Your basket is empty

Categories :

Similar artists

Albums

From
CD£12.49

French Music - Released January 1, 1968 | Universal Music Division Barclay

Distinctions The Qobuz Standard
A jumbled up reissue of the 1968 original J'Arrive, which arrived at a time when Jacques Brel had pretty much receded into the background, having retired in 1967 as a full-time chansonier. But that's not to say that he wasn't writing spectacular songs -- he was. After the smashing successes of the earlier "Ne Me Quitte Pas," "Les Bourgeois," and "Chanson de Jacky," however, these later, less orchestrated compositions have become lost within the canon. With a set split between the two quintessential Brel styles -- peppy chanson and introspective ballad -- there's a little something here for everyone. "Regarde Bien Petit" is stunning, sweeping and delightfully punctuated with Midsummer Night's Dream touches, as is "En Enfant," leaving the upbeat "Vesoul" and "Comment Tuer L'Amant de Sa Femme Quand On Ete Eleve Comme Moi Dans la Tradition" to balance nicely. Fans of Marc Almond's brilliant renditions of Brel's best, meanwhile, will recognize and delight in "J'Arrive" and "L'Eclusier." While bonus tracks have been tacked on to nearly all Brel reissues thus far, the real gems in this incarnation are two cuts from Brel's film work. The first, "L'Enfance," comes from the 1973 film Le Far-West. A French/Belgian production, the film follows Brel in the guise of a cowboy on a journey through modern America's West as he tries and succeeds in building a utopian Old West town. The second bonus track comes from the cast LP of 1968's L'Homme de la Mancha, with Brel's powerful re-tooling of Don Quixote, staged at Paris' Theatre des Champs-Elysees. "La Quete," known to English-speakers as "The Impossible Dream," is by far one of Brel's finest and most stirringly passionate performances ever. Sung solo, the emotion that Brel imparts through this performance would be hard pressed to be duplicated by any one, in any language. © Amy Hanson /TiVo
From
CD£12.49

French Music - Released January 1, 1961 | Universal Music Division Barclay

Distinctions The Qobuz Standard
From
CD£12.49

French Music - Released January 1, 2002 | Universal Music Division Barclay

Distinctions The Qobuz Standard
From
CD£12.49

French Music - Released October 28, 2002 | Universal Music Division Barclay

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
The rarest Jacques Brel album of all is also, in terms of perpetuating his legend as one of Europe's greatest singer/songwriters, the most dispensable. Like David Bowie addressing himself to infant son Zowie with his own late-'70s retelling of Prokofiev's best known musical epic, Brel's take on the stories of (on one side) Peter and the Wolf and (on the other) Babar the Elephant makes a charming addition to his canon, and adds a further facet to his role of well-rounded entertainer. But that's as far as it goes. Accompaniment is by the Parisian Orchestre des Concerts Lamoureux, conducted by Jean LaForge, and it is uniformly unobtrusive. From their point of view, Babar is probably the better performance of the two, if only because you have less well-known varieties with which to compare it. Brel's own performance, too, is inspired, although the fact that it is in his own accented French probably renders that of academic value to the English-speaking listener. © Dave Thompson /TiVo
From
HI-RES£18.99
CD£13.49

French Music - Released January 1, 1977 | Universal Music Division Barclay

Hi-Res
From
CD£10.99

French Music - Released September 23, 2013 | Wagram Music

From
CD£12.49

French Music - Released January 1, 1988 | Universal Music Division Barclay

This 20-track collection from PolyGram compiles every one of Jacques Brel's most popular songs, all in their most famous versions. From his first hit "Quand On N'a Que l'Amour" to early peaks like "La Valse à Mille Temps," "Les Vieux," and "Mathilde," Quinze Ans d'Amour picks the best of his early material, with only one song recorded after 1968. © John Bush /TiVo
From
CD£13.49

French Music - Released January 1, 2013 | Universal Music Division Barclay

Much was made of Jacques Brel's decision to retire from the music industry in 1968, a resolution which, a handful of soundtrack recordings notwithstanding, he maintained until 1977, the year before his death. In fact, his silence was not as profound as is generally believed. In 1972, Barclay prevailed upon him to return to the studio to re-record 11 of the better-known songs which he cut for the Philips label at the outset of his career. Of course these would subsequently be disseminated over a string of future compilations; Ne Me Quitte Pas, however, draws them all together in one collection. Brel's original recordings were cut with a variety of arrangers and orchestras; here he is paired with his longest-standing allies: arranger Francois Raubert and pianist Gerard Jouannest. Their instinctive sympathy and understanding is this set's most noticeable asset -- Brel in the mid-'50s was a snarling dynamo, the likes of whom had never before set foot in a staid French recording studio. The results, while spectacular, were also uncertain. He retained that fire in 1972, but his companions knew how to harness it. The title track, "Marieke," and "Le Moribond" offer dramatic improvements on their original incarnations; other tracks are at least dynamic reinterpretations. Dramatically, too, one cannot help but note how Brel has borrowed at least a hint of presentation and arrangement from some of the English and American artists who took so much from him in the past: Scott Walker, Rod McKuen, and Mort Shuman included. The result might not be the purest of Brel's albums, but as an extracurricular curio, it is a fascinating listen. © Dave Thompson /TiVo
From
HI-RES£18.99
CD£13.49

French Music - Released January 1, 1972 | Universal Music Division Barclay

Hi-Res
From
HI-RES£5.59
CD£5.59

French Music - Released August 11, 2014 | BnF Collection

Hi-Res
From
CD£20.99

French Music - Released January 1, 2013 | Universal Music Division Barclay

From
CD£16.49

French Music - Released January 1, 2003 | Universal Music Division Barclay

As of the fall of 2004, the only significant Jacques Brel title in print in the U.S. was Verve Records' 16-track 1988 compilation Master Serie (although, of course, many imports were available to Americans through mail order). That suggested the time was right to bring out a new collection, and DRG has licensed the 40-track, two-CD 2003 Universal International album Infiniment ("Infinitely") for domestic release. In France, and among Brel aficionados, it is the subject of some controversy because of the inclusion of five previously unreleased songs -- "La Cathédrale (The Cathedral)," "L'Amour Est Mort (Love Is Dead)," "Mai 40 (May 1940)," "Avec Élégance (With Elegance)," and "Sans Exigences (Without Emergencies)." The five were recorded at the sessions for Brel's final album, Brel, in September/October 1977, but not included on it. Eddie Barclayof Barclay Records was once quoted as saying of them, "Jacques didn't want them to come out and so they won't be released." Yet, here they are, with an ambiguous disclaimer by Brel's musical collaborators François Rauber and Gérard Jouannest: "The following titles ('With Elegance,' 'Without Emergencies,' & 'Love Is Dead') are unfinished songs which Jacques Brel and we, ourselves, would like to do over. The reason for which has not been divulged." It may be that they mention only those three of the five tracks because the musical backing for them is particularly sparse, usually only a keyboard instrument or two far in the background. For the average American listener who knows Brel from "If You Go Away," "Seasons in the Sun," and the musical revue Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris, however, the effect of the inclusion of the unreleased songs may have more to do with sequencing than content. The new material is right up front on the first disc, just after Brel's version of "La Quête (The Quest)" (aka "The Impossible Dream" from Man of la Mancha), and the effect is to reverse the usual running order of a compilation, beginning with the artist's later material, when his singing is deeper and more mannered, rather than his earlier recordings. Also, it means that an American won't hear a familiar melody until the 12th track of CD one when "Quand On N'A Que L'Amour" (translated here as "When We Have Only Love," but more commonly known as "If We Only Have Love"), one of Brel's biggest hits, begins. After that, as Thelma Blitz's liner notes put it, the rest of CD one and all of CD two "are a crème de la crème 'best of' covering the span of his career." DRG has helpfully provided literal translations of the French lyrics, which non-French-speaking Americans familiar only with the Rod McKuen and Mort Shuman/Eric Blau adaptations will find illuminating, since they demonstrate that those English lyrics range from accurate equivalents of Brel's meaning to fairly broad revisions. Of course, Brel's own interpretations of his songs remain definitive, and in these sonically improved recordings he comes across with all his dramatic, compelling power intact. © William Ruhlmann /TiVo
From
CD£8.99

French Music - Released April 15, 2013 | Wagram Music

From
HI-RES£19.49
CD£13.99

French Music - Released January 1, 1964 | Universal Music Division Barclay

Hi-Res
From
CD£13.99

French Music - Released March 25, 2016 | Universal Music Division Barclay

From
HI-RES£5.49
CD£3.99

French Music - Released April 13, 2019 | Diggers Factory

Hi-Res
From
CD£8.79

French Music - Released January 1, 2013 | Music Place Original

From
CD£6.47

French Music - Released August 5, 2020 | Old but Gold Music

From
CD£6.47

French Music - Released November 30, 2020 | Brelja Records

From
HI-RES£11.99
CD£8.49

French Music - Released December 14, 2018 | Diggers Factory

Hi-Res