10 tracks on Mercury have been recommended. Order by -
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"Dressed in black, he walks alone, a shadow in the night." The Shangri-Las death trip reached a powerful climax in this eerie song of loss and lingering. Funereal piano chords balanced by surging choruses and a closing spoken section that leaves you as weak as the sadly wounded narrator. If this one doesn't get to you, you ain't got a heart.
from the single Dressed In Black (Red Bird) available on CD - The Best Of The Shangri-Las (Mercury)
If romantic, dramatic, emotionally fragile and beautifully orchestrated baroque pop with woodwinds moves you then you're blessed... by me.
available on CD - Complete Recordings (Mercury)
08 Apr 04 ·gaymod: is this a cover of the old doo wop standard ? which Zappa was involved in 12 Apr 04 ·tempted: No, it's a Left Banke original. 11 Jan 06 ·Swinging London: Haven't heard that for years! Nice to be reminded of it. My fave by them is 'Pretty Ballerina'.
As far as I know, they never had a hit here in England.
I've tried quite a lot to get into African music and have only got into bits and bobs so far. However, what I have very successfully got into is a white frenchman, with an all french choir, based in Paris, singing songs in an african style. Any amount of race-focussed amateur psychoanalysis can be done on the above I know, but I also know that this song is absolutely fantastic.
As far as I can tell, Serge's african work seems to be inspired by a genuine love of african music and singing, but it also has a very pop edge - maybe it is this crossover aspect that makes it so accessible. Anyway, in this one the lyrics are pretty seedy ("ce soir la nuit sera blanche"), but the singing and drumming are just so beautiful - it's a brilliant song.
from Gainsbourg Percussions available on CD - Couleur Caf´┐Ż (Mercury)
A brilliant little track, often overlooked in the great man's catalogue. Starts off oddly like the James Bond theme (for the time and location!) but gradually changes into a strange chanson-meets-Latin kind of thing... great song though, from a film of the same name. Has anyone here ever seen it?
from Bande Originale Du Film "L'Eau A La Bouche" (French Philips 432.492 BE) available on CD - Couleur Cafe (Mercury)
08 Aug 05 ·phil: I agree - this is one of my fave Serge songs. Haven't seen the film though.