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2008 - week 37, from 14 Sept - World Hits, Vol 5

PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 10:57 am
by Charlie
Seq - Artist - Song Title - Album - Country - Label - Cat no

1 - Youssou N'Dour & Super Etoile de Dakar - Immigres - Immigres - Senegal - Earthworks - CDEWV 10

2 - Mariza - Loucoura - Mariza (Box Set) - Portugal - EMI/World Connection - 509999 5 17952 21

3 - Khaled - Aicha - Best of Khaled - Algeria/France - Wrasse - WRASS 214

4 - Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan - Allah Hoo Allah Hoo - Very Best of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan - Pakistan - Manteca - MANTDBL511

The fifth in our series of world records.

For listeners who have joined the world music fold in the past five years, the three male singers here may feel part of an unknown, rarely heard history, but they were major revelations for those who joined twenty to twenty-five years ago.

Youssou N'Dour

Youssou N’Dour was still in his early twenties when he and his band of Dakar musicians recorded ‘Immigrés’ (1983), and the music still conveys the exuberance and uninhibited confidence of people who don’t even realise that what they were doing was difficult, unconventional and path-breaking. Heard now, it’s obvious that this was a documentary recording of a song whose arrangement had previously been worked out in live performances, with conversations between the musicians and a percussion break designed to provide the backdrop for the dancer to whirl around the stage. What a call to arms that opening horn line was, and still is.


Mariza is the anomaly in the programme, having made her breakthrough much more recently. Her debut album Fado Em Mim (2001) did not have a hit single as such, but sold principally on the back of her astonishing stage performances. I used to favour the faster song about Mister Wine but this time have simply played track 1 from the box set of her first three studio albums, a live album and DVD. The package is elaborate but lacks a proper written commentary. If there was any implication that her career had already peaked, the quality of Mariza’s newly-released album, Terra, dispels any such heretical thoughts.


Choosing a track by the Algerian singer Khaled was a toss-up between two million-sellers, the frenetic ‘Didi’ from 1992 and the languorous ballad ‘Aicha’ from 1998. I’m not sure I made the right choice, but it is still fascinating to hear how the singer’s raw voice is never completely swamped by the conventions of the pop arrangement – strings, electric keyboard and bass - in ‘Aicha’.

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan was introduced to Western audience via cut-down versions of his popular songs on the WOMAD and Real World labels, but we can hear something closer to his live show with the four full-length tracks on Manteca’s Very Best of collection. ‘Allah Hoo Allah Hoo’ brings back memories of watching him, when I used to think he was more like the lead singer of an American gospel group, not only trading off the call-and-response shouts of his back-up singers, but giving room for a young singer to take off on his own improvisations.


PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2008 10:32 am
by Charlie
emails from:

1. Edrissa Jarju, Glasgow

I am a regular listener of this program and have enjoyed it tremendously.

I just want to point out that MBALAX, the Senegalese Musical phenomena widely promoted to the rest of the world by Youssou Ndour is pronounce "MBALAGH", the X is silent.

Thanks for giving us a taste of the beauties of the wider world out there.

Regards Edi


2. Peter Ruggiero, Somerville (Massachusetts) USA

Well, thank you for taking me on trip back to my days in the US Peace Corps Ivory Coast (and a bit before). I remember all of these songs from that period fondly and I remember why I fell in love with world music. World of Music was one of the programs I looked forward to listening to every week on my short wave radio.


PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2008 11:56 am
by Charlie
email from

1. Brenda Keyte, London

Just to say thank you so much for introducing me to Mariza.

How have I managed to live for 63 years without hearing her music!

Yours is a brilliant programme.