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
boy, he really MEANT IT when he sang, huh? i love how crazy this sounds now - i wonder if it did then, too.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
It’s ok, but could’ve died without listening
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.
fun for the whole family
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.
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 ]
Great voice! Even understood a bit with my French. Very fun
I'm surprised how long I have been listening to this record.
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?
I liked this a lot more than expected.
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.
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.
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.
I am not sure why I needed to listen to this. No need to listen to but thankfully it was a short album.
The most french thing since Jean Valjean, Emanuele Macron and René Artois sat atop La tour Eiffel eating an amuse bouche of escargots avec garlic et oignons. Rating: 1.5/5 Playlist track: Les jardins du casino Date listened: 04/02/23
Love it! Fun French music
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.
First French album listened to. Was very surprised by the showmanship and general music
What a story teller :D
Dont forget it's french
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.
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
Very chill, feels like im on a terrace in Paris
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 🇧🇪
oui oui ah ah ah ah, ah aha ah
Tres bien! Je peut entendre cette disque longtemps
C'est la vie, baby.
le grand jacques
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.
I really liked the vocals and overall atmosphere this album creates. It’s very impressive
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
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.
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.
Didn't look up the lyrics, just feelin the vibes
It's Jacques Brel, what's not to like?
Goed begin, zeikerig eind
Easy listening if you want. Passionate, exciting, inspired performances.
Chanson francesa. Está bien y se sale de lo común de la lista. Un 4.
This is great! Love it!
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.
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.
Not my taste, but this guy is talented.
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
Smá legacy bónus út af Bowie tengingunni, en þetta er líka mjög flott live plata og skemmtileg.
I never heard this one before but it was rather disappointing
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.
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.
Great crooner. I enjoyed listening to this very much.
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
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.
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."
Nice flowing, autumny vibes. I'm not the biggest fan of chanson, but this is quite good. Best track is Amsterdam. 3.5/5
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.
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.
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"
frnech slay what can i say. this is female empowerment
som muito elegante, francesao (artista belga) com instrumentação rica
hij mag me altijd brellen
A great vocal talent
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.
Genius performer! Not the best collection of songs Imo...
Pretty good, like something out of a movie
silly french man got me jiving
Nice feeling, but must admit: completely new to me!
I was genuinely quite impressed by what is, unfortunately, a live album. He sings well. It is recorded as well as a live performance could be.
If you're looking for melodramatic ditties belted out in French, there is no better option. Such a great voice and incredible theatrical delivery! Knew a few of these from much inferior cover versions in English. Excellent in small doses, great recommendation. Like a number of Gallic cultural high points he was, of course, actually Belgian.
My favourite singer is Scott Walker and my favourite band is The Divine Comedy so Jacques Brel is patient zero for all the music I love. my French isn’t up to following the lyrics but what is undeniable is that these are extraordinary songs performed with fantastic intensity
Spotify. Interesting listen but nothing stood out
Interesting and decent but nothing else
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.
Interesting. Pretty good and apparently gets covered a lot. Investigate more.
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
An all right album
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
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... 🤔
Not really my kind of thing but didn’t hate it so 3 stars seems about right
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.
It's fine, even beautiful at times. But I don't need it and probably won't ever listen to it again.
french but kinda groovin
я такую дрянь не слушаю принципиально, мусор ...
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