Serge Gainsbourg (Lucien Ginzburg) destabilized the French ye-ye scene with his
sensual and "confidential" songs:
Le Poinconneur des Lilas (1959),
La Javanese (1963),
Couleur Cafe (1964),
Comment Te Dire Adieu (1968),
Soixante Neuf Annee Erotique (1969).
He was also famous for duets with actress Brigitte Bardot, such as
Bonnie and Clyde (1968) and Comic Strip.
His most famous hit, Je T'Aime Moi Non Plus (1967), for sweating strings
and heavy breathing, was originally just such a duet, although the second
version, with Jane Birkin, is the one that sold millions
(its melody is reminiscent of Mamas & Papas' I Saw Her Again Last Night).
The peak of his lascivious art was perhaps Histoire de Melody Nelson (1971), a seven-song suite (arranged by Jean Claude Vannier) that chronicles a pervert's escapade with a nymphet.
He also composed evocative film music, including
Claude Berri's Le Sex Shop (1972) and Vous Aime (1981),
Bertrand Blier's If I Were A Spy, etc.
L'Homme A Tete De Chou (1976) was another concept album, this time inspired to surrealistic fantasies and spanning a vast range of styles.
This one and Histoire de Melody Nelson are his most important artistic
legacies, although they pale by comparison with the concept albums of rock
His attitude was provocative and sarcastic. He seemed to enjoy creating scandals.
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