Wednesday, December 03, 2014


A really great package – one that sums up this key year in the careers of Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin – with two full albums, lots of bonus tracks, and a whole film too! First up is Birkin's excellent album Di Doo Dah – sweet sweet work from Jane – an early solo set that steps strongly off of her classic duets with Serge Gainsbourg! In a way, this album's as much a record by Serge as it is by Jane – since Serge wrote almost all the tracks, and since the arrangements are handled by the legendary Jean-Claude Vannier – who worked famously with Gainsbourg on Melody Nelson and other funky recordings! 

The set's got a slow, sexy, funky vibe – very similar to the Gainsbourg/Vannier collaborations – and maybe even sexier, given the way that Jane Birkin handles her breathy vocals. There's some sweet guitar bits that go great with Jane's delivery of the material – and the whole thing's an essential part of the Gainsbourg/Birkin canon. Tracks include "Help Camionneur!", "Banana Boat", "Kawasaki", "Leur Plaisir Sans Moi", and "Les Capotes Anglaises". CD features 2 bonus tracks – "La Decadanse" and "Les Langues De Chat". Next is Vu De L'Exterieur – a great Serge Gainsbourg album from 1973 – one that we'd rank right up there with his best work! 

The record's got a slinky funky groove that's right in a perfect post-Melody Nelson mode – music written by Serge, and played by a hip small combo that includes lots of great guitar from Alan Parker and sweet electric keyboards and organ from the great Alan Hawkshaw – both of whom really help keep the sound great! Many tracks have that mellow funk groove that's become the best-remembered Gainsbourg sound over the years – and as with many of his other albums of the time, this one's brimming over with potential samples and riffs to steal. 

Titles include "Panpan Cucul", "Sensuelle Et Sans Suite", "Pamela Popo", "Titicaca", and "Par Hasard Et Pas Rase". CD features loads of bonus tracks – 10 whole more tunes added to the album – including "Les Papiers Qui Collent Aux Bonbons", "Titicaca (inst)", "L'Hippodrome (inst)", "Panpan Cucul (working version with different lyrics)", "Pamela Popo (inst)", "Je Suis Venu Te Dire Que Je M'En Vais (complete)", and "Tout Mou Tout Doux (2014 rmx)". Comes in a great book-style cover – with notes and loads of gorgeous photos – and a DVD that features the film A Bout Portant – a 51 minute film, black and white, shot in 1973! (DVD is PAL.)  ~ Dusty Groove

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