Jacques Brel : Orly
Final albums can be fascinating. Bowie's Black Star remains my favorite and most emotional listen of 2016 and Warren Zevon performing Dylan's "Knocking On Heaven's Door" on The Wind is an act of sheer courage. Well in 1977, the theatrical French singing legend Jacques Brel was down to one lung thanks to a 100 filterless cigarette a day habit. He knew he had terminal cancer when he entered the studio to record Brel a.k.a Les Marquises.
Brel's health was failing so much he could only manage three takes per song. If you think you're hearing a bad note, that's because you are. Tant pis pour toi!
Brel had written many of the songs in the South Pacific where he had retired to sail around in his yacht. His home was in the French Indonesian Maquesas Islands.
To avoid giving interviews, Brel returned to the Marquesas Islands but in his home country of France, word of the new album spread. A million fans placed advanced orders for Les Marquises.
Brel lived for eleven more months. The only comment he ever publicly made about the album is that he hated the cover.