Serge Gainsbourg : Aux Armes Ecætera
On March 13, 1979, the french singer/songwriter Serge Gainsbourg released Aux Armes Ecætera, a reggae album recorded in Byron Lee's Jamaican studio with the prolific rhythm section Sly and Robbie and backing vocals provided by Rita Marley's I-Threes. Drummer Sly Dunbar would call this smokey and sultry "Freggae" album perhaps the best record he ever played on. It would certainly reboot Gainsbourg's career by becoming his biggest selling album of all time.
Despite the easy skanking rhythm of the songs, the album's title track would lead to death threats against Gainsbourg. That's because it's a reggae version of "La Marseillaise", the French national anthem. Veterans of the French Algerian War found the arrangement unpatriotic.
The publicity helped album sales and there were further singles released. "Lola Rastaquouere" shows the horny french singer at his best. A rough translation :
She had such eyes, a true Abyssinian cat
And her breasts, two spheres
In between which I was giving up two months of salary
to roll my poor joint.
On "Des Laids Des Laids" he responds to critics who say he's "ugly, ugly". "Finally, " he sings. "we have to do with what we have".
Don't know french? There's still a track for you.