Thursday, May 13, 2010

Jacques Brel - Infiniment (2003)

I was introduced to the work of Jacques Brel by none other than Scott Walker (through his nine cover versions of Brel songs sprinkled throughout his first three albums). Brel was maybe the first "pop" superstar from across the pond, and once you get an earful of his plaintive melodies and his sad sack ne'er-do-well overtones; it's like being transported to some smoky club in Paris in the late 1950s. Never mind the fact that I can't speak a lick of French, it's his delivery that breaks your heart.

He's a misanthrope that you root for; you want him to get the girl he's pining after. Instead, later that night you're both sharing a bottle of Merlot, smoking from his pack of Gitanes and weeping about your collective misfortunes. Ah, Brel.

Anyway, I'm not a huge fan of greatest hits-slash-career retrospective compilations, but this one from 2003 is pretty awesome. It's Jacques in his infinite Jacques-ness; tracing the arc of his entire musical output from 1953 to his death from lung cancer in 1978.

Jacques Brel - Infiniment (2003; Barclay Records)
Disc 1

Disc 2
254.7 mb, ripped at 192 kbps


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