Friday, April 2, 2010

Bad Reputation

Georges Brassens is to my opinion the best French singer-songwriter musician of the XXth century. And actually most of people who love French music think the same and I can't explain why he's so less famous outside France than Gainsbourg, Brel or Edith Piaf. So you can imagine how pleased I am to welcome the release of a CD of Brassens sung in English. It's called Bad Reputation, Pierre de Gaillande Sings George Brassens and features Keren Ann. Pierre de Gaillande is Franco-american and has worked, among others, with the great Vic Chesnutt. Both translation and music are very good. In stores June 8th 2010!

A nice quote that can be found on Barbès' website: "He [Brassens] is both a national outcast and hero in France, yet most of us don't know him on this side of the Channel. His lyrics were more subversive than Dylan orthe Sex Pistols and he wrote better tunes than either." Alex Kapranos, of Franz Ferdinand. quoted in The Guardian October 2006

A few more:
"A few years ago, in the course of a literary discussion, someone asked who was the best poet at the moment in France. I responded without hesitation: Georges Brassens."
Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel Prize for Literature 1981

"I believe it is a mortal sin not to listen to Brassens."
Jacques Brel, songwriter



curieux ! Brassens est très connu en italie par exemple.
je n'aime pas la chanson française sauf Barbara (que tu cites peu), Gribouille, Eva, et Léo ferré. Des personnalités beaucoup moins ennuyeuses que Brassens.
C'est l'italie que j'adore avec Mina en tête...
Puis Pravo et vanoni et un peu Oxa !

LFC said...

J'aime aussi beaucoup Barbara et Ferré. De grands artistes. Mais aucun n'a à mon sens le génie de Brassens. Ses mélodies sont les plus belles (et souvent écoutables même sans textes ce qui est rarissime dans la chanson), ses textes sont tout simplement les plus profonds et les mieux écrits, son jeu de guitare a un swing digne d'un jazzman et ses arrangements tout en sobriété font qu'il n'a toujours pas vieilli (alors que certaines chansons de Brel ou Ferré pour ne citer que des grands ont pris un coup de vieux), et il a une interprétation en émotion contenue, une manière de poser sa voix de manière légèrement décalée, donc swinguante qui en fait également un grand interprète. Et sa personnalité est au contraire passionnante, à la fois engagé mais pas donneur de leçon, radical mais tolérant, humaniste mais pas niait et enfin doté d'un grand sens de l'humour!

Tanner said...

Hi I was looking for a place to ask you something and I couldn't find just a general question area so I'll do it here: Is there any way you could translate the song "Le Temps De L'Amour" by Francoise Hardy? I've found two translations on the web and they're both really bad. I think one of them was just plugged into a translator site and the other was from a guy who wasn't even close. I would really like to see a good translation. If you could do that I would really appreciate it. Thank you.

Guuzbourg said...

Offtopic: please change the URL to my blog to (different look, same feeling!)

Penélope said...

Loved your blog. I have a radio show in Brazil that plays only French music. Your blog is certainly gonna help me find stuff to play on my show.

LFC said...

Guuzbourg: done

Tanner: don't have much time now, but I'll try to do it.

Pénélope: happy to read it :-) and I hope you'll find some music here. I'm also a huge fan of brazilian music (vinicius de Moraes, Buarque, veloso, funk carioca ...) By the way, there is a great song of Brassens named Pénélope.

Penélope said...

Boebis, I love that song, it's so beautiful. I don't really speak French, but whenever I really love a French song, I take the time to translate it, so that I can understand the lyrics, and Pénélope has the most beautiful words. I specially like when he says "en attendant l'retour
d'un Ulysse de banlieue" (sorry if I misspelled something).

LFC said...

I really like this part too :-) I wish I could translate more of his songs. But its 10 times more difficult than to translate any other French artists, and its also more frustating because I can translate rawly the meaning, but I'm not good enough in english to translate the beauty of his lyrics.

Anonymous said...

That song is on the Bad Reputation CD. It is a good one.