Brigitte Bardot, "Divine B.B."

Although she is best known for her successful career in films, Brigitte Bardot also had a prolific recording output during the 1960s which carried over into the beginning of the '70s. Thanks to a new DVD compiling all her musical performances for French television, a new generation of fans all over the globe can get a taste of how these two media combined made B.B. the most beloved pop icons in French history.The majority of the material on Divine B.B. is taken from three television specials, the first two of which have not seen the light of day since their original broadcast. Both the earlier programs, from 1961 and 1963, are New Year's specials. The brief 1961 special features Brigitte playing, singing and generally romping with Claude Bolling and his orchestra. At a half an hour, the 1963 show runs twice as long, and is more varied in its musical stylings. It includes some of her most famous songs such as "Je me donne à qui me plaît" and "L'appareil à sous," painting a portrait of Brigitte at the height of her early 1960s sex kitten persona. The real treat of this disc is the hour-long Brigitte Bardot Show from 1968. This full-color extravaganza in which each song is treated as its own individual music video takes Miss Bardot from Paris studios to her home in the south of France to the hippest parts of swingin' London. It features the bulk of her most famous collaborations with one-time boyfriend Serge Gainsbourg, who had been penning her biggest hits for several years. The Brigitte Bardot Show includes two Gainsbourg-Bardot duets: "Comic Strip," in which Brigitte is decked out as a sexy superheroine amidst a sea of balloons, while the perennially cool Serge strolls around her; and the stellar "Bonne and Clyde," where the two languidly pose dressed up as the infamous titular criminals. The other segments run the gamut from B.B casually strolling on the beach (during "La Madrague"), to futuristic and surreal ("Contact"), to a kinky diva in knee-high leather boots straddling a motorcycle ("Harley Davidson"). Also included is a half-hour BBC documentary on the making of The Brigitte Bardot Show. It is narrated by the mild-mannered director, but the real reason to watch it is of course for the lovely lady herself, frolicking and pouting behind the scenes of the shoots. Rounding out the collection is a final television performance from 1973 with Sacha Distel, a French-language cover of "You Are the Sunshine of My Life," which was the same year she retired, at age 39, from entertainment.