Monday, February 23, 2009

Serge Gainsbourg - Couleur Café

(Seven Up, 2001)

Two bits of early, jazzy Gainsbourg, the first from 1964 and the second from 1959. There are some interesting rhythms on here, especially in the African-influenced percussive snap of “Couleur Café” (which also includes some fantastic female backing vocals), so I’m guessing that this rather puzzling, inessential reissue might have been aimed at the DJ market. Eh. The Couleur Café compilation CD (from which the B-side’s expendable “Indifferente” is excluded) that Polydor released in the late ’90s serves as a fine – and economical! – overview of this phase of Gainsbourg’s career. I far prefer the filthy, zany pop that he churned out in the late ’60s and early ’70s, some of which is gathered on sister comp Comic Strip; that stuff’s the real deal, lushly-arranged nutball singles from a dirty mind. Also of interest is the chamber-perv LP Histoire de Melody Nelson, which is getting a Light in the Attic reissue in early March.

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