Decades before de facto relaxation of cross border genre regulations, Serge strolled with protean disregard and somewhat arch insouciance through chanson, lounge jazz, world music (sic), ye-ye, pop psych, rock, dub, disco, funk et caetera.... Wanton profligacy did him no favours outside France: artistic fearlessness and a shrug of Gallic shoulders to misconceived Anglo-US notions of authenticity interpreted abroad as dilettantism and promiscuous cheese.
Actor, writer, director, producer, pop svengali, performer, musician, smoker, drinker and, at the end, dilapidated national treasure. Above all else, 20th century composer and lyricist nonpareil who considered writing songs a trifling art form compared to figurative art. Ever the accomplished painter and draftsman who gave up painting because he knew he would never equal Picasso or scatological comrade in arms, Dali.
Franchement, Gainsbourg / Gainsbarre was a genius; not to be taken lightly.
High watermark must-have is Histoire de Melody Nelson. Go buy it. Cannabis soundtrack - also with Jean-Claude Vannier - is something of a dry run for Melody Nelson (grooves, break beats, larger guitar riffs, orchestral drama, funked out bass...) and an essential gem in its own right.
Oddi wrth y brawd
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