The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #63561   Message #1032934
Posted By: GUEST,Wotcha
10-Oct-03 - 04:22 AM
Thread Name: Obit: Jacques Brel, Il est Mort ...
Subject: RE: Obit: Jacques Brel, Il est Mort ...
The French are up in arms about the release of 5 previously unreleased songs.

Here's a link to a story on the subject:

Brel Story

Sorry about the confusion ... still working on my German (at least I understood "gestorben" ...).


Jacques Brel Songs Cause Stir 25 Years After Death
Tue Sep 23, 1:34 PM ET

By Kerstin Gehmlich

PARIS (Reuters) - Twenty-five years after his death, Belgian-born singer Jacques Brel is haunting France again.

The singer's family is releasing five previously unreleased songs, disappointing some fans of the man whose lament for lost love, "Ne Me Quitte Pas" ("Do not leave me") was chosen as France's song of the 20th century.

Brel recorded the five new songs for his album "Les Marquises," in 1977. But some associates said he did not want them included on the disc because he was too ill to perfect them.

The singer-poet died of lung cancer on Oct. 9, 1978. Universal Music released the songs Tuesday with a round metal box containing a collection of all his 15 albums and a book with his comments about them.

"I think he would have been furious about this kind of exhumation, which stinks of commercialism," Eddie Barclay, who recorded the songs with Brel in 1977, told the Le Figaro daily.

"I could have released the songs if Jacques had authorized it. But this seems difficult to me because he firmly told me to leave them in their state," he added.

Miche Brel, the singer's widow, brushes aside any disputes. "To me, this was the moment to offer the songs to the public," she told the weekly magazine L'Express last week.

"Jacques Brel said the songs should not be published unless he himself changed his mind about it," said Pascal Negre, head of Universal Music France. "It is of course the families today who represent him and who have agreed to the release."

The songs recall the faded love and melancholy that permeated Brel's later work.

In "May 40," he remembers his childhood in Belgium and how Belgians suffered during and after the Nazi invasion in 1940.

The plaintive "L'amour est mort" (Love is dead) takes up the theme of many of his most famous songs, reflecting on what has become of a couple's vanished love.

"They no longer have anything to curse each other with, they punch each other in silence. Hatred has become their science. Shouting has become their laughter," the lyrics read.

Examining the collection in its metal box in a Paris store, Brel fan Pierre Jacques, 55, shook his head:

"This is a box for sweets. It's not Brel at all. I think they should have respected his wish and not published the songs at all. I won't buy it."

Article copy-pasted from the link cited above.
-Joe Offer-