Is there a person anywhere in the world who was around in the 1960s and 1970s who could not instantly recognize the theme from A Man and a Woman? A Man and a Woman was only Lai’s third film score, but it put him on the map and he has not stopped working since, and that includes scoring close to thirty films for director Lelouch.
As an accordian player, Francis Lai moved from his home town of Nice initially to Marseilles and then to Paris, where he played regularly in clubs. It may be that his newly earned reputation as a composer of romantic movies resulted in his being asked to score "Emmanuelle II", and he also scored another soft porn film called "Bilitis" whose soundtrack has also proven to be very successful. For the most part, Francis Lai's involvement in television has been through the re-use of his songs and instrumental tracks. If you want to sample the film music of Francis Lai, one recent compilation album is "Francis Lai: The Essential Film Music Collection" which has his most famous tracks from "Un Homme et Une Femme", "Love Story", "Bilitis", "Emmanuelle II", "Vivre pour Vivre", "13 Jours en France", "Mayerling", and more. Doubtful, unless you were living under a rock in a cave in Siberia, and even then you’d probably have heard it. Just a few short years later, in 1970, Lai would win the Oscar for Best Score for Love Story. He started writing songs and met Edith Piaf, whom he accompanied on the piano and composed some songs for. Although many of his songs are familiar from their use on film and television, there is one instrumental track which is particularly well-known in the UK.
One particularly well-known theme to UK viewers is the theme from "Panorama" which is adapted from a track called "Aujourd'hui C'est Toi" (Today It's You) from the film "Un Homme Et Une Femme".


This and other soundtrack albums are listed below, though note that some soundtracks are known by their French title while others have the title in English.
His music for A Man and a Woman speaks for itself – the melodies are stunningly beautiful. There have been three previous CD issues of the French version – two imports from Europe and a stateside release by DRG.
He was introduced to the filmmaker Claude Lelouch who was to engage Lai as the score composer for his movie "Un homme et une Femme". The theme for the BBC documentary series "Panorama" is based on the track "Aujourd'hui C'est Toi" (Today it's You) which he composed for "Un Homme Et Une Femme".
Here on youtube you can listen to the original tack by Francis Lai and the adapted track (with voiceover) as used on Panorama.
Part and parcel of the score are the wonderful vocals of Pierre Barouh and Nicole Croisille, along with Barouh’s lyrics. However, all three were issued from sources many generations away from the original album masters, and, shockingly, all three were in mono.
You could easily say at this point that 'the rest is history' because it was to change the course of Lai's music career. We have included links below in the television section to allow you to hear both the original track and the TV theme. The same music was used on a BBC television series called "Spy Trap" which ran in the early 1970s.


The score and songs have been loved by lovers all over the world and with good reason – this is simply some of the most romantic and heartfelt music ever. We are pleased to finally present the first authentic presentation of A Man and a Woman on CD – in stereo from the original album masters housed in the MGM vaults, in both French and English versions.
The film itself was a major success and recognised widely with awards, Lai himself winning a Golden Globe for the score. It became the film to see for anyone who considered that they had a romantic bone in his or her body.
As might be expected, Francis Lai then found himself in demand as a composer, and he had a number of successful soundtracks including "Vivre Pour Vivre", "Le Passager de la Pluie" and then "Love Story". The soundtrack recording was as popular as the film, so popular, in fact, that a second soundtrack album was released with the lyrics in English (sung by the same singers as the original French).
It was "Love Story" and its main song "Where Do I Begin" which was to seal Lai's reputation. He won the oscar for Best Original Score, and the song has been included not just on the soundtrack album, but there have been countless cover versions with the song appearing in numerous other films and TV programmes.



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