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Jacques Brel anyone?

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Dave the Gnome 26 Jul 07 - 09:31 AM
Tim theTwangler 26 Jul 07 - 09:39 AM
GUEST,Ken Brock 26 Jul 07 - 09:41 AM
John MacKenzie 26 Jul 07 - 09:41 AM
John MacKenzie 26 Jul 07 - 09:46 AM
Phil Cooper 26 Jul 07 - 10:07 AM
Maryrrf 26 Jul 07 - 10:30 AM
Tim theTwangler 26 Jul 07 - 10:44 AM
Dave the Gnome 26 Jul 07 - 10:49 AM
katlaughing 26 Jul 07 - 11:04 AM
KeithofChester 26 Jul 07 - 12:02 PM
alanabit 26 Jul 07 - 12:36 PM
Mrrzy 26 Jul 07 - 12:38 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 26 Jul 07 - 02:06 PM
Donuel 26 Jul 07 - 02:16 PM
JeremyC 26 Jul 07 - 02:44 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 26 Jul 07 - 03:33 PM
mrdux 26 Jul 07 - 04:00 PM
John Hardly 26 Jul 07 - 04:11 PM
Seán Báite 26 Jul 07 - 04:51 PM
Kampervan 26 Jul 07 - 05:02 PM
Dave the Gnome 26 Jul 07 - 06:27 PM
Cllr 26 Jul 07 - 06:53 PM
Mike Miller 26 Jul 07 - 07:06 PM
catspaw49 26 Jul 07 - 09:06 PM
TRUBRIT 26 Jul 07 - 09:10 PM
catspaw49 26 Jul 07 - 09:16 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 26 Jul 07 - 09:27 PM
JJ 27 Jul 07 - 09:11 AM
Seán Báite 27 Jul 07 - 03:41 PM
JeremyC 27 Jul 07 - 03:49 PM
Mick Tems 27 Jul 07 - 05:41 PM
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Subject: Jacques Brel anyone?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 26 Jul 07 - 09:31 AM

For those that don't know him the Wiki entry Jacques Romain Georges Brel is a good starting point.

A lot of people will have heard 'Amsterdam' by David Bowie and 'Jackie' by Scott Walker but how many have heard any other stuff? Particularly at folk clubs? There was Eric at the Hare and Hounds in Mancheaster who, as well as being completely barking, used to do wonderful unaccompanied renditions, in both French and English, of many Brel classics. More in the mainstream the Divine Comedy do a lot of Brel 'type' stuff and I beleive their songs to be particularly 'folky' as well in that they often tell stories or have a message. Marc Almond (anyone for 80's hair do's:-) ) has even been smitten and did, I think, a whole album of Brel covers.

Just thought I'd ask.

Cheers

Dave


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Subject: RE: Jacques Brel anyone?
From: Tim theTwangler
Date: 26 Jul 07 - 09:39 AM

Seem to remember that Masrc Almond used to do afew good versions of Brel& Brecht materiel.
He had the nack of capturing the sleazyness as well as having a powerful voice.


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Subject: RE: Jacques Brel anyone?
From: GUEST,Ken Brock
Date: 26 Jul 07 - 09:41 AM

Judy Collins recorded his "Sons of..." and "Marieke" circa 1970 and The Kingston Trio and Terry Jacks his "Seasons in the Son".


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Subject: RE: Jacques Brel anyone?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 26 Jul 07 - 09:41 AM

Judy Collins singing Marieke.
Lots of great songs, Jackie, Sons Of, Timid Freda, among many. I love him and his songs dearly.
Giok


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Subject: RE: Jacques Brel anyone?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 26 Jul 07 - 09:46 AM

Snap Ken


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Subject: RE: Jacques Brel anyone?
From: Phil Cooper
Date: 26 Jul 07 - 10:07 AM

The Pearls Before Swine version of Seasons in the Sun was better than Terry Jack's version. The Jack's version cleaned things up a bit too much.


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Subject: RE: Jacques Brel anyone?
From: Maryrrf
Date: 26 Jul 07 - 10:30 AM

I am also a fan of the late Jacques Brel! Wonderful singer and songwriter. But I much prefer to his versions of his own songs, and I like them in French. The English translations always seem to lose something.


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Subject: RE: Jacques Brel anyone?
From: Tim theTwangler
Date: 26 Jul 07 - 10:44 AM

I am with MaryrF and Mr S Rushdie on this,
As he said to me in the Ritz "One cannot aquire the fullest understanding of a great work such as War and Peace unless one reads it in the original language"
I did ask if he meant cyrillic script but his security guys took him away.


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Subject: RE: Jacques Brel anyone?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 26 Jul 07 - 10:49 AM

I enjoy his songs in the original French even though I don't parlez francias! Just shows a good tune and performance transcends language barriers!

:D


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Subject: RE: Jacques Brel anyone?
From: katlaughing
Date: 26 Jul 07 - 11:04 AM

Just sose ya know, if you put "Brel" in the search box, there are several threads about him and/or his songs, including an obit.


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Subject: RE: Jacques Brel anyone?
From: KeithofChester
Date: 26 Jul 07 - 12:02 PM

Steve Knightley's version of My Death from Show of Hands appearance at Gosport & Fareham Folk Festival in 1997 is available as a free download on their website. It is up there with the Bowie version in the Ziggy Stardust at Hammersmith Odeon film. I have never since managed to persuade SK to reprise it. You can also find it on their No Song To Sing CD along with other covers and trad songs.

SOH also put Brel's The Dove on there 1996 Lie of The Land . I think the other version of that I know is a Joan Baez version.

It is Mort Schumann's words you usually hear when listening to the "English versions" of those Brel songs.


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Subject: RE: Jacques Brel anyone?
From: alanabit
Date: 26 Jul 07 - 12:36 PM

There was an excellent TV programme about him on German TV some twenty years ago. I had not realised that he was also a brilliant mime. I often wish I had learned French so that I could understand his songs and those of George Brassens. To me he came over as a true romantic - that is, on who could comment bitterly on life's ironies and suffering, but who behind it all had his eyes on the stars rather than on the gutter. Those stupid versions of his songs by Terry Jacks et al did him a great disservice.


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Subject: RE: Jacques Brel anyone?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 26 Jul 07 - 12:38 PM

Love his voice. The closest frog to Ed McCurdy, my favorite male voice in English.


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Subject: RE: Jacques Brel anyone?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 26 Jul 07 - 02:06 PM

Several threads on Brel already, linked above.
Much of his work is available on cd.
I don't listen to 'covers.' Brel's delivery can't be beat and translations ruin the poetry.


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Subject: RE: Jacques Brel anyone?
From: Donuel
Date: 26 Jul 07 - 02:16 PM

Brel is a threll.


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Subject: RE: Jacques Brel anyone?
From: JeremyC
Date: 26 Jul 07 - 02:44 PM

Jacques Brel was amazing. Unfortunately, I don't speak French, but a user named lightning49 on Youtube (blocked here at work, or I'd link) has kindly translated a fair number of his songs and subtitled his performances for us monolinguists. He was an incredible performer, riveting even on these grainy little videos. I'd love to have seen him live, but I'm pretty sure he died before or just shortly after I was born.

My favorite song right this second is "Orly," I think. Scott Walker's covers were terrible and too theatrical, but Bowie's weren't bad. I posted a quick, sloppy arrangement of "Jackie" to youtube a while ago, and I play it semi-regularly (although not at the weekly jam, because everyone gets up and goes to the bar when I try). For my money, the best English performance of "Amsterdam" is by John Denver, just because his singing on it is spectacular. Still, though, Brel is the Man, and no one but no one can approach his performances.


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Subject: RE: Jacques Brel anyone?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 26 Jul 07 - 03:33 PM

In 1999, a remastered cd, "Jacques Brel, Master Serie vol.I," was released (Phillips). It is very good. Sixteen songs, originally 1960s-1970s, including "Amsterdam."

A 3cd set was also issued about this time; hard to get.

There are, apparently, equivalent DVDs, but I know nothing about them.


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Subject: RE: Jacques Brel anyone?
From: mrdux
Date: 26 Jul 07 - 04:00 PM

Both Chad Mitchell (on his first solo album) and Theo Bikel also recorded "Marieke."


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Subject: RE: Jacques Brel anyone?
From: John Hardly
Date: 26 Jul 07 - 04:11 PM

oh, he's SO depressing. Good stuff, but SO depressing. Actually have a pretty darn good version of one of his songs as interpreted by Neil Diamond.

Dang. Now I'm depressed. I just brought up Neil Diamond in conversation.


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Subject: RE: Jacques Brel anyone?
From: Seán Báite
Date: 26 Jul 07 - 04:51 PM

One of the 20th centuries greatest Belgians, singers, voices (and of course, songwriters).
I have no end of favourites : Vesoul, Le Plat Pays, Jacky, Amsterdam, Les Marquises, Mathilde, Jef etc. etc.
Jeremy, Walker's versions ain't all that bad - their main problem being Mort Shuman's translations (from the musical 'Jacques Brel is Alive and Well..' methinks).
My prize for the best English translations / versions goes to that great Scottish satirical demi-god Nick Currie aka Momus who, at the very outset of his solo career, did 2 brilliant versions of 'Jacky' and 'Voir un ami pleurer' - the latter probably my favourite Brel song of all.
For the subtlety of his translations, witness the opening lines of the 2nd song :
'So men are still at war in Ireland / For certain songs and certain dates...' brilliantly rendered... and it was bitterly true around 86 when Momus sang his version.
Almond also helped me fall in love with another of his songs 'L'eclusier' - the Lock-keeper - one that's wonderful sean-nós (a capella)- sounds just like a trad song.
Finally, don't forget his career as an actor - he starred in a half-dozen films - crammed a lot into his few decades on earth....


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Subject: RE: Jacques Brel anyone?
From: Kampervan
Date: 26 Jul 07 - 05:02 PM

If you want to listen to someone who is mad about Jacques Brel and who interprets his songs brilliantly then listen to Robb Johnson.

He's a real devotee and a good singer too.

K/van


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Subject: RE: Jacques Brel anyone?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 26 Jul 07 - 06:27 PM

One of the 20th centuries greatest Belgians, singers

How many more are there? Not counting Jzonny 'aliday of course;-)

I don't recall Jean-Claude Van Damme, Eddie Merx or Tin-Tin singing!

:D


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Subject: RE: Jacques Brel anyone?
From: Cllr
Date: 26 Jul 07 - 06:53 PM

John harvisons versions of seasons in the sun is much truer to the original excellent stuff

Cllr


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Subject: RE: Jacques Brel anyone?
From: Mike Miller
Date: 26 Jul 07 - 07:06 PM

The translations that were used in "Jaques Brel is Alive and Living in Paris" are credited to Eric Blau and Mort Schuman but, in Blau's book, he says that it was a collaberative effort involving Brel, himself. Sure, there are substanitive differences in some of the songs ("Valse de Mille Temps" to "Carousel", please excuse the spelling), and Brel's cigarette tinged voice is impossible to duplicate, but Ellie Stone made a career from her Brel repitore and Brel said he loved the way she read his lyrics.
Dave VanRonk used to do a great "Port of Amsterdam"


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Subject: RE: Jacques Brel anyone?
From: catspaw49
Date: 26 Jul 07 - 09:06 PM

But what of the great and lamented Brel contemporary, Seymour Glick?

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Jacques Brel anyone?
From: TRUBRIT
Date: 26 Jul 07 - 09:10 PM

Love Jacqur Brel -- the man can truly sing


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Subject: RE: Jacques Brel anyone?
From: catspaw49
Date: 26 Jul 07 - 09:16 PM

Yes....but what of Glick?

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Jacques Brel anyone?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 26 Jul 07 - 09:27 PM

You need a blue glicky?


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Subject: RE: Jacques Brel anyone?
From: JJ
Date: 27 Jul 07 - 09:11 AM

The version of "Seasons In The Sun" sung by Terry Jacks is by Rod McKuen...


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Subject: RE: Jacques Brel anyone?
From: Seán Báite
Date: 27 Jul 07 - 03:41 PM

Dave,

You missed out on my punctuation - I said he's one of the 20th century's greatest Belgians - then there's a comma before the word 'singers'...
Another great Belgian singer, if ye need one, is ARNO - still alive him,
always love hearing him come on the radio here (SW France) plus he's well able to do a dacent Brel cover, when asked.


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Subject: RE: Jacques Brel anyone?
From: JeremyC
Date: 27 Jul 07 - 03:49 PM

Mike - Dave Van Ronk did "Amsterdam"? Brilliant. Do you know where I can find it? Amazon shows nothing.


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Subject: RE: Jacques Brel anyone?
From: Mick Tems
Date: 27 Jul 07 - 05:41 PM

I sang Brel's 'Next' while a callow youth at Pontardawe Folk Club - it must have been in 1974. Brel, a French-speaking Belgian, brought up in Brussels, resided in Paris for most of his life. I latched on to Brel via Scott Walker, who considered Brel to be a stunning writer and a true artist. I loved Mort Shumann's translations, but then I heard Brel on record - fantastique!


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