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L'Integrale (15Cd) [Box set, Limited Edition]

Jacques Brel Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 331.66 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Amazon.ca

Toujours dans la collection "L'Original", où les CD sont vendus sous la forme de digipack de luxe et pour lesquels le son a été remasterisé en 20 bits, on retrouve un nouvel album de Brel réédité. Publié en 1966 et nommé Ces gens-là, du nom du premier titre, ce 30 cm regroupe les titres enregistrés entre 1964 et 1965. "Mathilde", "Les Bergers", "Tango funèbre", "Jef" sont donc de début 1964, alors que "Ces gens-là", "Jacky" (signé avec Gérard Jouannest), et "L'Âge idiot" (sortis également sur un super-45 tours en novembre 1965 avec la même pochette [ambiance de bistrot belge avec bocks de bière] que cet album) tout comme "Fernand", "Les Désespérés" et "Grand-mère" (sortis également sur un autre super-45 tours en novembre 1965) sont de l'automne 1965. Même si ces deux millésimes sont du Brel du meilleur cru, on regrette toujours, des décennies plus tard, le fait que Brel, après avoir créé "Amsterdam" sur scène en 1964, ne l'ait pas enregistré en studio. Il aurait dû figurer sur cet album. Une tranche de la carrière de Brel qui risque bien de vous donner envie de dévorer l'intégrale. --A.B.

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Intégrale

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must have it! Sept. 10 2003
Format:Audio CD
This is what you get, if you wish to learn about Brel! This is one of the best collections there are available, with Brel's classics such as breath-taking Amsterdam, La chanson des vieux amants - absolutely one of the most beautiful and yet realistic songs in the world -, La Fanette, Les bourgeois, Quand on n'a que l'amour... Unfortunately Ne me quitte pas is not the best known nor the best version, in my opinion. But the song is beautiful in any way he sings it. However, if you want to hear the most powerful and touching version of it, it's on the live recording made in Olympia 1961.
This album covers some of the highlights of Brel's music. Songs like Les bergers, Une ile and Vesoul are more seldom heard, but imaginative and magical, like his best songs are. Also included there are several songs from his last album, like Vieillir, Jojo and Orly, which sounds remarkably like an entire play, where Brel is the narrator and the audience, feeling everything that goes on between an unknown couple in Orly - with the most beautiful music around him, sometimes like a whisper, sometimes like thunder. His voice had more soul and humanity than any other singer's.
What is missing is some of his earlier recordings from the 50's. Songs like Seul, La mort and La tendresse would have given an even better insight to his themes - loneliness, mortality and love, of which he (supposedly) said: "I'd rather not use the word. Maybe tenderness is a better one." I don't remember the actual quote, but the meaning was: people use 'love' in all the wrong ways, making it mean things, that have nothing to do with love. They can say: "I know this hurts, but I'm doing it because I love you." "I want to own you because I love you." But try using "...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Power and passion Aug. 15 2000
Format:Audio CD
The only thing missing from this collection of classic songs are some of the Dutch versions. The passionate late 60's are well reflected and give a real feel of the social environment at that time. This without sounding outdated. For a younger listener raised on poppy songs, Brel is a bit of an acquired taste however.
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5.0 out of 5 stars BREL AT HIS VERY BEST Dec 1 2001
Format:Audio CD
BREL's originals albums are available in 2 for 1 edition or in their original sleeve LPS presentation.That cd like all of BREL from 1962 to 1968 is terrific all the way.CES GENS-LA is a masterful attack on bourgeois life(only BREL could act out a song like this).It's shows why he was the best actor among the singer of his generation.FERNAND about the death of a friend is moving;GRAND-MERE is hilarious because it's about a gay woman.Very few artists could compete with JACQUES BREL in terms of showmanship.People who saw him performing live have fond memories of this great artist, who gave everything he had before he quit performing live in 1966.As years go buy,we realize that BREL has remained unique and will never be forgotten by his fans.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Les Marquises June 8 2002
Format:Audio CD
In 1975 Brel followed the earlier example of Paul Gauguin and settled at Atuona on the island of Hiva Oa in the remote Marquesas Islands group of French Polynesia in the South Pacific. Three years later Brel passed away and was buried in the town cemetery a few steps from Gauguin. Brel's 1977 song "Les Marquises" included on this album has become almost an anthem of the island: "Veux-tu que je te dise gemir n'est pas de mis, Aux Marquises". Listener take care, many have been drawn on pilgrimages to the legendary South Seas by the haunting sounds of this little masterpiece.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.9 out of 5 stars  10 reviews
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 Brel Treasures among 34 Songs Nov. 2 2005
By JS - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This is a great 2-CD set of 34 songs containing 10 of Brel's best ever. If you need translations, you might also buy Infiniment (B0002PUHGU), a 2-CD set of 40 songs containing abridged translations by Amazon.com reviewer Thelma F. Blitz for all 40, including 24 of the 34 songs on "Jacques Brel [Limited Edition]." 7 of Jacques Brel [Limited Edition]'s top 10 songs are translated in the Infiniment liner notes.

To improve your knowledge of French, you may also want to purchase a book with all of Brel's French lyrics as well. I recommend the book "Jacques Brel, Oeuvre Integrale" published by Robert Laffont S.A. in 1982 (ISBN 2-221-01068-X or -8). More readily available from Amazon.com is the collection of Brel lyrics in the book "Tout Brel" (ISBN: 2264033711).

Best Songs on Disc 1:

"Amsterdam" is one of Brel's most famous songs. It's about the sailors who disembark in this Dutch port and how they deal with the vicissitudes of their lonely lives and the dreams that haunt them once they reach the shore.

"La Fanette" is Brel's poignant song of teenage love found and love lost one July on the beaches of the Belgian coast. Brel acknowledges she was beautiful, and he was not, but he sang up a storm for her to prove his love and she loved him back. Then he laments how he could ever have been crazy enough to believe all the things he thought they'd share together, and laments that he believed that much in himself, as he describes how he found out the hard way their relationship was over.

"Ne Me Quitte Pas" is Brel's most famous torch song, in which he uses exquisite imagery to press his suit with a girl who has already left him, descending in the end into abject desperation as he struggles to maintain a link, any link at all, with the object of his love. Frank Sinatra was moved to sing an English version of this song ("If you leave me"), which unfortunately doesn't do justice to the stunning poetry of the French original. This is my favorite song of the entire Jacques Brel repertoire because of the power and the haunting beauty of the poetry, Brel's impassioned voice and the evocative music!

"Quand On N'a Que L'amour" (When We Have Only Love) is Brel's quintessential theme song (circa 1960) for idealistic young lovers who believe that love conquers all, in stark contrast to Brel's later more jaded songs, ranging from "Le Prochain Amour" (on the 2-CD collection Infiniment) in 1961 to "La Chanson des Vieux Amants" (Song of the Old Lovers, Track 15, Disc 2) in 1967. "Quand On N'a Que L'amour" strikes a similar tone of optimism as another Brel song, "Au Printemps", which is not included in this collection.

Best Songs on Disc 2:

"Le Plat Pays" (The Flat Country) is Brel's nostalgic homage to his home country of Belgium, sung with great affection in French and in Flemish, the two national languages of Belgium. Although he grew up in Belgium, he spent nearly his entire musical career in Paris, France.

"Les Vieux" (The Old People) evokes a ticking clock as a metaphor for the passage of time. It paints a painfully honest portrait of life in the twilight years, set to the beat of a grandfather clock, a triangle and a small orchestra.

"Marieke" is a nostalgic song about a first love that played out on the beaches of Belgium one summer in his teen years. It alternates charmingly between Flemish and French, the two national languages of Belgium.

"La Chanson des Vieux Amants" (Song of the Old Lovers) is a wonderful nostalgic look back at a romance of 20 years: all the storms the couple has endured, and "the sweet tender marvelous love" that continues today even as their "tender war" persists. To me, Brel's passionate singing and the wonderful piano and orchestral accompaniment evoke all the romance and nostalgia of a World War II era Casablanca, making this one of Brel's greatest classic songs.

Other highly recommended Jacques Brel CDs you can find on Amazon.com include:

Title (ASIN#) No. of Songs

Infiniment (B0002PUHGU) 40 songs with great English translations
Quand On N'a Que L'amour (B00000IYC9) 49 songs
Vol. 1-Special Edition (ASIN: B000042OFF) 16 songs
Les Flamandes (B000006UOA) 21 songs
Les Bonbons (B0000AKOLD) 14 songs
Ballades Et Mots D'amour (B00003Q56T) 30 songs
Master Series: Jacques Brel (B0000046O5) 16 songs
Volume 1 - Grand Jacques (B00000DXQY) 15 songs with "Sur La Place"
Grand Jacques Integrale 172 Titres (B000025BD8) 172 songs (10-CD set)

What's even more fabulous than the CDs, however, is the 3 volume DVD set released in 2003: Jacques Brel: Comme quand on etait beau. (ASIN: B0000AQJPR). The set includes 7.5 hours of live and staged performances as well as interviews and home video footage. Everything that the heart of a Jacques Brel fan desires to capture the essence of this very theatrical artist in a way that an audio-only recording can not.

Also of great interest: the VHS video "Jacques Brel" (ASIN: B0001P1XG4), a video biography on the life and music of Jacques Brel. Full length documentary features extensive live footage and interviews with Brel himself as well as his daughter and associates. It is also available on DVD, but only from Films Media Group.
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Les Marquises June 8 2002
By David Stanley - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
In 1975 Brel followed the earlier example of Paul Gauguin and settled at Atuona on the island of Hiva Oa in the remote Marquesas Islands group of French Polynesia in the South Pacific. Three years later Brel passed away and was buried in the town cemetery a few steps from Gauguin. Brel's 1977 song "Les Marquises" included on this album has become almost an anthem of the island: "Veux-tu que je te dise gemir n'est pas de mis, Aux Marquises". Listener take care, many have been drawn on pilgrimages to the legendary South Seas by the haunting sounds of this little masterpiece.
12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Power and passion Aug. 15 2000
By Pillie Meyer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
The only thing missing from this collection of classic songs are some of the Dutch versions. The passionate late 60's are well reflected and give a real feel of the social environment at that time. This without sounding outdated. For a younger listener raised on poppy songs, Brel is a bit of an acquired taste however.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brel's later work Sept. 19 2003
By Merilahti Kristiina - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
For someone who knows most of Brel's music this may not be that necessary. But if you are a true fanatic, this is a must for following reasons:
'Fils de' - this is the only record I've found that includes this lovely, powerful plea for equality and protection of life, Brel at his most loving and sincere, leaving cynicism completely. And how the music builds up behind his voice and carries him... Who doesn't want to sing with this orchestra?
'Comment tuer l'amant de sa femme?' The eternal question handled like only Brel can. A true philosopher notices a much better solution, of course. Hilarious in the same way Monty Python's songs. This one is also hard to find from other records. If you don't know French already, get somebody translate this! It's worth it!
'Vesoul' is a tongue-twister and hilarious, too, and the arrangement is absolutely breath-taking! This one can be found on other records, too, but the last songs in his native language are rarities. Fun to listen, and as impossible to sing along as 'Vesoul' - you just need to be native to get your tongue working like this.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BREL AT HIS VERY BEST Dec 1 2001
By ALAIN ROBERT - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
BREL's originals albums are available in 2 for 1 edition or in their original sleeve LPS presentation.That cd like all of BREL from 1962 to 1968 is terrific all the way.CES GENS-LA is a masterful attack on bourgeois life(only BREL could act out a song like this).It's shows why he was the best actor among the singer of his generation.FERNAND about the death of a friend is moving;GRAND-MERE is hilarious because it's about a gay woman.Very few artists could compete with JACQUES BREL in terms of showmanship.People who saw him performing live have fond memories of this great artist, who gave everything he had before he quit performing live in 1966.As years go buy,we realize that BREL has remained unique and will never be forgotten by his fans.
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