Published Apr 25, 2016Some 20 years after first starting to translate French chanson favourite Serge Gainsbourg's hefty catalogue, Australian outsider Mick Harvey has announced his third volume of covers. Titled Delirium Tremens, the album arrives June 24 through Mute.
A press release explains that work on the collection began after mid-'90s entries Intoxicated Man and Pink Elephants were compiled as a double album in 2014, which led to a few live performances of Harvey's French-to-English translations. Apparently, the third volume includes work he had wanted to do the first time around.
"Many of the songs I have recorded are ones I had hoped to translate the first time I approached this material, but I just thought they would be ones that were too hard to translate," Harvey explained in a statement, "but once I sunk my teeth into the task I found they were no more problematic than most of the songs from the first two albums."
Calling this latest project "enormous fun," it finds Harvey tackling the title track to Gainsbourg's funky, 1976 offering, L'homme à Tête De Chou (a.k.a. The Man with the Cabbage Head), the controversial "SS C'est Bon" from the World War II-themed Rock Around the Bunker, early material like "Couleur Café" and more.
Recording sessions were split between Melbourne and Berlin. The Aussie sessions found Harvey working with his regular live band, while the German performances had him teaming up with Toby Dammit (the Stooges, the Residents) and esteemed string arranger Bertrand Burgalat.
Furthermore, Xanthe Waite added vocals to a series of tracks adapted from Gainsbourg's Anna TV special with Anna Karina, while Harvey's wife, Katy Beale, sung the Jane Birkin parts from "La Décadanse."
Below, you'll find the tracklisting info for Delirium Tremens, as well as Harvey's version of Anna number "Ne Dis Rien," presented here as "Don't Say a Thing."
1. The Man With The Cabbage Head (a.k.a. L'homme à Tête De Chou)
2. Deadly Tedium (a.k.a. Ce Mortel Ennui)
3. Coffee Colour (a.k.a. Couleur Cafe)
4. The Convict's Song (a.k.a. Chanson de Forçat)
5. SS C'est Bon (a.k.a. Est-ce Est-ce Si Bon)
6. I Envisage (a.k.a. J'envisage)
7. A Day Like Any Other (a.k.a. Un Jour Comme Un Autre)
8. A Violent Poison (That's What Love Is) (a.k.a. Un Poison Violent C'est Ça L'amour)
9. More and More, Less and Less (a.k.a. De Plus en Plus De Moins en Moins)
10. Don't Say A Thing (a.k.a. Ne Dis Rien)
11. Boomerang (a.k.a. Boomerang)
12. The Decadance (a.k.a. La Décadanse)