Jean Claude Vannier - L'Enfant Assassin des Mouches. 1972 France

As if we needed further proof that the early 1970s was the apex of creativity for the modern era, we have Jean Claude Vannier’s sole album to offer up as evidence to the court. To the average Parisian walking the street, Vannier is most known as the producer and arranger for that most famous French crooner: Serge Gainsbourg.

However, given an opportunity for a solo album, Vannier put his vast resources to work in an all-encompassing rock extravaganza, mixing psych, jazz, world, carnival, musique concrete, and whatever else the hell he felt like doing. This is no "3 days of booze and pills and let’s get it out type" album. This is the kind of big budget affair all artists wish they had at their disposal. Who needs a mellotron when you have full choirs and orchestras under your direction? (We tend to forget in these modern times that the mellotron was a cheap alternative to funding a cast of thousands). So move over, rover, cause Jean-Claude is takin’ over.

Vannier’s album is one more corner of the French triumvirate of “establishment” types (William Sheller and Alain Goraguer being the others) who felt the need to get hip and basically blow away the kids with their vision of psychedelic music. Daddy-O is here to teach a lesson sonny, so pay attention! There’s been a couple of recent legit CD reissues of this, and none is better than the latest from Finders Keepers, who managed to throw in a cool 1971 Yves-St. Laurent fashion video, complete with psyched out Vannier music. Groovy Baby – Austin Powers never had it so good.

Personal collection
CD: 2005 Finders Keepers (UK)

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