Lavilliers has always been giving the image of a tough guy that's been around (he does wear leather pants after all). When he started his career in the late 60s, he was really a cabaret act heavily influenced by Léo Ferré. At one point, he was really into the culture and rhythms of Jamaica and Brazil and it really showed in his music. Career wise, he reached his peak in the 80s with some wonderful albums like "O Gringo" and "Nuit d'amour". Can't say I have followed him much after the rather disappointing "État d'urgence" which has nevertheless a pretty strong duet with Nicoletta ("Idées noires").
Bernard Lavilliers - Traffic
Bernard Lavilliers & Nicoletta-Idées noires
Bernard LAVILLIERS + Ray BARETTO - Pierrot la lame