41 of 44 people found the following review helpful
Finally, some decent SG issued in the UK...,
This review is from: Initials SG (Audio CD)
Initials SG is a rather wonderful collection of Serge Gainsbourg's works- the bulk of it coming from the import collection 'Comic Strip' (from 1996), which focused on material from 1966 to 1969. Here are many of SG's classics: the Bardot duet Bonnie&Clyde, Initials BB, Qui Est "In" Qui Est "Out", the percussive Requiem Pour Un C..., Sous Le Soleil Exactement, L'anamour, 69 Annee Erotique with Jane Birkin- not to forget their controversial UK#1, Je t'aime...moi non plus. The song that stands out here is Ford Mustang- which takes an almost sexual look at mass culture (aspirin, Marilyn, Edgar Allen Poe, Ford Mustang)- reminding me of a chapter in Barthes' Mythologies (Citroen) & JG Ballard's Crash! chapter in The Atrocity Exhibition. Pity personal faves Chatterton and Torrey Canyon were left off, but you can't have everything...
The rest of the compilation comes from various albums still waiting to be reissued properly in the UK- we get 'The Ballad of Melody Nelson' from Histoire De Melody Nelson (just one track from the album many fans consider to be his classic longplayer?). We get the brilliant Intoxicated Man from Du Jazz Dans Le Ravine- which gave the title to the first English translation collection from Bad Seed Mick Harvey (the second was entitled Pink Elephants; both are great & it was the former that lead me to Serge's material- my French is quite poor, you see...). We also get the title track from the Couleur Cafe release- alongside several other tracks that feature Jane Birkin & Catherine Deneuve. Pity Lemon Incest wasn't included- as it kind of fits with my sense of humour (ditto Barrel of My 45).
Initials SG is a great introduction to a great talent, who is sadly remembered for what he said to Whitney Houston on TV than his great records. & I kind of loathe the fact he's dumped in with the lounge/nostalgia category- I don't think this is kitsch, I'd happily play it next to Scott Walker, Jacques Brel, Tom Waits, Kevin Rowland...I'd just like to see all SG's albums given a nice UK cd issue, so I can hear the big picture of a brilliant career. Still, with this release I'm going to have to give in & read 'A Fistful of Gitanes'...