Hello, France like the UK has some colonial connection to the Caribbean, as a consequence they did devellop a reggae / dubscene as well, though the availibility of plenty of grass must have inspired.
Before we leave France we couldn't pass by on 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 T'Aime...Moi Non Plus" stalled on the pop charts -- fittingly enough -- at number 69. He released two albums with the creme de la creme of reggae, enjoying his spliff at the source Jamaica, here you get what the original buyers in 79/81 didn't a bonus album with dub and remixes too
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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 T'Aime...Moi Non Plus" stalled on the pop charts -- fittingly enough -- at number 69.
Born Lucien Ginzberg in Paris on April 2, 1928, his parents were Russian Jews who fled to France following the events of the 1917 Bolshevik uprising. After studying art and teaching, he turned to painting before working as a bar pianist on the local cabaret circuit. Soon he was tapped to join the cast of the musical Milord L'Arsoille, where he reluctantly assumed a singing role; self-conscious about his rather homely appearance, Gainsbourg initially wanted only to carve out a niche as a composer and producer, not as a performer.
Still, he made his recording debut in 1958 with the album Du Chant a la Une; while strong efforts like 1961's L'Etonnant Serge Gainsbourg and 1964's Gainsbourg Confidentiel followed, his jazz-inflected solo work performed poorly on the charts, although compositions for vocalists ranging from Petula Clark to Juliette Greco to Dionne Warwick proved much more successful.
More success began to arrive when, in 1965, his song "Poupée de cire, poupée de son" was the Luxembourg entry in the Eurovision Song Contest. Performed by French teen and charming singer France Gall, it won first prize. His next song for Gall, "Les Sucettes" ("Lollipops"), caused a scandal in France: Gainsbourg had written the song with double-meanings and strong sexual innuendo, of which the singer was apparently unaware when she recorded it. Whereas Gall thought that the song was about a girl enjoying lollipops, it was really about oral sex. The controversy arising from the song, although a big hit for Gall, threw her career off-track in France for several years.
In the late '60s, he befriended the actress Brigitte Bardot, and later became her lover; with Bardot as his muse, Gainsbourg's lushly arranged music suddenly became erotic and delirious, and together, they performed a series of duets -- including "Bonnie and Clyde," "Harley Davidson," and "Comic Strip" -- celebrating pop culture icons.
Gainsbourg's affair with Bardot was brief, but its effects were irrevocable: after he became involved with constant companion Jane Birkin, they recorded the 1969 duet "Je T'Aime...Moi Non Plus," a song he originally recorded with Bardot complete with steamy lyrics and explicit heavy breathing. Although banned in many corners of the globe, it reached the top of the charts throughout Europe, and grew in stature to become an underground classic later covered by performers ranging from Donna Summer to Ray Conniff.
Gainsbourg returned in 1971 with Histoire de Melody Nelson, a dark, complex song cycle which signalled his increasing alienation from modern culture: drugs, disease, suicide and misanthropy became thematic fixtures of his work, which grew more esoteric, inflammatory, and outrageous with each passing release. Although Gainsbourg never again reached the commercial success of his late-'60s peak, he remained an imposing and controversial figure throughout Europe, where he was both vilified and celebrated for his shocking behavior, which included burning 500 francs on a live television broadcast.
In Jamaica in 1978 he recorded "Aux Armes et cetera", a reggae version of the French national anthem "La Marseillaise", with Robbie Shakespeare, Sly Dunbar, and Rita Marley. This song earned him death threats from right-wing veterans of the Algerian War of Independence who were opposed to certain lyrics. Bob Marley was furious when he discovered that Gainsbourg made his wife Rita sing erotic lyrics. Shortly afterward, Gainsbourg bought the original manuscript of "La Marseillaise". He replied to his critics that his version was, in fact, closer to the original as the manuscript clearly shows the words "Aux armes et cætera..." for the chorus. All the controversy made the album a millionseller. Two years later he returned to Jamaica to record another reggae album Mauvaises nouvelles des étoiles.
In 1982, Gainsbourg wrote an album for French rocker Alain Bashung, Play blessures. The album, although now considered a masterpiece by French critics, was a commercial failure. Gainsbourg recorded his next two electronic funk albums recorded in New York, Love on the Beat (84) and You're Under Arrest (87) latter turned out to be his last.
Gainsbourg also created a furor with the single "Lemon Incest," a duet with his daughter, the actress Charlotte Gainsbourg. In addition, he posed in drag for the cover of 1984's Love on the Beat, a collection of songs about male hustlers, and made sexual advances towards Whitney Houston on a live TV broadcast. Along with his pop music oeuvre, Gainsbourg scored a number of films, and also directed and appeared in a handful of features, most notably 1976's Je T'Aime...Moi Non Plus, which starred Birkin and Andy Warhol mainstay Joe Dallesandro. He died of an heart attack on March 2, 1991.
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This is one messed up set. Dig the fact that this is Serge Gainsbourg in dread beat and booze. Aux Armes et Cætera is literally Gainsbourg on the rocksteady tip with Sly and Robbie, Flabba Holt, Michael "Mao" Chung, Ansel Collins, I-Threes, Rita Marley, Marcia Griffiths, and Judy Mowatt, Sticky Thompson, Leroy "Horsemouth" Wallace, and a bunch of French folks playing puff-the-ganja and help the white man in Kingston. Gainsbourg knew what he wanted -- a Lee Perry-styled dubber and dread outing -- and he knew the cats to hire to get it. It contains 15 cuts; some, such as "Javanise," are remakes, while others, ("Des Laids, Des Laids") were written for the session. The Jamaican studio musicians are solid, rocking it down the pipe dark, smoky, and deadly in their grooves. While Serge would seemingly be at a creative impasse, having been one of the whitest men ever to record a side, his tunes work here because he's allowed them to be completely transformed by the Rastas, and his vocals work because they are chanted rather than sung.
In 2003, Aux armes et cætera was re-released in a Bruno Blum-produced deluxe double CD version including new "dub style" mixes of the vocal tracks, including some previously unreleased recordings. Disc 2 features dub versions of most tracks and Jamaican artists versions/adaptations of all songs. An English rendition of Lola Rastaquouère sung by producer Bruno Blum is also included on the album, as well as a newly recorded version of Marilou Reggae (using the L'Homme à Tête de Chou vocal) featuring drummer Leroy "Horsemouth" Wallace, bass player Flabba Holt and Blum on guitar. Jamaican versions include Lone Ranger, Big Youth, Buffalo Bill, Lisa Dainjah, King Stitt and Brady. All tracks were mixed by veteran Jamaican sound engineer Soljie Hamilton.
Serge Gainsbourg - Aux Armes Et Caetera (flac 327mb)
01 Javanaise Remake 3:29
02 Aux Armes Et Cætera 3:11
03 Les Locataires 2:10
04 Des Laid Des Laids 3:10
05 Brigade Des Stups 2:05
06 Vielle Canaille 3:01
07 Lola Rastaquouère 3:47
08 Relax Baby Be Cool 2:30
09 Daisy Temple 4:01
10 Eau Et Gaz À Tous Les Étages 0:36
11 Pas Long Feu 3:14
12 Marilou Reggae Dub (Long Version) 5:08
13 Planteur Punch (Previously Unreleased) 4:25
14 Marilou Reggae (Previously Unreleased Version) 3:46
15 Daisy Temple (Alternate Vocal Take) 4:03
Serge Gainsbourg - Aux Armes Et Caetera Dub (flac 528mb)
01 Javanaise Dub 3:34
02 Dub Et Cætera 4:11
03 Dub Locataires 2:13
04 Des Laids Des Dubs 2:58
05 Dub Des Stups 2:58
06 Dub Rastaquouère 5:39
07 Daisy Dub 3:29
08 Eau Et Dub À Tous Les Étages 1:43
09 Pas Long Dub 3:07
10 Marilou Dub 3:22
Dub & DJ Versions
11 Javanese Remake (Men Will Deceive You) 3:07
12 Aux Armes Et Cætera (Aux Armes !) :17
13 Les Locataires (Sing It Like A Song To Me) 3:39
14 Des Laids Des Laids (The Original Ugly Man) 2:58
15 Brigade Des Stups (Smoke All Night, Smoke All Day) 1:34
16 Vieille Canaille (You Rascal You) 3:19
17 Lola Rastaquouère (Lola Rastaquouère Is Black) 3:16
18 Relax Baby Be Cool (Be Cool) 2:55
19 Daisy Temple (Problems) 3:59
20 Eau Et Gaz À Tous Les Étages (Settle The Vibes) 3:13
21 Pas Long Feu (Sweetie Sweetie) 3:26
22 Marilou Reggae Dub (Marilou A Dance Reggae) 3:39
23 Planteur Punch (Out Of The Slum) 2:48
24 Lola Rastaquouère (English Version) 3:20
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'Aux Armes Et Caetera' is usually cited as Gainsbourg's most celebrated foray into reggae but this superb album - not even given a UK or US release when it was recorded in 1981 - is arguably superior. Sly & Robbie are at their majesterial best and the I-Threes - Judy Mowatt, Rita Marley and Marcia Griffith - provide sumptuous backing vocals throughout (and on the final track, lead vocals). It's hard to fathom quite how seriously Gainsbourg himself was taking it all when he recorded this masterpiece in the Bahamas. Most of the time he sounds so laid back as to be virtually horizontal and track 9 is a typical slice of puerile Serge mischief (three minutes of farting). But that driving rhythm section and the beautiful female harmonies turn every other track into a gem. I don't speak fluent French so I can't testify to the lyrical profundity or lack of it, but the album's title translates as 'Bad News From The Stars'.
Serge Gainsbourg - Mauvaises Nouvelles des Etoiles (flac 265mb)
01 Overseas Telegram 3:40
02 Ecce Homo 3:25
03 Mickey Maousse 2:46
04 Juif Et Dieu 3:48
05 Shush Shush Charlotte 3:11
06 Toi Mourir 2:17
07 La Nostalgie Camarade 3:55
08 Bana Basadi Balalo 3:06
09 Evguénie Solokov 2:38
10 Negusa Nagast 2:12
11 Strike 2:56
12 Bad News From The Stars 3:05
13 Ecce Homo Et Cætera (Inédit) 3:04
Serge Gainsbourg - Mauvaises Nouvelles des Etoiles DuB (flac 526mb)
01 Overseas Dub 3:07
02 Dub Homo 2:49
03 Dub Maousse 3:04
04 Juif Et Dub 4:24
05 Dub Charlotte 3:55
06 Toi Dub 4:39
07 Nostalgie Dub 5:13
08 Negusa Dub 4:05
09 Strike Dub 4:14
10 Dub From The Stars 2:45
11 Overseas Telegram (Telegram) 3:25
12 Ecce Homo (Love) 3:25
13 Mickey Maousse (Minnie Pussy) 3:27
14 Juif Et Dieu ( Jews) 3:52
15 Shush Shush Charlotte (Don't Cry) 2:57
16 Toi Mourir (Rub A Dub Internationnal) 3:29
17 La Nostalgie Camarade (Man A Beg Fe Life) 3:04
18 Bana Basadi Balalo (Rock Me My Baby) 3:22
19 Evguénie Sokolov (Show Love) 3:15
20 Neguna Nagast (One Thousand Drums Or More) 3:15
21 Strike (Strike!) 4:34
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