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2008 - week 3, from 19 January - World Music Hits

PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2008 2:15 pm
by Charlie
Seq - Artist - Song Title - Album - Country - Label - Cat no

3 - Amr Diab - Ya Nour El Ein - Rough Guide to Latin-Arabia - Egypt - World Music Network - RGNET1175CD

2 - Gilberto Gil - Toda Menina Baiana - The Definitive - Brazil - Warner - 09274 1279 2

3 - Taraf de Haïdouks - Balada Conducatorolui - Musique des Tziganes de Roumanie - Romania - Crammed World - CRAW 2 CD

4 - Ofra Haza - Im Nin' Alu - Yemenite Songs - Israel - Globestyle - CDORB 006

5 - Orchestra Super Mazembe - Shauri Yako - Giants of East Africa - Congo/Kenya - Earthworks - STEW45CD


The repertoire of what some of us call World Music is a mixture of songs that have been hits in countries outside ‘The West’ and others little known in their own countries but celebrated by at least a few of us beyond their borders.

Most weeks in this programme I play recent releases, but this year I plan to go back every couple of months, to pick out songs that feel like classics, the songs that drew each of us into the fold, made us realise that we could like music in languages other than our own, respond to singers who triggered unfamiliar sensations inside ourselves.

The programme starts and ends with two songs that were huge hits in their own regions, while being acclaimed outside too.

Amr Diab

The Egyptian Amr Diab has been one of the most popular singers throughout the Middle East since the early 1990s, and ‘Ya Nour El Ein’ (The Light of My Eye) is his biggest hit. It has a strong flamenco feel, as if partly inspired by the Gipsy Kings, and is still as effective at filling dance floors and brightening parties as when it was first released.

Orchestra Super Mazembe

In the 1970s and 1980s, Zairian musicians scattered across Africa in much the same way that Brazilian footballers are to be found throughout Europe now. Among the most popular mercenaries who carried soukous into East Africa was Orchestra Super Mazembe. They’re mainly associated with Kenya, where they made most of their recordings, but first stopped off in Zambia for a few years, where they picked up a song written and made popular by another Zairian exile, Nguashi N'Timbo, ‘Shauri Yako’, which they turned into an anthem whose popularity has lasted for decades.

Gilberto Gil

Through most of the 1980s, I presented a world music show on London’s first commercial radio station, Capital Radio, and often wished that the station would playlist some of the songs that were most popular with my listeners. But in 1985, I was surprised to hear a song in Portuguese being played in the daytime. Good as it is, I still don’t know how or why ‘Toda Menina Baiana’ by the Brazilian singer Gilberto Gil made the grade when so many other contenders didn’t. Somehow, it had been played enough in London clubs to be featured on Capital’s dance music show, and then it moved onto the playlist. Having played it once in 1983, I had in the meantime forgotten all about it. In 1987, a new head of music came to the station, who was astonished when he heard Peter Young playing a record in a foreign language during the day. He rushed into the studio to find out what was going on. “It was on Capital’s playlist for weeks a couple of years ago, it’s a record that our listeners know very wellâ€

PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2008 7:21 pm
by Nick Boyes
Listening to the Gilberto Gil track took me back to the time when I scoured my local record shops trying to buy the single. Having no luck, I am rather ashamed to admit, I bought a version by Georgie Fame which was retitled 'Samba ( Toda Menina Baiana Mix )' released in 1986 on Ensign and produced by the infamous Stock Aitken Waterman.
I had to wait until 1994 before I got the Gilberto Gil version, featured on a rather wonderful compilation cd called 'Feels So Good' which also had Donny Hathaway ' The Ghetto ' and Charles Earland 'Intergalactic Love Song ' amongst the other tracks.
Happy boogie days before grey hair arrived.
Thanks Charlie

PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2008 7:31 pm
by Paul Sherratt
That Taraf de Haidouks photo reminds me of a film I saw in Paris in the sixties.

" Il Pleut Dans Notre Village " may or may not have been the title.

I wonder if anyone around here has any info on it ?

PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2008 12:57 pm
by tulsehill charlie
Charlie wrote
it must be some trick with a violin. And then there was that heartfelt vocal, which I learned was celebrating the downfall of President Ceauşescu.

the strange sound is done by slackening the string and then running your pinched fingers along it. Nicolae Neascu did this when he performed "The Ballad of the Tyrant".

Here are the lyrics for this memorable and dramatic folk ballad (copied from Marta Bergman's sleevenotes):

Green leaf, a thousand leaves
On this day of the 22nd
Here the time has returned
The one in which we can also live
Brother, live in fairness
Live in freedom

Green leaf, flower of the fields
There in Timisoara
What are the students doing?
Brother, they descend into the streets
Bringing with them banners
And cry "It is finished for the tyrant"
What are the terrorists doing?
They pull out guns
Brother, they shoot at the people

Green leaf, flower of the fields
What are the students doing?
Into the cars they step
Towards Bucharest they head
In the streets they shout
"Come out, Romanian brothers
Let's wipe out the dictatorship"

Ceasescu hears them
His minister calls for
A helicopter which takes him away
What do the police do?
In his steps they follow
In a tank they bring him back
In a room they lock him up
And his trial begins
His blood pressure we take
And the judge condemns him:
"Tyrant, you have destroyed Romania"

PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2008 6:09 pm
by Paul Sherratt

PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2008 7:14 pm
by Gordon Neill
I thought this week's show was particularly fine. Please provide more editions of "Now That's what I Call World Music" (copyright Clowns 2007) over the coming months. Stand-out tracks, for me, were the ones by Amr Diab and Orchestra Super Mazembe (the only one that I'd heard before, but I'd forgotten about it).

PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2008 11:24 pm
by Charlie
Gordon Neill wrote:Please provide more editions of "Now That's what I Call World Music"

I'm planning to do one every two months this year - it's good to remind ourselves how we got into this fine mess in the first place, whenever the first place was for each of us.

Suggested candidates for selection will be welcome.

I'll start a new thread on the subject in Best of Everything, as it will soon get lost if we run it here.


PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2008 12:08 pm
by Charlie
email from:

1. Bab Kamath, Auckland, New Zealand

Brilliant blast from the past, just a small request, if you could give a small introduction about the artists on the web page rather than the actual programme as I quite under stand it eats into the playing time of the gems you select. Just a small request fully ignorable Best Regards


PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2008 7:35 pm
by will vine
ORQUESTRA SUPER MAZEMBE, Excellent of course; yet in the context of the subject under discussion, namely our early exposure to "World Music" it really depends on what you heard first.

SHAWURI YAKO has been a huge favourite of mine for many years but I'm talking about the M'BILIA BEL / TABU LEY version......absolutely glorious ! My original LP version somehow became unplayably warped and I've only recently been able to replace it on a cd reissue thanks to info gleaned from this forum.

CD - M'BILIA BEL.... Boya Ye / Ba Gerants Ya Mabala ....well worth investing in.

PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 6:09 pm
by zee
At work, doing some mindless work and listening to last Monday's WS prog. I just love that version of Shauri Yako. Years ago I used listen to a different version by Super Mazembe. The song is in Swahili and Shauri Yako literally means “That’s your problem!â€

PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 11:53 pm
by will vine
I forgot to mention that the M'Bilia Bel version contains some english lyrics.