Liza Minelli started singing because she wanted to sing songs like his. Everyone from Elvis Costello to Dusty Springfield covered his songs. My own perception of how lyrics are written and my perception of how a vocal is performed was transformed by this man, the moment i heard ‘Yesterday When I Was Young’ and had trouble even fathoming how that phrasing and flow was created.

So i finally got to see him last night. It had been my dream to see Charles Aznavour in concert for as long as i can remember. Last night, on the day of his 90th birthday there he was, onstage at 02 world. He made even this soul-less venue, that i wouldn’t normally set foot in, shine with his charisma, his voice, which was as strong as ever, and his unforgettable songs. A full band accompanied him. quite amazing how strong his vocal performances were at this point in his life, where some stars dissapointingly lose their vocal powers at age 50.
My favourite songs ‘Yesterday When I Was Young’ and ‘What Makes A Man’, songs that i have on cd in their german, english and french versions, were sung and i was enchanted.
I don’t go to see many concerts so i guess it was almost the first time that i saw an artist who is a true world star. he just oozed a larger-than-life stage presence and charisma which floored me. i was glued throughout the two hour show.
Regarding the multitude of artists who have covered ‘yesterday when i was young’ and ‘what makes a man’:
shirley bassey turned it into a meaningless showtune, others who’ve tried shouldn’t have bothered.
the only decent version i’ve heard is Mark Almonds

Here is his version of Charles Aznavours “What Makes A Man’:

and let’s not forget this unforgettable version:


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