January 1, 1969
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After two albums with Brigitte Bardot (or one and a half), Serge Gainsbourg meets a young girl coming straight from London, Jane Birkin. Serge Gainsbourg actually meets her during the shooting of a movie ("Slogan") and the beginning of their relationship is pretty bad. In order to save his film, the director, in a very clever move, decides to play cupid and sets up a dinner in a restaurant for the three of them, but never actually goes. The result? An evening spent just between Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg, and the beginning of Jane & Serge, one of the most cult couples in France during the 20th Century.
But back on the album, Serge Gainsbourg finds the inspiration with Jane and composes a full album for her. The result is fantastic. The first song, "Je t'aime moi non plus", although not composed for her originally, is extremely iconic. Brigitte Bardot has recorded it with him originally, but decided not to release it. Gainsbourg thinks that it is a great song and decides to record it with Jane Birkin. For aficionados of Gainsbourg, I would strongly recommend to listen to both versions and make up your mind.
What I love about Jane Birkin's way of singing is that some notes are so high that she aims for those in a sublime and original way, exacerbating the emotions of the words.
"69 année érotique" is also a very iconic song, in a very similar slightly erotic theme.
"Elisa", taken from the soundtrack of "L'horizon", is once again a beautiful and classic song from Gainsbourg.
Serge also re-records two songs, that he originally composed for others, "Sous le soleil exactement" (for the movie "Anna", sung by Anna Karina) and "Les sucettes" (the highly erotic and sensual song composed for France Gall).
"Manon", is one of my favorite songs from Gainsbourg (but I have so many that I don't even see the point of counting). Composed for the movie "Manon 70", I find it highly original, complex and overall beautiful.
I give it 8 out of 10. As superb as Jane on the cover of the album.