May 24, 2012

20. Cannabis - Serge Gainsbourg & Jean-Claude Vannier [1970]

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

[Bag Birkin Bonus in Comments]


Y Brawd said...

Bonus: arabesque

Mr. Primate said...

Thanks for this!

Anonymous said...

fantastic blog!!1

Anonymous said...

it has reached the point where your top 20 (19 left) is a daily delight. Trust me you will be missed
Nos dar
a bible black dark vale of clwyd

scott said...

Great posts, Thanks. I have missed the The Serge Gainsbourg & Jean-Claude Vannier link (and Bonus link) as they have expired... any chance of resetting?

Y Brawd said...

Sorry Scott. It's been removed already by sendspace. Don't want to rock boat and bring down whole house of cards by re-upping (again). Lost 500+ posts on mediafire a few months back.

scott said...

OK, I understand. Thanks anyway. It's a difficult time to share... And thanks again for the rest of the great posts

Anonymous said...

Nice. You are certainly correct on Melody Nelson I have a copy which is pure genius. Vunderval.

Your recent post on PTV Force The Hand of Chance was very nice the energy you put into examining it.

Great blog...sad to see you go.


Eddie Z. said...

Must be difficult to part ways. You put a lot of soul into this, that much is clear. Fantastic music. If you have yet to, check out Jean-Claude Vannier's own 'L'Enfant Assassin Des Mouches' - a musical equivalent of a Jodorowsky film.

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