Brigitte Bardot

Initiales BB

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This three-CD, 55-song box set has almost everything Bardot recorded, virtually all of it from the 1960s and early 1970s. It's not quite everything: it's missing some later singles, as well as rarities like cuts from the soundtrack of Viva Maria, the English version of "Bonnie and Clyde," and the Bardot/Sacha Distel duet "La Bise Aux Hippies." It's true there was probably enough remaining room on the discs to include all of the absent material (for the record, a bunch of the missing rare singles tracks from the late 1960s and early 1970s can be heard on a CD compilation titled simply Brigitte Bardot, on Universal/Mercury 981794). However, it's certainly enough, or even more than enough, for most Brigitte Bardot fans, with just about everything else from her various LPs, EPs, and 45s. It also has four previously unreleased tracks, those being inessential 1962 duets with Jean-Max Riviere and Olivier Despax; the 1963 outtake "La Belle et le Blues"; and "Sei Arrivato Amor Mio," an Italian version of her 1973 single "Vous Ma Lady." Considering her meager (albeit appealing in their own way) vocal talents and the highly uneven quality of her releases, most such fans will be better off with an intelligently selected single-CD compilation, like The Best of Bardot, which focuses on her more pop/rock-oriented work and has all of her best interpretations of Serge Gainsbourg songs. The sporadic flashes of near-brilliance, mostly evident on the wilder late-'60s Gainsbourg collaborations -- particularly "Contact," "Harley Davidson," and "Bonnie and Clyde" -- make one wish that someone had possessed the vision to continue matching Bardot with such strong material. Yet there are some worthwhile, fun performances on here that don't always make the best-ofs, even if you have to swim through a bunch of her corny vaudevillian efforts (particularly in her early days) to get to them. Among those would be the sad, pretty ballads "Une Histoire de Plage" and "Un Jour Comme un Autre"; the faux mod go-go tune "Je Danse Donc Je Suis" (which translates to "I dance, therefore I am"); the breezy "Les Cheveux Dans Le Vent"; the almost sultry jazz-pop of "Les Hommes Endormis"; and the bouncy 1966 EP cut "Gang Gang," which has quite a few solid pop hooks that are almost reminiscent of the '66 Kinks, and would have a well-earned place on an average Bardot best-of comp. There's also the not-inconsiderable bonus of the 32-page booklet, even if you can't read the French notes, as it has a complete discography and is lushly illustrated with photos, many taken from rare picture sleeves.

Track Listing - Disc 3

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 3:18
2 2:07
3 2:02
4 2:27
5 2:30
6 2:21
7 2:32
8 2:35
9 1:36
10 2:18
12 2:33
13 2:12
15 2:34
feat: Sacha Distel
17 3:25
18 2:25
19 3:15
20 2:14
21 2:20
blue highlight denotes track pick