Carla Bruni Tops the Charts Amid Controversy Over Album

Carla Bruni last week knocked Coldplay off the top of the album charts in France, with 65,000 sales of her album Comme si de rien n’était in 10 days. 912

The song was made free for listening over Internet at the beginning of July, following its official release on 11th July. Her record label reports that around 600,000 people heard it on the site. Nevertheless, it seems the level of actual sales remains a disappointment for her record company Naïve, who now expect total sales this year of around 400,000 when hopes were for a tally of between 600,000 and 700,000. Their expectations have been driven by an unprecedented level of free publicity for the album, with the First Lady of France on the front cover of most French magazines and newspapers over the past month or so. In September, a further boost to sales is likely to occur when she appears on the sofa as a guest on a prime time popular chat show. However, it is not expected she will actually sing. Indeed, amongst all the publicity that has surrounded the album, the super-model turned singer is yet to actually give a live performance of any of her songs. It seems that would be a step too far for the wife of a President of la République. Nevertheless, release of the album has not been without controversy, in particular over the title of the album, which is the same as that of an album released by French singer Thierry Desseux in 2003. Carla Bruni’s record label denies any plagiarism. They say the title comes from photo of her deceased brother, and for whom the album is stated to be a homage. Desseux has threatened to bring a legal action for breach of copyright, and has suggested that if Carla Bruni has not acted improperly then it would presumably be alright for him to bring out an album bearing the title of one of Bruni’s earlier albums! It would be difficult to accuse Bruni of a lack of originality, as twelve of the fourteen songs on the album have been written by the singer. She has a musical style and lyrics that are very reminiscent of the French 60s chanteuse Francoise Hardy. Bruni herself would contest such a resemblance, as she prefers to think she resembles more the young Jackie Kennedy, although we are not aware she was also a singer. You can hear the Bruni album here. Neither can Bruni be easily accused of greed, for all profits from the album sales will be given to charity. Nevertheless, it is unlikely that Bruni is going to make it as an international star. Whilst Coldplay may well be a little disappointed to find themselves removed from top spot in France by Bruni, they can comfort themselves in the knowledge that their own album ‘Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends’ is top of the charts in just about every other country on the planet, whilst that of Bruni is nowhere to be seen.


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