- Je t'aime... moi non plus
Name = Je t'aime... moi non plus
Serge Gainsbourgand Jane Birkin
from Album =
Jane Birkin/Serge Gainsbourg
Released = 1969
Genre = Pop,
Length = 4:22 [ [http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:bdtvadskl8w5 1969 Album on the AMG] Retrieved 15 February 2007]
Label = UK: Fontana,
Major Minor, Antic US: Fontana
Producer = Jack Baverstock
[ Certification = ]
Chart position = *UK #1
*US #69 [ [http://worldmusic.nationalgeographic.com/worldmusic/view/page.basic/artist/content.artist/serge_gainsbourg World Musc] The fact that it stalled at No. 69 on the American Billboard charts must have delighted its composer.]
Last single =
[ This single = ]
Next single =
Name = Je t'aime... moi non plus
from Album = Thank God It's Friday (soundtrack)
B-side = Je t'aime... moi non plus (Part Two)
Released = 1978
7" single, 12" single
Disco, Pop, Soul, R&B
Label = Casablanca
Giorgio Moroder, Pete Bellotte
Chart position =
Last single = "Last Dance" (1978)
This single = "Je t'aime... moi non plus" (1978)
Next single = "MacArthur Park" (1978)
:"For the film, see
Je t'aime... moi non plus (film). For the album, see Jane Birkin Serge Gainsbourg."
"Je t'aime... moi non plus" (French for "I love you... me neither") is the title of a French song written by
Serge Gainsbourg, arranged by Arthur Greensladeand sung by Gainsbourg and his lover at the time, Jane Birkin.
The song was originally written for and recorded in 1968 with Gainsbourg's then girlfriend,
Brigitte Bardot. However, Bardot pleaded with Gainsbourg not to release their recording of the song: she was married at the time, to German businessman Gunther Sachs. Gainsbourg complied. [ [http://www.rfimusique.com/siteEn/biographie/biographie_6305.asp RFI Musique - - Serge Gainsbourg ] ]
Later that year, Gainsbourg met, and fell in love with, English actress Jane Birkin, on the set of their film "Slogan". "Je t'aime... moi non plus" was re-recorded with Birkin replacing Bardot, and was released early in
The lyrics are written as an imaginary dialogue between two lovers during a sexual encounter. Phrases from the song include:
*"Je vais et je viens, entre tes reins" ("I come and I go, in between your loins")
*"Tu es la vague, moi l'île nue" ("You are the wave, I the naked island")
*"L'amour physique est sans issue" ("Physical love is a dead end").
eroticismof the song was declared offensive at the time of its release. The lyrics are commonly thought to refer to the taboo theme of engaging in sex without love, and were delivered in a breathy, suggestive style.
This interpretation of the song as basic "
soft porn" is, however, a misconception. For all who've some knowledge of Gainsbourg, here we find—as in all his work, always profoundly cerebral—the note of desperation, of " angst" (all in casual disguise) which has been at the core of his best work. One key line is precisely: ""L'amour physique est sans issue" ("Physical love is a dead end"), which could only be singled out by someone speaking French—and even then only by "intellectuals".
The song culminates in simulated orgasm sounds by Birkin: mostly because of this, it was banned from radio play in Italy, Poland, Portugal, Spain, and the UK, and denounced by the Vatican in a public statement.
The song was a commercial success throughout Europe. Arguably, the publicity the controversy created was partly responsible for its success.
In the UK, it was originally released on the Fontana label, but, after reaching number 2 on the charts, it was withdrawn for sale by the label. Gainsbourg then arranged a deal with prominent independent label
Major Minorand, upon re-release, it reached number one. [ [http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A3970361 BBC - h2g2 - Je T'aime (Moi Non Plus) - a French pop song ] ]
The song would go on to influence the
discoclassic " Love to Love You Baby" by singer Donna Summerand legendary producer Giorgio Moroder, both of whom would later duet "Je t'aime" in its original form for the " Thank God It's Friday" film soundtrack. This was released as a single in Brazil.
'Allo 'Allo!" stars, Gorden Kayeand Vicki Michellerecorded a parody simply titled "Je t'aime", having their characters René Artoisand Yvette Carte-Blancheattempt to elope behind the back of René's wife to the tune of the song.
The English-born Australian actress
Abigail(born Abigail Rogan), trading on her role as the sex siren Bev Houghton in the soap opera "Number 96", recorded a version that in 1973 peaked at #6 on the Australian charts.
English singer Misty Oldland recorded a version of the song with different lyrics ("A Fair Affair") in 1993.
In 1996 Birmingham Brothers, Matt & Mark Adams recorded a version entitled "Je t'aime Moi Non Plus - Forever My Lady" under their stage name of 2DEFY.
In 1998, artist
Sam Taylor-Woodrecorded a cover of the song with the Pet Shop Boysas a contribution to the compilation CD/book "futique" entitled "Ambassadors - We Love You", a concept designed to promote collaboration between visual and musical artists. This track later featured as a bonus track on the " I Don't Know What You Want But I Can't Give It Any More" CD single.
In 2002, Trash Palace published a cover version on their album "Positions", featuring
Brian Molkoof the band Placebo. Noteworthy is the fact that the singers reverse their parts throughout the song, so that sometimes the female persona was sung by Brian Molko (Je t'aime...) and the male part by Asia Argento (moi non plus...), creating a subtle commentary on the development of gender relations in the last 40 years.
Similarly thought provoking,
Cat Power& Karen Elsonperformed an English-language version - entitled "I love you (me either)" for the 2005 tribute album Monsieur Gainsbourg Revisited.
Selected list of recorded versions
Serge Gainsbourg& Brigitte Bardot(not issued until 1986)
Serge Gainsbourg& Jane Birkin
Frankie Howerd& June Whitfieldas "Up Je t'aime," a parody
Hot Butter(instrumental, as "Love at First Sight")
Giorgio Moroder& Donna Summer
Einstürzende Neubauten(as "Jet'm") cite web|url=http://www.hypo.io/index.php?je_taime_moi_non_plus_a_maintes_reprises|title=je t'aime moi non plus: a maintes reprises|accessdate=2007-10-29|format=HTML|language=English]
* 1986 René & Yvette from
Chayanne& Natalieas "Exxtasis"
* 1993 Misty Oldland as "A Fair Affair"
Nick Cave& Anita Laneas "I love you...nor do I"
* 1996 2Defy as "Je t'aime Moi Non Plus - Forever My Lady"
Pet Shop Boys& Sam Taylor-Wood
Bob Downe& Julian Clary
Sven Väth& Miss Kittin(electronic version)
Brian Molko& Asia Argento(where male and female roles are inverted - allusion to oral sex)
Kylie MinogueBreathe (Je t'aime) live - Money Can't Buy Concert London 2003 (studio version of Je t'aime moi non plus exists but unreleased)
The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain
Cat Power& Karen Elson(English version)
Patrice Coquereau& Macha Grenon(Québec)
* 2008 Junkshop Coyote as "Nope, Me Neither" (a reprocessed version of the Gainsbourg original)Congolese singer Koffi Olomide and Nayanka Bell from Ivory Coast also recorded a version
* [http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A3970361 Je T'aime (Moi Non Plus) - a French pop song]
* [http://www.guardian.co.uk/Archive/Article/0,4273,4128684,00.html The eyes have it]
* [http://www.hypo.io/index.php?je_taime_moi_non_plus_a_maintes_reprises Radio documentary and catalogue of cover versions (over 120 to date)]
* [http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=17:791112~T00C "Je t'aime... moi non plus" on the All Music Guide]
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