Why ‘Jacques Brel Is Alive And Well’ is an underrated musical

This week, I gave an interview on the “Biggest I Ever Had! – Music Podcast, where I discussed why I think “Jacques Brel Is Alive And Well And Living In Paris” is one of the most underrated musicals of all time.

Clip starts at 46:31:


Dan: “What else did you have as one of the most underrated musicals?”

Me: “So, I also had ‘Jacques Brel Is Alive And Well And Living In Paris…”

Dan: “I’ve never even heard of that!”

Me: “Really? It’s now of the first ever Jukebox Musicals. And I think it’s underrated because a lot of artists like David Bowie were introduced to Jacques Brel’s music through this musical, and the translations of Jacques Brel’s work, which kind of enabled Bowie to kind of develop his stage performance and his persona – because he did borrow a lot from tonnes of people, and I think there’s more to the links between Bowie and Brel than there is between Bowie and Iggy Pop or Bowie and Lou Reed.

“I mean, the whole template of Jacques Brel’s career is pretty much copied by Bowie. Like resigning Ziggy Stardust at the height of his career – that’s Jacques Brel.

“So without these translations you wouldn’t have songs like “If You Go Away” – Frank Sinatra covered it. “Seasons In The Sun” – Nirvana covered that. It’s all down to this one musical that kind of projected Brel’s work to a wider populace.

“It’s underrated because it has had such a huge impact on the development of music.”

Find out more about the Biggest I Ever Had! music podcast here.

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