Initials S.G.


I recently had the pleasure of taking over the music twitter feed @thelostrecord to play my top ten Gainsbourg songs. Hard narrowing it down without leaving out loads of class tunes so I might put together a playlist of his more overlooked work at some stage, particularly his soundtrack work. Here’s the list and tweets as they went. Incidentally, the book is released on October the 24th, published by Bloomsbury. I’m hoping to have Gainsbourg nights in as many cities as possible to launch it, starting hopefully with Paris. Anyone interested in such a thing, let me know via darrananderson1(at)gmail(dot)com

10. La Horse (1970). Ludicrously far ahead of it’s time. Includes a banjo breakdown for the hell of it.

9. Laisse tomber les filles (1964). Before Eurovision & Freudian ‘lollipops’. Resurrected by Tarantino.

8. Requiem pour un con (1968). That. Drum. Beat.

7. L’anamour (1968). A more intriguing collaboration with Hardy than their hit ‘Comment te dire adieu?’

6. La Javanaise (1962). Melancholic waltz inspired by Boris Vian & a night dancing with Juliette Gréco.

5. Le Poinçonneur des Lilas (1959). The closest pop music ever got to Existentialism.

4. La chanson de Prévert (1961). The most sublime of his many tributes to the poets who came before him.

3. Bonnie And Clyde (1968). Masterpiece from the midst of Gainsbourg & Bardot’s torrid affair.

2. Initials B.B. (1968). Ecstatic, heartbroken ode to Bardot. Used an orchestra to sample Dvořák.

1. Valse de Melody (1971). To pick one song from Melody Nelson, this is its most haunting moment for me.

Better still, from Nabokov to Cargo Cults, perhaps the coolest album ever made, Histoire de Melody Nelson in its entirety.

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