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Histoire de Melody Nelson

Serge Gainsbourg

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Album Review

You don't need to speak a word of French to understand Histoire de Melody Nelson — one needs only to look at the front cover (with its nearly pornographic portrait of a half-naked nymphet clutching a rag doll) or hear the lechery virtually dripping from Serge Gainsbourg's sleazily seductive voice to realize that this is the record your mother always warned you about, a masterpiece of perversion and corruption. A concept record exploring the story of — and Gainsbourg's lust for — the titular teen heroine, Histoire de Melody Nelson is arguably his most coherent and perfectly realized studio album, with the lush arrangements which characterize the majority of his work often mixed here with funky rhythm lines which underscore the musky allure of the music. Perhaps best described as a dirty old bastard's attempt to make his own R&B love-man's record along the lines of a Let's Get It On (itself still two years away from release), it's by turns fascinating and repellent, hilarious and grim, but never dull — which, in Gainsbourg's world, would be the ultimate (and quite possibly the only) sin.

Customer Reviews

Porn Pop Gone FRENCHIE

Who was that Loony Tunes French Skunk - Pe Pe Lafour (sp?)?? I think this was his father... Sort of a Lou Reed Sex Addict (instead of Heroine Shiek). Clasic you say... I bet it is. More red wine & lace please.... oooo yes, that's the spot...

Biography

Born: April 2, 1928 in Paris, France

Genre: French Pop

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...
Full Bio