Album Info: This album "SERGE GAINSBOURG - Histoire de Melody Nelson" is a 1971 concept album by French songwriter Serge Gainsbourg. The Lolita-esque pseudo-autobiographical plot involves the middle-aged Gainsbourg unintentionally colliding his Rolls Royce Silver Ghost into teenage nymphet Melody Nelson's bicycle, and the subsequent seduction and romance that ensues.


large album front cover photo of: ERGE GAINSBOURG Histoire De Melody Nelson

Album Description & Collectors information:


Gatefold (FOC) cover design with artwork / photos on the inside cover pages

Histoire de Melody Nelson is considered by many critics and fans to be Gainsbourg's most influential and accomplished album. At just under twenty-eight minutes, the short running time and the stylistic consistency and similarity throughout the album gives it qualities more in line with an EP or an extended musical piece with a number of movements. Histoire de Melody Nelson's mix of freewheeling guitar, funk style bass guitar, near spoken word vocal delivery, and lush, deep orchestrated string and choral arrangements by Jean-Claude Vannier who composed almost the entire music in collaboration with Gainsbourg for the album, have proven to be highly influential amongst later francophone and anglophone musical performers including the French band Air, David Holmes, Pulp's Jarvis Cocker, Portishead, and Beck, whose 2002 track "Paper Tiger" from Sea Change is extremely close to the distinctive Histoire de Melody Nelson sound.

Music Genre:

Chanson Francaise, French Alternative Pop 

Album Production Information:


The album: "SERGE GAINSBOURG - Histoire de Melody Nelson" was produced by: Jean-Claude Desmarty

Sound/Recording Engineer(s): Jean-Claude Charvier

Album cover photography: Tony Frank

Record Label & Catalognr:

Philips 6325 071

Media Format:

12" LP Vinyl Stereo Gramophone Record
Total Album (Cover+Record) weight: 280 gram  

Year & Country:

1971 Made in France
Personnel/Band Members and Musicians on: SERGE GAINSBOURG - Histoire de Melody Nelson
    Band-members, Musicians and Performers
  • Alan Parker - guitar
  • Dave Richmond - bass
  • Dougie Wright - drums
  • Jean-Claude Vannier - arrangements, Orchestra Director
  • Jane Birkin - vocal parts
Complete Track-listing of the album "SERGE GAINSBOURG - Histoire de Melody Nelson"

The detailed tracklist of this record "SERGE GAINSBOURG - Histoire de Melody Nelson" is:

  1. "Melody" 7:32 (Music by Serge Gainsbourg)
  2. "Ballade de Melody Nelson" 2:00 (Music by Jean-Claude Vannier)
  3. "Valse de Melody" 1:31 (Music by Serge Gainsbourg)
  4. "Ah! Melody" 1:47 (Music by Jean-Claude Vannier)
  5. "L'hôtel particulier" 4:05 (Music by Serge Gainsbourg)
  6. "En Melody" 3:25 (Music by Jean-Claude Vannier/Serge Gainsbourg)
  7. "Cargo culte" 7:37 (Music by Serge Gainsbourg)

Charlotte and Serge Gainsbourg: A Dynamic Father-Daughter Duo and Their Enduring Cultural Legacy


Charlotte and Serge Gainsbourg are two of the most renowned and influential figures in the world of French music, cinema, and art. The father-daughter duo created a unique legacy that has left an indelible mark on French culture. Their contributions to the arts span several decades and continue to inspire new generations of artists.  

Serge Gainsbourg was born in 1928 in Paris, France. He was a prolific singer-songwriter, composer, actor, and filmmaker. His music was characterized by a unique fusion of genres, including chanson, pop, jazz, reggae, and rock. He was notorious for his controversial lyrics and provocative behavior, which often attracted both criticism and admiration. Throughout his career, he released over 20 studio albums and collaborated with numerous artists, such as Brigitte Bardot, Jane Birkin, and Vanessa Paradis.  

Charlotte Gainsbourg, Serge's daughter, was born in 1971 in London, England. She is an actress, singer, and filmmaker. Her acting career started in the early 1980s, and she quickly gained recognition for her performances in various French and English-language films. In 1984, she made her musical debut with the song "Lemon Incest," which was a duet with her father. She has since released several albums and collaborated with artists such as Beck, Air, and Jarvis Cocker.  

Charlotte and Serge's relationship was complex and often fraught with tension. Serge was notorious for his wild and sometimes self-destructive behavior, which sometimes put a strain on their relationship. However, they also shared a deep love and admiration for each other's work, and their collaborations were often the result of a profound artistic connection.  

One of their most famous collaborations was the song "Je t'aime... moi non plus." The song was originally written for Brigitte Bardot, who refused to record it. Serge then gave the song to Jane Birkin, who recorded it with him in 1969. The song's explicit lyrics and Birkin's orgasmic moans caused a sensation and were banned by several radio stations. The controversy surrounding the song only added to its popularity, and it has since become a classic of French music.  

Charlotte and Serge's collaborations were also marked by a deep emotional intensity. Their song "Charlotte For Ever" was written and performed by Serge for his daughter, and it explores the complex relationship between a father and his teenage daughter. The song was later turned into a film by Serge, which starred Charlotte in the lead role. The film was controversial and received mixed reviews, but it remains an essential part of their artistic legacy.  

Another collaboration between the two was the film "Jane B. par Agnès V.," which was directed by Agnès Varda and starred both Charlotte and Jane Birkin. The film is a playful and surreal exploration of femininity, fame, and identity, and it features several songs written and performed by Serge.  

Charlotte and Serge's work together demonstrates the power of art to bridge generational and cultural divides. Their collaborations brought together two different artistic sensibilities and created something new and exciting. Their work continues to inspire and influence artists across various genres and mediums.