Petula Clark

Live 65

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Petula Clark has not only enjoyed a uniquely long career -- at 53 years and counting -- but she has also had overlapping careers in the English and French languages. This live album, recorded at the Paris Olympia on April 8, 1965, captures a Clark concert before a French audience, all but one of the songs ("Downtown" is the exception) sung in French, with an orchestral backing. She's in excellent voice and at the top of her form, in a relaxed, playful manner as she moves easily between ballads and more modern rhythm numbers with a slightly soulful edge. The repertory reflects her French recorded output, of course, and so she does numbers written by Serge Gainsbourg and Jacques Brel, as well as adaptations of songs like "The Lonely Bull" amid French versions of "I Know a Place." For obvious reasons, the album was never released outside of French-speaking markets and was scarcely known by Clark's English-speaking audience, but completists may well want either the vinyl version or the Magic records CD reissue.