Title: The Rough Guide Legends: Edith Piaf - France - 2 CD
Label: World music network
Release date: 2011
Edith Piaf’s life may have been tumultuous but her music stayed constantly brilliant throughout. Enjoy a fine selection of her classic tunes on this hand-picked Rough Guide.
The album opens with the well-known and much loved tune, ‘La Vie En Rose’. Edith’s signature vibrato vocal soars across swooning strings and piano accompaniment. ‘Adieu Mon Coeur’ showcases Edith in a reflective almost bluesy mood. ‘Jezebel’ stands out in the collection as Edith channels a different vibe. Here thrusting guitar, strict rhythmic riffs, and a strong chest voice sound almost Flamenco-esque. ‘Rien De Rien’ features Edith in a playful bright style. Her off-hand sounding vocals are countered brilliantly by the flighty orchestra who periodically interject with razzing horns and tip-toeing woodwind. The second half of the song lilts into a dragging jazz swing that reeks of cheeky and ironic melodrama.
‘Padam Padam’ is a swirling sinister sounding ballad. ‘Milord’ tells the story of young poverty stricken girl who develops a crush on an upper-class gentleman. It was perhaps a subject that Edith felt some affinity with, having come from stark poverty herself. The light-hearted yet darkly spiced flavour of the song is expressed perfectly by Piaf.
The album closes with Edith’s heroic rendition of ‘Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien’. The song has become Edith’s anthem and encapsulates the outstandingly powerful stature of such a remarkable woman – the ‘little sparrow’ who spread her wings wide.
The bonus disc is a collection of songs by artists who were based in or frequented the hot steamy streets of France’s capital city. From the cabaret songs of Josephine Baker to the smooth tenor tones of Charles Aznavour, this collection oozes Parisian chic.
Snap up this Rough Guide and enjoy a timeless collection of classic song.