Serge’s masterpiece…

Serge_gainsbourg_1971Serge is remembered for many things. Being the king of sleaze. Cough syrup phlegm delivery. Saying that he wanted to ‘ferk’ Whitney Houston live on TV. Oh yes, and Je T’aime (non plus) with Jane Birkin.

Aside from all that piffle, one thing often overlooked is that Serge Gainsbourg was one of the coolest men ever to have graced a piece of wax. Recent ‘best of’ comps have shown Serge’s chameleon like tendencies to tackle everything from lounge, psychedelia, Yeh-Yeh… and (gulp) reggae. However, it’s his 1971 masterpiece, ‘Histoire De Melody Nelson‘ that wipes the floor with your earholes.

Backed by the French equivalent of David Axelrod, Jean-Claude Vannier, Serge found the perfect clunky jazz and aching orchestral arrangements to accompany his filthy tones. Without doubt, this LP sees Gainsbourg at his most predatory, lustfully hunting down some forbidden fruit, all pinned together with delicate flourishes of folk guitar.

Track one, ‘Melody’ sets the mood from the word go. Muttered vox from the master, with sultry en-anglaise whispers from ‘Melody’…

Tu t’appelles comment?
…Melody…
Melody comment?
…Melody Nelson…

The mood of the LP swings from gentle psychedelic balladry, to loose fitting rhythms and skittering jazz brushes… and then… from out of nowhere, ‘En Melody’ kicks in. ‘En Melody’ is one of the most bizarre floor fillers you’ll hear. Breaks to die for, a bassline to crumble your hips to chalk, and the cherry on top, Serge seemingly chasing a cackling woman around the studio.

This LP is a must have for anyone with any taste. Unless you speak French, you won’t do a good job of singing along with it, but that won’t stop you from trying.[Mof Gimmers]

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One Response to “Serge’s masterpiece…”

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