Singer, songwriter Jacques Brel
birth name: Jacques Romain Georges Brel

Jacques Brel

April 8, 1929, Brussels, Belgium ~ October 9, 1978, Bobigny, France

Singer/songwriter Jacques Brel created and performed a catalog of literate, thoughtful, and theatrical songs that brought him a large, devoted following in France. His audience eventually extended internationally, making him a major influence on English-speaking writers and performers including Leonard Cohen and David Bowie, while translations of his songs were recorded by a wide range of performers from the Kingston Trio to Frank Sinatra. ~ Allmusic: Jacques Brel ~ retrieved April 8, 2014 © Allmusic

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Although the content of his material was deemed too controversial by family and friends, Brel persevered, and by 1955 he had recorded his debut studio album, entitled Grand Jacques. […] By the close of the decade Jacques had achieved his star status. Towards the end of the 1950s, Brels musical style shifted. Influenced by pianists Gérard Jouannest and Francois Rauber, his music took a more melancholic turn. Lyrically, he began to deal with more complex themes of life and death, from both spiritual and psychological perspectives. He also employed metaphor in his lyrics to make social commentaries, often dealing with issues such as the middle class obsession for material possessions, prostitution, alcoholism, and drug addiction. ~ French Linguistics: Jacques Brel ~ retrieved April 8, 2014 © French Linguistics

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