My favorite French musician. He makes sexy music that interests you at first for its novelty, then you get past that and realize just how great the songs are. Has performed with Brigitte Bardot, Jane Birkin, and other lovely ladies.
Serge Gainsbourg: Site Officiel
Suggested First Purchase/Best Of: Initials S.G.
Suggested first album: Initials B.B.
Gainsbourg Percussions (1964) -- Serge Gainsbourg and arranger Alain Goraguer blend African and Caribbean rhythms with 1960s-style jazz and pop on this pretty clever little record. This one contains "Joanna," "New York -- U.S.A.," and "Couleur Café."
Initials B.B. (1968) -- My favorite guys have always been gangle-pusses who can land hot chicks. Serge Gainsbourg made this album when he was dating Brigitte Bardot and she appears on many of the songs to great effect. Many of my favorite SG songs appear on this one album, including the title track, of course, which combines Dvorak's New World Symphony with great rock-n-roll drums during the blasting chorus. "Comic Strip" features BB doing comic book noises like "bang," "crash," and "whizz." "Docteur Jeckyll and Monsieur Hyde" is pure monster movie fun set to a goofy tune. "Ford Mustang" features Bardot once again saying the title as well as other Americanisms: "Superman," "Coca-Cola," etc. "Bonnie and Clyde" have them telling the story of the bank robbers with a strange whippoorwill sound throughout. My other favorites are "Bloody Jack," "Torrey Canyon," "Shu Ba Du Ba Lu Ba," "Black and White," "Qui est 'In,' Qui est 'Out,'" "Hold Up," and "Marilu," which is the rest of the album. There's not a song I don't like, and since this is so short (around 30 minutes), it makes me want to immediately hear it again once it's over. One of the most fun and carefree periods of Gainsbourg's music.
Jane Birkin / Serge Gainsbourg (1969) -- Also known as Je T'aime... Moi Non Plus, which is the first track and the most well-known song Gainsbourg has ever done (at least in America), thanks to Jane Birkin's orgasmic breathing throughout the recording. The record is a good followup to Initials B.B., replacing Bardot with Birkin, with more silly-but-perfect songs like "Orang Outan" but also more lush songs like "Manon."
Histoire de Melody Nelson (1971) -- Gainsbourg's story about a man who meets (by crashing into her in his Rolls Royce) a nymphet named Melody Nelson and has an affair with her before she dies in a plane crash. You pretty much know what you're getting into with the last lines of the first song: "Melody Nelson a les cheveux rouges, et c'est leur couleur naturelle" ("Melody Nelson has red hair, and it's her natural color."). If you don't speak French, you can hear the sexiness in the music itself, and in Gainsbourg's sleazy delivery.
You're Under Arrest (1987) -- Like a lot of Serge, this album sounds almost laughable upon the first listen, in this case because of the 80s synths, raps, and other dated obsessions. After a few listens, however, you realize he's playing with these things in the way he plays with all music--as if he's a man out of time (or at least from the future)--and that the melodies are just as amazing as ever... and just as funny, with the Grand Master Flash style rapping on the title track or the song "Suck Baby Suck" ("to the CD of Chuck Berry Chuck). His final album.
Initials S.G. (2003) -- A seemingly perfect collection of Serge Gainsbourg's career, from 1958 to 1980. So you get all the early stuff where he actually sang notes to the sexy duets where he talks and occasionally croons. Just a brief rundown of my favorites from this 23 track collection includes the breezy "Couleur Café," the insane silliness of "Ford Mustang," the great use of the New World Symphony with "Initials B.B.," "La Décadanse" (the song that started my infatuation with Serge when I heard it years ago) featuring the high breathy vocals of Jane Birkin, and the keyboardy "Sea Sex and Sun." This collection makes me want to learn French better so I can appreciate it even more than I already do.
Copyright (c) Oct 2006 - Jul 2008 by Rusty Likes Music