Serge Gainsbourg's 20 most scandalous moments | Music | The Guardian
To the British, Serge Gainsbourg was once the ugly, pouting, unshaven and sang duets, and had a year-long love affair, with Brigitte Bardot. Francine Gorman: From writing saucy songs for Brigitte Bardot to of his relationship with Bardot, Gainsbourg occupied himself with a role in. Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg during an exhibition in Tuileries gardens in . Gainsbourg had initially written for his then-lover Brigitte Bardot several Though their relationship ended after ten years together, when Birkin.
He performed a few duets in with the artist Philippe Claywith whom he shared some resemblance. Around this time, Gainsbourg met Elek Bacsik.
He pleased Gainsbourg, despite knowing that such a sound would not allow him access to success. The album sold only 1, copies. The decision was taken right upon leaving the studio: Performed by French teen and charming singer France Gallit won first prize. Gainsbourg had written the song with double-meanings and strong sexual innuendo of which the singer was apparently unaware when she recorded it. Whereas Gall thought that the song was about a girl enjoying lollipops, it was actually about oral sex.
The controversy arising from the song, although a big hit for Gall, threw her career off-track in France for several years. Gainsbourg arranged other Gall songs and LPs that were characteristic of the late s psychedelic styles, among them Gall's album.
His relationship with Brigitte Bardot led to a series of prominent pop duets, such as Ford Mustang and Bonnie and Clyde.
Inhe released Je t'aime Originally recorded with Brigitte Bardotit was released with his future girlfriend Birkin when Bardot backed out. While Gainsbourg declared it the "ultimate love song", it was considered too "hot"; the song was censored or banned from public broadcast in numerous countries and in France even the toned-down version was suppressed.
The Vatican made a public statement citing the song as offensive. Despite or perhaps because of the controversy, it sold well and charted within the top ten in many European countries. The s[ edit ] Histoire de Melody Nelson was released in This concept albumproduced and arranged by Jean-Claude Vanniertells the story of a Lolita -esque affair, with Gainsbourg as the narrator. It features prominent string arrangements and even a massed choir at its tragic climax.
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Gainsbourg used black comedyas he and his family had suffered during World War II, being forced to wear the yellow star as the mark of a Jew. Rock Around the Bunker belonged to the mids "retro" trend. Cabbage-Head Man is one of his nicknames, as it refers to his ears.
He would go on to produce two reggae albums recorded in Jamaica and and two electronic funk albums recorded in New York and Following harsh and anti-semitic criticism in right-wing newspaper Le Figaro by Charles de Gaulle biographer Michel Droithis song earned him death threats from right-wing veteran soldiers of the Algerian War of Independencewho were opposed to their national anthem being arranged in reggae style.
Ina show had to be cancelled, because an angry mob of French Army parachutists came to demonstrate in the audience. Alone onstage, Gainsbourg raised his fist and answered "The true meaning of our national anthem is revolutionary" and sang it with the audience.
The soldiers joined them, a scene enjoyed by millions as French TV news broadcast it, creating more publicity. Shortly afterward, Gainsbourg bought the original manuscript of "La Marseillaise".
Bob Marley was furious, when he discovered that Gainsbourg made his wife Rita sing erotic lyrics. Final years[ edit ] Tribute graffiti covers the outer wall of Serge Gainsbourg's house on the rue de Verneuil in Paris, looked after by Charlotte Gainsbourg after her father's death InGainsbourg wrote an album for French rocker Alain BashungPlay blessures.
The album, although now considered a masterpiece by French critics, was a commercial failure. Bardot later went on to release the recording in And also to divorce her husband. Distraught after the collapse of his relationship with Bardot, Gainsbourg occupied himself with a role in the film Slogan. Playing opposite him was a charming, young English actor called Jane Birkin. Under the impression that her co-star hated her, Birkin arranged a dinner with him over which Gainsbourg, 18 years her senior, fell in love.
Unfortunately, due to the amount of alcohol consumed throughout the date, the first night the pair spent together was in a hotel room A willing companion was, however, found in new love interest Jane Birkin. Rumours had circulated that the pair recorded some of the more intimate parts of the song by placing a microphone underneath their bed. In actual fact, the re-recording was undertaken in studios in Paris and London where the heavy breathing was claimed to have been meticulously stage-managed by Gainsbourg.
Birkin has always denied the rumours of employing the under-bed recording technique The single sold millions and set the tone for what was to come next from the scandalous pair.
The Secret Stories of Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg | AnOther
Moi Non Plus were sold around the world, the song was still considered too explicit for radio play. It was also banned in Spain, Sweden, Italy and even on French radio before 11pm. It has also been claimed that the Italian executive who permitted the release of the song was excommunicated by the Vatican, and in the US, limited sales and radio play led the single to peak at the oddly appropriate chart position of Writing a concept album about falling in love with a teenage girl, who subsequently dies in a plane crash This was always going to raise a few eyebrows, particularly when you get your young girlfriend to pose as the eponymous teenage seductress for the album cover.
An ultimately tragic tale, the album is now recognised much more for its musical prowess than any underlying Lolita-inspired tones.
Serge Gainsbourg's 20 most scandalous moments
With strings and arrangements orchestrated by the profoundly talented Jean-Claude Vannier, musicians from Beck through to Placebo and Portishead have cited this album as hugely influential on their work, demonstrating once again how Gainsbourg could overcome a scandal to emerge the immensely gifted hero. Typical Gainsbourg, always one to go out in style. Casting his girlfriend in the role of the boyish-looking lover of a homosexual man This is what Serge riled people with in Moi Non Plus was a complicated, explicit story following the difficult relationship of a gay man who falls in love with a boyish female Birkinand the sexual problems and emotional difficulties this inevitably leads to.
The film was poorly received in France, and even more so in England where it was shown on only one screen — in an adult cinema in Soho.
Embracing Nazi rock Paris, Thirty years after the end of the second world war. This would be a good moment, Gainsbourg thought to himself, to release Rock Around the Bunker, an upbeat concept album about Nazi Germany.
The songs were set to swinging two-step beats, a return to a rockier feel after a few albums exploring more orchestral sounds. This song, combined with other tracks from the album such as Eva and SS in Uruguay led Gainsbourg, provocative as ever, to find himself in trouble for his comical take on a controversial subject. Releasing a reggae version of the French national anthem This has a tendency to incite hatred among your fellow countrymen.Vamps Et Vampire: The Songs Of Serge Gainsbourg