My Love Won't Let You Down - Nathalie - 80sneverend

One name and many friends

Nathalie ‎– My Love Won’t Let You Down

We're torn apart, reaching for the sky
If tonight you stay with me
My love won't let you down
My love won't let you down
Ecoute, mon coeur, qui cra-cra-craque
#Nathalie #MyLoveWontLetYouDown

In the 80s it was not so common for a female singer to use only her own name as stage name, also because if you had a rather common name you could have been mistaken for someone else. In the 70s we had learned to know Cher in America, and Sheila in France (but her real name is Annie), but during the 80s something moved, and we saw a Lio (stage name), an Enya (English version of the Gaelic name Eithne), a Madonna, a Sandra, and in Italy a very famous Sabrina. There must have been many others across other countries, but one became particularly famous starting from the summer of 1983.

We are in Belgium, and in the spring of 1983 a girl from Brussels, Nathalie Gabay, for everyone only Nathalie, finds a resounding success with a hit in French with noticeable disco sounds. The song is called Mon coeur qui craque, and it will literally break the charts… in only two countries, however, Belgium and France, thus being affected by the language barrier.

However, Nathalie’s producers had the winning idea: to re-record the hit in English, possibly keeping some verses in French to try to repeat the success also in Belgium and France. And of course keeping in French that verse which was the title of the previous version. And finally, right between the months of July and August 1983, the English version came out with the title My Love Won’t Let You Down.

It was an international success, certainly the biggest of Nathalie’s career. Nathalie had a resounding success throughout the final part of 1983. Actually, as often happens in these cases, I’d say that it wasn’t just coincidence: behind Nathalie’s song there were outstanding artists, and she also collaborated throughout her career with many friends who actually left a mark on the world of pop.

The author of the song was Peter Godwin, sensationally underrated English new wave artist, belonging to the generation of Phil Oakey and Steve Strange. He was never very successful outside of England, but his music had nothing less than many other songs, maybe he didn’t have the producers he deserved.

Then, as we said, throughout all of her artistic life Nathalie had collaborators who have taught her a lot, and who must be mentioned. The first was undoubtedly Plastic Bertrand, the histrionic interpreter (although he admitted a few years ago that he was just a frontman for the voice of his producer) of ye-ye style hits such as Hula Hoop and Ping Pong.
He was from Brussels like Nathalie, allowed her to have her first experiences as a backup singer and in 1982 they recorded a song together, L’Amour OK. Then, Nathalie herself mentioned another very peculiar artist as her mentor, that Georg Kajanus who founded Data, who found great success in the world of discos with Living Inside Me, and then with A-O No Bungalow.

Finally, in the final part of her career, Nathalie collaborated with the French artist Alain Chamfort, who also found success as a producer by launching the song A Caus’ des Garçons, interpreted by the French-Belgian duo with the same name (but we know that in the 80s calling the group as the song meant running into the terrible curse of the eponymous, which unfortunately guaranteed very short-lived success and fame).

So, I’d say that behind this success there wasn’t just luck, but a series of collaborators from whom the good Nathalie had absorbed a lot. Nathalie at the end of the 80s left the world of music, and today she works as a photographer and stylist for some fashion and furniture brands in Belgium. We Dinosaurs may not remember her name, but we sure can’t sit still when we hear her song in our favorite radios!

Nathalie on Wikipedia (in Dutch)

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