Sometimes you hear a song and you’re not entirely sure what it is. You’re aware it’s a classic and asking would make you look a bit daft. Shazam has gone some way to solve these issues and I have an almightily brilliant Spotify playlist that I keep up to date with everything I’ve shazam’d in the last year. It’s mainly populated by soul and jazz from many a Saturday night spent holding my phone up in the Dalston Jazz Bar.
I don’t actually care though, hence showing you that list. Yes I didn’t know for a fact what Bob Dylan ‘Like A Rolling Stone’ was. Big deal. We all have different music specialities and learning about new stuff (even if it’s old) is brilliant. That’s part of the reason Absolute Radio is a preset on my car radio. I like listening to the station because it’ll play me some classic songs I’ve never heard before. It’s as much education as it is entertainment.
This is all a big preamble to me horrifying Jack by admitting to not really knowing what Jacques Brel – Ne Me Quitte Pas was before Christmas. As the Dusty greatest hits album is my standard ‘BOYS SUCK. I NEED TO WALLOW’ album, I must have heard Dusty’s version a billion times but never quite clocked it. The reason I’ve gone back and found Jacques though is because Barbra Streisand has covered the song on her latest album ‘Love Is The Answer’. Apart from the fact that it makes you want to tear your heart straight out of your chest I think I’m particularly into this song because of all the quiet then LOUD (probably a good technical term for this somewhere) bits.
Once upon I time I didn’t know much about Barbra. In fact I was once asked ‘Name three Barbra Streisand songs’ as the first question in a job interview last year. Way to throw me off. After this Christmas though I feel like I could go on Mastermind with her as my specialist subject. After Christmas I drove back down from the North to London and challenged myself to listen to Radio 2 all day. I would have listened most of the day anyway but for once I wanted to avoid me being flick happy when I don’t like a song. It was a very strange day on air. Cilla & Tony Blackburn presented the Great British Songbook and Dave Pearce brought Dance Anthems to the station. In between those two came an extremely intense interview with Babs presented by chart god Paul Gambaccinni that lasted for 2 hours and incorporated performances from her recent intimate show at New York’s ‘Village Vanguard’. I heard about 28 Streisand songs in a row and learnt everything from her relationship with the Academy to the lack of love in her life. Did you know that she’s never sung ‘Woman in Love’ live because she couldn’t relate to the lyrics? Did you know that she once went to see Jacques Brel in concert in France and he didn’t sing ‘Ne Me Quitte Pas’ even though he knew she was there? She even went backstage and begged. Now you do.
Anyway here is her version albeit a roping recording. Just buy it. Amazatronica. There are so many versions of this song out there though – which one is your favourite? I’d advise skipping the Belinda Carlise one.