Welcome to NEOLOOP

Step in to the Neoloop, have a look and listen!

You'll find a cornucopia of tasty tunes to bounce off your eardrums. I update with new tunes, art and photography every week, depending on what I'm doing and listening to at the time, old and new. I'm based in London UK but I love to travel and discover new music along the way and share my musical journey on neoloop.

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Email: neo@neoloop.com
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Nov 23rd, 2011 22:37pm

While in Paris this week I happened to be staying south of the river in Saint Germain. So I couldn't not pay a visit to the great late Serge Gainsbourg's old house on Rue de Verneuil. They say it gets painted over every few years or so. At the moment it's pretty covered still.

Nov 23rd, 2011 21:52pm

Histoire de Melody Nelson (40ème anniversaire)

Hard to believe Histoire de Melody Nelson is 40 years old. But given it is also 20 years since Serge Gainbourg's death it puts it into perspective. Widely regarded by critics and fans alike as Gainsbourg's most influential and accomplished album. It certainly stands the test of time, a classic not just for Gainsbourg but as a piece of music made in the early seventies. 

Thanks to a big budget following international success with 1969's Je t'aime... moi non plus Gainsbourg's 1971 collaboration with Jean-Claude Vannier proved to be the ultimate magnum opus in a prolific career that covers over 3 decades. It's the young Vannier's lush, deep orchestrated string and choral arrangements composed with Serge that make this album truly unique. Never before had pop-rock songs, slow funk and soul been produced with such extravagant orchestration. Add to this Gainbourg's brooding narration and Jane Birkin's (Melody) sweet and innocent voice and you get an incredibly grandeur sound. But that's what Monsieur Gainsbourg was all about, constantly pushing boundaries and making new music and sounds that had never been done before.

Many musicians have marked the LP as a major influence, David Holmes based the majority of his second album Let's Get Killed on remakes of Melody Nelson compositions. Beck, whose 2002 track Paper Tiger from Sea Change is extremely close to the distinctive Histoire de Melody Nelson sound. Air, Jarvis Cocker, Portishead and Daft Punk have all been inchanted by it's magic.

I first discovered the album during the mid-nineties and it's remained a constant favourite ever since. Histoire de Melody Nelson is essentially a concept album based on the Lolita-esque pseudo-autobiographical plot involving 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. 

The original album is under 30 minutes long and starts and ends the epic tracks Melody and Cargo Culte clocking in over seven and a half minutes each. Now available in a new 40th Anniversary edition with outtakes and alternative versions. Also there is an interesting documentary by Sebastien Merlet about the making of the album with interviews from Jane Birkin, Jean-Claude Vannier, Jean-Claude Charvier, Tony Frank and Andrew Birkin.

Occasionally imitated but never matched, truly exceptional and highly recommended.

Buy it on iTunes