David Bowie’s fascination with the songs of Jacques Brel led him to cover a number of Brel songs, as well as influenced his musical and performance choices.
Here’s Volume Two in my series of English language Jacques Brel covers!
Below is my poetic translation of ‘Litanies Pour Un Retour’ by Jacques Brel. Particular attention has been paid to keeping the rhyme and flow of the piece while retaining the poetic origins of the French lyric.
Two years after Brel’s fourth album, which was a striking collection of juxtaposed pieces including the hits ‘Ne Me Quitte Pas’ and ‘La Valse A Mille Temps’, Brel released No. 5.
Jacques Brel is one of the most covered French language singers of all time. In this list are my top five covers of Jacques Brel’s music.
Brel’s fourth ‘album’, often referred to as “La Valse A Mille Temps”, was released in 1959. It was Brel’s first album to be released after a legendary performance at the Olympia in Paris which brought Brel much critical acclaim.
Here are my highly subjective thoughts about Brel’s best (and worst) albums! To rank the albums, each track was scored out of 5, and then the total score was divided by the amount of tracks on the album, and a point was taken or added depending on the album’s overall consistency.
Who is Jacques Brel? How did he become a singer? Where is he now?
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)”.