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French — All

XClassic sounds from France -- a mix of chanson, French pop, Saravah sounds, and more -- work from Serge Gainsbourg, Brigitte Fontaine, France Gall, and others!

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Serge Gainsbourg & Jean Claude VannierLes Chemins De Katmandou/Paris N'Existe Pas/La Bete Noire ... CD
Music Box (France), 1969/1983. New Copy ... $24.99 34.99
Great soundtrack work from the legendary Serge Gainsbourg – working here instrumentally alongside Jean Claude Vannier – the musical partner who helped Serge sound so funky at the end of the 60s! The set begins with 10 tracks from Les Chemins De Katmandou – a lost chapter in the legendary legacy of music from the team of Serge Gainsbourg and Jean-Claude Vannier – the pair who created Serge's fantastic Melody Nelson album, and also did the funky soundtracks for the films Cannabis, La Horse, and Sex Shop! This set is every bit as groovy as those classics, but has been lost for years – because the master tapes were reportedly lost, and have only just recently been discovered – which makes the whole thing a 21st Century treasure from these two 60s maestros! The music is great – funky at times, jazzy at others – with elements that include tablas and sitar, funky bass, fuzzy guitar, heavy drums, and sweet clavinet – all used with that mindblowing melange that Vannier could cook up in the studio – so that even some of the familiar elements come out sounding very fresh and new. The film was also issued under the names Road To Kathmandu and The Pleasure Pit – and titles include "Overdose", "Flower Child", "The Pleasure Pit", "Cache Cache", "Fallen Rainbow", and the tune "Colin Maillard" – a great funky number! Next is Serge and Jean Claude working together again on Paris N'Existe Pas from the same year of 1969 – soundtrack material that's got a moodier vibe overall, with some really nice currents of offbeat sonic elements that come into play with the really catchy theme of the film! Tunes are all relatively short, and work together as a nice nine part suite of tracks! Last up is the later soundtrack for La Bete Noire, scored by Vannier alone in 1983 – very different work than usual from the arranger/composer – not a slinky sexy soundtrack, but instead an all-acoustic set that features some fantastic jazzy touches – including work from saxophonist Philippe Mate, and vibes and percussion from Bernard Lubat! The set features lots of piano, percussion, and very driving solos from Mate – and the main theme which almost feels like a Nino Rota melody for Fellini! (Soundtracks, French) CD
 
Partial matches: 4
Partial matches2
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Jane BirkinJane Birkin Au Palace ... CD
Capitol (France), 2009. New Copy ... $4.99 16.99
A majestic later live set from the great Jane Birkin – a set that has her taking on some classics done with Serge Gainsbourg, and plenty of her own tunes too – all with backing from a large ensemble who do a great job of updating the music, but without losing its edge at all! There's this great mix of light strings, keyboards, and guitars – handled by a small group directed by Edith Fambuena – and Jane really rises to the subtle majesty of the session, and maybe sounds more compelling here than on some of her studio work from the same period. Titles include "Pourquoi", "Les P'tits Papiers", "Yesterday Yes A Day", "Pauvre Lola", "Periode Bleue", "Ford Mustang", "Amour Des Feints", "A La Grace De Toi", "L'Anamour", and "Enfants D'Hiver". CD

Partial matches3
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Jane BirkinMes Images Privees De Serge (2CD & DVD) ... CD
Universal (France), 1960s/1970s. New Copy 2 CDs & DVD ... $26.99
A moving tribute to the late, great Serge Gainsbourg – served up in a mix of film and songs from his famous partner Jane Birkin! The set features a DVD directed by Jane – a 40 minute documentary filled with private images of Serge, laid out in a very loving tribute – and it's packaged with 2CDs' worth of music recorded with Serge in duet, or with lots of Gainsbourg help as both a writer or producer. Includes a rare alternate take of "Jane B" from 1968, plus "Rocking Chair", "Nicotine", "Exercice En Forme De Z", "Yesterday Yes A Day", "Ex Fan Des Sixties", "Di Doo Dah", "La Decadanse", "Baby Lou", "Quoi", "Et Quand Bien Meme", "Raccrochez C'Est Une Horreur", and lots more – including live versions of "Un Chose Entre Autres" and "Ces Petitis Riens" – and the song "La Gadoue" done with Les Negresses Vertes. CD
(DVD is NTSC coded, All Region.)

Partial matches4
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Jacques Brel, Georges Brassens, & Leo FerreTrois Hommes Sur La Photo (4CDs & DVD) ... CD
Universal (France), 1969. Used 4CD & DVD ... $18.99
A fantastic package based around a legendary meeting of three of the greatest minds in French music in the 60s – singer/songwriters Jacques Brel, George Brassens, and Leo Ferre – who shared a space for a famous discussion on the state of music and culture at the time! The package features 3CDs of music by each individual artist – some of the best songs by Jacques Brel, George Brassens, and Leo Ferre – plus a bonus CD that features their entire conversation together – very riveting stuff, if you can understand the language – and captured perfectly, with that flair for public intellectualism that we've never been able to manage over here, but which the French can do so well. The package also features a DVD on their meeting – a documentary, using some of the photos from the event, plus commentary by key contemporaries who include Juliette Greco and Jacques Higelin. The three music CDs alone are a bargain at this price – with 36 tracks in all – and packaged with the DVD and other CD, they make for a hell of a nice box set! CD
(Still sealed.)

Partial matches5
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Alan ClaysonSerge Gainsbourg – A View From The Exterior ... Book
Sanctuary (UK), 1998. New Copy Book ... $2.99 12.95
One of the few English language looks we've ever seen at the music of Serge Gainsbourg – a well-penned biography that covers all of his classic years in a fair bit of detail! Author Alan Clayson does a good job of paying as much attention to the music as he does to Serge's celebrity – defining elements that make particular records or musical moments so great – and never getting too bogged down in the more sensational elements of Gainsbourg's life. We really appreciate that – as Serge has always had plenty to offer way past the headlines – and if anything, he's probably best remembered in this century for his key musical contributions much more than his public life. There's a bunch of black and white photos in the middle of the book, but the rest is text – and the softcover edition runs for 244 pages, with a helpful index of Gainsbourg compositions in the back! (Books, French) Book
 
 
 



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