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Jacques Brel – Infiniment (2x SACD, 2003) [2.0 & 5.1] {PS3 ISO + FLAC}

Jacques Brel – Infiniment (2x SACD, 2003) [2.0 & 5.1]
PS3 Rip | SACD ISO | DST64 2.0 & 5.1 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 136:30 minutes | Artwork inside | 8,57 GB
or FLAC 2.0 Stereo (converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | Artwork separately | 3,1 GB

Jacques Brel was Belgian-born singer/songwriter best known in France, but he also achieved a cult fan base in the United States for his poetic cynicism and sharp lyrics. This digitally remastered double disc compilation of the best songs from the late French songwriter/poet to commemorate the 25th Anniversary of his passing. A total of 40 tracks, including the last 5 tracks that Brel was working on at the time of his death which are the center of a controversy between producer Eddie Barclay and Universal CEO Pascal Negre, who made the decision to include them here. They are: “Sans Exigences”, “Avec El‚gance”, “Mai 40”, “L’amour Est Mort” and “La cathédrale”.

As of the fall of 2004, the only significant Jacques Brel title in print in the U.S. was Verve Records’ 16-track 1988 compilation Master Serie (although, of course, many imports were available to Americans through mail order). That suggested the time was right to bring out a new collection, and DRG has licensed the 40-track, two-CD 2003 Universal International album Infiniment (“Infinitely”) for domestic release. In France, and among Brel aficionados, it is the subject of some controversy because of the inclusion of five previously unreleased songs — “La Cathédrale (The Cathedral),” “L’Amour Est Mort (Love Is Dead),” “Mai 40 (May 1940),” “Avec Élégance (With Elegance),” and “Sans Exigences (Without Emergencies).” The five were recorded at the sessions for Brel’s final album, Brel, in September/October 1977, but not included on it. Eddie Barclayof Barclay Records was once quoted as saying of them, “Jacques didn’t want them to come out and so they won’t be released.” Yet, here they are, with an ambiguous disclaimer by Brel’s musical collaborators François Rauber and Gérard Jouannest: “The following titles (‘With Elegance,’ ‘Without Emergencies,’ & ‘Love Is Dead’) are unfinished songs which Jacques Brel and we, ourselves, would like to do over. The reason for which has not been divulged.” It may be that they mention only those three of the five tracks because the musical backing for them is particularly sparse, usually only a keyboard instrument or two far in the background. For the average American listener who knows Brel from “If You Go Away,” “Seasons in the Sun,” and the musical revue Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris, however, the effect of the inclusion of the unreleased songs may have more to do with sequencing than content. The new material is right up front on the first disc, just after Brel’s version of “La Quête (The Quest)” (aka “The Impossible Dream” from Man of la Mancha), and the effect is to reverse the usual running order of a compilation, beginning with the artist’s later material, when his singing is deeper and more mannered, rather than his earlier recordings. Also, it means that an American won’t hear a familiar melody until the 12th track of CD one when “Quand On N’A Que L’Amour” (translated here as “When We Have Only Love,” but more commonly known as “If We Only Have Love”), one of Brel’s biggest hits, begins. After that, as Thelma Blitz’s liner notes put it, the rest of CD one and all of CD two “are a crème de la crème ‘best of’ covering the span of his career.” DRG has helpfully provided literal translations of the French lyrics, which non-French-speaking Americans familiar only with the Rod McKuen and Mort Shuman/Eric Blau adaptations will find illuminating, since they demonstrate that those English lyrics range from accurate equivalents of Brel’s meaning to fairly broad revisions. Of course, Brel’s own interpretations of his songs remain definitive, and in these sonically improved recordings he comes across with all his dramatic, compelling power intact.


01. La quete
02. La cathédrale
03. L’amour est mort
04. Mai 40
05. Avec elegance
06. Sans exigences
07. Les marquises
08. Orly
09. La ville s’endormait
10. Jojo
11. J’arrive
12. Quand on n’a que l’amour
13. Le plat pays
14. Mon enfance
15. Les vieux
16. La chanson de Jacky
17. La valse a mille temps
18. Le prochain amour

01. La chanson des vieux amants
02. Ne me quitte pas
03. Amsterdam
04. La biere
05. Bruxelles
06. Le diable “ca va”
07. Il nous faut regarder
08. L’enfance
09. Ces gens-la
10. Les bonbons
11. Les flamandes
12. Les bourgeois
13. Jef
14. Mathilde
15. Marieke
16. Madeleine
17. Les bigotes
18. Vesoul
19. Le moribond
20. Au suivant
21. Le dernier repas
22. Je suis un soir d’ete



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