Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Various Artists - Rhythms in Common: Music from our Small World (2000)

This is from a series of world music CDs available from World Market.  Pop tunes from the 1930's-80's covered by global artists.  Because it's something different, this fair-to-middlin' compilation CD is usually a big hit at parties.

  • Hotel California- Majek Fashek, originally by The Eagles: Believe it or not, this tune totally works as an African reggae joint.  And since the original has been overplayed, I'm currently preferring Fashek's attempt to the Eagles'.
  • Wild World - Maxi Priest, originally by Cat Stevens: you might have heard this one before as it reached #25 on the Billboard pop chart in 1988.  Not my favorite tune and I would have preferred real instruments to synths, but Priest does a good enough job with and it sequences well following Hotel California.
  • Summertime - Angelique Kidjo, from the Gershwin opera Porgy and Bess: this starts off slowly, but then the African drums, background harmonies, and Kidjo's voice kick in and this cover becomes irresistible.  I have no idea what language she's singing in.
  • Like A Rolling Stone - The Wailing Souls, originally by Bob Dylan:  Fantastic rock-steady cover.  The light, ranking verse is followed by a guitar-heavy chorus.  A great summer tune, it reminds me of something Sugar Ray might have done.  Like Hotel California, I'm currently preferring this cover to the original.
  • Tabou - Les Nubians feat. Casey, originally by Sade:  This plodding thing is weakest track on the disc.  These sisters add nothing to the original.  We know we're in trouble from the horrible sax opening and then by the French rap, you're ready to hit the skip button.  Les Nubians would later redo this cover with Black Thought from The Roots. Much better - listen to that one instead.
  • Magot Tcheri (In The Summertime) - Fatal Mambo, originally by Mungo Jerry:  The liner notes call this style "French Mambo" but it sounds much more Cajun & Afro-Cuban to my ears. In any case, it's sung in French and it doesn't matter what you call it, it's a fun cover.
  • Rueda de Fuego - Mingo Saldivar, originally by Johnny Cash:  If you're in Texas (and I am), this here is sweet stuff. A Conjunto version of Ring Of Fire.  'Nuff said.
  • Louie, Louie - Michael Doucet & Cajun Brew, made famous by The Kingsmen and marching bands everywhere:  My favorite track on the compilation.  It's a fun song to begin with, but this Cajun treatment adds another dimension.  Can't keep still.
  • Johnny B Goode - Peter Tosh, originally by Chuck Berry:  This song doesn't really need covering and this reggae version doesn't come close to the energy of the original.  Meh.
  • Evil Ways - Cal Tjader & Carmen McRae, originally by Santana:  This sexy, slowed-down Latin jazz cover simmers and sizzles. I don't even know how to dance to this thing, but that's not stopping me from grabbing my wife and holding her close.  Tjader crushes his vibraphone solo.
  • LoLoLe (Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood) - Alabina, made famous by The Animals: this Middle Eastern cover is good, not great.  But this song has been covered plenty, so go out and pick your own favorite.  Mine might be by Santa Esmeralda.
  • Oye Como Va (Remix 1996) - Tito Puente, Jr. & The Latin Rhythm Crew, featuring La India, Tito Puente & Cali Aleman, originally by Tito Puente, made famous by Santana.  Completely out of place on this CD, this dance remix screams late '90s.  Not a terrible cover, but would have preferred a stronger ending to the disc.
Personal Memory Associated with this CD: I bought this and a similar CD at Cost Plus/World Market while in Houston with my friend Jim. I bought them as a joke, just to listen to the bad covers and was pleasantly surprised how good they were.

Previously revisited for the blog:
World Groove II: From Madrid to Rio (2004)
Chilled Champagne (2002)
World Groove (2001)
Handful of Rhythms: Music from our Small World (2000)

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