Mike Flaherty
February 14, 1997 AT 05:00 AM EST

Bohemian, lecher, provocateur, and quasi-Beat bard, Serge Gainsbourg was first and foremost a distinctive song stylist whose eclectic wanderings made him a national treasure in his native France, and a dissolute demigod to the alternative-rock community. These three compilations, from 1958 to 1975, chronicle, respectively, Gainsbourg’s lounge-jazz, pop, and Latin excursions to eye-opening, often hilarious effect.
du Jazz dans le Ravin: B+
Comic Strip: A-
Couleur Cafe: B+

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