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You don't need to speak a word of French to understand Histoire de Melody Nelson -- one needs only to look at the front cover (with its nearly pornographic portrait of a half-naked nymphet clutching a rag doll) or hear the lechery virtually dripping from Serge Gainsbourg's sleazily seductive voice to realize that this is the record your mother always warned you about, a masterpiece of perversion and corruption. A concept record exploring the story of -- and Gainsbourg's lust for -- the titular teen heroine, Histoire de Melody Nelson is arguably his most coherent and perfectly realized studio album, with the lush arrangements which characterize the majority of his work often mixed here with funky rhythm lines which underscore the musky allure of the music.
Sex has always sold, but presented with a landmark musical backdrop, the combination is rare as finding the elusive “G Spot”. Quite often, attempts fall flaccid, missing the titillating mark by a mile. But French icon and national treasure Serge Gainsbourg is no stranger to sexual proclivities, and with his 1971 Histoire De Melody Nelson he shared an erotic tale as seductive today as the day it was released. With help from actress, amour, and inspiration Jane Birkin, arranger/conductor and co-conspirator Jean-Claude Vannier ("L’Enfant Assassins Des Mouches), not to mention a tight hand picked crew of top shelf UK session musicians, Nelson is often cited as Gainsbourg’s master work, an essential album for the discerning music lover.