This piece was originally published March 15th, 2011.
Serge Gainsbourg is best known in the United States for his 1969 charting single, “Je t’aime…moi non plus.”
The song, which features a breathy, sexually charged duet between Serge and his then wife, the British model/actress/singer Jane Birkin, against a backing of orchestrated pop, was all over A.M. radio throughout the late sixties and early seventies.
Due to its overtly sexual, albeit still somewhat surreal lyrics, and Jane’s orgasmic moans, the song was banned over all Europe where it was deemed as going too far for a pop song.
Of course, this helped to take the song to number one in many of the same countries that refused to play it on the radio.
You’ll still find the song played on some radio stations and used in films to this day.
Though this may have been Serge’s pinnacle moment as far as hit singles go, it is so far from his complete story as to be a mere footnote to a career that has since elevated Serge Gainsbourg to that of France’s most famous, infamous, scandalous, prolific, provocative and legendary cultural icon of the late 20th century.
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