Serge Gainsbourg's classic 'Histoire de Melody Nelson' is getting a long overdue re-release. The 1971 concept album financed off the back of 1969's erotic 4 minute tribute to the desperation of love, Je T'aime Moi Non Plus. Gainsbourg used the capital accumulated of the back of that single's shock value (it was banned in numerous countries) to finance what would become his most complete work.
Essentially formed around two interlocking and overlapping musical themes than run across it's brief 30 minute run time, primarily Jean Claude Vannier's orchestral strings that riff across a series of motifs, and free-form improvised guitar work of Alan Parker. All over dubbed with Gainsbourgh trademark laconic vocals, telling the tale of his infatuation and seduction of the teenage Melody Nelson. It's seedy and beautiful in the way only Gainsbourg manages.
It's also a hugely influential record, as seen by the amount of time's its been recalibrated and reperformed with everyone from Beck to Sean Lennon to Mike Patton. Put on your finest polo neck, crack out the Pastis and Gitanes, and relax to two of Histoire's finest tracks, 'Ballade De Melody Nelson' and 'L'Hotel Particulier'.