30 days : day 13

serge gainsbourg histoire de melody nelson

Day Thirteen. An album that tells a single, coherent story.

So, not sure about this one. The single coherent storylines aren’t a big thing in my musical listenings. I guess the obvious ones would be Tommy or Ziggy Stardust, Maybe The Wall or Quadrophenia, or that one by Neil Young, Greendale. But those don’t seem like the right choices for me, for this. Maybe Tom Waits with Frank’s Wild Years? The Downward Spiral? Some Smashing Pumpkins?
But I decided to spin on my heels and get a little French Conceptual…
#30daysofalbums #sergegainsbourg #histoiredemelodynelson
While not my favorite Gainsbourg, by any means, it is a strong album, and a definitely holds a coherent story. Released in 1971, it isn’t the most politically correct of albums, but it is a solid album. A dark pop journey full of shadows and light, helped in part by the Tony Frank photo of Jane Birkin playing the part of Melody Nelson on the album cover.
It’s a fairly short album, but it’s consistent in style and theme, and moves between some funk grooves, guitar pop, poetic interludes and orchestrated arrangements. And while the theme may be frowned upon, the styles have been truly influential.
This is a typical Gainsbourg penned Lolita type tale, with a twist. A fake autobiographical journey in a few songs involving a middle age man, a teenage girl, a Rolls-Royce and a bicycle. Throw in a seduction, some romance and you have a story that blooms like a fragrant French pop song.