Jacques Brel – No. 1

First cover:


Second cover:


This is Jacques Brel’s first EP, released in 1955. This, however is not Brel’s first recording – nor is it his first released record. A handful of radio recordings exist, as well as a number of 78rpm records.

In Brel’s first releases, we see a pattern emerging – and the songs on this EP form the blueprints of many themes that emerge throughout Brel’s career, in particular “Grand Jacques” and “Le Diable (Ca Va)”.

In the verses of “Grand Jacques”, Brel sings of religion, war and love, before reminding himself that he should not speak about such subjects due to his lack of experience. He ends the song by noting that it’s too easy for people to pretend to know about these things. In “Okay (The Devil), Brel sings from the perspective of the Devil who has come to earth and found great pleasure in seeing that a lot of people will be going to hell.


A side:

  • “Sur la Place”
  • “Grand Jacques”

B side:

  • “Ça Va”
  • “La Haine”

The titles roughly translate from French to English as “In the Square”, “Great Jacques”, “Okay (The Devil)” and “The Hate”. “Great Jacques” and “Okay (The Devil)” are the highlights here and serve as a perfect introduction to the themes that Jacques revisited throughout his career.


My English translation of Jacques Brel’s Grand Jacques.

Buy it now

This is an exceptionally rare record that can sell for up to 100 Euros. You can buy the original vinyl here:


Or download the MP3 for 99p per song here:

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