Saturday, March 05, 2005

It is about twenty years ago ( when I was a teenager studying French in grammar school ) that I 'discovered' the French singer-songwriter Yves Duteil. Although I had no real idea what he was singing about, I loved the melodies that accompanied his very musical lyrics. Now that my French has improved considerably I have come to appreciate his work even more, even though most Frenchmen and -women raise their eyebrows or shoulders when I mention his name and my affection for his songs. During the 1990s he released few new songs or albums, and - something which annoyed me very much - a lot of compilations appeared, all with more or less the same songs. In recent years two wonderful CD boxes and an acoustic live album have been put on the market, containing much more than just a simple best of...
Tournee acoustique, a live album, contains several classics and also some very good more recent songs, such as one about Dreyfus ( YD is related to him ) and another about Yitzhak Rabin, or rather about his granddaughter Noah. Virages contains Duteil's four first albums, released in the 1970s. I bought it last year, when I was in Paris with my family. The last song on the first CD ( La tendre image du bonheur ) is so simple and beautiful, I can listen to it four or five times in a row and still be moved by it. This year I also bought Un autre regard, a box with three double CDs with "30 ans de chansons", where you will find most of my favorites, some of which I almost had forgotten, e.g. Le chemin du pays ou rien n'est impossible and Les choses qu'on ne dit pas. I do not tend to buy many things just for fun, but I could not resist the temptation to also buy Dans l'air des mots, a book with the lyrics of almost all of the songs that appear on Un autre regard, beautifully edited and with some very good pictures.

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