Serge Gainsbourg "Cannabis"
180g Vinyl LP
Issued as part of Universal France's Essentials of Cinema series, Serge Gainsbourg's soundtracks to Michel Colombier's 1968 Ce Sacre Grand-Pere, and Pierre Koralnik's scandalous Cannabis, are among the most startling pieces of music in his oeuvre. Cannabis was based around a tawdry thriller and was set by Pierre Koralnik in the free, lone-generation of the late '60s, and starred none other than Gainsbourg and wife Jane Birkin. The film, a kind of revenge tale, featured lots of gratuitous (real) sex and was a commercial flop. But its score is one of the most sophisticated pieces of music Gainsbourgever conceived. It's a wondrously baroque and anthemic rock score with elements of Middle Eastern folk songs, and a pop cabaret joviality (courtesy of Jean-Claude Vannier's loopy song "I Want to Feel Crazy," sung by Birkin with a drugged-out string section). It was orchestrated for a complete army of electric guitars, harpsichord, strings, and the loudest bassline ever threaded through a French movie -- truly amazing. The score to the Colombier film is tacked on as bonus material, and is far more traditional, but has enough pop/rock charm and nutty electric guitar and Hammond B3 play to make it a worthy add-on to Cannabis. This is essential listening for any Gainsbourg or '60s soundtrack fan. In addition to the music are killer stills from Cannabis, and a brutally honest translated interview with Koralnik.