Jacques Brel – Les Bonbons (1966/2013) [HDTracks FLAC 24bit/96kHz]

Jacques Brel – Les Bonbons (1966/2013)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 47:21 minutes | 1,14 GB | Genre: Pop, Chanson
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | Front Cover | © Barclay
Recorded: 2 avril 1963; 9 janvier 1964

The seventh album from Jacques Brel, released in 1966, is a compilation of two earlier releases recorded in 1963 and 1964. As such, it’s almost a greatest hits package from the middle stages of Brel’s career. The title track Les Bonbons is a chuckle-worthy romp and one of the highlights of the set. Au Suivant, originally appearing on Brel’s 1964 self-titled album, is one of his classics and was a smash at the time of release.

A straightforward reissue of a 1966 LP, Les Bonbons was, and remains, a solid compilation of Brel’s early-’60s output. At this time firmly partnered with cohorts François Rauber and Gérard Jouannest, the songs on this album are full, rich, and orchestrated to the chanson’s best advantage. Essentially a best-of the best so far, Les Bonbons layers the melancholy end of life (“Les Vieux”) alongside the bullring’s “Les Toros” and the oddly jarring “Les Filles et Les Chiens.” This somewhat jarring comparison of man’s best friend with man’s main squeeze uses a rather annoying blast of organ to punctuate Brel’s own rather understated delivery. “Le Dernier Repas,” meanwhile, showcases a mad tom-tom beat and remains one of the singer’s rather vehement responses to those who constantly criticized what they perceived to be his attacks on France’s bourgeois. The title track is, of course, one of the highlights of the set. A roaring triumph in live performance, here, even without an audience to guffaw at Brel’s spirited delivery, “Les Bonbons” is still a chuckle-worthy romp. Likewise, “Au Suivant,” originally appearing on 1964’s eponymous LP, is one of Brel’s classics. A smash at the time of release, this unlikely story of a novice military conscript’s travails at the beginning of training allowed audiences to feel the young man’s pain, even as it took humorous pokes at his fears. It’s a fine compilation, although with the onslaught of late-’90s/early-2000s CD reissues on the market, there are better to be had. The great reproduction of the original LP cover art is a bonus, for sure, but the content will be of little help to those fans who prefer their hits all in a row. -AllMusic Review by Amy Hanson

1 Les bonbons 03:31
2 Les vieux 04:05
3 La parlote 03:26
4 Le dernier repas 03:26
5 Titine 02:25
6 Au suivant 03:06
7 Les toros 02:19
8 La fanette 04:07
9 J’aimais 04:02
10 Les filles et les chiens 02:56
11 Les bigotes 02:41
12 Les fenetres 02:46
13 Quand maman reviendra 03:46
14 Les amants de coeur 04:45

Jacques Brel – vocals
François Rauber – orchestra conductor
Jean Corti – accordion