Gainsbourg and Lolycéenne
The legendary singer/songwriter was impressed by the young singer's talent and contacted her, offering to write a series of songs for her. Vanessa, more than eager to move away from sugary little pop songs and try her hand at something completely different, jumped at the chance of meeting Gainsbourg. Accompanied by her manager Didier Pain and songwriter Franck Langolff, Vanessa visited Gainsbourg in his famous home in la rue de Verneuil in Paris. Vanessa Paradis and Serge Gainsbourg hit it off immediately, Gainsbourg nicknaming the young singer "Lolycéenne" ("Lolita schoolgirl"). Gainsbourg and Langolff soon set to work writing new material for Vanessa.
This material was to provide the base for Vanessa Paradis's second album, "Variations sur le même T'aime", which was released on May 14th 1990. This second album proved to be a much more mature work than "M & J", Vanessa shedding her naive Lolita image for a much more modern approach. Indeed, the first single release, "Tandem", was accompanied by a trendy video shot by director Jean Baptiste Mondino who was very much in vogue in the music and fashion world at the time. On her second album Vanessa also performed in English for the very first time, recording an innovative cover of Lou Reed's classic "Walk on the Wild Side".
The album "Variations sur le même T'aime" surprised both the singer's fans and her harshest critics. Many of Vanessa Paradis's detractors were forced to revise their opinion of her and, largely thanks to this album, Vanessa went on to triumph at the "Victoires de la Musique" awards where she was hailed as "Best Female Artist of 1990".
Vanessa Paradis & Jane Birkin - "La ballade de Johnny Jane"
Paradis & Birkin singing Gainsbourg's La Ballade de Johnny Jane at the 1996 benefit concert of Les enfoirés.
June 21, 1990
An excellent 22 minute documentary with the young Vanessa making the most beautiful music of her 17 gorgeous years in her landmark album Variations Sur le Meme T'aime with geniuses Serge Gainsbourg and Franck Langolff.