Je T’Aime… Moi Non Plus, from Jane Birkin & Serge Gainsbourg opens with the title track which is quite possibly, the dirtiest, but most popular European tune of the late â€˜60s, and a song that composer/singer/filmmaker/agent provocateur Serge Gainsbourg first wrote for and recorded with Brigitte Bardot.
Featuring Gainsbourgâ€™s weird talk-singing vocals, and his then-girlfriend, Jane Birkinâ€™s, aspirated chirps and breathing, we are led from the title track into â€œLâ€™Anamour,â€ a funky, electric guitar tune. â€œOrang-Outangâ€ is a complete throwaway, despite a great wah-wahâ€™d guitar, but â€œ18-39â€ fares better where Birkinâ€™s vocals actually sound okay fronting plunky piano and wood block percussion. â€œ69 AnnÃ©e Erotiqueâ€ is the best mix of the lovers, and â€œElisaâ€ is an old-fashioned orchestral chanson, that sees Gainsbourg at his sexiest. â€œLe Canari est sur le Balconâ€ makes the best use of Birkinâ€™s weak falsetto and â€œManonâ€ features Gainsbourg singing tragically over horns and strings.
Gainsbourgâ€™s new version of â€œLes Sucettesâ€ is featured on the album as well. This song was originally recorded by 18-year-old France Gall, who claimed she had no idea of the true â€œoralâ€ subject matter of this song about a girl who likes aniseed-flavored lollipops. Although this originally is quite good, Gainsbourgâ€™s versions fairs just as well.
Arthur Greenslade should be noted for the arrangements on Jane Birkin & Serge Gainsbourg. This re-release from Light In The Attic Records includes brand new linear notes, French/English lyrics and an interview with Jane Birkin.