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Murray Head, Prophet in One Land

It was at the time when we still danced slows. During these recreational breaks, a lament launched by a folk arpeggio frequently found its place between Hotel California and Angie. A beautiful veiled voice of a Briton trained in rhythm and blues school was tearing itself apart in a finale drama imploring a mysterious Joe. Tube certified in France, Say It Ain’t So Joe promised the young thirty-something Murray Head then a career, but it will be done in this country alone. It is on the roads of the Hexagon – with a passage on December 8 at the Olympia, in Paris – that the singer takes again today in full the album. from 1975 opening with this title song.

On the sleeve was a portrait of a man caught in the crowd, his gaze shifty. Success ? There were, however, two others. On arrival, recognizes Murray Head, 75 years old today, “I am known for two songs, with a mention of Superstar », the single from the musical Jesus Christ Superstar (1970) which was to reveal two heavyweights in the matter, composer Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyricist Tim Rice. The third title is One Night in Bangkok, his only international hit. Always for a musical, Chess (1984), by the same Tim Rice, this time flanked by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, both songwriters from Abba. A synthetic funk whose verses are rapped. A return, in short, to square one which illustrates the difficulties encountered by Murray Head in establishing himself as an author.

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The stars were perhaps too well aligned for this child of the ball, son of an actress who will be Madame Maigret in a BBC adaptation. “Parents overprotected us after what they experienced during the war, he observes, we were brought up in cotton wool. “ Enrolled at the age of 4 at the French Lycée Charles-de-Gaulle in London, spending his summers in France in campsites, the boy will become bilingual.

Its Francophilia nevertheless had its limits: “I had no respect for French music, because I heard what au pairs brought to us. Except one: Léo Ferré. His son Mathieu asked me to do translations, it’s impossible. “ It will nevertheless be his adopted country: Murray Head has lived in Paris since 1996 and he owns a house in Béarn.

Undecided hedonist

His younger brother, Anthony, is known to fans of the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. “I gave him the place of the actor, and he left me that of the singer. He does everything I have done ”, mocks the eldest who stood out in 1966 in Everything in its time, film by the Boulting brothers on the frustrations of British youth.

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