Jacques The Lad: Jacques Brel
Graeme Thomson, The Guardian, 6 February 2009
FIRST THINGS FIRST. Try to forget that Jacques Brel, the Belgian singer-songwriter, is indirectly responsible for Terry Jacks's 'Seasons in the Sun'. Forget also for a moment Scott Walker, whose obsession with Brel in the late 1960s tends to dominate discussions about the chansonnier, with largely obfuscatory results. Brel's much-translated songs of sex, death, bruised romance and equivocal cynicism have influenced generations of artists, but to understand why, it's necessary to return to the source.
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