February 7 street date. Many in the English-speaking world first heard of Jacques Brel through Scott Walker's championing, yet when Scott launched his post-Walker Brothers solo career with his recording of Brel's ‘Jackie’ in 1967, Brel had been an enormous star in France for years. That lofty status was remarkable, given Brel's lyrical obsessions with doomed romance, loneliness, prostitution and death. It was American songwriter Mort Shuman who, by remaining as faithful as he could to Brel's original words, transformed several key chansons into versions English-speaking audiences could relate to. Scott, however, was introduced to Brel's songs by his chanson-loving German girlfriend, who would translate them for him. He was immediately smitten. Meanwhile, a demo disc of Shuman's translations had reached Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham, who in due course passed the disc to Scott. Brel's impassioned narrative-based compositions had a profound impact on Scott, shaping the creation of his own increasingly meditative and dramatic songs. His first three solo albums would each feature Brel songs. This new Ace compilation comprises Scott's interpretations of those nine Brel songs, followed by Brel's own French language originals, plus Brel's version of ‘Seul’, a song Scott performed on his TV series but of which made no studio recording.