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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Olympia 64

Jacques Brel

1964

Olympia 64

Album Summary

Enregistrement Public à l'Olympia 1964 is Jacques Brel's second live album. The original 25 cm LP version only contained track 1-8. Also known as Olympia 64, the album was reissued with a total of 15 chansons in 1988 as part of CD Box "Integrale", and on 23 September 2003 under the title Enregistrement Public à l'Olympia 1964 as part of the 16-CD box set Boîte à Bonbons by Barclay (980 817-1). The album was included in Robert Dimery's 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.On the double CD "Olympia 1964-1966" issued in 2016 (Barclay no. 4774913), a different track sequence is provided, "more closely resembling the original sequence as performed by Brel", with "Amsterdam" als third chanson.

Wikipedia

Rating

2.8

Votes

4541

Genres

  • Pop
  • Rock
Reviews
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Wed Jul 14 2021
4

boy, he really MEANT IT when he sang, huh? i love how crazy this sounds now - i wonder if it did then, too.

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Mon Jan 17 2022
5

I have always held a number of Jacques Brel's songs close to my heart, but I had never heard much more of his work, nor heard him singing to a live audience. The combination of his voice, his emotion, and his poetry is absolutely captivating. It isn't a surprise that there have been so many attempts to translate his work, but as he is such a master of the sounds of the French language, there will always be something missing in translation. Each song carries me away and paints such a vivid picture. How I wish I'd been at the Olympia then!

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Mon Jun 28 2021
3

It's hard to judge this without understanding the nuances of the language, since he's known for his wit and turn-of-phrase. When Scott Walker covered Jackie, you got a sense of how great a lyricist Brel was.

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Wed Mar 03 2021
3

Never heard of him before (though I guess I’ve probably heard his songs without knowing who it was). Had a bit of a French Leonard Cohen vibe going at points. I felt a bit like I was starring in a Wes Anderson film while I was listening to this. I liked the feeling.

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Mon Jun 28 2021
3

I have readily accepted music with vocals in languages other than English although this was typically due to the beats / global rhythms. Of those that didn’t have the beats, hardly any were in French. One exception is Edith Pilaf's La Vie En Rose which I quite liked. I never did seek out other French songs that I might have liked as much and perhaps it's my loss. This album isn't at Edith's level but some of the songs are very powerful and full of emotion. I do hope he's not singing about Bugs Bunny episodes but I don't have a clue and I'm not going to check. Just in case the songs are about the Wascally Wabbit, I better not rank too high.

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Sun Jul 18 2021
3

Brel is an incredibly influential French chanson singers who has covers by a variety of English speaking speakers you may know, including Bowie. I feel this album was picked primarily because of Amsterdam, a masterful work of emotion and passion about life in the city. Do not take that track lightly. You can however take the rest of the tracks lightly. They demonstrate Brel's talent and songwriting, but none of the rest are his best work, but it does get comically French like that 3rd track so it is entertaining at times. Obviously this album doesn't hold very well to today with audiences (or even a decade later), and you need a certain perspective to appreciate, which I don't care to have.

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Wed Mar 03 2021
2

It’s ok, but could’ve died without listening

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Fri Aug 13 2021
1

Struggled to listen from start to finish. Maybe I just wasn’t in the mood for this when I listened to it, but honestly I really question to inclusion of an album like this on this list. I suspect some hipster was feeling very please with themselves when they put forward this one.

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Fri Oct 22 2021
5

fun for the whole family

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Mon Jan 17 2022
5

I've not seen any of Jacques Brel's movies but based on his music, I am guessing he's an extraordinary actor. I don't speak French well enough to know what he's saying most of the time but I sure as hell know what he's feeling. Very few artists get under my skin the way he does.

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Wed Jan 19 2022
5

Being a native French speaker, I've always been aware of the cultural importance of Jacques Brel, even though as a young and hip amateur of mostly *anglo-saxon* music, I was merely relegating him to a singer for older generations, someone who did not have anything relevant to teach the careless youngster that I was. But now that I've gotten older myself, comfortably lying on the couch of my cozy living-room as I'm writing this feature on my phone, I might obviously know a little better. The question is: why did I *really* change my mind about Jacques Brel? Is it because of my current, somewhat comfortable surroundings that I can fully appreciate *chansons* now? Have I turned into an unapolegetic *bourgeois* in the space of only two decades? Or is all of that irrelevant? If it's because I've turned into a *bourgeois*, the irony is priceless here. Indeed, Brel's wit, sharp eye and acerbic tongue were almost never better channeled than when he used those assets to paint vitriolic portraits of the elder generations of his own time--all those sad, well-off, self-righteous sods never able to admit they cornered themselves into lives ultimately devoid of any meaning. Truth be told, in Brel's songs are *also* other sorts of lessons, though, and ones I could have started learning as a young man. When the Belgian singer depicts younger characters, for instance, his powers of observation are still very much on point, both conveying the humanity and pathetic shortcomings of those characters through the same jeering-yet-elegant wink to his audience. Flawed dunces and endearing dollards can be found in all age groups. And Brel never missed a chance to remind us of this. Of course, there's a third, more elegiac streak running throughout his catalogue of tunes, which gave out all those signature songs most French speakers still remember today. And for those, Brel was as 'emo' as any tortured young rock act can get. Just listen to those tracks. Even if you're not speaking French, you might still sense the emotion seeping through the perfomance itself, if not through the words used (the man was also a fine actor who had learned this secondary trade exclusively through his experience as a performer giving it all onstage). If anything, English-speaking artists with a keen eye for details and an overall flair for the dramatic--artists such as Scott Walker, Nina Simone, David Bowie, Judy Collins or Nick Cave--certainly sensed this emotion we've just mentioned here. Hence their wonderful covers of Brel's *repertoire*. Recorded live in 1964 at the legendary Parisian venue *L'Olympia*, this record, as short as its original version was, does a very fine job displaying the three different streaks of songcraft we've spotted up there. Subsequent CD versions later included parts of the show left out from the original 30-minute album, with Brel staples such as "Les bonbons", "Mathilde", " Les bigotes", "Les bourgeois", "Jef" and "Au suivant". But even without those popular extraneous cuts, this live album is essentially Jacques Brel at his best. "Les vieux" (*Old Folks*), about old-timers waiting for death, is for example one of his cruellest songs, because as heartwrenching and detailed as the lyrics are, they can also elicit many mocking snarls in response. Dark comedy and tragedy go hand in hand throughout the tune, whose chorus revolves about a clock relentlessly counting the seconds left before the final demise, nicely supported by a piano motif insisting on each of those fateful seconds. Musicality is rarely forgotten in Brel's *oeuvre*, as shown in most of those cuts here, even though such oeuvre is first and foremost narrative-driven in nature. Death is also central in two other songs, "Le dernier repas" and "Tango funèbre". The first track pictures the narrator's "last meal" with his entourage, the second depicts his burial, and both are unforgettable lessons in songwriting, ones that Nick Cave, as a connoisseur of Brel's body of work, probably remembered when he penned the similarly-themed "Lay Me Low" for *Let Love In*.  Freeloaders and sycophants shedding crocodile tears unavoidably find their way into the afflicted crowd in those songs, closely watched by Brel's ghost. This makes the titular 'tango' in the second track, already a wonderful piece of music, even more gripping, chilling and wry. Old parasites in funerals aside, younger people are also mocked during the gig, as in "Les Timides" (*Shy people*), where inapt wannabe lovers make fools of themselves under Brel's unforgiving eye ("they just blush and *crawfish*", the singer tells us--yes, "crawfish" is used as a verb here, which is just as grammatically wrong or off-kilter in French as it is in English). And both age groups seem to be derided in "Les jardins du casino" ("In The Casino's Gardens"), a precise study of bourgeois pettiness that goes from micro to macro in its ironic breadth. As great as those tracks are, however, this live album wouldn't be the historical document it is today without two songs counting among the most famous Brel ever penned whenever he decided to dive headlong into full epic scope. The first of those songs, "Amsterdam", was actually never recorded in a studio, so what we have here is the definitive version, and it does not take a seer to understand why this sweeping tale of sailors and whores rubbing shoulders (and more) in the midst of a drunken, lascivious haze didn't need a studio recording after this live capture at the Olympia venue. Brel's voice is incredible here, each and every one of its inflexions adding weight and meaning to the words sung or yelled. And the orchestra supporting that voice is the *coup de grâce*, its head-spinning instrumentation placing you right in the middle of this grotesque waltz of beautiful losers. You can almost see the lights and lanterns of the harbour behind the dancers. In three minutes, you've been to the Netherlands and back, and it's a trip you will never forget. As for the second legendary track, "Le plat pays" (*The Flat Country*), a very personal ode to Belgium--slow, grim and yet quite tender--there *is* a studio version of it, contrary to "Amsterdam". But this live rendition, backed up by strings circling above the desolate land like so many flocks of crows, equals it, if it doesn't actually surpass any other version available today. *Olympia 64* is therefore one of the best entry points into Brel's whole body of work, and as such, deserves to be remembered as the timeless classic that it is. One could argue that studio albums *Ces gens-là*, *N*4 (La valse à mille temps)* or the later rerecording of old songs *Ne me quitte pas* could be equally relevant if you wish to get acquainted with the inspired and inspiring Belgian singer. Either those, or any of the comprehensive compilations sold out there. But if first, you want to sense the powerhouse that Brel was as a live performer, *this* is the record to start with. It is by no means a rock 'n roll album. Actually, it's almost the opposite in every way. But for anyone interested in the French language, or international novelty curios, the emotions such a record provides are not so far off the mark compared to more "modern" strands of music. Ask David Bowie, Nick Cave or Nina Simone if you're still having doubts about the whole thing. [Number of albums left to review or just listen to: 993 Number of albums from the list I find relevant enough to be mandatory listens: 2 (including this one) Albums from the list I *might* include in mine later on: 4 Albums from the list I will certainly *not* include in mine (as I think many others are more important): 3 ]

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Thu Jan 21 2021
4

Great voice! Even understood a bit with my French. Very fun

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Fri Mar 12 2021
4

I'm surprised how long I have been listening to this record.

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Wed Mar 31 2021
4

Amsterdam is a banger of a track, this guy has a very powerful voice and I'm here for it, I think I may actually listen to it again sometime?

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Fri Jun 18 2021
4

I liked this a lot more than expected.

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Fri May 28 2021
4

Moving

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Thu Oct 21 2021
4

I think it was nice. You could tell he really meant the words he said. Had to look up the lyrics to understand the songs. It was more simple than most of the albums.

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Mon Mar 08 2021
3

Great vocal delivery. Chanson is lyrically driven, so unfortunately can’t judge it in its intended focus, but was nice to listen to musically and to put a term and a face to this music style of the 60s in France, Belgium and Europe.

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Fri Jan 29 2021
2

bof bof

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Fri May 07 2021
2

Este estilo de música francesa me gusta a veces, puede caer bien para ambientar, sin embargo no se me hace que sea para una lista como esta; incluso algunas de las canciones y los juegos que hace con la voz me parecen demasiado de cotorreo y que igual estando ahí pudo ser chistoso pero grabado no me parece tan impresionante. Además, plagió a Cri-Cri, eso no se hace.

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Wed Jul 14 2021
2

I am not sure why I needed to listen to this. No need to listen to but thankfully it was a short album.

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Fri Nov 06 2020
5

Love it! Fun French music

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Thu Jan 14 2021
5

высокой красоты музыка, блистательное исполнение и шикарный треклист создают работу, которая, может, и не шедевральна, но недурно приблизилась к идеалу. Снижу оценку я лишь за короткий хронометраж и очень шумные аплодисменты. 9/10.

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Wed Mar 10 2021
5

First French album listened to. Was very surprised by the showmanship and general music

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Fri Jan 29 2021
5

What a story teller :D

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Thu May 27 2021
5

Ziek album

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Fri Oct 22 2021
5

Dont forget it's french

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Fri Feb 04 2022
5

Actually quite enjoyable. Have to say I wasn't looking forward to some French crooner but the style is so different to what you'd get in English that it's refreshing. Probably benefits for being a live album too.

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Thu Mar 24 2022
5

Comment, en bon Belge, mettre autre chose que 5? (rip les amerloques qui comprennent rien dans l'onglet reviews) Prefs: Amsterdam, Le Dernier Repas, Les Toros, Tango Funèbre, Le Plat Pays, Les Bonbons, Mathilde, Les Bourgeois, Jef, Au Suivant, Madeleine Moins pref: Les Timides

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Thu Apr 14 2022
5

Very chill, feels like im on a terrace in Paris

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Fri Oct 28 2022
5

Jacques mon copain, mon Belge. Un album incroyable. J'aime le plat pays/ mijn vlakke land (zeker beide versies beluisteren) hohoho Cette chanson me donne envie de sauter sur mon vélo et de rouler à la mer. Viva belgica 🇧🇪

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Wed Nov 09 2022
5

oui oui ah ah ah ah, ah aha ah

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Fri Sep 25 2020
4

C'est la vie, baby.

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Wed Mar 17 2021
4

le grand jacques

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Fri May 07 2021
4

4.5 | De él conocía muy bien la canción de Amsterdam y Ne Me Quitte Pas (que desafortunadamente no venía en este disco) pero nunca me había puesto conscientemente a buscar más de su música. No entiendo por qué porque es del tipo de música que ya se que me gusta mucho; toda la idea de justamente lo que podemos llamar música folk moderna en su verdadera expresión, sin tomar en cuenta las fusiones que se habían hecho con rock y otras situaciones, aquí está un disco que canta canciones en ritmos, estilos y progresiones que se hacían casi iguales 100 años atrás. Esa gracia del chanson, creado específicamente para ser escuchado en francés, con el fraseo y la cadencia específica del lenguaje, son situaciones y estilos que se han perdido tristemente. En mi caso es música que jamás me cae mal y son compositores que en muchos casos tuvieron una influencia titánica sobre música que se escucha más "moderna". Fuera de decir que me encantó el disco no hay mucho más que añadir, así que solo usare este espacio para también recomendar que si a alguien le gustó este estilo y tuvieran la curiosidad de escuchar algo similar pueden buscar a Vladimir Vysotsky, que en mi opinión es una leyenda enorme muy poco apreciada y que todos debieran conocer, como en este caso de Brel es música que te llega aun hasta antes de que busques que significa la letra.

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Sun Mar 28 2021
4

Good

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Wed Oct 20 2021
4

Not bad

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Thu Nov 04 2021
4

I really liked the vocals and overall atmosphere this album creates. It’s very impressive

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Wed Feb 02 2022
4

Quite a nice, fun album, but slightly disappointing. After the first song Amsterdam, I was hoping most of the songs would share this same energy, but many ended up being piano ballads instead. I still enjoyed these songs, but they didn't quite have the same punch of Amsterdam. Overall, it's definitely worth a listen, though. 7/10

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Sun Feb 06 2022
4

No fucking clue what he's singing about, which is a good thing as I didn't get distracted by the lyrics. Technically impressive for a live album too.

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Wed Feb 09 2022
4

Wow this takes me back to sitting in the back of my parent's car and being really grumpy at the flipping French Chansons being on again, with my dad singing along loudly to drown out my screams to PLEASE TURN IT OFF. 10/10 would listen to again.

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Wed Feb 09 2022
4

Didn't look up the lyrics, just feelin the vibes

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Fri Feb 11 2022
4

It's Jacques Brel, what's not to like?

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Thu Mar 24 2022
4

Goed begin, zeikerig eind

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Fri Apr 01 2022
4

LP

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Sun Apr 24 2022
4

Easy listening if you want. Passionate, exciting, inspired performances.

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Wed Apr 27 2022
4

Chanson francesa. Está bien y se sale de lo común de la lista. Un 4.

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Thu Apr 28 2022
4

This is great! Love it!

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Wed May 11 2022
4

Doesn't really sound like a live album until the audience claps at the end of each track - great mixing! Very fun French music of the era. Not my thing, but can't argue it's not great. Probably would've gotten more sick of it if it was longer than 30minutes hahah.

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Mon May 16 2022
4

Enjoyable. I've heard of Jacques Brel but never really listened to him before. I was well aware of his influence and now have a better understanding of why he is praised. Performance wise, I don't need to understand French to get the story telling involved in his songs.

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Mon May 23 2022
4

Not my taste, but this guy is talented.

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Thu Jun 02 2022
4

I don’t know what I was expecting here, but I kind of loved it? My experience with French music is pretty damn limited- mainly just the Neigeverse and Charlotte Gainsbourg- but this is right up my alley. It’s basically a Parisian Sinatra backed by Duke Ellington, which yes please. Will come back to. B

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Fri Jun 03 2022
4

Smá legacy bónus út af Bowie tengingunni, en þetta er líka mjög flott live plata og skemmtileg.

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Thu Jun 09 2022
4

I never heard this one before but it was rather disappointing

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Sun Jun 19 2022
4

My album #301, and it's a lovely one. Several of Brel's chansons are of course classics. His performance is compelling, the band does a good job too. I don't understand most of the French lyrics but the language sounds nice. (Brel also recorded some of his songs in Dutch but I prefer the French. Noteworthy by the way is a recording of Brel's work in Frisian by Douwe Heeringa in a 'lighter' style.) I listened to Enregistrement Public à l'Olympia 1964, containing 15 songs. Personal highlight is Le Plat Pays, while Amsterdam and Les Bourgeois stand out as well. One can argue about live albums in the list. Let's say that in this case the live aspect doesn't add much compared to studio versions.

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Sun Jun 19 2022
4

Great Jacques Brel live album of course, these chansons are obviously all of 5-star quality, and their live versions are often better than the studio ones.. But not sure if live albums should be included in this list, even though some are quite legendary and some of them have several tracks that do not appear on any studio album. Tough choice, as Olympia 64 satisfies both criteria.. so 4 stars then in the end.

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Fri Jun 24 2022
4

Zut alors.

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Mon Aug 01 2022
4

Great crooner. I enjoyed listening to this very much.

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Mon Aug 01 2022
4

Reminds of a French Leonard Cohen. Thanks to French class, I was able to follow along pretty decently. There's a lot of passion, pain, art, and angst in this album - not sure what it is about Western Europeans, but they seem to delve right into the feelings of things & let it flow out of them like poetry. I've just added this to my Edith Piaf playlist. P.S. While listening on YouTube, I found a 1001 Albums Journey YT channel

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Fri Aug 12 2022
4

From what I gather Mr. Brel was quite the lyricist, but since I don't speak any French I cannot confirm or deny. I do know that he had a very nice singing voice and that transcends language. This was a rather pleasurable listen with no fat to be found. Good music that doesn't over stay its welcome. I'll take it.

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Mon Aug 15 2022
4

4.0 - Recordings of live performances work best when they convey the electricity of the moment, and in that regard this record succeeds marvelously. Brel's voice is a triumph - you can hear his lungs, throat, mouth and tongue flexing to project and articulate every line with the muscular proficiency of a bodybuilder. The audience's ovations are deafening, most notably after the first and most striking track "Amsterdam."

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Fri Sep 02 2022
4

Nice flowing, autumny vibes. I'm not the biggest fan of chanson, but this is quite good. Best track is Amsterdam. 3.5/5

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Sun Sep 04 2022
4

Well well. I want expecting much but I found this enjoyable. So I did some research which led to Bowie singing Amsterdam (good, but not at Brel's level) and live clips of Brel. So much emotion. And sweat.

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Thu Sep 15 2022
4

I really don’t know how to rate this album. I had no idea what he was saying, and I know nothing about the genre to compare it to. So it gets two stars for the amazing voice and two stars for making me feel like I was on vacation while listening.

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Fri Sep 23 2022
4

This is certainly not the kind of thing I'd usually listen to, but I found myself quite enjoying this! I honestly wish I had a better understanding of French, but the lyrical prowess of Brel is very evident even without really understanding the lyrics. If anything it's a motivation for me to learn the language, because Chanson seems quite interesting! Favourite: "Les Toros"

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Thu Sep 29 2022
4

Baguette

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Thu Sep 29 2022
4

frnech slay what can i say. this is female empowerment

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Thu Oct 20 2022
4

Nice

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Fri Oct 28 2022
4

hij mag me altijd brellen

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Thu Nov 03 2022
4

A great vocal talent

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Thu Nov 03 2022
4

Who the hell thinks this is a rock album? Robert Dimery? The same person who calls the Specials debut a reggae album? (that's probably more overtly reprehensible) Just stick with pop, or chanson if you want to be really accurate, but this is French pop, definitely not rock. I wish I knew French, I'm sure Google translate would not do the job here. I liked this, I bet it's clever and powerful.

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Thu Nov 24 2022
4

Genius performer! Not the best collection of songs Imo...

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Fri Nov 06 2020
3

Spotify. Interesting listen but nothing stood out

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Mon Mar 08 2021
3

Interesting and decent but nothing else

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Thu Jun 03 2021
3

Well, I don't speak French, so there's that. Putting that aside, the album has a great feel to it, if you're in the mood for it. Luckily, this morning, I was. The album is not one I would reach for very often, but I wouldn't turn it off either. 3 stars.

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Fri Apr 23 2021
3

Interesting. Pretty good and apparently gets covered a lot. Investigate more.

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Fri May 07 2021
3

al parecer los en vivo que tiene la lista van a ser muy extraños y únicos, me agradó bastante por que hasta coincidió que me estaba rasurando y me sentí en barbería antigua. Me imagino que fue un show en un lugar pequeño y muy intimo

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Wed Feb 03 2021
3

An all right album

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Sun Mar 07 2021
3

Cos nowego na liscie, bo albumik live, ale to nie koniec nowosci, bo jest to tez pierwszy albumik nie anglinski czy po anglinsku, bo niemieckie grania byly, ale z angielskimi wokalami, a tutaj mamy spiewaka francuzkiego Jacquesa Brela, pierwsze slysze ale juz wiem ze to gruba ryba francuzkiej muzyki, bo przeciez kogo innego by na taka liste upchali, co do gatunku muzycznego, to jest to francuzka piosenka spiewana ktora okreslaja mianem chanson, gatunek skupia sie glownie na stronie lirycznej, wiec troche nie sposob mi oceniac muzyke ktora opiera sie na slowach rymach i typowo francuzkim stylu prowadzenia ballady muzycznej, gdzie instrumenty sa jedynie tlem na ktorym bard maluje szczesliwe male drzewka, ale sluchalo sie przyjemne i nigdzie nie bylo momentu gdzie by spiewak zaniemagal, a material 50 minutowy bez zadnych cutow piosenka po posence polaczaonce clapowaniem, wiec caly zapis koncertu tak jak byl grany, na plejaka wrzucam tango pogrzebowe, czyli tango funebre, ciekawe czy w innych jezykach podobny gatunek rowniez jest lub byl grany, bo jakos nie moge nic sobie przypomniec podobnie brzmiacego, a moze to tylko jezyk ktory az tak wplywa na odbior spiewu

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Fri Jan 29 2021
3

I found it hard to get past the 'frenchness' of it and just listen to it as a piece of music, which I think is partly to do with not understanding the lyrics and partly because I don't often listen to music which isn't in English. I thought it was pleasant, but I think he might have been slagging off the english in the second to last song... 🤔

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Sun Apr 25 2021
3

Liked it

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Thu May 27 2021
3

Not really my kind of thing but didn’t hate it so 3 stars seems about right

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Mon Mar 29 2021
3

Nice music, pretty voice, but Brel plays the game mainly on his lyrics. Even though I am learning French I am not able to understand it properly. Not even talking that near the end I was little bit bored.

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Wed Jul 14 2021
3

It's fine, even beautiful at times. But I don't need it and probably won't ever listen to it again.

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Mon May 17 2021
3

french but kinda groovin

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Sun Jul 25 2021
3

я такую дрянь не слушаю принципиально, мусор ...

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Fri Sep 17 2021
3

Oh, this is fun. Jacques Brel has a strong, passionate vocal. Combined with evocative musical arrangements, Brel accomplishes the not insignificant feat of making you care about what he's singing, whether you understand him or not. By the time the audience kicks in at the end of "Amsterdam," I'm ready to storm the gates for him and possibly take up smoking. That's by far the best song on the album, but unfortunately none of the other songs quite match it in energy or emotion. This was an enjoyable listen though. Fave Songs: Amsterdam, Les Vieux, Le Plat Pays

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Thu Oct 14 2021
3

a live album, french, 1964.... I have no idea what to expect here. Ok I have no idea what genre this is, but it's the sort of stuff that'd end up in a tarantino movie as an ironic soundtrack to a shootout or a torture scene. but it sounds exactly like you'd expect something french from the "olden days" to sound. I can't really give it much of a rating, it's too old and removed from anything else I listen to. but 3/5 because it wasn't bad or anything.

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Fri Oct 15 2021
3

Leuk om er een keer Franstalig tussen te hebben. Weer eens iets anders.

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Tue Oct 19 2021
3

French!

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Fri Nov 19 2021
3

French 'Chanson' requires an intimate knowledge of the lyrics uttered, in addition to a sort of classical composition that tethers the record. In 'Olympia 64', the sheer musicality through Jacques Brel's voice shines through even with a lack of French understanding. Be that as it may, a fair judgment of the album still can't be attained without considering the fundamental nature of the music - in 'Chanson', the poetic essence in the lyrics which typically precedes the music.

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Wed Dec 22 2021
3

Definitely a mood album...! I feel like I should be smoking an unfiltered cigarette drinking coffee at an outdoor table just watching the world go by. I don't feel adequately equipped to review an album of this genre (...overly-theatrical French love songs...?) so perhaps my best review could be that this is enjoyable background music; I'm sure I enjoy it more (mostly?) because I don't understand the language - it helps Brel's aggressive voice wash amongst the instrumentation as if it were it's own complimentary instrument. Being a live album only adds to the mystique - the hall reverb, the urgent crowd responses are as important to the vibe as any other component. Somewhere roughly in the 2nd half of this album his vocals start getting....more weird? Little chirps and yelps - more akin to overacting :P although I'm sure some things are lost in translation. It gets a little annoying here and there but rarely lasts too long. Not necessarily a personal keeper only due to personal tastes but it is a worthy listen at least once - putting this on transports you to a different time and place and I could see how people love this album. 7/10 3 stars.

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Wed Dec 29 2021
3

This one is a bit of an oddity but I weirdly kind of enjoyed it.

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Mon Jan 17 2022
3

I’ve heard Jacques Brel songs over the years but this is my first sustained listen to an album. Good French songs. Certainly something I’d enjoy at a bistro or cafe in the background. Not really something I’ll add to my library and listen to again, but if someone played it at my next dinner party I would enjoy it. I know a little French but only enough to get the occasional gist of what he’s singing about. So I imagine a lot of the wit and emotion I hear would be even more compelling if I were more fluent. Passionate and entertaining and I appreciate having listened to this.

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Mon Jan 17 2022
3

Not familiar with this artist at all. This project is bringing such excellent opportunities to my ears. Although I cannot translate the meaning and it is quite possible that Jacques is singing about mundane tasks of life, his voice and style are filled with passion. It was quite a pleasant listen, but this is not for me as far as an addition to my library, so it sits at a 3.

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Sun Jan 23 2022
3

Even though I don’t understand the language. He sings with such emotion that the meaning of the song becomes clear. Not something I used to listen to, but I enjoyed this album. Favourite song: - Amsterdam

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Mon Jan 24 2022
3

lekker voor de zondag en in je Franse fase

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Fri Feb 04 2022
3

Ok

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Fri Feb 04 2022
3

Maybe I'd have liked one of the other 63

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Fri Feb 04 2022
3

This was interesting. The opening song, Amsterdam, I know from Scott Walker and I realised I'd come across the name a few times through that. I love that song and was hoping for more like it and the rest of the album kinda doesn't deliver. He is an absolutely amazing singer but musically it just doesn't work for me.

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Wed Feb 09 2022
3

Not something I would ever have come across or even thought to seek out on my own but, despite being at best adjacent to my wheelhouse, I quite enjoyed this!

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Thu Feb 17 2022
3

Fun

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Thu Feb 24 2022
3

Bit rah-rah stereotypical soused-in-a-circus music, but the dude knows a killer chorus.

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Thu Feb 24 2022
3

This guy's insane! Una interpretación muy sentida y alocada, me cayó mil puntos.

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Fri Feb 25 2022
3

Great voice but the music was average. Need to check his other stuff

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Wed Apr 20 2022
3

Kunni að meta. Fer á einhverja sunnudaxchill playlista.

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Sun May 08 2022
3

its like a French opera

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Mon May 23 2022
3

Una muy buena voz para un género vocal de las primeras décadas. Para entusiastas de este estilo

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Mon May 30 2022
3

No cal ser fan de Brel per saber apreciar la seva veu portentosa, i la majestuositat de la seva interpretació, que es reflecteix de la millor forma possible en els seus mítics vespres a l'Olympia.

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Thu Jun 02 2022
3

Even though I don't understand French, the singing is really powerful and emotive. It's not really my thing but enjoyable for the theatrics.

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Thu Jun 02 2022
3

I kinda liked this? but also, I'm sure I don't ever need to hear it again. 3/5

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Fri Jul 15 2022
3

Cool music and energy.

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Fri Aug 12 2022
3

A fun album of old French music. It's always nice hearing stuff like this.

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Sun Aug 14 2022
3

What do I make of this? Not really my genre or era normally, and I couldn't understand a word of course. Even so I liked it - excellent singer and, even in a language I can't speak, had classic feel.

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Mon Aug 15 2022
3

Live Albums: I've not been a lover of live albums as to me they're kinda like a cheap option (saves on studio time). Minutes of audience clapping too is a drag. There are some great artists in this category and it's a shame as there are a great many good songs not given their due. Non-English lyrics: I also think you don't necessarily need to understand the words to a song but in the case of Brel (who was primarily known for his lyrics) again it's a shame. The most you can hope for is to appreciate the tune, passion and singing ability. Maybe just the vibe of the genre? Nice to have in the background....

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Thu Aug 18 2022
3

I keep saying that live albums don't belong on this list - and I stand by it. But, I will say, this album doesn't sound live. It's musically simple enough that it sounds "clean" - like it could have been recorded in studio. Also, the audience is completely inaudible except for in between songs - which I think is a testament to the way in which Brel must have had them captivated. He certainly has a classic, crooner voice. He's good. The songs are pretty.

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Fri Aug 19 2022
3

Far bigger sound than I was expecting, very surprised in a very good way. Grandiose.

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Wed Aug 31 2022
3

What a great performer! He’s so dramatic and expressive. I wish I understood what he was singing about though. Since the focus is mostly on his vocals and charismatic performance, I’m sure there are funny, witty, and romantic lyrics in French that I’m missing. A lot of songs even sound like show tunes. Still, I love this energy and I’m happy to know about this singer. I’m sure he’ll come again up at some point in my life. Hopefully I’ll have someone translating the song meanings for me. (Or maybe if I have time, I’ll try listening to a few of these alongside a translation.)

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Thu Sep 01 2022
3

This is who Pepe le Péw thinks he is.

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Fri Sep 02 2022
3

Certainly was enthusiastically French. I can dig it.

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Wed Sep 07 2022
3

Jacques Brel is a truly amazing French singer and he has several great songs to his credit. Given that the record present on this list is a live album, I expected that we would feel something special in this live album... Strong emotions, a particular contact with the public or an unusual energy. Unfortunately, it remains rather cold throughout. As long as that, I would have taken a studio album by Brel instead.

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Wed Sep 07 2022
3

It seems like the author of this book just google french singer, then randomly click on a live album and select this one for the book. It just a basic show that was record, nothing that stand out and that really gave the credit that Brel deserve.

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Wed Sep 07 2022
3

There's plenty of wonderful Brel's albums out there and they still decided to recommend a badly recorded live album of 8 of his "okay" songs. Brel is incredible, but seriously, what's wrong with list?

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Wed Sep 07 2022
3

French Chanson always gets me nostalgic of an era that I haven't actually known. This music smells like drama and wine, but this particular album didn't do much for me. I mean it's good but this is far from being one of my Brel favorites.

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Fri Sep 16 2022
3

Have no idea what he was singing about but what ever it was he meant it.

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Thu Sep 29 2022
3

All I can think about is the Animaniacs making fun of Jerry Lewis.

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Sun Oct 02 2022
3

Great singer, enjoyable I’m sure even more if you can speak French.

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Sun Oct 16 2022
3

Amsterdam is pretty great but I don't speak French so uhhhhhhhh

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Sun Oct 16 2022
3

it’s cool but it doesn’t touch my heart

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Wed Oct 19 2022
3

this wasn't that good

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Thu Oct 27 2022
3

I didn't mind this album. Unlike some people, I don't care that it's in another language and that doesn't detract from my experience with it. I hoped that I'd like this album a bit more, but the songs kinda blended together and didn't do too much to catch my attention. Also, as a side note, some of the clapping is really grating with headphones. My favourite song was probably Les Toros Avec Final, but barely any of the songs stuck out to me.

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Wed Nov 02 2022
3

Pas mal. Il a trop de passion.

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Fri Nov 11 2022
3

I have no business reviewing but I like his inflections

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Mon Nov 21 2022
3

This is French music at its most typical, strong vocal, accordion and a piano. I have no idea what he is singing about but it’s rhythmical and paints a very French picture.

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Fri Jun 25 2021
2

Ihan hauska ranskalaisfiilistely. Mies tulkitsee

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Tue Oct 13 2020
2

I can hear the passion but that’s about it

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Fri Jun 25 2021
2

"jee"

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Fri Jan 01 2021
2

eh, french...not annees folles :(

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Thu Feb 18 2021
2

2/5. Soothing voice but I don't know what he's singing about.

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Thu Feb 18 2021
2

Wasn't quite in the mood for this, its not BAD but it definitely requires you to be in a foreign mood to vibe with.

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Wed Jan 27 2021
2

Not my favorite, a little meandering.

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Wed Jan 27 2021
2

French slow music not really my thing.

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Sun Feb 21 2021
2

Extremely french. 2.5

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Sun Apr 25 2021
2

Not for me thanks

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Fri May 07 2021
2

Investigué un poco sobre Jaques Brel, y parece ser algo así como un Julio Iglesias belga, pero me llamó la atención que la página de Wikikpedia no dijera casi nada de este disco. ¿Cómo es que entonces terminó en esta lista de 1001 álbumes que debemos escuchar antes de morir? Al parecer la forma de componer de Jaques Brel influenció e inspiró a muchos otros músicos, como David Bowie, así que probablemente escucharemos covers de algunas de estas canciones. El único problema es que difícilmente me daré cuenta. Musicalmente no tiene nada de malo, pero la música en francés no es mi hit y lo único que me llamó la atención fue escuchar tango en francés (de hecho puede que el tango quede mucho mejor en francés que en español). Fuera de eso, se me hizo un disco muy aburrido

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Thu Apr 08 2021
2

Belgian music

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Mon May 31 2021
2

3

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Wed Apr 07 2021
2

Goofy French live album is a tough follow up to Sgt Pepper. Damn you random generator.

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Wed Jun 09 2021
2

i havent gotten an old album in a while, nice. just 8 tracks, 28 mins, lovely. tbh im expecting something like frank sinatra from the album art haha. spotify linked me to a live album which is a little bit annoying but okay. im not liking this music at alll. le dernier repas is the only song i tolerated, other than that i actively disliked everything.

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Fri May 14 2021
2

I get the cultural significance this probably holds for some folks but I just was not feeling this. Some of the music compositions were alright, but nothing that struck a chord in me personally. Dude has a good voice, and is talented, but this shit just isn’t for me.

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Sun Jul 11 2021
2

Nice and short, which actually isn't a great thing to say about an album, is it? You should want to listen to more of it when you're done. Unfortunately, Olympia 64 is just mediocre. Brel's voice is nothing to really write home about, and the music just doesn't pop.

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Wed Jul 21 2021
2

It was interesting, but it just sounded very repetitive and boring. Not my thing I guess.

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Sun Aug 01 2021
2

Scott Walker loved this guy. Unfortunately I'm not really a big fan of Scott Walker and I don't speak French. It sounds like a stereotype - or did the stereotype come from this? Best Tracks: Amsterdam, Les toros, Mathilde

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Thu Aug 05 2021
2

Cool, but nothing special

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Fri Aug 13 2021
2

I liked this inspite of myself. I'll never listen again but it was fun while it lasted

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Thu Sep 09 2021
2

Everything I've read indicates that this guy is really clever, but that it only comes across if you understand all of the nuances of French. I hope that's the case, because I don't know why you would listen otherwise. Extra star for benefit of the doubt. Best track: Amsterdam

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Fri Oct 08 2021
2

Really not my cup of tea, Chanson.

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Fri Oct 15 2021
2

Ook leuk om een keer te horen, maar zal dit niet snel nog eens draaien

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Sun Oct 31 2021
2

Not an especially great live performance and not especially interesting songs. Not sure why we all have to hear this. Very short though.

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Fri Nov 05 2021
2

Interesting. Never heard of the singer or the genre before. It was fine, but I feel like I miss some of the importance considering I do not speak French.

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Mon Dec 13 2021
2

Primarily this dude signing in French, I mean its not bad, this guy can clearly sing, but not my thing I am looking for. Think I would have liked it a lot more if the instruments were more prominent.

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Mon Dec 20 2021
2

A little too dramatic for me.

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Wed Dec 22 2021
2

uhh .. i mean i didn’t despise it but i also just didn’t enjoy. there’s not much to say other than like it was in a different language so yeah but i thought it was kinda cool but eh

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Wed Dec 29 2021
2

It was French Jazz. Hmm no idea what was going on.

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Sun Jan 02 2022
2

He's got a good voice but none of the arrangements are anything special.

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Thu Jan 06 2022
2

This is all a bit twee and silly for me. That’s probably my uncouth ear and not the music, but I can’t help that… sorry!

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Mon Jan 10 2022
2

In French so no comments on lyics; enjoyed instrumentals quite a bit; overflowing with emotion; didn’t like a lot of the vocal choices

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Thu Jan 27 2022
2

So this is not my usual style of music to start with. Then it's in a language that I don't understand. Parts of it are really pretty, and I found myself engaged at times. But other times I was sort of checking to see how many more songs there were before it was over.

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Thu Feb 24 2022
2

According to Wikpiedia, Jacques Brel is the 3rd best selling Belgian music artist. Technotronic are languishing back in 8th place. Yes, I know Bowie, Scott Walker et al, but it's all a bit showtunes

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Fri Apr 01 2022
2

I hear this one more as a historical document of a different time and place. Interesting, but as a non-French speaker, I can't really get everything out of the work as there is to get.

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Wed May 04 2022
2

I cannot tell you why this was here. I did not enjoy it. Maybe the lyrics were amazing so for benefit of the doubt it gets a 2

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Wed May 04 2022
2

This just doesn't work for me. The fact that it is in French doesn't help.

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Thu Jun 02 2022
2

Meh. Not really into this kind of French pop.

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Thu Jun 02 2022
2

I enjoyed the orchestra (more accordian and theremin, please!), but not much else. I can give Jacques credit for giving his all, his performance is clearly passionate, but I would not choose to listen to this again.

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Sat Jun 04 2022
2

Okay have no clue here… The album starts with the song Amsterdam, I don’t know french ( well not much anyway) but I does sound well made the way he gets angrier throughout works quite well here. Next is les vieux like Amsterdam it builds up quite a bit ( not as much though) it’s actually quite a creepy sounding song which is cool. Tango funebre isn’t as good as the last two I mean the instrumentation is alright but it gets dull after 3 minutes. Le plat plays is a slower song again contains this build up act it’s okay nothing much to say. Next we have les timides is a bit of a lullaby sounding song it’s alright. Les jardins du casino is pretty good to be fair it’s pretty much the only one that has more than it than slowly getting more aggressive. The instrumental work is very good here too. Le dernier repas is good the same kinda act one of the best examples of good instrumentation but other than that it’s not good. The set ends with le toros avec final it’s cool dramatic and serves as a fine ending. With this being such lyrically based music and for me to not know what any of it means this done a fine job. But I really don’t feel like I can push it past a 2 as I know I won’t touch the album again but I can see appeal for it.

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Fri Jun 10 2022
2

It's gunna be a no for me, dawg. I'm a lyrics first listener and I don't speak french. Jacques sounds convicted about what he's saying but I don't know what the hell it is, so for all I know he's going on about putting his dick in the middle of a baked brie. Can't enjoy what I can't understand. Quelle dommage!

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Wed Jun 22 2022
2

Didn't really enjoy this much. Not bad, just not my thing. 2 stars.

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Mon Jun 27 2022
2

Mmm... to be honest....I don't really understand it....I don't mean French. Its just the nature of the vocal cabaret delivery. It puts me on edge in a bad way...If I was in Paris and it came out of a bar I would find a different bar. I'm sure it has cultural significance (it gets a lots of positive scores on here) but its lost on me so I can only give it a low mark as it is so unenjoyable. 1.75.

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Sat Jul 02 2022
2

French male cabaret singer? Or... IDK. Apparently this guy is a big deal.

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Fri Jul 15 2022
2

Not for me

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Mon Aug 01 2022
2

Not my bag. If I'm going to listen to something in a language I don't understand, it better be good enough to transcend language barriers, and this doesn't clear that bar for me. I'd rather listen to "Ça Plane Pour Moi" by Plastic Bertrand, or "Soy Yo" by Bomba Estéreo, or "Zaharila" by El Michels Affair and Piya Malik.

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Thu Aug 04 2022
2

The guy seems like a good singer and a good performer - but I really don't care for live performances of 60's chansons. If I read the lyrics and done my utmost best with the rusty French skills of my high school days I'd probably understand the themes and broad content of the songs. But I really don't care enough. And I think understanding the songs is sort of prerequisite to caring about them for this style of music.

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Fri Aug 05 2022
2

I prefer his late 60s/70s folky stuff. Still refreshing to hear French music on this list.

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Thu Aug 18 2022
2

A fun listen, just for the voice and the showy feel of it. But it’s pretty simplistic and being another language makes me unlikely to return to it anytime soon.

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Fri Aug 26 2022
2

He sings very well, though I don't know French, I can tell he's a talented singer. Not really my taste for music though

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Sun Aug 28 2022
2

It's live, It's french, it's apparently quite influential but aside from Amsterdam, even musically it kinda seems like a parody...maybe more of its time. But I did like Amsterdam.

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Sun Aug 28 2022
2

Very weird eclectic mix sound lyrics and music. Not sure I'm a fan of the overall product but it was a short yet interesting listen.

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Wed Aug 31 2022
2

Yea I don't know it doesn't really do much for me. I'm assuming the big draw of the album, the first track, "Amsterdam" is what makes people put on the record. I'm guessing this because it has 11 million plays on Spotify, with the second most played on the album being "Le dernier repas" with only 846k. The track starts as like a national anthem, with a sort of clear borrowing of the most famous folk song of all time, "Greensleeves", and then it ends on this shouting "Amsterdam! Amsterdam!" motif. It kind of comes off to me as one of those sort of songs that describes someone's personal entity so they have no option but to like it? Like if someone wrote a song about a guy named Dan who wrote songs and was a nerd then how could I personally hate that? Maybe it's a rallying call type of song for Amsterdammers? The rest of the album didn't really do much for me either. Maybe there is some history behind the record that makes it important but I didn't find much when I was doing some internet sleuthing. I want to give it a 1/5 because I'm unsure if it should be on this list but I'm going 2 because I think there is some upside in that the singer's performance is very emotional and energetic.

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Wed Sep 21 2022
2

If I had this on vinyl and I listened to it with a cigarette and a bottle of wine, I'm sure I would be giving this at least one additional star. Sober as I am, it felt like I was listening to French diction instruction on cassette, which is unfortunate as I think something more balanced would be far more enjoyable to listen to.

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Thu Sep 22 2022
2

Way more accordion than I can get down with

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Sun Oct 30 2022
2

Pleasant distraction I can see why he’s a thing but not enough to make me revisit.

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Thu Nov 10 2022
2

French Cohen is probably the best description for this

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Tue Nov 15 2022
2

That's really not my kind of music. And I don't understand French. Hard to evaluate.

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Thu Nov 17 2022
2

French pop.....not for me....

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Fri Jan 29 2021
1

Utter drivel.

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Fri Jun 25 2021
1

It's just not for me.

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Fri Jan 29 2021
1

This wound me up big time

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Thu Feb 04 2021
1

whatever lol

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Fri Jan 29 2021
1

French tings

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Fri Jan 29 2021
1

Maybe I was listening in the wrong context, but I found his singing voice grating. It could have been groundbreaking at the time, but for me it blurred into the background a bit until he started shouting occasionally

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