Monsieur Gainsbourg Revisited

Next week Verve re-releases Monsieur Gainsbourg Revisited, a collection of English adaptations of songs by the “singer-songwriter-Pygmalion-actor-filmmaker-author-entertainer-agitator-gambler-lady’s man” Serge Gainsbourg.

For a long time, all the British knew about him was his romp on vinyl with Jane Birkin on “Je T?aime Moi Non Plus,” a single banned by the BBC, condemned by the Vatican, and yet which topped British charts in 1969. They also knew that he got Brigitte Bardot, Catherine Deneuve, Isabelle Adjani and Vanessa Paradis ? four landmarks of the French feminine ideal seen from outside France ? to sing, and that he shocked Whitney Houston on live television. He is therefore widely remembered in Britain as a sex maniac with, as his album title says, a cabbage for a head.

There will never be another. Here are the Serge fans who signed up for what Verve calls “the fifteenth anniversary of his last lungful of Gitane smoke.”

Monsieur Gainsbourg Revisited
1. Franz Ferdinand & Jane Birkin – “Song for Sorry Angel (Sorry Angel)” (MP3)
2. Cat Power & Karen Elson – “Love You (Me Either) (Je T’Aime Moi Non Plus)” (OLD ‘GUM POST)
3. Jarvis Cocker, Kid Loco – “I Just Came to Tell You That I’m Going (Je Suis Venu Te Dire Que Je M’E)” (WIN MEDIA)
4. Portishead – “Requiem for Anna (Un Jour Comme Un Autre – Anna)”
5. Faultline, Brian Molko & Francoise Hardy – “Requiem for a Jerk (Requiem Pour Un Con)”
6. Michael Stipe – “Hôtel (L’Hôtel Particulier)”
7. Tricky – “Au Revior Emmanuelle (Goodbye Emmanuelle)”
8. Marianne Faithfull – “Lola R. For Ever (Lola Rastaquouere)”
9. Gonzales, Feist & Dani – “Boomerang 2005 (Comme Un Boomerang)”
10. Marc Almond & Trash Palace – “Boy Toy (I’m the Boy)”
11. Placebo – “The Ballad of Melody Nelson (La Ballade De Melody Nelson)”
12. The Rakes – “Just A Man With A Job (Le Poinçonneur des Lilas)”
13. The Kills – “I Call It Art (Le Chanson de Slogan)”
14. Carla Bruni – “Those Little Things (Ces Petits Riens)”

If you only know Gainsbourg from the Luna or MC Solaar take on “Bonnie & Clyde,” this comp is a good next step. Then you’ll be ready for “Lemon Incest,” Serge’s questionable duet with then thirteen-year-old daughter Charlotte. (Her album 5:55, featuring Air, Jarvis, and Nigel Godrich, is out in a few weeks everywhere except America.)

Get Revisited at

Serge, Whitney. Whitney, Serge: