Part of Ace Records' Songwriter Series, Vamps et Vampire: The Songs of Serge Gainsbourg takes listeners on a sprawling journey through the songs of one of the most celebrated figures in French pop, Serge Gainsbourg. With a focus on the songs he wrote rather than the songs he performed, the compilation features a veritable who's who of talent, with classic tracks from Brigitte Bardot ("Harley Davidson"), Jane Birkin ("Jane B"), and Zizi Jeanmaire ("Vamp et Vampire") all the way up to more contemporary cuts like pop revivalist April March's "Laisse Tomber les Filles," which would later become well known in the States when it was translated into an English version, "Chick Habit." The compilation shows off not just the playfulness of Gainsbourg's songwriting, but also its flexibility, which allowed the singers to make the songs their own while still having them remain distinctly Gainsbourg. While this is ostensibly a Serge Gainsbourg compilation, the breadth of its selections makes this a great set for anyone looking for an entryway into the swinging and sexy world of French pop.
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AllMusic Review by Gregory Heaney