"Q.I" is a 2005 song recorded by the French artist Mylène Farmer. It was the second single from her sixth studio album, Avant que l'ombre..., and was released on July 4, 2005. The subject of the song is sexuality, although the lyrics are ambiguous enough to allow another interpretation related to intelligence, as the title suggests it. The song bacame a top ten hit in France and Belgium (Wallonia), but was not a huge hit.


The song was officially played for the first time on NRJ on May 13, in a short version without musical bridge and second chorus.

A first remix was produced by Chris Cox in order to reach the general public and was first broadcast on NRJ, on June 15. It was a great success on radio, followed by another Cox's longer remix and a third even longer intended to the dancefloors. Cox had also remixed "Désenchantée" on album RemixeS released in 2003, and "Peut-être toi". Two other remixes were produced and broadcast : a techno remix with a slow ryhthm, 'CQFD R.club', by Syd, who had already remixed two Farmer's other songs respectively in 2003 and 2005 ("Libertine" and "Fuck Them All"), and an electronic and slow remix, 'rodin's extended club mix', by Liquid Twins who had taken part in a remix of "L'Amour n'est rien...

Finally, the single was released in three editions (CD single, CD maxi, 7" maxi) on June 4, two months after it first broadcasting on radio. There was a printing error for the maxi vinyl : indeed, a share was engraved on both sides with songs that are not those of Farmer.

The song is the fourth track on the studio album. It was sung at the time of the 2006 Farmer's tour, and is also present on the live album Avant que l'ombre... à Bercy (track 8, CD 1, 6:58).

Music and lyrics

Like "Pourvu qu'elles soient douces", this song deals with a theme related to sexuality while pretending to talk about intelligence : indeed, Farmer says that she loves her lover for his IQ ('Q.I.' in French), but this acronym becomes a pretext for many equivocal puns which are similar to those in the song "Con c'est con ces conséquences", written by Serge Gainsbourg for Jane Birkin. The refrain "evokes caresses and sexual intercourse". Thus, the song's lyrics "mix sex and intellect with the way in which the women consider physical love". As a result, "QI" was often seen as a "mischievously erotic" song.

Music video

The music video was shot in Budapest (Hungary) by Benoît Lestang, a make up specialist - who had worked for Giorgino in 1993 - and scenarist in several French films (La Cité des enfants perdus, Le Hussard sur le toit, Le Pacte des loups, Arsène Lupin...). He had also created the doll which features in the videoclip "Sans contrefaçon".

The screenplay, very simple, was written by Mylène Farmer. This man who appears in it is Rafael Amargo (pseudonym used by Jesus Rafael Garcia Hernandez), a Spanish dancer and choreographer born in 1975.

In the music video, Farmer appears on a giant screen laid out on a building in a big city under the rain. At the same time, a man in his apartment looks at the screen and touches it through the wet window pane. Then Farmer is in his apartment, wearing net stockings and needle heels, and sat on a leather armchair. She looks at the man who is reading a book near to her. With her heels, she starts to take off the man's shirt and he eventually ends up stripped to the waist. Behind a blue pane, they begin together a choreography of which only the shades are shown. Then, sat on a bed in the library, the singer clasps the man and makes love with him. She passes her hands in the man's back and buries them under his skin. The images of the choreography intersect the videoclip until the end. At the end of the song, the screen goes off.

According to Caroline Bee, "in this video the whole influence of David Cronenberg on Benoît Lestang's work can be found".

Many Farmer's fans were disappointed seeing the videoclip, which was broadcast for the first time on June 29.

Critical reception

According to a French newspaper, "Q.I" is one of the songs that emerge from the album Avant que l'ombre..., adding however that it has a "catchy melody", but "words a little facile". Platine considered that "Q.I" is a song whose text is "tasty", but also "as violent as "Fuck Them All"", while the "up-tempo music is also very effective". Le Journal du Dimanche stated : "We border on ridiculous and vulgar with the song "Q.I"".

Chart performances

In France, the single debuted on July 2 at number 77, two days before its official release because some stores had already started selling it. As all the Farmer's singles since "L'Âme-stram-gram", "Q.I" entered in the top 10. Indeed, the following week, it leaped to #7, its peak position, with sales of 20,551. Subsequently, the single kept on dropping and remained for eight weeks in the top 50 and 18 weeks on the chart. According to IFOP, it was the 99th best selling single in 2005.

In Switzerland, "Q.I" went to #33, its best position, on July 17, before dropping very quickly. It left the chart after it tenth week, on September 25.

All countries merged, the single reached its peak position in the Belgian (Wallonia) Ultratop Singles Chart where it attained #4 on July 23 while starting at number 8 the week before. It remained in the top 10 for five weeks and for a total of 11 on the chart. On the 2005 annual chart, "Q.I" ranked number 50.

It was the eleventh most broadcast French song internationally in 2005.

Formats and track listings

CD single

  1. "Q.I" (single version) — 5:20
  2. "Q.I" (sanctuary's radio edit) — 4:10
  3. "Q.I" (instrumental) — 5:20 CD maxi - Digipack
  4. "Q.I" (single version) — 5:20
  5. "Q.I" (sanctuary's edited club mix) — 8:27
  6. "Q.I" (CQFD R.club) — 5:00
  7. "Q.I" (rodin's extended club mix) — 4:58 International CD maxi
  8. "Q.I" (single version) — 5:20
  9. "Q.I" (sanctuary's edited club mix) — 8:27
  10. "Q.I" (CQFD R.club) — 5:00
  11. "Q.I" (rodin's extended club mix) — 4:58 12" maxi
  12. "Q.I" (sanctuary's club remix) — 10:55
  13. "Q.I" (rodin's extended club mix) — 4:58
  14. "Q.I" (single version) — 5:20
Digital download

  1. "Q.I" (single version) — 5:20
  2. "Q.I" (sanctuary's radio edit) — 4:10 CD single - Promo - Limited edition (500)
  3. "Q.I" (radio edit) — 3:55 CD single - Promo - Leather luxurious edition
  4. "Q.I" (radio edit) — 3:55 12" maxi - Promo
  5. "Q.I" (sanctuary's club remix) — 10:55
  6. "Q.I" (rodin's extended club mix) — 4:58
  7. "Q.I" (single version) — 5:20 DVD - Promo
  8. "Q.I" (video) — 4:00


Official versions
Version Length Album Remixed by Year Comment
Album / Single version 5:20 Avant que l'ombre... 2005 See the previous sections
Radio edit 3:55 Laurent Boutonnat 2005 The musical bridge and some refrains are deleted. The song ends in fade-out.
Instrumental 5:20 Laurent Boutonnat 2005 All lyrics, even vocals, are deleted.
Sanctuary's radio edit 4:10 Chris Cox 2005 This dance remix, devoted to the discothèques, is faster and more dynamic than the album version. There are numerous "Ton Q.I, mon cul est, ton Q.I, C.Q.F.D" throughout the song.
Sanctuary's edit club mix 8:27 Chris Cox 2005 This dance and techno remix is the same as the 'sanctuary's radio edit', but it is longer.
Sanctuary's club remix 10:55 Chris Cox 2005 This dance and techno remix is the same as the 'sanctuary's edit club mix', but it is longer.
CQFD R.club 5:00 Syd 2005 This is an acid techno remix with many electronic sounds.
Rodin's extended club mix 4:58 Liquid Twins 2005 This is an electronic version which contains the whole of lyrics from the original version.
Live version (recorded in 2006) 6:58 2006 See Avant que l'ombre... à Bercy (tour)
Unofficial mentionable fan remixes

  • Axl C. mon QL mix — 7:50
  • Unfinished deranged remix — 5:59
  • Bunnyz instrumental mix — 3:28
  • DiGital's mono pleasure streap remix extended version — 8:40

Credits and personnel

  • Text : Mylène Farmer
  • Music : Laurent Boutonnat
  • Editions : Requiem Publishing
  • Recording company : Polydor
  • Photo : Dominique Issermann
  • Design : Henry Neu

Certifications and sales

Country Certification Date Sales certified Physical sales
France 64,763


Chart (2005) Peak
Belgian (Wallonia) Singles Chart 4
Belgian Singles Chart 14
Euro 200 44
French Digital Chart 9
French SNEP Singles Chart 7
French Airplay Chart 42
Russian Airplay Chart 156
Swiss Singles Chart 33
End of year chart (2005) Position
Belgian (Wallonia) Singles Chart 50
French Singles Chart 99


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