You must’ve noticed the stream of ‘public domain’ compilations with Gainsbourg-songs recorded pre-1962. Most of those rehash the same stuff, the first EPs, the Gréco-versions, the Alain Goraguer-filmscores and the odd Michèle Arnaud or Les Frères Jacques-cover. Very rarely, as fellow FS-writer Sky also noted here, such a compilation is done right, i.e. with all the relevant recording data, informative liner-notes and/or remarkable ‘new’ material. The Frémaux & Associés-released triple-cd ‘Intégrale Serge Gainsbourg et ses interprètes 1957-1960′ is a noteworthy exception. Though it’s claimed to include ’13 Titres Inédits Sur CD’, it actually has five songs that I hadn’t heard before, or couldn’t track on other compilations. Four Gainsbourg-songs recorded in 1958 in the Paris’ Alliance Française, and a live-version of Le poinçonneur… by Hugues Aufray, recorded in L’Olympia. The Gainsbourg-tracks, with their introduction and little interview, show that the stories about Serge’s stagefright weren’t exaggerated – he sounds like a rabbit in the headlights. This new comp is fairly cheap, expansive and includes enough nice covers and versions (Trumpet Boy, Simone Bartel, Francis Lemarque, the odd Los Goragueros-cover) to recommend. So there.
Serge Gainsbourg – Douze belles dans la peau (live @ Alliance Française 1958)
Hugues Aufray – Le poinçonneur des Lilas (live @ Olympia, 1958)