You need flash!
no cover -  

Jacques Brel

french chanson chanson francaise singer-songwriter belgian

    Jacques Brel (8 April 1929 – 9 October 1978) was a Belgian singer and songwriter who composed and performed literate, thoughtful, and theatrical songs that generated a large, devoted following in Belgium and France initially, and later throughout the world. He was widely considered a master of the modern chanson. Although he recorded most of his songs in French, he became a major influence on English-speaking songwriters and performers such as David Bowie, Alex Harvey, Leonard Cohen, Marc Almond and Rod McKuen. English translations of his songs were recorded by many top performers in the United States, including Ray Charles, Judy Collins, John Denver, the Kingston Trio, Nina Simone, Frank Sinatra, Scott Walker, and Andy Williams. In French-speaking countries, Brel was also a successful actor, appearing in ten films. He also directed two films, one of which, Le Far West, was nominated for the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 1973. Jacques Brel has sold over 25 million records worldwide, and is the third best-selling Belgian recording artist of all time.

    Brel was born on 8th April 1929 in Schaarbeek, a district of Brussels, and lived half of his life in Paris. He died of lung cancer on 9th October 1978 in Bobigny in the suburbs of Paris, and is buried in the Marquesas Islands.

    Although the Brels spoke French, they were of Flemish descent, with some of the family originating from Zandvoorde, near Ieper. Brel's father was co-owner of a cardboard factory and Brel started his professional life at that firm, apparently destined to follow in his father's footsteps. However he had no interest in it, showing instead an interest in the arts, having joined the Catholic-humanist youth organisation Franche Cordée, where he did some singing and acting. At Franche Cordée he met Thérèse Michielsen ('Miche'), and they married in 1950.

    In the early 1950s Brel achieved some minor success in Belgium, singing his own songs. A 78rpm record ("La foire"/"Il y a") was released as a result. From 1954 Brel seriously pursued a singing career. He quit his job and moved to Paris, writing music and singing in the city's cabarets and music-halls.. In January 1955 he supported in the Ancienne Belgique in Brussels the performances of the Belgian pop and variety pioneer Bobbejaan Schoepen. After some success his wife and daughters joined him from Belgium. By 1956 he was touring Europe and he recorded the song "Quand on n'a que l'amour", which brought him his first major recognition. He appeared in a show with Maurice Chevalier and Michel Legrand.

    By the end of the 1950s Miche and Brel's three daughters moved to Brussels. He and his family led separate lives from then on. Under the influence of his friend Georges Pasquier ('Jojo') and pianists Gérard Jouannest and François Rauber, Brel's style changed. He was no longer a Catholic-humanist troubadour, but sang grimmer songs about love, death, and the struggle that is life. The music became more complex and his themes more diverse, exploring love ("Je t'aime", "Litanies pour un retour"), society ("Les singes", "Les bourgeois", "Jaurès") and spiritual concerns ("Le bon Dieu", "Dites, si c'était vrai", "Fernand"). His work is not limited to one style. He was as proficient in comic compositions ("Le lion", "Comment tuer l'amant de sa femme…") as in more emotional ones ("Voir un ami pleurer", "Fils de…", "Jojo"). He composed and recorded his songs almost exclusively in French, and is widely recognised in French-speaking countries as one of the best French-language composers of all time.

    Brel himself occasionally included parts of his songs in Flemish (Dutch), one of the three official languages of Belgium, as in Marieke. He also recorded eight other Flemish versions of songs, such as Mijn vlakke land (Le plat Pays), Laat Me Niet Alleen (Ne me quitte pas), Rosa, De Burgerij (Les Bourgeois), and De Nuttelozen van de Nacht (Les paumés du petit matin). Since his own command of the language was poor, these were translated by Ernst van Altena, renowned translator of French song.

    His attitude towards the Flemish was marked by a love of Flanders and the Flemish countryside, but a marked dislike of Flemish nationalism: he declared himself Flemish and presented himself to the world as a Flemish singer, but he also mocked rustic Flemish life with the comic song "Les flamandes". Later in his career he directed his political anger at the Flamingants; France Brel, his daughter, has been quoted as saying: "he was very Flemish. He believed in discipline, hard work, he was always punctual. Our family is Flemish in character in many ways, Jacques was proud of his Flemish blood."

    "If I were king", Brel himself once said, "I would send all the Flemings to Wallonia and all the Walloons to Flanders for six months. Like military service. They would live with a family and that would solve all our ethnic and linguistic problems very fast. Because everybody's tooth aches in the same way, everybody loves their mother, everybody loves or hates spinach. And those are the things that really count."
    Although France was Brel's "spiritual home" and he expressed contradictory statements about his native Belgium, some of his best compositions pay tribute to Belgium.

    For twenty years he was a major star gaining recognition beyond French audiences. In 1973 he retreated to French Polynesia, remaining there until 1977 when he returned to Paris and recorded his well-received final album.

    A heavy smoker, it was discovered in 1973 that Brel had lung cancer. He died in 1978 and was buried in Calvary Cemetery in Atuona, Hiva Oa, Marquesas Islands, French Polynesia only a few yards away from painter Paul Gauguin.

    free canada dating website

    Jacques Brel 16a40ce7dcda4dd3b23aaf19fc8cd401 Jacques Brel 9f5364e95cda4f899c25420f5bdda1ad Jacques Brel f9816db9e2ab406db2c3b47eb3eceec7 Jacques Brel 8e5e0b5772fe4fa6a22f98d8621a100f Jacques Brel 7d49a11981bb4712b75f9b85ac7cf3a8 Jacques Brel cdd7d350141249efb5acdc5303720d8e Jacques Brel cc4f9fbcb6814d41a9449af5c8d0954b Jacques Brel 21cfd22535bb4c4dbc322d4d293767b0 Jacques Brel d0bd1fa37c5b4c328f1d9870025cc32b Jacques Brel 87292187dea94d31820a7ad53a28fe37 Jacques Brel 2313d82e256147159180ddf12e5fd8a8 Jacques Brel 566fbe348efb4697accaf2ce7eaf5522 Jacques Brel 1f4f9318f52245279de248fead799787 Jacques Brel 8885937431e64b21ac93564a88b615a7 Jacques Brel c3787cac5c5f42588dbccb70b258911f Jacques Brel eb36c3d9cb004e24a4001fbf61fd3738 Jacques Brel c6bf82d51c204682856fa4f7e52f1913 Jacques Brel 83534702112c4e43bd32a02b92549ff4 Jacques Brel e36fb0e630fc4f2ca6bd991e4984e8c7 Jacques Brel 8f46cb2ca66a4aad922beb1519f51ef6 Jacques Brel 693c4634e72d44268d529939e6ca174c Jacques Brel 17d390293c3f4080af12d87ca2a72c44 Jacques Brel 8c3c1707809f4b0c9493e73d362785c0 Jacques Brel 4aa0244c57db42c39a8b1795a8ca4503 Jacques Brel 89492012f46c43059f3bfb5191b80e2c Jacques Brel 5baf2c6e7ee04742975e1a525265e09e Jacques Brel ddb49eaab97e44caac5b68723df3654d Jacques Brel 6fbe5436b3a442fc9f32163f77e961ef Jacques Brel fb3aa6b8a3c549b19ed6ee9e2cde84cc Jacques Brel 6a42eaabb90c45b5a953dd40ccf2d8f2 Jacques Brel 7ab7afcc6eb2496297da17b5ef3bb2fd Jacques Brel f0113e19aae845b4b538c30c213b5023 Jacques Brel edd6123fd76847279db3fe8a3ef90180 Jacques Brel a3803cf04b21489499d6b98320ff6c23 Jacques Brel 17fc4c4adcaf4f1585ba7a2f44f33c5b Jacques Brel 6ac345dad26543a4a871bbfbf612da38 Jacques Brel 240313a3e7ce4751751886cb040ce4b4 Jacques Brel 716f15540bba4ac6c1e255bed1f5ce50 Jacques Brel cd749d1cf6ce4b64cb4e28945a6e1e67 Jacques Brel 4d94bf08f7f8405a8f5f43d9c44f67d5