The Best of Jane Birkin is a comprehensive overview of her sporadic, inconsistent recording career, drawing highlights from her studio albums and adding several live tracks for good measure…
1999's A La Legere was Jane Birkin's first album to be recorded with no input whatsoever from Serge Gainsbourg, but his absence – perhaps surprisingly – did not show. Indeed, it emerged as one of her most beautiful recordings yet, a transitional set, yes, but also a confident one. Philippe Lerichomme's arrangements are spellbinding throughout, while songs the quality of "Les Avalanches," "Trouble," and "C'est Comme Ca" would have dignified any of her earlier, more feted albums.
Brit-born actress and recording artist – and longtime French resident – Jane Birkin may have gained fame and fortune as being the protégé – and the greatest love – of composer, director, and national French hero the late Serge Gainsbourg, but her long reign as cultural heroine and quirky pop vocalist has been the result of her own toil and sweat. One would never consider that the lanky, ever-thin Birkin, she of the slightly flat, shaky voice, could have this sort of longevity, but the Europeans are far different from Americans and far more embracing than Yanks.
This collection of vintage 1960s orchestral pop from the master of surreal Gallic eroticism includes kitsch masterpieces like "69 Annee Erotique" and Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg's chart-topping "Je T'Aime (Moi Non Plus)," in a procession of jazzy instrumentals accompanied by Gainsbourg's throaty, Gitanes-coated vocals and the pertly sexy interpolations of his stunning wife.
This is the classic 1969 album that Serge and Jane Birkin cut together, and every track is a groovy French classic of the sort that made Serge a legend! The arrangments are amazing, and feature some of the weirdest instrumentation ever heard on a pop record – especially one that was as successful as this. The tracks are insane, and even though the lyrics are in French, you'll be able to get more than enough of them from the sexy interpretation! Highlights include "Je t'aime… moi non plus", "69 année érotique", "Jane B", "Elisa", "Orang Outan", and "Manon".
Many highlights of Scofield's work from his late 1980s-early 1990s tenure on Blue Note are included in this collection, which features cameos from Pat Metheny, Joe Lovano, Randy Brecker, and Bill Frisell among many other all stars. Also included is material from Hand Jive, Scofield's collaboration with Eddie Harris, and an unreleased take on Wayne Shorter's "Tom Thumb".
The second collection covering hit singles from the '70s top funk and soul band, Earth, Wind & Fire. This anthology has recently been supplanted by a box set covering virtually all of their big Columbia singles and some early Warners material. If you enjoyed their disco and late '70s cuts more than the early tracks, this anthology is worth getting.