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Histoire de Melody Nelson Import, Original recording remastered

4.7 out of 5 stars 49 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, Original recording remastered, February 22, 2001
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Editorial Reviews

Universal. 2004.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 22, 2001)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Mercury Import
  • ASIN: B000051YEG
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #311,405 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Amazon's Serge Gainsbourg Store

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I don't speak or understand the French language, I stopped drinking alcohol 20 years ago and don't approve of smoking BUT Serge Gainsbourg (almost as famous for his boozing and smoking as his music) is one of my great heroes. I love his music so much I got a tattoo of his face on my arm ...and for me Histoire de Melody Nelson is his finest 28 minutes. It's mystical, sexy, seductive, dirty and even a bit vulgar. A concept album about doomed love for an English teenage girl, played by his greatest muse and partner Jane Birkin on the record and the glorious record cover. Birkin stands teasing in just blue jeans clutching a cuddly monkey to her [chest]. Jane told me that she placed this monkey in Gainsbourg's coffin with him when he died. The beautiful iconic cover would be worth the price of admission alone but the music is even more mesmerising. During the 60s and still in in 1971 when this album was originally released most people were content to make variations on a theme created by The Beatles, Bob Dylan and Brian Wilson... but what Serge offered, his brand of pop, had a completely different and individual voice. The gophic bookend tracks of the album Melody and Cargo Culte sound extraordinarily modern even today. There is great tenderness and melancholy in Ballade de Melody Nelson and Ah! Melody. Witness the sound of Jane Birkin laughing hysterically over the grooviest of 70s psych-grooves on En Melody. Birkin was actually being tickled by her brother Andrew while Serge had a tape running on record under her bed. Don't be put off by the short running time, length doesn't matter, it's what you do with it that counts.
Histoire de Melody Nelson is ultra cool, ultra sexy and ultra modern music.
Je T'aime, Gainsbourg.
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Format: Audio CD
Gainsbourg was an artist who experimented with all styles of music. Through his career, he put together a great number of fantastic singles. But this album is his great masterpiece.
There aren't any megahits. The most well known tracks: 'Ballade de Melody Nelson' and 'Ah, Melody' are first rate songs, but it's absolutely criminal to separate them from the rest of the album.
Clocking in at just under 30 minutes, "Histoire de Melody Nelson" flows as one poignant tale of Melody Nelson. The music itself was far ahead of it's time; listen to these songs and then listen to Air and Beck. While the great orchestrations and melodies should be enough to sate the appetite of many non-francophone listeners, it is truly the lyrics that lift this album to timeless stature. Gainsborg was a poet to French song the way Dylan is to American song. This album is his finest hour, not to be missed by anyone interested in greatness in popular music.
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Format: Audio CD
Add my praise to the many comments here. This has GOT to be the coolest album ever recorded. It was so ahead of its time its not even funny. Gainsbourg is a superb artist, anything you can find of his is worth listening to, but Melody Nelson is his masterpiece. Its by turns funky, haunting, leering, dirty and beautiful beyond description. The coolness factor on this one is sky high. J'taime ce des disques, son merveilleux!!!
Comment 23 of 24 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD
The lazy bassline which bleeds through the speakers to open the album suggest the sophisticated leachery which is to follow. This, of course, is Serge Gainsbourg, the man who, more than anyone else in the music industry, or any industry for that matter, epitomised the shameless romanticism for which the French are known. That he was in fact a Russain Jew by birth is testament to the contradictory nature of this man. Anyway, "Melody", the first track, concerns his first encounter with the eponymous Sunderland-born(!) heroine, and is utterly gorgeous at that. Serge's intimate whisper of a vocal seems to be the loudest thing here, booming over the spare arrangment of guitar, bass and drums, whose graceful funk is elegant while also suggesting the dubious intentions of the singer towards Melody. The addition of the dramatic strings throughout this track is luxuriant and erotic and is possibly one of the greatsest use of a string section in the histroy of rock music: economical, dramatic and emtional. The track is a masterpiece, and worth the price alone. But, as the title suggests, this album is a story, and so it unfolds. The structure of the album is therefore very important. This is why Serge's decision to bookend the album with what are by far and away the longest and also mutually very similar tracks, has the emotional impact it does have. As previous reviewers have noted, this is the story of an old French sleazeball (could it be Serge, I wonder?) in a chance encounter with a young (very young) English girl (Melody). He proceeds to seduce this girl and take her to his special hotel room to have his way with her, before she flies back to England, only for the plane to crash on the way, leaving Melody dead. So a romantic story then, of course with Serge's own twisted sense of humour.Read more ›
1 Comment 16 of 17 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD
Ahh the joy's of the mighty Serge... Unless you've had your head under a rock you've probably been hearing high praise for this record for some time now... hushed wispers of its legendary weirdness... well the word on the street is right my friends.. this is an incredible record by any stretch of the imagination. First up this is basically Serges most "rock" oriented record.. but let me clarify that by saying Serge's take on "rock" is a tweaked out as his take on pretty much everything in life ... so the sound is very weird.. very sparse .. very repetitive.. but at the same time huge and massive (one of the greatest bass tones ever recorded.. and some of the craziest funky drummin' ever) ... then there's the strings which literally sound as if they're bein beamed in from another record somewhere else.. out of this world! ... yeah its as good as everything you've heard about it... and if you've been dissipointed or hesistant to get into Serge I point you in this lil beauty's direction otherwise your missing out on one of the greatest records of all time...
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