A great look at a much lesser-known side of the career of French singer Jacques Brel – his key performances in films of the late 60s and early 70s, most of which received strong musical backing from his longtime arranger Francois Rauber! Brel didn't always sing on screen – he was a surprisingly great actor, too – especially in comedies – but his movies often featured a vocal number or two as part of the package, and Rauber was often on hand to provide some deft touches to the score! This 2CD package is the first to explore this lost legacy in Brel's career, and is a really great balance between his own vocal performances and instrumental numbers from Rauber – 42 tracks from films that include Le Far West, Le Panier A Crabes, Mon Oncle Benjamin, L'Emmerdeur, Le Bar De La Fourche, Tintin Et Le Temple Du Soleil, La Bande A Bonnot, and others. CD
Brigitte Fontaine & Art Ensemble of Chicago —
Comme A La Radio ... CD Saravah/Superior Viaduct (France), 1970. New Copy ....
One of the coolest albums ever recorded – a legendary meeting between the Art Ensemble Of Chicago and inventive French singer Brigitte Fontaine! The set was recorded at the end of the 60s in Paris, and it perfectly sums up all of the incredible energy bubbling out of the post-68 years – an openness to new music, new ideas, and new forms of expression – presented here in an open, honest way that only the Saravah label could muster! Fontaine's vocals are wonderful – soft-sung and spoken, with a style that's like that of a more artful and poetic Jane Birkin – and the backings from the Art Ensemble are some of their most sensitive ever – very balanced and conscious of sound, in ways that make us wish they'd recorded a lot more like this. There's never a dull moment on the record, and the set is honestly one of the reasons we first got into this business in the first place – the kind of life-changing record that's a real honor for us to stock. Frequent Fontaine partner Areski joins in on a few tracks, and titles include "Comme A La Radio", "L'Ete L'Ete", "Le Brouillard", "Tanka II", "Leo", and "Les Petits Chevaux". CD
One of Serge Gainsbourg's best albums ever – a set that we love every bit as much as his Melody Nelson classic, or his killer records with Jane Birkin! The set was recorded in the mid 70s, and it features amazing orchestrations from Alan Hawkshaw – backings that are even better than Hawk's previous sound library work, and which are filled with loads of cool spare moogy and electronic bits filtering in and out of the mix! Some tracks bubble with the same brooding brilliance and funky touches that you'd find on the Melody Nelson album – and others have a uniquely spacey quality that's unlike any of his other work! Tracks include "Transit A Marilou", "Aeroplanes", "Variations Sur Marilou", "Premiers Symptomes", and "Lunatic Asylum". A great record – and one of the first of Serge's that we'd recommend! CD
Late 50s material by the incomparable Serge Gainsbourg – studio and live recordings from 1958 and 1959 – plus tunes from singer Juliette Greco's EP of Gainsbourg songs from the same period – really wonderful stuff all the way! A number of the tunes feature wonderful arrangements by Alain Goraguer, with Serge's earlier, less nicotine stained vocals a bit smoother, but no less charismatic. Titles include "Le Claqueur De Doights", "Mambo Miam Miam", "Indifferente", "L'Amour A La Papa". "La Jambe De Bois", "Agioisse". "La Licorne". "Tension Mambo" and more by Serge Gainsbourg, plus "Il Etait Eune Oie", "Les Amours Perdues", "Amour A La Papa", "Defense D'Afficher" and more by Juliette Greco. CD
Very early work from Serge Gainsbourg – plus some other French pop of the time! First up is material from Gainsbourg's album Du Chant A La Une – some of Serge's first recordings, and a mixture of left bank chic, jazzy rhythms, and some of the strangest songwriting to grace the Parisian scene! All titles feature great backings by Alain Goraguer, Serge's longtime musical partner, who brings in some wonderful elements to the songs – embellishing them with cool vibes, offbeat piano, snapping snare drum, and bubbling bass to match the oddly-crafted lyrics of the tunes. Titles include "Ronsard", "Ce Mortel Ennui", "Le Poinconneur Des Lilas", "Douze Belles Dans La Peau", "Charleston Des Demanageurs De Piano", and "L'Alcool". CD also includes a rare Radio France performance of "Mes Petites Odalisques". The package then moves into completely different territory – by offering up 6 sweeter tracks by Michele Arnaud – some versions of Gainsbourg tunes like "Douze Belles Dans La Peau", "Ronsard 58", and "La Recette De L'Amour Fou" – a very nice comparison, but handled very differently. The set closes with 2 more Gainsbourg tunes sung by Jean Claude Pascal – versions of "La Recette De L'Amour Fou" and "Douze Belles Dans La Peau". CD
Rare English language recordings from the sublime Francoise Hardy – music that's every bit as wonderful as her famous French recordings – and even more compelling to our Anglo-styled ears! The vocals are wonderful – sung with this sense of darkness that's almost got an echo of Nico at points, given the accent – set to backings that balance this darkness with a bit more light, but never in ways that are overly poppy – and which definitely continue that more sophisticated style that Hardy always brought to her music! There's less "yeh yeh" to the tracks than a few years before – and Francoise is definitely digging deeper music at this point in her career – sometimes with a breathy brilliance that's a bit like Jane Birkin too. Titles include "Bown Bown Bown", "Till The Morning Comes", "Loving You", "In The Sky", "Midnight Blues", "Magic Horse", "Song Of Winter", "Strange Shadows", "Ocean", "The Garden Of Jane Delawney", "Sometimes", "Let My Name Be Sorrow", "Times Passing By", "I Just Want To Be Alone", and "Suzanne". CD