Saturday, June 20, 2015

Benjamin Biolay & Friends pay homage to Charles Trenet

Having been a fan of Benjamin Biolay, going back to his Rose Kennedy album, and collaborations with various French artists (including his sister Coralie Clement), I was awaiting this new album with excitement.

Benjamin and friends, Nicolas Fiszman and Denis Benarrosh, have put together a loving tribute to French singer and songwriter Charles Trenet. His most popular recordings came from the late 1930's to the mid-1950's, although he enjoyed through to the 1990's.

One of his most famous songs, "Que rest-t-ilde now amours" has been included not only on this new album, but also on the Biolay produced "Chamber Avec Vue" by the late French Caribbean singer, Henri Salvador. Undoubtedly, Biolay loves this song!

Recently, the film industry has taken note of Charles' body of work - Amongst others, Bernardo Bertolucci used "La Mer" in his 2003 film, "The Dreamers", as well as the closing scene from "Mr. Bean's Holiday". A testament to the power of the song in two diverse genres of film. Oh, and by the way, you may know it as "Beyond The Sea", made famous in the mid-60's by Bobby Darin.

This is Lounge has chosen to add "Revoir Paris" to the New Release Top Ten from the humble "Bubbling Under" beginnings. It is the opening track to the album, and I'm not sure if it is an official single release, but Benjamin has released an emotional video to accompany the song. (A quick check of YouTube reveals many videos for other songs on the album.) Have a look at "Revoir Paris".

Having listened to the album in it's entirety now, I can honestly say that Biolay has done a wonderful tribute to such a great French artist. It should also be noted that Trenet refused to perform anyone else's compositions but his own - a very bold precedent back in those days.

American artists have covered songs from the Great American Songbook for decades. Biolay has taken a page out that book and translated it into the "Le Grand RĂ©pertoire Francaise".


Charles Trenet - iTunes

Benjamin Biolay - iTunes

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