RECORD COL­LEC­TION: CHAR­LOTTE GAINS­BOURG

From her dad Serge to Ra­dio­head, the Bri­tish-French singer and ac­tress iden­ti­fies the plat­ters that mat­ter to her.

Q (UK) - - Contents -

SERGE GAINS­BOURG L’HOMME À TÊTE DE CHOU (1976 , PHILIPS)

“I first heard this when I was about five, then later re­dis­cov­ered it in ado­les­cence. I lived with my fa­ther’s mu­sic, it was part of the house, and it still has so many strong mean­ings for me. This record is so him. Dad bought the bronze statue by Claude Lalanne on the cover which trig­gered the ideas be­hind the record – a sad story about a girl called Mar­ilou who is mur­dered by the nar­ra­tor. My fa­ther sings so beau­ti­fully here, it’s very in­ti­mate, but also mu­si­cally quite in­no­va­tive. There’s many dif­fer­ent styles on it and it’s all very free. All his po­etry is here on this record.”

IAN DURY NEW BOOTS AND PANTIES!! (1977, STI FF)

“The way we lived in Rue de Verneuil in Paris was we had a nurs­ery room for my sis­ter Kate and me and we weren’t al­lowed in the sit­ting room area as that’s where my fa­ther’s piano was. He was very much the ‘guardian of the tem­ple’. Be­cause Kate was four years older than me, she got to choose the mu­sic, things like Blondie, Grease, disco-ori­ented stuff… But Ian Dury was my thing. I vividly re­mem­ber the cover, maybe it struck me be­cause there was this lit­tle boy on there, but I was also at­tracted to the swear­ing and its sense of fun. This was my first taste of Bri­tish cul­ture.”

PINK FLOYD THE WALL (1979, HARVE ST)

“This also goes with the Bri­tish side of me. Com­ing to Lon­don, aged eight, and see­ing my fam­ily in Chelsea. It was quite a posh en­vi­ron­ment, so hear­ing The Wall and see­ing the film about kids push­ing bound­aries and re­belling, felt like a very rev­o­lu­tion­ary in­sight to me. I was strongly drawn to the mu­sic and the movie’s night­mar­ish im­agery. I think it was my un­cle An­drew, my mother’s brother, who in­tro­duced me to this and the sound­track to 2001: A Space Odyssey. Those very high-pitched boys’ voices that he adored and to­day I can see how I still ref­er­ence that.”

HEINRICH SCHÜTZ PE­TITS CON­CERTS SPIRITUELS (1982 , HARMONIA MUNDI FRANCE)

“Schütz was a 17th- cen­tury Ger­man com­poser, and this record­ing is just a boy so­prano and counter tenor singing. I don’t know what they’re say­ing, I think it’s quite reli­gious, but what it pro­vokes in me is it’s re­ally en­er­gis­ing. I’m not sure when or how I came across it, but I was al­ways look­ing for high-pitched male voices, thanks to An­drew again, and when I heard this I just found it so very emo­tional. All my fam­ily hate it so when they leave the room I lis­ten to it very, very loud. It’s sort of a trip and I can lis­ten to it for hours on end.”

BOB DY­LAN NASHVILLE SKY­LINE (1969, COLU M BIA)

“I choose Nashville Sky­line purely be­cause Lay Lady Lay is on it and that song was my en­try­point into Dy­lan. When I was an ado­les­cent I asked my fa­ther which one song should I go out and buy, and he said Lay Lady Lay. So I went out and stupidly bought a Dy­lan com­pi­la­tion so I was un­der his spell straight away, but it wasn’t the real thing as it was not a spe­cific al­bum. Later I was in a film called I’m Not There about Dy­lan’s dif­fer­ent per­sonas and it was then that I re­ally got to try and un­der­stand his life and the sto­ries be­hind each song. I could eas­ily lis­ten to Dy­lan all night.”

DICK HYMAN PLAYS FATS WALLER (1990, RE FE RE NCE RE CORDI NGS)

“I don’t know much about jazz, but was in­tro­duced to it by my part­ner Yvan [ At­tal] af­ter we met 26 years ago, when I was just 19. We got into this LP to­gether af­ter we bought a valve am­pli­fier ma­chine – the sound is a rev­e­la­tion be­cause it was the first di­rect-to-dig­i­tal CD record­ing. It’s piano-play­ing, which I re­ally re­spond to, but it’s also for me about the way I lis­ten to mu­sic. Hear­ing an LP like this that is so per­fect-sound­ing from be­gin­ning to end. I have Spo­tify too, which is good for go­ing on mu­si­cal jour­neys, but this is re­turn­ing to a real way of lis­ten­ing to mu­sic again.”

PORTISHEAD DUMMY (1994 , GO DI SC!)

“I got a real shock when I first heard this. I sud­denly dis­cov­ered a new sound which was elec­tronic and at­mo­spheric, but also very soul­ful and with­out any com­pro­mise. Then when I saw Beth Gib­bons singing live it was a rev­e­la­tion – she was so spe­cial, so very sad, gloomy, in­hab­ited and dark… but also so new. She had an at­ti­tude be­cause she didn’t let go of her per­sona and who she was. I think se­cretly this was the record that be­gan to get me think­ing I could come back and make another step in mu­sic, even though it took me another 12 years!”

RA­DIO­HEAD OK COM­PUTER (1997, PARLOPHON E)

“Ra­dio­head are the only band I’ll rush out and get the al­bum of and I al­ways have a long­ing to see them live. I’m not a big fan of see­ing live shows, this shar­ing mu­sic to­gether isn’t for me, but this band are the ex­cep­tion. They have bril­liant vi­su­als and Thom Yorke is al­ways liv­ing the mu­sic, al­most an­i­mal-like, in a way that speaks to me. The fact that Ra­dio­head can make a record as won­der­ful as OK Com­puter, then later in their ca­reer make some­thing as good as In Rain­bows, shows just how pow­er­ful and tal­ented they are. I have a very real, pro­found ad­mi­ra­tion for them.”

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