Jacques Brel


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Released to mark his second visit to New York in 1966, Jacques Brel's third American album, and second for Reprise, was essentially a reprise of 1963's Jacques Brel Accompagne Pas Francois Rauber et Son Orchestra LP. The fact that the bulk of its contents were, thus, already three years old was apparently regarded as being of little consequence. Four additional songs were appended to that set -- the slinky neo-spy theme "Une Ile," taken from the 1962 Les Bourgeois EP; "Les Berges" and "La Caporal Casse" from 1964's Le Plat Pays; and, dramatically, "Tango Funebre" from 1964's Jacques Brel 6 album. As such, it is very much the twin of its Reprise label predecessor, which, of course, drew from this same stockpile for its contents -- the difference being, the stockpile was somewhat healthier last time around. At the time of release, Encore was remarkable for the number of non-album rarities which it includes (rare, that is, in American terms); today, however, far better collections abound, and the album is most worthy for its jacket and the translated lyrics, which deserve a scrutiny all of their own. One can take literal translation too far, you know.

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