Jacques Brel Brel Vol. 1 (Master Serie) Genres:World Music, Jazz, Pop, Broadway & Vocalists French exclusive compilation, part of their 'Talents Du Siecle' series. These titles have all been digitally remastered using SBM 20 bit mapping technology. All are packaged in a luxurious three fold digi-pack with exclusi... more »ve artwork for the French market. These will only be available until the end of October and are very limited. Tracks include, 'Jaures', 'Ne Me Quitte Pas' and 'Les Vieux'. 1999 release.« less
French exclusive compilation, part of their 'Talents Du Siecle' series. These titles have all been digitally remastered using SBM 20 bit mapping technology. All are packaged in a luxurious three fold digi-pack with exclusive artwork for the French market. These will only be available until the end of October and are very limited. Tracks include, 'Jaures', 'Ne Me Quitte Pas' and 'Les Vieux'. 1999 release.
"With all of the immature culture bashing going on between the French and the United States these days it's a shame that some on this side of the water may miss out on Jacques Brel. Of course Brel was Belgian, but most Americans won't know the difference.Brel was a singer/songwriter of shocking breadth. His voice ranges from powerful to tender. His songs have incredible range from fairly typical sounding accordian music to productions involving full orchestra. If you're not accustomed to this kind of music, it will grow on you. The sincerity of Brel's singing is enough to win anyone over.I was introduced to Brel through a co-worker who once lived in Belgium. I asked him for recommentations of music sung in French, and Brel was the first name he mentioned. He brought in a CD for me and after hearing "J'arrive" I was instantly hooked. According to him, "J'arrive" is a song to death. Brel is singing "I'm coming, I'm coming, of course I'm coming" to death.Brel's version of "The Impossible Dream" ("La Quete") is surprisingly uncliched and fresh sounding. "Le Plat Pays" or "The Flatlands" or "Lowlands" is about Brel's native Belgium. "Ne Me Quitte Pas" or "Don't Leave Me" is a passionate plea that builds slowly, creshendoes, then fades out. It's one of the best songs on the CD.This CD was the only one I could readly find in CD stores in my area. According to my French-speaking co-worker, this one includes a lot of Brel's most famous songs (though there were a few he had never heard as well).If you're looking for great music sung in French, you've found it."
Beuty and drama in a voice
Ignacio Rodriguez | 07/04/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Along with "Le feuilles mortes" and, of course "La vie en rose", I think "Ne me quitte pas" is the most beautiful french song ever, which have been recorded by many different singers (including Frank Sinatra, in his english version called "If you go away"). Here you can find the original version, in the worderful and heart-breaking voice of it's original composer Jacques Brel, but also other marvellous songs such as "J'arrive", "Au suivant" and "Jef". This compilation gathers the best of Brel's work, for any french music lover."
4 All-Time Great Brel Songs
J.S. | California, United States | 10/04/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Here's the song list for this CD:
1. Jaures 2. Ne Me Quitte Pas 3. Les Vieux 4. La Quete 5. On N'oublie Rien 6. Le Plat Pays 7. Mathilde 8. Les Remparts De Varsovie 9. Amsterdam 10. J'arrive 11. Ces Gens-La 12. Jef 13. Vesoul 14. Au Suivant 15. Madeleine 16. Les Bourgeois
"Ne Me Quitte Pas" is his famous torch song "Don't Leave Me", in which Brel uses exquisite imagery to press his suit with a girl who has already left him, descending in the end into abject desperation as he struggles to maintain a link, any link at all, with the object of his love. Frank Sinatra was moved to sing an English version of this song ("If you go away"), which unfortunately doesn't do justice to the gorgeous poetry of the French original. This is my favorite song of the entire Jacques Brel repertoire because of the power and the haunting beauty of the lyrics, Brel's impassioned voice and the evocative music!
"Les Vieux" evokes a ticking clock as a metaphor for the passage of time. It paints a grim portrait of life in the twilight years, set to the beat of a grandfather clock, a triangle and a small orchestra.
"La Quete" is better known as "The Impossible Dream". This is Brel's version of the song also crooned by Elvis Presley, Andy Williams and The Supremes, and originally created by Mitch Leigh and Joe Darion. I don't find Brel's version as satisfying as the original in English, however, at least for native English speakers.
"The Plat Pays" (The Flat Country) is Brel's nostalgic homage to his home country of Belgium, sung with great affection. Although he grew up in Belgium, he spent almost his entire musical career in Paris, France.
"Amsterdam" is one of his most famous songs about the sailors who disembark in this Dutch port and how they deal with the vicissitudes of their lonely lives and the dreams that haunt them once they reach the shore.
Highly recommended Brel CDs you can find on Amazon.com include:
Title (ASIN#) No. of Songs
Quand On N'a Que L'amour (B00000IYC9) 49 songs with 32 pages of photos and essay on Brel's life and songs (3-CD set) Infiniment (B0002PUHGU) 40 songs with wonderful English translations (2-CD set) Olympia '61 and '64 (B000BJ7D96) 30 songs with great English translations (2-CD set) Ne Me Quitte Pas (B0000AKOLJ) 11 songs Volume 1 - Grand Jacques (B00000DXQY) 15 songs including "Sur La Place" Les Flamandes (B000006UOA) 21 songs Les Bonbons (B0000AKOLD) 14 songs Ballades Et Mots D'amour (B00003Q56T) 30 songs Master Series: Jacques Brel (B0000046O5) 16 songs (same songs as on Vol. 1-Special Edition) Grand Jacques Integrale 172 Titres (B000025BD8) 172 songs (10-CD set)
What's even more fabulous than the CDs, however, is the 3 volume DVD set released in 2003: Jacques Brel: Comme quand on etait beau. (ASIN: B0000AQJPR). The set includes 7.5 hours of live and staged performances as well as interviews and home video footage. Everything that the heart of a Jacques Brel fan desires to capture the essence of this very theatrical artist in a way that an audio-only recording can not.
Also of great interest: the VHS video "Jacques Brel" (ASIN: B0001P1XG4), a video biography on the life and music of Jacques Brel. Full length documentary features extensive live footage and interviews with Brel himself as well as his daughter and associates. It is also available on DVD, but only from Films Media Group.com (Item# KEH1348)."
If you 've never heard Brel, buy this!
Ignacio Rodriguez | 01/05/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Jacques Brel was one of the best writers of lyrics ever, tender, cruel, ironic, hopeful, bitter and mocking (often himself) and at his best all of them at the same time. In this collection there are some of the best like Ne me quitte pas and breath-taking Vesoul, which also present his voice at its best. There are few voices that are as full of life and power and all the human emotions, good and bad, as his. Listen to it and you'll never be the same again. I wasn't."
I wore out my First copy of this cd and am buying a second!
mwarhol2 | Minneapolis, MN | 05/10/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This man has a voice that would soften the hardest heart into jello. I have listened to this over the past couple of years while learning French and some times I think knowing what the words mean gets in the way of the soulfullness of the phrasing. It is passionate, tender and real music squeezed from the center of this man's essence and condensed into a passion that's universal."