Serge Gainsbourg / Jean-Claude Vannier

Cannabis [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack]

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Issued on CD 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 1960s, 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 Gainsbourg ever conceived. The score is 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 Be 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. It's truly amazing. The score the 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.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:29
2 2:24
3 1:09
4
feat: Jane Birkin
1:23
5 2:09
6 2:26
7 5:24
8 1:30
9 2:28
10 1:41
11 1:23
12 3:10
13 1:50
14 2:24
15 2:38
16 2:16
17 3:02
18 2:18
19 1:48
20 1:30
21 2:31
blue highlight denotes track pick