lio is celebrating 25 years of an active career. Go for the jubilee !
The character of Lio was born in the Sixties under the hand of the comic strip artist Jean-Claude Forest, author of the famous comic Barbarella. In the second episode, Les col?res du mange-minutes, Lio is a lolitesque teenager that Barbarella must save from the bad guys; she proclaims, "Without my pictures, I die !".
The disconcerting resemblance between a youngster of Portuguese origin, brought up in Belgium, of birth name Wanda Maria Ribeiro Furtado Tavares de Vasconcelos, born on June, 17th 1962, and that little character devised by Forest, inspired Lio with both her pseudonym and her identity as an artist.
According to legend, Eric Verwilghem, known as Hagen Dierks, aka Jacques Duvall, (see Otto Preminger&'s, The Man With The Golden Arm) met Lio in Brussels while listening to a Phil Spector record. She was only 14 at the time, the age at which one is impatient to learn, to identify herself instinctively with a culture, with its icons, with its anthems. Jacques Duvall was an aspiring actor, fresh from Jesuit school. A conscientious objector, he did his military service at the media library of Brussels where Wanda&'s mother worked.
By the time he met Lio, he had already made various attempts at songwriting: masquerading as a girl, he bravely sent lyrics to The Runaways, a group of preppy Californian girls produced by the mythical Kim Fowley. Lio, despite her young age, already displayed glimpses of the sexy and provocative Pop icon she will become within a few years.
Just as Barbarella&'s friend, she loved images and could not live without them, especially when they were record sleeves from her favourites: the Ronettes, Supremes, Chiffons, Vervelettes, Vandellas, Blondie, but also from France Gall or Jane Birkin.
To the young Lio, there is no doubt about her future: she would become a singer! The adventure began in 1979, after two years of work, discouragements, and wrong tracks, when she and Duvall found in Marc Moulin (from the Belgium group TELEX) the ideal accomplice. The quartet Lio-Alanski-Duvall-Moulin proves fruitful and bears the first single: Le Banana Split.
1980 : Le Banana Split is the first of an incredible series of hits, followed by Amoureux solitaires, both multi-million-selling singles, which places Lio at the top of many European charts. Lio is living proof of the modern eclecticism of Europe: Portuguese raised in Belgium living in France and known as far as in Japan.
The first album produced by the Alanski-Duvall-Moulin team is released all over Europe as well as Japan and estabilishes Lio as the perfect European Electro Pop starlet.
1981 : Lio records English versions of the songs of her debut album with Ron and Russell Mael, from the Californian tandem SPARKS, who penned the new lyrics. The album Suite Sixtine features these songs plus various singles: Mona Lisa, Sage comme une image, and Baby Lou, a cover of Serge Gainsbourg. Originally, this album was only released in Canada.
1983 : Amour toujours is the true second album produced by Alain Chamfort. Lio made her first appearance in the cinema under the direction of Chantal Akerman in a musical kitsch and Pop film, GOLDEN EIGHTIES, followed by the film of Didier Haudepin: ELSA, ELSA.
1984 : A new single is released, T?t?ou, and is another hit.
1985: Demonstrating the proverb "the postman always rings twice," she meets Michel Esteban, cofounder of the famous New-Yorkean label ZE records, who had "inadvertently" let go Le Banana Split in 1979 when Duvall had offered it to him as a potential ZE Records release.
1986: Lio&'s style evolves under the influence of Esteban with the recording of the pop-rock single and its clip Les brunes comptent pas pour des prunes; it is an immediate success and Lio departs for Los Angeles to record the well named Pop Model. Esteban calls upon an old acquaintance, John Cale, to co-produce some songs and to write strings arrangements for the album. Steven Stanley, formerly of the Tom Tom Club and engineer for Grace Jones and Bob Marley, records and mixes the album.
The album produces four hits: Fallait pas commencer, Je casse tout ce que je touche, and Chauffeur. Lio then preformes four days of concerts at the Olympia of Paris and gives birth in 1987 to Nubia, the first child of another long series.
1988 : The Lio/Esteban partnership yields its second album, Can Can, recorded in Los Angeles and Rio de Janeiro, and illustrating the self-fulfilling prophecy of the single, Seules les filles pleurent (Only Woman Cries). She does a show at the Lido of Paris for the release of the album.
1991 : In London, Etienne Daho produces a new album Des fleurs pour un camal?on with the cover of The girl from Ipanema . A splendid video is shot by Jean-Pierre Jeunet (director of hit film "Amelie") for the song, L&'autre Joue.
1995 : Wandatta is released: one of the most personal albums of Wanda, who tries to distinguish herself from Lio! Afterwards she tours in France and in Japan.
1998 : A new partnership with Esteban brings an album in Spanish recorded in Havana. Local stars also take part in it: Los Van Van and the "old timers" from Buena Vista Social Club. The album, still unpublished, should finally come out in 2006 on ZE records.
1999 : Lio appears in 50 performances of the French adaptation of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, a musical staged at the Follies Berg?res.
2000 : Lio records the album, Je suis comme ?a, in which she interprets the poems of Jaques Pr?vert, musically arrenged by Philippe Gerard. She then goes on tour with the show Lio chante Pr?vert, Coeur de rubis performed about 250 times all over France, Europe and North Africa.
2003 : A live album, Coeur de rubis, recorded during the tour, is released.
2004 : Lio adapts the songs from Coeur de rubis into a new stage performance suitable for international audiences, and visits cities such as Tunis or Beirut.
After the musical, Lio makes her theatrical debut with an adaptation of the book Le B?b? by French writer Marie DARRIEUSSSEC, staged by Marc GOLDBERG. It was performed over 250 times in the Studio Champs Elys?es.
2005 : On the 25th year of a career well filled with 18 films, 10 studio albums, hundreds of concerts, a musical and a play, ZE records will be reissuing re-mastered versions of the entire back-catalogue in Digipack deluxe including many bonus tracks.
A new album is planned to be released in 2006.
To be continued.
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PREMIER ALBUM - ZEREC.CD16 - Originaly released 1980
SUITE SIXTINE - ZEREC.CD17 - Originaly released 1982
AMOUR TOUJOURS - ZEREC.CD18 - Originaly released 1983
POP MODEL - ZEREC.CD19 - Originaly released 1986
CAN CAN - ZEREC.CD20 - Originaly released 1988
DES FLEURS POUR UN CAMELEON - ZEREC.CD21 - Originaly released 1991
WANDATTA - ZEREC.CD22 - Originaly released 1996
JE SUIS COMME CA - Lio Chante Prevert - Originaly released 2000 - To be re-released on ZE Records
COEUR DE RUBIS - Lio Chante Prevert : LIVE - Originaly released 2003 - To be re-released on ZE Records
LES POP SONGS : BEST OF - ZEREC.CD23 - Originaly released 2005
LES BALLADES : BEST OF - ZEREC.CD24 - Originaly released 2005
POP BOX - ZEREC.BOX1 - Originaly released 2005 - 7 albums + 1 DVD 13 Videoclips
PICANTE - The Cuban Album - To be released on ZE records 2006
All details available on www.zerecords.com
1980 - ANNEES 80 - Chantal Akerman
1985 - ELSA, ELSA - DIDIER HAUDEPIN
1985 - GOLDEN EIGHTIES - Chantal Akerman
1988 - ITINERAIRE D&'UN ENFANT GATE - Claude Lelouch
1989 - CHAMBRE A PART - Jacky Cukier
1990 - SALE COMME UN ANGE - Catherine Breillat
1990 - JALOUSIE - Kathleen Fonmarty
1991 - APRES L&'AMOUR - Diane Kurys
1991 - SANS UN CRI - Jeanne Labrune
1993 - PERSONNE NE M&'AIME - Marion Vernoux
1994 - DIEU, L&'AMANT DE MA MERE ET LE FILS DU CHARCUTIER - Aline Issermann
1994 - NE M&'APPELLEZ PAS MA PETITE - Jean Beker
1996 - LA MADRE MUERTA - Juan Emmanuel Bajoulloa
2002 - CARNAGES - Delphine Gleize
2003 - COLLETTE - Nadine Trintignant
2004 - MARRIAGES - Valerie Guignabodet
2005 - LES INVISIBLES - Thierry Jousse
1999 - 7 FILLES POUR 7 GARCONS - Follies Bergeres - 50 shows
2003 - LE BEBE - Marie Darrieussecq & Marc Goldberg - XXeme Theatre & Studio des Champs Elysees - 150 Shows
2001/ 2005 - LIO CHANTE PREVERT - Coeur de Rubis - 250 shows