Jane Birkin began keeping a diary aged 11, with the entries addressed to her beloved stuffed toy Munkey. She was born in London; her mother was an actor and her father a spy during the second world war. Birkin’s concerns, initially, were typically teenage – boarding school, boys – but quickly become more juicy: aged 18, she married the James Bond composer John Barry; a year later, she appeared in Michelangelo Antonioni’s Blowup. In her 20s, she became involved (creatively and romantically) with the French musician Serge Gainsbourg and set out on a lifelong path of singing, acting, writing and being one of the most renowned muses of the 20th century and beyond. Now 73, she lives in Paris with her bulldog – regularly seeing her daughters Charlotte Gainsbourg and Lou Doillon, who are both actors and musicians; her oldest daughter Kate Barry, a photographer, died in 2013. Munkey Diaries: 1957-1982 is published this month.
“Je t’aime… moi non plus” (French for “I love you… me neither”) is a 1967 song written by Serge Gainsbourg for Brigitte Bardot. In 1969, Gainsbourg recorded the best known version with Jane Birkin. The duet reached number one in the UK, and number two in Ireland, but was banned in several countries due to its overtly sexual content.
In 1976, Gainsbourg directed Birkin in an erotic film of the same name.
It was the year a female orgasm made it to the top of the charts. In 1969, Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin’s “Je T’Aime… Moi Non Plus” became the first banned record and the first foreign-language
t was the year a female orgasm made it to the top of the charts. In 1969, Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin’s “Je T’Aime… Moi Non Plus” became the first banned record and the first foreign-language single to reach No 1 in the UK. It still is, uniquely for such a pop hit, an erotic sound-collage of two people having sex.
Over a sultry, repetitive tune from a cheesy organ, the 22-year-old Birkin breathes, “je t’aime, je t’aime…”, while the 40-year-old Gainsbourg louchely growls “moi non plus” (“me neither”). It builds, via increasingly heavy breathing, to Birkin’s orgasmic chorusing of “tu vas, tu vas et tu viens/ entre mes reins” (“you come, you come and you go/ between my kidneys”). Yes, the words: I’ll come to them. Continue reading “Jane Birkin on making ‘Je T’Aime…’”
This bundle of albums cover a majority of essential music to come out of France, both old and new that any novice listener should hear and ultimately own.
Throughout the mid ’60s, “Beatlemania” and the British Invasion had taken over the world in one fell swoop. While this configuration of pop and rock ruled the airwaves and stole the hearts of the youth, an interesting reciprocal was forming within Europe, specifically France: A lyrically driven style of beat music with bubbly charm and innocent confidence, as well as heartfelt ballads with angelic reverberations that deliver chills upon first listen.
This genre is referred to as Yé-Yé, a term inspired by the phrase “Yeah! Yeah!” that was often exclaimed in the rock ’n’ roll music of the time. The genre was predominantly led by young female singers, or “chanteuses,” who to this day remain as popular figures in music and fashion. These artists have become staples in modern music and have inspired innumerable groups, which brings us to today.
Many modern artists are expanding on these classic sounds and creating something entirely new, yet just as wonderful. However, trying to find an initial starting point with any form of music can be difficult, let alone music that’s from another country and not in your native tongue. But fear not! This bundle of albums cover a majority of essential music to come out of France, both old and new that any novice listener should hear and ultimately own [ . . . ]
Continue at VINYL ME PLEASE: The 10 Best French Yé-Yé Pop Albums To Own On Vinyl — Vinyl Me, Please