This legendary concert by Serge Gainsbourg in 1979 marks the artist’s reggae period.
A “cult” record of French song was released on Friday September 11 in a new version more complete than the previous ones: Serge Gainsbourg’s concert at the Palace in Paris, recorded in 1979. This is the artist’s reggae period , which is a very important moment in his career.
Serge Gainsbourg decides to perform, and it is a challenge for him, confides Sébastien Merlet, specialist of Gainsbourg, author of Gainsbook, and responsible for the artistic choices of this new edition. “Gainsbourg decided to come back on stage in the spring of 1979, in the light of an experience which had taken place a few months earlier with the group Bijou, which had invited him on stage”, explains the specialist.
“In the meantime, there was the success of his Marseillaise, To arms, and caetera. The album has sold around 400,000 copies, and it is necessary for him to return to the stage after fifteen years of absence “, recalls Sébastien Merlet.
Everything is new in this comeback. The character of Gainsbarre is just around the corner, accompanied by a new group and a new style almost unknown in France, reggae. “Gainsbourg is the first or almost the first French-speaking artist to have recorded in Jamaica and to tour with a Jamaican group”remembers Sébastien Merlet. “The rhythm of Sly and Robbie, Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare, is dubbed by the Rolling Stones, and Mick Jagger. “
Serge Gainsbourg is relishing his success with a new generation of fans. The concert recording at the Palace is proof of this. A record has already been released twice, in different and very incomplete forms, according to Sébastien Merlet. “There were a lot of cuts to the recordings. When he had the second mix in 2006, there was quite a bit of cleanup done. The problem with the 2006 mix was that it was incomplete itself. . “
The approach of this new edition is to respect the integrity of performance, underlines the specialist. “The concert is sold out. We hear rhythmically things that we have never heard before and especially Gainsbourg’s voice. It’s really striking. There are all the frequencies of his voice.”
The period is also marked by the controversy of the revolutionary Marseillaise of Gainsbourg, which does not please everyone. The scandal even becomes political. Gainsbourg’s day of glory, his greatest personal success, will also remain one of the most painful memories of his career.