Jacques Brel: biography, best songs, interesting facts

Jacques Brel

Jacques Brel is not just a musician, this is a real phenomenon, a myth. He was a rebel by nature and lived by emotions. His performances are literally permeated with furious energy, and the concerts themselves were an enchanting show of their power. Few of the performers are capable of so sincerely, truly living songs, as the legendary Jacques did.

A brief biography of Jacques Brel and a lot of interesting facts about the singer read on our page.

short biography

Jacques Brel was born on April 8, 1929 in Brussels in the family of the manufacturer. Parents, because of their different interests, brought up a multi-faceted personality. If a Catholic father raised his sons in severity, the mother opened up another world. Jacques always remembered about her with tenderness. Thanks to my mother in a serious house, one could hear children's laughter every now and then.

At the age of 12, Jacques begins his studies at St. Louis College. At this time in it the talent for writing wakes up, he performs in performances. After 4 years, the young man is already writing plays for the theater troupe, which he creates with his friends.

In the postwar years, his life is divided into two parallel, but such different stories: in one he is engaged in the family business, and in the other - in creativity. In 1947, Jacques is a member of the Franche Cordee Association. This moment became fateful: he puts the play, begins to sing his songs, and also meets the future wife Misha. Jacques Brel marries her in 1950, and in the next - their daughter Chantal is born.

Record first album

In 1953, the first Brel album was released, which opens the door to the world of great music. And if the public has little interest in his songs, then the professionals immediately noticed the talent. One day, having heard Jacques, a representative of the Philips recording company Jacques Canetti invites a nugget to Paris. Forgetting everything, Brel rushes to the dream.

Lack of money, constant listening, endless work. Do not think that Brel is passing this difficult road without stumbling. The public was not ready for a new format, it was used to bright entertainment. While Jacques wins the listener, his wife gives birth to the second daughter, France.

An important role in the development of Brel was played by an acquaintance with the poet and performer Georges Brassens, already known at that time, who supported the young artist. And in 1954 the first album by Jacques Brel et ses chansons was released. Songs full of love immediately win the hearts of the public. Popularity overtakes the artist and is becoming stronger during his first tour. Now Brel lives with his family in the suburbs of Paris and continues to write and perform his works.

The flowering of the creative path

The beginning of the success of Jacques Brel is considered to be the album "Quand on n'a que l'amour, Heureux Pardons, ...", which was released in 1957 and was awarded the prestigious prize - the Grand Prix of the Charles Cros Academy.

By this time Brel lives in the capital of France, often performing, popular performers (Juliette Greco) include his songs in his repertoire. Brel's tour is not limited to Europe, he carries his music to the then colonial Africa.

In the summer of 1958, the spouses have a third daughter, Isabel. Misha and his children leave, far away from the hustle and bustle, back to Belgium, while the head of the family remains in the Paris Clichy district.

Philips continues to work with Brela. In 1959 the song "Ne me quitte pas" comes out and immediately becomes a hit. The 1960s for Jacques Brel is an endless cycle of events from constant performances, novels, tours. The whole world is now open for the singer: he conquered France, the Middle East, the USA and the USSR. Around the same period, he has a new passion - airplanes.

In October 1961, the singer successfully held a concert in Olympia. The audience is delighted, the critics are bewitched. And what about the artist himself? He understands that fatigue is beginning to pester. But the favorite thing to leave can not. In 1962, together with the change of the record company, Brel seemed to open his second wind. He writes a song, which is destined to remain one of the main in his work ("Plain Country"). After the death of his parents (his father died in January 1964, his mother died in March), Jacques presents the composition Amsterdam. The audience greets the song with a standing ovation.

The decision to leave the stage

Jacques Brel achieved the popularity for which he was so eager. But right now he decides to leave the stage. The news sounds like a bolt from the blue. He admits to being devastated. Brel's last concert was held in Rube in 1967. Brel does not disappear, it opens in itself the actor. He performs in the musical "The Man from La Mancha", and after, year after year, he starred in the films: "My Uncle Benjamin" (1969), "Mont-Dragon" (1970), "Franz" (1971), "Adventure is an adventure "(1972) et al. The career of an actor ends. In 1973, Jacques Brel learns that he is mortally ill, and gradually gets away from prying eyes: on his own yacht with his daughters goes on a journey.

last years of life

In November 1975, Jacques Brel's yacht stops on the Marquis Islands. Sometimes he visits Paris to record new songs, and Brussels for a medical examination. He is still unable to leave the islands, even though the climate is not suitable for his health. In 1977, Brel returns to Paris. He releases the latest album, BREL, which is instantly sold out, even though no advertising campaign is being carried out at the request of the artist.

In 1978, the artist becomes ill. He dies in a hospital near Paris on October 9 from a pulmonary embolus. The body of Jacques Brel is returned to the Marquises.

Interesting Facts

  • In the children's organization of scouts, Jacques Brel got the nickname “Laughing Seal” for his sense of humor.
  • Jacques Brel's first big novel is called "Puneets". The book is written under the impression from the works of Jules Verne and Jack London.
  • Jacques Berel is the pseudonym of the singer, under which he performed for six months.
  • The author of the Elvis Presley Mort Schuman hits featured in promoting Brel in the USA.
  • In the fall of 1965, Brel performed in Moscow.
  • Jacques Brel is depicted on the 1988 Belgian postage stamp.
  • In 1970, the musician receives the long-awaited license of the pilot of the aircraft.
  • The last refuge of the great and bright Brel is located on the Marquise Islands, near the grave of Gauguin.

Best songs

"Quand on n'a que l'Amour" (When there is only love) was released in 1957. This is one of the most popular singles of Jacques Brel. In it, the author and performer says that only love can conquer human vices, stop wars.

"Quand on n'a que l'Amour" (listen)

"Ne me quitte pas" (Do not leave me) was recorded by French musician Jacques Brel on September 11, 1959. For all the time of its existence, it was performed by many singers from different countries and translated into several languages. One of the most popular versions belongs Nine Simon. Jacques Brel published his first essay in his native Flemish language in the compilation "Laat Me Niet Alleen", 13 years later, he again turned to the hit and included it in his album of the same name. Undoubtedly, this song is the most famous essay by Jacques Brel and at the same time it can be safely called an unusually lyrical and touching love ballad. She was dedicated to the author's parting with her lover, actress and singer Suzanne Gabriello. Despite its name, it is known that it was Jacques who initiated the break. It is curious that the lines "And I will give you pearls of rain ..." are inspired by the melody Hungarian Rhapsody №6 F. Liszt. In addition to Nina Simone, their version of this hit was presented to the public in due time: Edith Piaf, Marlene Dietrich, Julio Iglesias, StingMadonna Frank Sinatra and many other performers.

"Ne me quitte pas" (listen)

"Le plat pays" (Flat country). The song, written by Jacques Brel in 1962, is filled with love for the motherland. In it he tells how beautiful Belgium is.

"Madeleine" (Madeleine). Song of 1961 about love and hope. The hero waits and believes that Madeleine is about to come. The song is about the process of anxious waiting. In this sense, it is similar to the composition of Mathilde (Matilda), which was released in 1964.

"Amsterdam" (Amsterdam) Jacques Brel's hit, written on the motive of the English song "Green Sleeves". In it the world of sailors opens to the listener, life is shown here as a seething cauldron of passions. Released in 1964.

"Amsterdam" (listen)

An explosion of emotions, a penetrating gaze and energy - these are the little things that distinguished Jacques Brel from other representatives of the French scene. During one speech, he lived several lives. He was the star that, even when extinguished, leaves the light.

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