Behind The Brel - The Story Of A Musical Genius

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01*2010031620120513

Marc Almond invites Radio 2 listeners to explore the music and unconventional life of one of France's most revered singer-songwriters - Jacques Brel.

Largely unknown in the English speaking world (mainly due to him singing in French), Jacques Brel is considered one of the great songwriters of the 20th Century, whose lyrical content is poetically introspective and delivered with an honesty few could deny.

Tacking subjects such as love, death and social issues, Brel's music has been translated by artists such as David Bowie, Scott Walker, Shirley Bassey, Joan Baez, Barbra Streisand, Ray Charles, Frank Sinatra, Nina Simone, Dusty Springfield, Petula Clark, Rod McKuen, Terry Jacks, Nirvana and Vera Lynn.

Brel songs, which became major hits in the English-speaking world, include Ne Me Quitte Pas (If You Go Away), Seasons in the Sun, Jacky and Amsterdam.

And in this three part series, Marc Almond will investigate why some Brel songs translated well and others didn't.

In the 1950s French society was heavily influenced by the philosophy espoused in Jean-Paul Sarte's Existentialism and Humanism and Marc will examine how this had a direct impact on Brel's songwriting and unconventional lifestyle.

Dubbed the eternal adolescent" we will hear how Brel lived alone in Paris, despite having a wife and three children in his home town of Brussels, in order to preserve his "artistic inspiration".

A man incapable of living a "pipe and slippers" life-style, we'll discover how his sense of freedom was so strong he attempted to circumnavigate the globe on a sail boat after sensationally quitting singing whilst at the peak of his career.

Contributors include Rod McKuen, who made If You Go Away famous; his daughter France Brel; Seasons In The Sun singer Terry Jacks; the Irish singer Gavin Friday; the French-Irish singer Camille O'Sullivan; Momus (aka singer Nick Currie); opera singer Toby Spence; Peter Straker; translator Paul Buck; singer-songwriter Robb Johnson, who released an album celebrating the work of Brel on his own record label; actress Elly Stone; and Jean-Michel Boris from the Paris Olympia, where Brel performed his last concert.

Marc Almond delivers a personal exploration of the life and works of Jacques Brel."

(01/03)

Marc Almond invites you to explore the music and unconventional life of one of France's most revered singer-songwriters - Jacques Brel.

Brel songs, which became major hits in the English-speaking world, include Ne Me Quitte Pas (If You Go Away), Seasons in the Sun, Jacky and Amsterdam. And in this three part series, Marc Almond will investigate why some Brel songs translated well and others didn't.

Throughout the series, Marc Almond gives his own thoughts on Brel's songs including Jacky and Amsterdam.

Part 1 is an introduction to Brel with a special look at Ne Me Quitte Pas.

01*2010031620120513

Marc Almond invites Radio 2 listeners to explore the music and unconventional life of one of France's most revered singer-songwriters - Jacques Brel.

Largely unknown in the English speaking world (mainly due to him singing in French), Jacques Brel is considered one of the great songwriters of the 20th Century, whose lyrical content is poetically introspective and delivered with an honesty few could deny.

Tacking subjects such as love, death and social issues, Brel's music has been translated by artists such as David Bowie, Scott Walker, Shirley Bassey, Joan Baez, Barbra Streisand, Ray Charles, Frank Sinatra, Nina Simone, Dusty Springfield, Petula Clark, Rod McKuen, Terry Jacks, Nirvana and Vera Lynn.

Brel songs, which became major hits in the English-speaking world, include Ne Me Quitte Pas (If You Go Away), Seasons in the Sun, Jacky and Amsterdam.

And in this three part series, Marc Almond will investigate why some Brel songs translated well and others didn't.

In the 1950s French society was heavily influenced by the philosophy espoused in Jean-Paul Sarte's Existentialism and Humanism and Marc will examine how this had a direct impact on Brel's songwriting and unconventional lifestyle.

Dubbed the eternal adolescent" we will hear how Brel lived alone in Paris, despite having a wife and three children in his home town of Brussels, in order to preserve his "artistic inspiration".

A man incapable of living a "pipe and slippers" life-style, we'll discover how his sense of freedom was so strong he attempted to circumnavigate the globe on a sail boat after sensationally quitting singing whilst at the peak of his career.

Contributors include Rod McKuen, who made If You Go Away famous; his daughter France Brel; Seasons In The Sun singer Terry Jacks; the Irish singer Gavin Friday; the French-Irish singer Camille O'Sullivan; Momus (aka singer Nick Currie); opera singer Toby Spence; Peter Straker; translator Paul Buck; singer-songwriter Robb Johnson, who released an album celebrating the work of Brel on his own record label; actress Elly Stone; and Jean-Michel Boris from the Paris Olympia, where Brel performed his last concert.

Marc Almond delivers a personal exploration of the life and works of Jacques Brel."

(01/03)

Marc Almond invites you to explore the music and unconventional life of one of France's most revered singer-songwriters - Jacques Brel.

Brel songs, which became major hits in the English-speaking world, include Ne Me Quitte Pas (If You Go Away), Seasons in the Sun, Jacky and Amsterdam. And in this three part series, Marc Almond will investigate why some Brel songs translated well and others didn't.

Throughout the series, Marc Almond gives his own thoughts on Brel's songs including Jacky and Amsterdam.

Part 1 is an introduction to Brel with a special look at Ne Me Quitte Pas.

02*2010032320120520

In part two of Behind The Brel: The Story Of A Musical Genius, Marc Almond looks at the darker side of the legendary French singer-songwriter.

Apart from Ne Me Quitte Pas (If You Go Away), the Brel song that has been adapted for the English speaking world the most is Le Moribond.

Its English translation is the rather cheery sounding Seasons In The Sun but it's actually a story about a dying man wishing to see his loved ones for the very last time.

Terry Jacks had a huge hit with Seasons In The Sun in America, Canada and the UK in 1973, and it was covered by Westlife in more recent times, but Marc Almond discovers that no one quite sings Brel like Brel.

Marc examines Brel's pre-occupation with death, loss and loneliness and how living as a young boy in occupied Belgium during the Second World War had a profound impact on his life and work.

The programme also investigates how the French philosophical culture of the 50s would have a major influence on him.

As well as Seasons in the Sun, the songs featured in part two include Quand On N'a Que L'Amour (If We Only Have Love), Amsterdam, La Mort, Au Suivant, La Colombe and J'Arrive.

Marc Almond looks at the darker side of French singer-songwriter Jacques Brel.

Marc Almond invites you to explore the music and unconventional life of one of France's most revered singer-songwriters - Jacques Brel.

Largely unknown in the English speaking world (mainly due to him singing in French), Jacques Brel is considered one of the great songwriters of the 20th Century, whose lyrical content is poetically introspective and delivered with an honesty few could deny.

Tacking subjects such as love, death and social issues, Brel's music has been translated by artists such as David Bowie, Scott Walker, Shirley Bassey, Joan Baez, Barbra Streisand, Ray Charles, Frank Sinatra, Nina Simone, Dusty Springfield, Petula Clark, Rod McKuen, Terry Jacks, Nirvana and Vera Lynn.

Brel songs, which became major hits in the English-speaking world, include Ne Me Quitte Pas (If You Go Away), Seasons in the Sun, Jacky and Amsterdam. And in this three part series, Marc Almond will investigate why some Brel songs translated well and others didn't.

Throughout the series, Marc Almond gives his own thoughts on Brel's songs including Jacky and Amsterdam.

Part 2 examines the darker side of Brel and his interest in songs about death and war.

02*2010032320120520

In part two of Behind The Brel: The Story Of A Musical Genius, Marc Almond looks at the darker side of the legendary French singer-songwriter.

Apart from Ne Me Quitte Pas (If You Go Away), the Brel song that has been adapted for the English speaking world the most is Le Moribond.

Its English translation is the rather cheery sounding Seasons In The Sun but it's actually a story about a dying man wishing to see his loved ones for the very last time.

Terry Jacks had a huge hit with Seasons In The Sun in America, Canada and the UK in 1973, and it was covered by Westlife in more recent times, but Marc Almond discovers that no one quite sings Brel like Brel.

Marc examines Brel's pre-occupation with death, loss and loneliness and how living as a young boy in occupied Belgium during the Second World War had a profound impact on his life and work.

The programme also investigates how the French philosophical culture of the 50s would have a major influence on him.

As well as Seasons in the Sun, the songs featured in part two include Quand On N'a Que L'Amour (If We Only Have Love), Amsterdam, La Mort, Au Suivant, La Colombe and J'Arrive.

Marc Almond looks at the darker side of French singer-songwriter Jacques Brel.

Marc Almond invites you to explore the music and unconventional life of one of France's most revered singer-songwriters - Jacques Brel.

Largely unknown in the English speaking world (mainly due to him singing in French), Jacques Brel is considered one of the great songwriters of the 20th Century, whose lyrical content is poetically introspective and delivered with an honesty few could deny.

Tacking subjects such as love, death and social issues, Brel's music has been translated by artists such as David Bowie, Scott Walker, Shirley Bassey, Joan Baez, Barbra Streisand, Ray Charles, Frank Sinatra, Nina Simone, Dusty Springfield, Petula Clark, Rod McKuen, Terry Jacks, Nirvana and Vera Lynn.

Brel songs, which became major hits in the English-speaking world, include Ne Me Quitte Pas (If You Go Away), Seasons in the Sun, Jacky and Amsterdam. And in this three part series, Marc Almond will investigate why some Brel songs translated well and others didn't.

Throughout the series, Marc Almond gives his own thoughts on Brel's songs including Jacky and Amsterdam.

Part 2 examines the darker side of Brel and his interest in songs about death and war.

03 LAST*2010033020120527

In part three of Behind the Brel: The Story of a Musical Genius, Marc Almond charts Jacques Brel's unconventional side and how he turned his back on family life in Belgium to pursue his dream of being a singer in France.

This episode also looks at how Brel sensationally quit singing at the height of his career before turning his hand to films - both directing and acting.

We also hear how his sense of freedom was so strong he undertook a trip to circumnavigate the globe on a sail boat.

Meanwhile singer and actress Elly Stone explains the American adaptation of Jacques Brel's song - La Valse a Mille Temps which was brought to life in the States as Carousel for the musical Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris".

Stone explains the rather difficult translation process used for Carousel.

The programme also looks at Brel's last days (when was battling lung cancer) and examines his legacy.

Contributors in this episode include US singer-songwriter Rod Mckuen, Opera singer Toby Spence, Brel's daughter France Brel and Jean-Michel Boris who was in charge of the Olympia In Paris for Brel's last concert.

Marc Almond looks at how Brel sensationally quit singing at the height of his career."

Marc Almond invites you to explore the music and unconventional life of one of France's most revered singer-songwriters - Jacques Brel.

Largely unknown in the English speaking world (mainly due to him singing in French), Jacques Brel is considered one of the great songwriters of the 20th Century, whose lyrical content is poetically introspective and delivered with an honesty few could deny.

Tacking subjects such as love, death and social issues, Brel's music has been translated by artists such as David Bowie, Scott Walker, Shirley Bassey, Joan Baez, Barbra Streisand, Ray Charles, Frank Sinatra, Nina Simone, Dusty Springfield, Petula Clark, Rod McKuen, Terry Jacks, Nirvana and Vera Lynn.

Brel songs, which became major hits in the English-speaking world, include Ne Me Quitte Pas (If You Go Away), Seasons in the Sun, Jacky and Amsterdam. And in this three part series, Marc Almond will investigate why some Brel songs translated well and others didn't.

Throughout the series, Marc Almond gives his own thoughts on Brel's songs including Jacky and Amsterdam.

Part 3 looks at Brel's unconventional lifestyle, how he sensationally quit live singing at the height of his career and his lasting legacy.

03 LAST*2010033020120527

In part three of Behind the Brel: The Story of a Musical Genius, Marc Almond charts Jacques Brel's unconventional side and how he turned his back on family life in Belgium to pursue his dream of being a singer in France.

This episode also looks at how Brel sensationally quit singing at the height of his career before turning his hand to films - both directing and acting.

We also hear how his sense of freedom was so strong he undertook a trip to circumnavigate the globe on a sail boat.

Meanwhile singer and actress Elly Stone explains the American adaptation of Jacques Brel's song - La Valse a Mille Temps which was brought to life in the States as Carousel for the musical Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris".

Stone explains the rather difficult translation process used for Carousel.

The programme also looks at Brel's last days (when was battling lung cancer) and examines his legacy.

Contributors in this episode include US singer-songwriter Rod Mckuen, Opera singer Toby Spence, Brel's daughter France Brel and Jean-Michel Boris who was in charge of the Olympia In Paris for Brel's last concert.

Marc Almond looks at how Brel sensationally quit singing at the height of his career."

Marc Almond invites you to explore the music and unconventional life of one of France's most revered singer-songwriters - Jacques Brel.

Largely unknown in the English speaking world (mainly due to him singing in French), Jacques Brel is considered one of the great songwriters of the 20th Century, whose lyrical content is poetically introspective and delivered with an honesty few could deny.

Tacking subjects such as love, death and social issues, Brel's music has been translated by artists such as David Bowie, Scott Walker, Shirley Bassey, Joan Baez, Barbra Streisand, Ray Charles, Frank Sinatra, Nina Simone, Dusty Springfield, Petula Clark, Rod McKuen, Terry Jacks, Nirvana and Vera Lynn.

Brel songs, which became major hits in the English-speaking world, include Ne Me Quitte Pas (If You Go Away), Seasons in the Sun, Jacky and Amsterdam. And in this three part series, Marc Almond will investigate why some Brel songs translated well and others didn't.

Throughout the series, Marc Almond gives his own thoughts on Brel's songs including Jacky and Amsterdam.

Part 3 looks at Brel's unconventional lifestyle, how he sensationally quit live singing at the height of his career and his lasting legacy.