Les Marquises

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Les Marquises
Brel Album.jpg
Studio album by Jacques Brel
Released 17 November 1977
Recorded 5 September –
1 October 1977
Studio Hoche, Paris
Genre Chanson
Length 66 minutes
Label Barclay/Universal
Jacques Brel chronology
Ne Me Quitte Pas
(1972)Ne Me Quitte Pas1972
Les Marquises
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic4/5 stars[1]

Les Marquises (English: The Marquesas) 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 ("Jaurès", "Vieillir", "Jojo"), parting ("Orly") and in several songs Brel evokes his career in the 1960s ("Les F..", "Jojo", "Knokke-le-Zoute 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).[2][3]

Track listing[edit]

Track Title Translation Composer Recorded
1 "Jaurès" Jaurès Jacques Brel 1977-09-24
2 "La ville s’endormait" The city was falling asleep Jacques Brel 1977-09-08
3 "Vieillir" Ageing Jacques Brel, Gérard Jouannest 1977-09-29
4 "Le Bon Dieu" The good Lord Jacques Brel 1977-09-23
5 "Les F..." The F... Jacques Brel, Joe Donato 1977-09-22
6 "Orly" Orly Jacques Brel 1977-09-05
7 "Les Remparts de Varsovie" The ramparts of Warsaw Jacques Brel 1977-09-23
8 "Voir un ami pleurer" Watching a friend crying Jacques Brel 1977-09-21
9 "Knokke-le-Zoute Tango" Knokke-le-Zoute Tango Jacques Brel 1977-09-27
10 "Jojo" Jojo Jacques Brel 1977-09-05
11 "Le Lion" The lion Jacques Brel 1977-09-24
12 "Les Marquises" The Marquesas Jacques Brel 1977-10-01
13 "Sans Exigences" Without demands Jacques Brel, François Rauber 1977-09-24
14 "Avec élégance" With elegance Jacques Brel, François Rauber 1977-09-24
15 "Mai 40" May 40 Jacques Brel 1977-09-24
16 "L’Amour est mort" Love is dead Jacques Brel, Gérard Jouannest 1977-09-24
17 "La Cathédrale" The cathedral Jacques Brel 1977-09-24[3]
  • Tracks 1–12 constituted the original 1977 release of the album.
  • Tracks 13–17 were recorded during the same sessions but Brel found them unfinished and asked his producer Barclay to not release them, they were added later to the album when it was reissued as part of the 16-CD box set Boîte à Bonbons.
  • "Les F..." adapted from "The Frog" excerpt from João Donato A Bad Donato (1970).



  1. ^ Dave Thompson. "Brel – Jacques Brel". Retrieved 22 February 2014.
  2. ^ Les Marquises at Discogs
  3. ^ a b "Discography". Archived from Editions Jacques Brel the original Check |url= value (help) on March 31, 2012. Retrieved 5 September 2011.