Jacques Brel

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Brel, Jacques,

1929–1978, Belgian singer and songwriter. His literate and theatrical songs made him one of the 20th cent.'s most influential French-language songwriters and performers. He first sang on radio in 1952, moved to Paris in 1953 and began singing in its cafes, released his first single in 1955, and won widespread popularity with his song "Quand on n'a que l'amour" in 1956. In 1959 he recorded "Ne me quitte pas," his most famous song, widely covered in French and in translation (as were many other songs). He sang in Parisian music venues and made concerts tours (until 1967), selling more than 25 million recordings worldwide. Brel also toured (1968–69) in the musical Man of La Mancha, and appeared (1967–73) in a number of French films, two of which he wrote and directed. In the English-speaking world he became widely known through the revue Jacques Brel Is Alive and Living in Paris (1968, film 1975).


See biography by A. Clayson (new ed. 2010); studies by S. Poole (2004) and C. Tinker (2006).

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References in periodicals archive ?
Et l'histoire a commence avec un article qu'on m'a demande de faire sur Jacques Brel qui allait beaucoup a Mohammedia.
It took place in Canada, Jacques Brel was the lead, and it was directed by a famous cameraman, Alain Levent --it was his first and last film as a director.
Sort of what you'd imagine Jacques Brel would dream up with a good synth at his disposable and the 1970s to influence him.
The Saltburn four-piece is made up of former members of Idiot Savant and current members of Kingsley Chapman and The Murder - and come with a description as sounding like Jacques Brel, The National and a medieval chamber band.
Starting off at the piano and chucking his songsheets into the air - each number a crossbreed of John Leyton's Johnny Remember Me and Jacques Brel's Mathilde - this was Cave, as usual, at his very special best.
He omitted to mention the peerless Jacques Brel - one of the greatest singers, song writers and performers ever to come out of Europe, never mind Belgium.
The show was called Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris.
Jacques Brel was unique in his way of extracting emotion out of his music and touched his audiences with every performance.
Billed as possibly being Saltburn-bythe-Sea's first Baroque 'n' roll quartet, By Toutatis have been variously described as sounding like (Belgian singer-songwriter) Jacques Brel, "The National" and "a medieval chamber band".
Other great original recordings include I Pity e Fool by Bobby Bland, Around And Around by Chuck Berry, Knock On Wood by Eddie Floyd, Amsterdam by Jacques Brel, Wild Is e Wind by Johnny Mathis, and Martha and the Vandellas' Dancing In e Street.
Jacques Brel, Johnny Thunders, Charles Aznavour, Marc Bolan and Billy Fury depending on my mood.