Jane Birkin & Serge Gainsbourg
Recorded as a series of duets and solo performances with lover, actress, and model Jane Birkin, the pair's chemistry-enhanced collaboration was thrust up on the record buying public to much shock and horror, but indeed found global success.
For years, Birkin had harbored a secret desire to be a singer, despite having a frail and untrained voice. “My luck was when Serge wanted me to sing, he wanted me to sing very high, and he didn’t think that me having a very small voice was a defect”.
Recorded at London’s Marble Arch Studios in that erotic year of 1969, the Birkin-moaned version of “Je T’Aime…Moi Non Plus” is nothing short of notorious. “It was two takes at the most,” Birkin recalled. The couple knew they had nailed it, but what would the record executives and the record-buying public think?
Jane says the couple rushed back home to Paris: “Serge couldn’t resist putting it on in the restaurant of Hôtel d’Alsace, now known as L’Hôtel, which was where Oscar Wilde died. And he put on ‘Je T’Aime’ in the downstairs restaurant and all the customers’ knives and forks were all suspended in the air! And he said “I think we have a hit record!’”-Excerpt by Andy Beta written Fall 2009