Some of the earliest work of Jacques Brel – and some of the best as well! The collection is a massive overview of Brel's first recordings in the mid 50s – all original compositions that marked not only a new generation for songwriting in France, but a revision of the role of the male singer as well! Brel is at once sardonic and emotive – carefully balanced between
up-close observation and a slight sense of distance that shows in the wit he brings to the topics of his tunes. Arrangements are often simple and stylish – shifting strongly to fit the spirit of the songs, making for a slightly un-definable quality to the overall album – but in a way that also keeps things interesting. The work was recorded between
1953 and 1956, with backings by Andre Grassi, Michel Legrand, and Andre Popp – and the CD features a whopping 34 tracks that include "La Bastille", "La Haine", "Grand Jacques", "Il Pleut", "S'Il Te Faut", "A Deux", "Les Gens", "Saint Pierre", "Quand On N'A Que L'Amour", "La Foire", "Le Troubadour", "C'Est Comme Ca", "L'Accordeon De La Vie", and "L'Ange Dechu".