Jacques Brel

Quand On N'a Que l'Amour [10 CDs]

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The ruthless recycling that has befallen Jacques Brel's catalog over the years has thrown-up any number of collections illustrating his earliest recordings. The CD release of Grand Jacques Integrale 172 Titres, however, is the first to make a clean sweep of his first three years in the public eye, collecting both the Et Ses Chansons and Jacques Brel 2 albums in their entirety, plus five other songs originally released on EP between 1955-1958. None of these latter performances are crucial to the Brel canon -- the reason, perhaps, why they never made it onto his albums in the first place. The stern "S'il Te Faut," the militaristic "La Bastille," and the somewhat slight "Les Pieds Dans Le Ruisseau" were all recorded with Michel Legrand & His Orchestra during 1955 -- these tracks were appended to later vinyl reissues of Brel's debut album, itself retitled Grand Jacques on such occasions. Two further tracks complete the CD. "Priere Paienne" hails from a session with Andre Popp in 1956, while another Popp collaboration, "Demain L'On Se Marie," was recorded in 1958 and marks the debut of Brel in duet, as he is joined by a (sadly unnamed) female vocalist for a wry examination of love before marriage. Oddly, this latter was included on the American compilation Ne Me Quitte Pas, where it stood out like the proverbial sore thumb. Here, it falls as the final track on the disc and serves much the same purpose as the preceding "Les Bles" did on the original Jacques Brel 2 album -- a bit of fun after the main attraction.

Track Listing - Disc 3

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:38
2 4:04
3 2:41
4 3:07
5 3:32
6 3:00
7 2:37
8 2:56
9 3:06
10 3:04
11 2:21
12 2:38
13 2:20
14 4:46
15 2:56
16 3:33
17 3:31
18 2:53
19 2:59
20 2:22
21 3:21
blue highlight denotes track pick