Throwback / Brigitte Bardot – Contact

[Throwback is a weekly (Thursday, natch) segment where we share a song or album from the past that we wouldn't otherwise have the occasion to discuss. We usually try to focus on the new, the fresh, and the undiscovered music here at DUL. This series gives us a chance to share songs and artists that we enjoy from other eras. They might be well-known classics, they might be hidden gems. They might be from 1969, or 1999, or even 1929. Who knows? There's lot of music out there, and this lets us share a small slice of what we like.]

Brigitte Bardot

Words by Brendan

I don’t know what your habits are like but, personally, I don’t listen to the radio much these days. Mostly, this is because I don’t own a car or a stereo with a radio. Admittedly, this is also partly because I like to have control over what I’m listening to. But once in a while, while riding around in someone else’s car or tuning in to a particular show (WPTS Local Show, what what!), I’ll listen. A couple weeks ago, I was doing some errands and had WRCT on in the car and … I don’t know what the show was or who was DJing, but it was awesome. Some 60s weirdness, psychedelia, rock, all good stuff. One French tune came on and it was so awesome I had to Shazam it and listen more later. That song was “Contact”, sung by Brigitte Bardot and written by Serge Gainsbourg.

You probably know Bardot more for being a classic sex symbol and an actress. For me, her name forever calls to mind Bob Dylan‘s fun song “I Shall Be Free”. She also had a brief music career in the 60s and 70s, collaborating with Gainsbourg, Bob Zagury and Sacha Distel on musicals and singles. I like “Harley Davidson”, as well as her and Distel‘s cover of Stevie Wonder‘s “You Are the Sunshine of My Life” (in French, of course). But “Contact” is the best. The sound is retro-futuristic, as is the accompanying video (and even the lyrics; see below). The echoing syllables in the one-word chorus, the lyrical story about a meteorite wounding her heart and needing a mercury transfusion … all set to these bouncy, digital tick-tock sounds … it’s something that only 1968 could truly produce, I think. (I like AllMusic’s description of the sound, “[… with] an ondioline, some kind of oscillator beating a steady pulse throughout the song and a zither that sounds more like a set of rusty bedsprings being attacked with a rake”.)

Brigitte Bardot / “Contact” [1968]


Une météorite m’a percé le coeur
Vous, sur la terre, vous avez des docteurs
Contact, Contact
Il me faut une transfusion de mercure
J’en ai tant perdu par cette blessure
Contact, Contact
Ôtez-moi ma combinaison spatiale
Retirez-moi cette poussière sidérale
Contact, Contact
Comprenez-moi il me faut à tout prix
Rejoindre mon amour dans la galaxie
Contact, Contact, Contact, Contact…

Buy Brigitte Bardot: Show [1968]: Discogs / Amazon / iTunes

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