Brel by Jacques Brel


Les Marquises () is Jacques Brel's thirteenth and final album. Also known as Brel, the album was released 17 November 1977 by Barclay (96 010). This was the singer's first album of new songs in ten years and was released a year before his death from lung cancer. The album's themes include death ("Jaures", "Vieillir" "Jojo"), parting ("Orly") and in several songs Brel evokes his career in the 1960s ("Les F..", "Jojo", "Knokke-le-Zoutte Tango", "Vieillir"). The album was recorded live in Studio B at the Barclay Studios on Avenue Hoche, Paris. With his health failing, Brel was only able to record at most two songs per day. Brel returned to the Marquesas Islands shortly after the recording sessions.

The album was treated with great secrecy before its release and was delivered to reviewers in a reinforced metal box with a timed, electronic padlock

to stop them listening to it before its release date. No airplay of the album was allowed and no singles were released until after its release, and there were no interviews or promotion given by Brel regarding the album. Despite this, the album reached number one in France and earned Brel a gold record for selling 100,000 albums in 1978 and went platinum in 1981. It is estimated that the album sold 1,127,100 copies.

The album was reissued on 23 September 2003 under the title Les Marquises as part of the 16-CD box set Boîte à Bonbons by Barclay (980 817-7).