This record is a collection of the tracks written and recorded by French songwriter and singer, Claude Nougaro and other singers from 1955 to 1959. Nougaro began his career boldly presenting his lyrics to Marguerite Monnot, Édith Piaf's songwriter, who put them to music. During his career as a cabaret singer at the Lapin Agile in Monmatre, he became friends with accompanying pianists Jean-Michel Arnaud and Jimmy Walter and singer-songwriter Jean Constantin, and together they wrote new songs for Philippe Clay, Cyril Dalin, Colette Renard, Stephen Bruce, and the legendary Jacqueline François. Tenaciously, Claude Nougaro tried to place his songs like a salesman flogs encyclopedias -- door-to-door. He could write anything, on command. For Paul Roby, a singer who had made a name for himself by covering swing and Latino hits from the 1900s, he wrote the subversive song "Coupez-les Moi au Rasoir." He concocted "La Folle Chanson" for a Jamaican named Zack Matalon. At the time, it was still fashionable for a song to be shared between several singers, meaning that a single song could be released in a dozen different versions at the same time. Many of Nougaro's lyrics were sung by two, three or even four artists simultaneously. Nougaro was finally able to find his voice as a writer. Thanks to two of his favorite singers, Philippe Clay and Marcel Amont, Nougaro forged his own style: that of a film-maker: he imagined characters, invented situations by imagining how they would unfold visually, jostling words about to accommodate Amont's very strong accent and Clay's Parisianisms. These were the two singers who got Nougaro his first hits, "Le Jazz et la Java" and "Il y avait une ville," respectively. Some of the songs bordered on spoken/sung sketches, others played on onomatopoeia, alliteration and tongue-twisters. Soon, Nougaro would be ready to sing his own songs, and soon, he would supersede a whole generation, washed away by the yéyés. He would emerge victorious, establishing himself as a poet singer thanks to jazz, his chosen field of expertise. Diving into it with a vengeance, he glorified those small sequences that were to make French chanson history. Presented in a deluxe 2CD digipack with a 36-page hardcover booklet, with French and English liner notes and rarely seen pictures. Contains an unreleased bonus track: "Jésus" (from a 2002 recording session, though written much earlier).