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"Nuages" (French pronunciation: [nɥaʒ]) is one of the best-known compositions by Django Reinhardt. He recorded at least thirteen versions of the tune, which is a jazz standard and a mainstay of the gypsy swing repertoire. English and French lyrics have been added to the piece which was originally an instrumental work. The title translated into English is "Clouds", but the adaptation with English lyrics is titled "It's the Bluest Kind of Blues".
In 1940, Django made two recordings of Nuages in F major, and with a clarinet melody. (Some later recordings are in G major, perhaps to suit the violin.) Unhappy with the first recording, Reinhardt added a second clarinet, creating a renowned arrangement for the December 1940 recording. Reinhardt's 1946 recording (as can be heard in the sample) is in the key of G major.
"Nuages" was released by Django Reinhardt and the Quintet of the Hot Club of France on the French Swing label as a 78-RPM single (SW88, OSW.146) in 1940. The flip side is "Les Yeux Noirs".
Selected recorded versions, 1940–1953
- 1940, 1 October – Django Reinhardt with the Quintet of the Hot Club of France, the first recording of "Nuages"
- 1942 – Lucienne Delyle, vocal version of "Nuages" with French lyrics by Jacques Larue
- 1942 – Denny Dennis with the Stanley Black Orchestra, vocal version titled "It's the Bluest Kind of Blues My Baby Sings", with English lyrics by Spencer Williams
- 1946 – Peggy Lee with Dave Barbour and His Orchestra, vocal version titled "It's the Bluest Kind of Blues" (this recording was not issued until 2000)
- 1947 – Monica Lewis, vocal version titled "It's the Bluest Kind of Blues"
- 1953, 10 March – Django Reinhardt, his final recording of "Nuages"