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Saturday, April 15, 2017

Rod McKuen - "Rod McKuen Sings Jacques Brel" Album, Vinyl, 1973

My one and only Rod McKuen album in my collection of vinyl.  The only reason I purchase this record is because it's music by Jacques Brel, sung by McKuen, who also translated the lyrics from French to English.  Beyond that, the album is great. 

I never warmed to McKuen's boho image, which I find very showbusiness related.  It's not he's talentless, it is just he's the mainstream American versions of someone 'out there' and that he's ain't. 
On the other hand, he is one of the first English-speaking artist (besides Scott Walker) who has committed himself in doing Brel recordings, as well as translating his words.  The truth is, McKuen does an excellent job in performing Brel's works. His voice is not the typical showman type of vocalist, but he in his gravel way gives the material real grit and soul.   The orchestrations on the album are also great - in being true to the material, and backing McKuen's vocalization.  This album is the flip side to Scott Walker's recordings of Brel's music.  I would get both.