June 20, 2011

jane-birkin-serge-gainsbour.jpg
Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg - acknowledged muse and the real Melody Nelson.


Someone said that, since his death in 1991, French singer-songwriter-poet-film maker-painter Serge Gainsbourg has only grown in stature as an icon and inspiration. Prior to that he was relatively unknown outside his native France, having made one foray into American Pop Culture with the heavily banned "Je t'aime. . .moi non plus" from 1969. He originally recorded the song with Brigitte Bardot in 1967, but it was withdrawn at Bardot's insistence and later re-recorded it with Jane Birkin, the woman who was to become his constant muse and the inspiration behind his milestone album Histoire de Melodie Nelson, in 1971.

Tonight's track opens the album. Melody sets up what was to become a groundbreaking work, not only for Gainsbourg but a whole generation of Experimental, Alternative and Avant-Garde musicians who came in contact with the original album since its release. Fortunately, it's been reissued several times, in several different editions and one imagines it's getting a whole new audience of fans in the process. There is that language barrier thing, but Gainsbourg is so evocative and the music is so strong that the fact that it's in a different language becomes a moot point.

Here is a taste - hopefully it will cause a stir and an interest in getting the rest of the album.

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