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Double Best of Serge Gainsbourg- Comme un boomerang

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Album Review

Released to coincide with the 20th anniversary of his death in 1991, Best of Gainsbourg: Comme un Boomerang is a two-CD retrospective featuring 47 tracks plucked from the extensive back catalog of France's most notorious musical enfant terrible, Serge Gainsbourg. One of hundreds of compilations that have attempted to summarize the unashamed provocateur's 40-year recording career, this Wrasse Records release is perhaps the most comprehensive since 2006's Anthologie, taking in material from his 1958 debut album, Du Chant a la Une!... ("Le Poinconneur des Lilas") right up to his 1987 swan song, You're Under Arrest (his cover version of Edith Piaf's "Mon Legionnaire"). With a track list helpfully compiled in chronological order, Comme un Boomerang showcases his ability to effortlessly shift musical direction, from the Boris Vian-inspired traditional French chanson "La Recette de l'Amour Fou," to the bohemian jazz of "Black Trombone," to the psychedelic guitar pop of "L'Hotel Particulier," to the Sly & Robbie-produced reggae of "Aux Armes et Cetera" (his controversial interpretation of the French national anthem), and to the sultry electronica of "Sorry Angel." Alongside his signature tune, the sensual and scandalous U.K. chart-topping duet with Jane Birkin, "Je T'aime...Moi Non Plus," there are also his famous collaborations with actresses Brigitte Bardot ("Bonnie and Clyde," "Comic Strip") and Catherine Deneuve ("Dieu Fumeur de Havanes"), contributions from his series of controversial '70s concept albums, the Lolita-influenced Histoire de Melody Nelson ("Ballade de Melody Nelson") and the Nazism-based Rock Around the Bunker (the title track), and his own recording of the innuendo-laden hit he penned for Parisian yé-yé singer France Gall ("Les Sucettes"). Casual fans who might be overwhelmed by its generous track list would be better off with the more streamlined Initials S.G. (2003) or The Originals (2006), but if you want to further investigate one of pop music's most eccentric figures, Comme un Boomerang is perhaps all you'll ever need. ~ Jon O'Brien, Rovi

Biography

Born: April 02, 1928 in Paris, France

Genre: Musique francophone

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

Serge Gainsbourg was the dirty old man of popular music; a French singer/songwriter and provocateur notorious for his voracious appetite for alcohol, cigarettes, and women, his scandalous, taboo-shattering output made him a legend in Europe but only a cult figure in America, where his lone hit "Je T'Aime...Moi Non Plus" stalled on the pop charts -- fittingly enough -- at number 69. Born Lucien Ginzberg in Paris on April 2, 1928, his parents were Russian Jews who fled to France following the events...
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