The Music of Jacques Brel is an article by music journalist Amy Hanson about the career of pop music legend Jacques Brel and his effect on popular music in the English language. A lot of songs and covers are mentioned in the article, below the cut are links to the songs that I could find videos of online. [more inside]
Scott Walker's BBC TV program, simply titled Scott, ran for just six weeks in 1969. While footage has yet to surface (the 2006 Walker documentary 30 Century Man was unable to unearth anything), the audio portion of the two half-hour pilot episodes from 1968 has been made available [ep1-Aug 6] [ep2-Dec. 30], along with a thoughtful article. Scott performs some fine covers, including Jacques Brel's "Matilda" and "If You Go Away" in the August episode. (guest star: Kiki Dee)
YouTube user lightning49 has 160 of videos of French singers which she has subtitled with her translations. Her biggest collection is of Jacques Brel videos but there are also songs performed by George Brassens, Charles Aznavour, Edith Piaf as well as a smattering of other stuff. To start you off with a few songs here are three of my favorite songs by Brel, Je suis un soir d'éte, Le moribond and La valse à mille temp along with Charles Aznavour's La boheme, Edith Piaf's Milord and Georges Brassens' Les passantes.
Go Ahead And Leave Me, See If I Care! Was not what the late, great Jacques Brel sung. Oh no. (Scott Walker, imo, did the best cover.) And last Tuesday a 16-CD collection was launched, with all his songs - and then some, including 5 he specifically stated he never wanted released. I've heard two of the songs - they're wonderful. But the question remains, with echoes of Kafka telling his friend Max Brod to burn all his manuscripts: should the wishes of dead artists be respected? Does time - in this case 25 years since his death - make it any less problematic? Or the fact that the publication was approved by the Jacques Brel Estate, i.e., his widow? (My favourite Brel song, btw, is his wistful, sardonic tribute to his country: flat, boring Belgium: Le plat pays. It never fails to exercise the tear ducts, nope, never...)