Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg - Je T'aime
"Je t'aime... moi non plus" (French for "I love you... me neither") is a French duet written by Serge Gainsbourg. It was written for and sung with Brigitte Bardot in 1967, but that version was not released until 1986. In 1969, Gainsbourg recorded a version with his lover, Jane Birkin. It reached number one in the UK, but was banned in several countries due to its sexual content. The song has been covered by many different artists.
In winter 1967. Bardot asked Serge Gainsbourg to write the most beautiful love song he could imagine and that night he wrote "Je t'aime" and "Bonnie and Clyde". They recorded an arrangement of "Je t'aime" by Michel Colombier at a Paris studio in a two-hour session in a small glass booth; the engineer William Flageollet said there was "heavy petting". However, news of the recording reached the press and Bardot's husband, German businessman Gunter Sachs, was angry and called for the single to be withdrawn. Bardot pleaded with Gainsbourg not to release it, and although he protested that "The music is very pure. For the first time in my life, I write a love song and it's taken badly", he complied.
In 1968, Gainsbourg fell in love with English actress Jane Birkin on the set of their film Slogan. After filming, he asked her to record the song with him. Birkin had heard the Bardot version and thought it "so hot." She said: "I only sang it because I didn't want anybody else to sing it," jealous at the thought of his sharing a recording studio with someone else. Gainsbourg asked her to sing an octave higher than Bardot, "so you'll sound like a little boy." It was recorded in an arrangement by Arthur Greenslade in a studio at Marble Arch. Birkin said she "got a bit carried away with the heavy breathing -- so much so, in fact, that I was told to calm down, which meant that at one point I stopped breathing altogether. If you listen to the record now, you can still hear that little gap. "There was media speculation, as with the Bardot version, that they had recorded live sex, to which Gainsbourg told Birkin, "Thank goodness it wasn't, otherwise I hope it would have been a long-playing record." It was released in February 1969. The single had a plain cover, with the words "Interdit aux moins de 21 ans" (forbidden to those under 21), and the record company changed the label from Philips to Fontana.
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