A rare album by Serge Gainsbourg and Jean-Claude Vannier has been uncovered and is set for release as part of Finders Keepers’ 100th release.
Thought to be forever lost in a devastating fire, this album was found in an old suitcase and fully restored in the “baking process”, with the music referencing themes which would appear on L’Enfant Assassin Des Mouches, and unquestionably the symphonic blueprint for many ideas that appear on the pairs landmark record, Histoire De Melody Nelson.
The record, which has never been heard, was due to be the soundtrack to French 1969 hippie drugs-ploitation film Les Chemins Des Katmandou which was composed by Vannier and Gainsbourg.
Having enjoyed a long career together Vannier was saddened to hear in late 2014 that his teenage friend and copyist Daniel Marechal—his role was to transcribe music by hand for larger orchestras when Gainsbourg and Vannier needed scores for live performances—had passed away. When he agreed to meet up with Marechal’s daughter a few weeks later he was surprised when she gave him a long-lost artefact: “After he passed away, his daughter found all of his luggage,” explains Vannier.
“In one little suitcase she discovered some tapes, with my name on.” Alongside some incredible alternate versions of music that later appeared on L’Enfant Assassin Des Mouches, Jean-Claude had found the Holy Grail itself, Les Chemins Des Kathmandou.
Here’s a little taster: