This is a DJ tool — I could, and should spend more time on it, but I’m playing on the radio next Saturday and wanted to use this track. It’s all live drumming, and it’s only 2 minutes 18 seconds long originally — not much there to mix with. So this is re-clocked, with some of the percussion breaks looped and a proper kick drum, and Bob’s your uncle.
Knowing Gainsbourg, this song might be some sort of elaborate dirty joke, but I prefer the surface reading of the lyrics:
J’ai vu New York/New York USA/Je n’avais rien vu d’aussi haut/Oh ! C’est haut, c’est haut/New York/New York USA
I saw New York, New York USA, I had never seen anything so high! Oh so high! Oh so high! New York, New York USA!
There’s something so childlike and open about that, and that refrain of “Oh c’est haut!” is so sweet. What that has to do with an African beat, only Serge knows. But the more I listen to Gainsbourg the more I think he was a complete genius. I just have that 3CD Gainsbourg/Gainsbarre CD set, but I can see being completist about Serge. There’s so much to his body of work beyond “Je t’aime ma non plus,” “Lemon Incest,” and “Comic Strip.”