An icon and iconoclast. If you're a big Serge Gainsbourg fan you probably already know everything in this book, but if you're like me, it was very interesting and made me listen to songs I hadn't heard before (unless randomly in Brian's car). Cover by Lord Dunsby (Steven Millington). Gainsbourg clearly brushed up on his Nabokov before cutting the album, and he gives his protagonist some of Humbert Humbert’s lost-soul eloquence. The image suits the album’s contents, a song cycle about a Frenchman who carelessly knocks over a 15-year-old English girl while driving his Rolls Royce. The second greatest of all the three letter words." A good number of the 33 1/3 books have a tendency to follow a pattern: The author dissects each track in detail and then concludes with the record's life lasting influence. Numerous trip-hop acts, including Portishead and Tricky, have claimed to draw heavily from it. A genius in his own right, Flowers perfectly enhances the sleazy-but-suave sounds of Gainsbourg’s introspective growl. The love of Fantômas, the childhood hiding from the Nazis in the woods - it all makes perfect sense. You may be disturbed but you won’t be disappointed. I knew next to nothing about Serge before this book and never heard of the album, nor do I speak French, so I was very thankful for the author translating the song titles into English. Ballade De Melody Nelson (Album Version) (2:01) 3. Upon Melody’s departure, she meets her untimely death in a freak plane crash, as the brooding baritone looks on. by Bloomsbury Academic. The orgasmic vocal additions of his lover Jane Birkin earned “Je T’aime… Moi Non Plus” a denunciation from the Vatican in 1969. If you’re even remotely interested in the subject matter, you won’t be disappointed. 1998’s This Is Hardcore proves unmistakably reminiscent of Gainsbourg with the title track in particular emulating the Frenchman’s whole depraved-decadence-in-decay shtick. A solid short intro to the man. There is plenty here about the album itself, of course (I'd never noticed that Melody was from Sunderland, of all places), but more so than a lot of 33 1/3 books I've read, this is also a potted biography of the artist - Serge Gainsbourg examined through the lens of his acknowledged classic. L'Hôtel Particulier (BOF "Melody Nelson") (4:06) 6. But those seeking more Serge should look to 1969’s Jane Birkin & Serge Gainsbourg, an outstanding and decidedly lighter album featuring his most famous single, “Je t’aime… moi non plus.” If you’ve heard Gainsbourg before, you’ve likely heard this, an extremely catchy yet controversial track featuring flushed female moaning throughout. Serge Gainsbourg was nothing if not prolific, penning well over 550 songs in his 62 years of life. It's always nice to get some oddball quips from Mr. Gainsbourg. Perfectly intertwines the albums with his life of badassery, crucial current events, like Jewish suppression in France during World War II, and how his lyricism compares to well known poet maudits. So with the music and the books he's coming from a good place! He may not have swept the world in the same way Elvis did, but to many a Frenchman, Serge Gainsbourg was the world. There is plenty here about the album itself, of course (I'd never noticed that Melody was from Sunderland, of all places), but more so than a lot of 33 1/3 books I've read, this is also a potted biography of the artist - Serge Gainsbourg examined through the lens of his acknowledged classic. Label: Philips - 6397 020 • Format: Vinyl LP, Album Gatefold • Country: France • Genre: Rock, Funk / Soul • Style: Funk, Psychedelic These Books Explain Why You Feel That Way. Burned Out? Thus, for obvious reasons, were either effort executed with anything short of nuanced perfection, the dubious subject matter alone would render both works downright perverted, inaccessible and wholly inexcusable. I only knew bits and pieces before, some of his great outrages - but not even the greatest (the astonishing reggae Marseillaise controversy). Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. I think if I had a complaint here is that more time was devoted to the back story and the drama than the actual writing process of Serge...but I suppose that is what directly influenced the creation of this record. I picked up this book for a friend who is a big Serge Gainsbourg fan, but wanted to read it before I gave it to him. During the '90s, discovering Serge Gainsbourg was a record geek rite of passage. With TIDAL Rewind, we blow the dust off an old album that’s begging to be heard again.