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PARIS CHANSON’S PODCAST
The little stories behind the songs
Welcome to Paris Chanson’s weekly podcast “The little stories behind the songs. I am Olivier and this week we are paying tribute to Serge Gainsbourg. Why? Because on March 2nd, it’s the 25th anniversary of Gainsbourg’s death.
This is “Je t’aime moi non plus”. One of the most well-known French songs across the world.
And as you can probably imagine, there is a lot to say about this huge hit.
We are in 1967. Brigitte Bardot asks Serge Gainsbourg to write “the most beautiful love song ever”.
He does it in one night, but when the song is played for the first time on French radio, BB’s husband Gunter Sachs, a rich German businessman, is not happy at all, and then threatened Gainsbourg with lawsuits. So the release of “Je t’aime moi non plus” by Brigitte Bardot and Serge Gainsbourg is cancelled, for the time being.
One year later in 1968. Gainsbourg meets Jane Birkin while filming the movie Slogan and after a while, they start seeing each other and eventually became one of the most famous couples in France. You guessed what happened then. “Je t’aime moi non plus” is rerecorded with Jane and Serge. The success is instant, across the world, mostly because the song was banned everywhere. At the time of the release, Gainsbourg said that the best publicist for this song was the Vatican who initiated a wave of banning across Europe.
In the end, 750 000 copies of “Je t’aime moi non plus” were sold and it reached number 1 in the UK a few months later.
In 1986 Brigitte Bardot finally decided to authorise the version she did with Gainsbourg, but it didn’t sell much.
“Je t’aime moi non plus” is also a movie, written and filmed by Serge Gainsbourg in 1976.
But above all, “Je t’aime moi non plus” is the greatest love song ever written. As requested by BB in the first place.