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Jacques The Lad: Jacques Brel

Graeme Thomson, Guardian, The, 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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