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Friday, November 1, 2013

Boris Vian - "Chansons possibles et impossibles" CD album

Boris Vian - Chansons Possibles et Impossibles
Vinyl Album, Reissue

My life for the past twenty years can be two words.  Boris.  Vian.   I devote my press TamTam Books to  this Jacques-of-all-trades, and slowly and surely been collecting his books, his recordings, and like Chick in “Foam of the Daze” would also collect his nail clippings.   On the other hand it is probably best and more sane just to focus on his work - which is his writings and of course, his music.  

This album originally came out as two 7” EP’s.  Chansons Possibles and Chansons Impossibles, and then eventually as a 10” vinyl LP, and what I have is the CD version of the vinyl album.  I want to get the originals of course, but the inner-Chick in me has to wait.  Nevertheless I do have the songs and they’re quite remarkable.  Half of the songs were co-written by Alain Goraguer and the other half with Jimmy Walter.  Think of it as Morrissey working with Johnny Marr, Alain White or Boz.   Different melodies but all with the unique witty Vian lyric and voice.  

For a man who over a hundred songs, this is his only solo singing album that he released or made.  The record wasn’t successful in the sales department, but like they say about the first Velvets album, this album is still around, and many many French singers, including from America -  Peter, Paul & Mary have recorded his tunes. 

It is a shame that Vian’s singing career didn’t take off, and from all accounts it seems he was uncomfortable to be on the stage.  Chansons Possibles et Impossibles is a classic piece of pop-music making.  Its not the music itself (although wonderful) but his lyrics that set them apart from the rest of the pack.  A major influence on Serge Gainsbourg, Vian had the right combination of outrage and humor in his songs.  “Je Suis Snob” can be easily covered by an older Iggy Pop.   He brings the role of the snob as the ultimate aesthetic figure.  And how true is that!
Chansons Impossibles

Chansons possibles