This 16-song compilation is an excellent sampler of Jacques Brel's best-loved songs. Reaching back to 1961 (the height of Brel's popularity) and continuing up to '77 (a year before his death), this disc includes many of the tunes that made Brel an international superstar. The heart-wrenching "Ne Me Quitte Pas" is here (Rod McKuen translated the song, and it became a hit single in America as "If You Go Away" for Damita Jo in 1966). "Le Moribond" (a hit for Terry Jacks in the US as "Seasons in the Sun") is notably absent here, but the sweeping "Les Vieux," the jaunty "On N'Oublie Rien," and a very fine live version of "Amsterdam" (later covered by David Bowie and others) are all included. While those unable to understand French will be at a disadvantage, since Brel is famous for the story-song, his melodies, witty style, and flair for theatrical delivery should compensate for any language barriers.
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