Alex Beaupain is back where we didn’t expect him to be, with a new version of “Love on the beat”, a Gainsbourg among the most unloved by critics … and feminists. Because the album remains explosive, 37 years after its release.
How do you work on a new version of “Love on the beat”?
I took the project to Due, my new record company. I’ve been wanting to do this album for a long time. I’m a person with bad taste, who likes what other people hate (laughs). My 80s was punctuated with “Let’s dance” and “Love on the beat”.
However, Gainsbourg specialists did not set this record too high …
This stage is actually underestimated. Gainsbourg was immediately presented as an artist at the end of his career, far removed from the masterpieces of “Melody Nelson” or “The Man with the Cabbage Head”. Except I discovered Gainsbourg had “Love on the beat” and I didn’t know anything about him at the time. You see, my attachment to this album is sentimental.
What guy were you in 1984?
I am ten years old. I saw Gainsbourg on TV. And this cover, signed by William Klein, with this woman (at first I thought she was one) scared me. At summer camp, I heard the best talk on record. I was a well -behaved child: rude words shocked me. I felt in the Gainsbourg universe a little wet sexuality. Which of course scared me and at the same time. In 1989, I went on to discover Gainsbourg: I was offered his first major complete… on cassettes!
Is “Love on the beat” just an erotic record?
It’s always, and sometimes even real pornography. But it leaves room for dramatic songs (like the unique “Sorry angel”, which echoes his breakup with Jane Birkin), straightforward homosexual (“Kiss me hardy” and “I’m the boy”) and the ease In the comedy troop where Gainsbourg sometimes indulges (“Harley David son of a bitch”). In fact, “Love on the beach” is the synthesis of everything this man knows how to do. There’s nothing monolithic about it and that’s what I like about Gainsbourg, so far removed from a lot of artists today.
Now, Gainsbourg’s words are even more shocking than ever…
It has to be said and said again: songs – and works of art in general – are not there to express morality. We will enter with them a territory of fiction that allows everyone to speak (except for things related to insult or racism), to play all the characters. One can be ridiculous, treacherous, submissive; you can be misogynistic.
Two songs: “No comment” and “Lemon incest” aren’t that a problem?
I thought a lot about the first. And I understand that Gainsbourg pushes too much with his rude behavior to be seen on TV, challenging but also moderate. As for the “Lemon incest”, Charlotte Gainsbourg said a lot about it, giving her father relentless support. Remember that the song ends with “The love we don’t do together”. It couldn’t be clearer.
Young people don’t like …
The children of the friends, 18 years old, said to me: “You are not going to take this old filthy man back! We talked and it went well. We can debate this kind of thing if everyone stays with a sense of nuance and a little second degree. But banning or censoring an artist, never!
Album “Love on the beat”, by Serge Gainsbourg, by Alex Beaupain (Because Music, released on Friday October 22).
Music for film and television
Long associated with Christophe Honoré (from “Chansons d’amour” to “Malheurs de Sophie”), Alex Beaupain continues to work with other directors. He thus composed the soundtrack of Doutes, by François Hanss, with Muriel Robin, suspense in the television world that was presented last September at the La Rochelle TV Festival and to be broadcast by Arte. To his credit, too, the music of Julien Guetta’s “Cadors”, is a comedy, a genre he rarely practices, combining Michel Blanc, Jean-Paul Rouve, Grégoire Ludig and Marie Gillain. To be discovered immediately in the cinema. Following “Le portrait”, by Christophe Charrier, with Clotilde Hesme, one of the gentle actresses in “Chansons d’amour”. Where we return to Christophe Honoré and hope to see the director and Alex Beaupain work together again. Current events take them in a strange way, Honoré recently made a clip of “La ballad de Melody Nelson”.