Tag Archives: Serge Gainsbourg

Alain Bashung – Variations Sur Marilou (2011)

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In 2011, the Paris-based Barclay Disques released an Alain Bashung album posthumously. Bashung’s rendition of the Serge Gainsbourg’s concept album L’Homme À Tête De Chou was an explicit dedication. ‘Variations Sur Marilou’ is a story of a forty-year-old man (perhaps with the head of a cabbage) who falls in love with a shampoo girl in Chez Max hairdresser for men. Full of eroticism, the song is classic Serge Gainsbourg. Bashung was due to tour his version of the project in November 2009, but passed in March of that year. Thank goodness it had already been captured on record. Have a great weekend.

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Françoise Hardy – Comment Te Dire Adieu? (1968)

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Singer-songwriter, fashion icon, muse, Françoise Madeleine Hardy was a leading figure of the French music scene in the 1960s. By the latter part of that decade, she was working with such luminaries as Leonard Cohen and Serge Gainsbourg. ‘Comment Te Dire Adieu?’ is a composition by the latter and features on her untitled 1968 album, which has become also known by the title of the opening song. Smouldering lounge sounds and yé-yé.

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Serge Gainsbourg – Ballade de Melody Nelson (1971)

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serge-gainsbourg-jane-birkin

22-year old English actress Jane Birkin wafts in and out of this classic song, like a refrain. She whispers “Melody Nelson” to her lover. Serge Gainsbourg listens. ‘Ballade De Melody Nelson’ features on his 1971 album Histoire De Melody Nelson.

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Serge Gainsbourg & Brigitte Bardot – Bonnie And Clyde (1968)

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Serge Gainsbourg & Brigitte Bardot

To these ears, listening to Serge Gainsbourg is incomparable to the impression left by any other artist. It’s not just the French language. His 1968 duet ‘Bonnie and Clyde’ with lover Bardot is a great example – moody atmosphere, humour abound, a love of Americana, self confidence, and much je ne sais pas.

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Air – La Femme D’Argent (1998)

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Providing some kind of midweek interlude, the sound of Air that swept the musical world in 1998. Moon Safari was the debut long player by French duo Air. It opened with ‘La Femme d’Argent’ with its hommage to groovy Serge Gainsbourg. Marry the zeitgeist of the many ultra lounge compilations in 1996/7 with the breakout success of the daft robots‘ debut Homework in 1997, and what is born is Moon Safari. If it was formulaic, it was still cool.

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