41 years ago a French guy released an album so groundbreaking, so dirty, and so good that not many outside of France would fully comprehend it until the mid 1990s. That album was “Le Histoire De Melody Nelson,” a 28 minute, 7-song album about a guy who hits a young woman with his car, falls in love with her, and then puts her on a cargo plane that crashes. Happens to everyone, right?
The album, though, is fantastic. Both Beck and Air have cited Serge Gainsbourg as a major influence to their songwriting and their production and nowhere is that more evident than in the “Melody Nelson” album; a lush, strings and bass heavy production that was years ahead of its time. Album sales were sluggish and Serge thought that he had released a stinker for many years, yet a renaissance in his music just before his death shone some light on this very, very interesting album.
In 1971 Serge commissioned filmmaker Jean-Christophe Avery to make a short film for French TV. It’s rarely been seen, that is, until now. Take a peek, sit back, watch, and listen: