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Yalla: Hit List Egypt Import

4.8 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

Price: CDN$ 191.02
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Sept. 14 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Mango
  • ASIN: B000003QK6
  • Other Editions: Audio Cassette  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
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1. Al Jeel: Ei Yaani - Amr Diab
2. Al Jeel: Besma - Hanan
3. Al Jeel: Masakeen - Ehab
4. Al Jeel: Sif Safaa - Mohamed Moneer
5. Balsam Shafee - Khedr
6. Al Jeel: Ya Ramal - Adel El Musree
7. Shaabi: Elli Shatr Enhaa Tgannen - Sami Ali & Sahar Hamdy
8. Shaabi: Kitab Hayarti - Hassan El Asmar
9. Shaabi: Ya Dunnya Ley - Magdy Shabeeni
10. Shaabi: Yalle Khadak Habibi - Magdy Talaat
11. Shaabi: Akhar Saah - Shaaban Abdel Raheen
12. Shaabi: Mish Haseebak - Hassan El Asmar

Product Description

For this album, released in 1990 and still the best compilation of modern Egyptian music around, David Lodge divvied Egyptian pop into working-class shaabi music and the upscale, educated, urban al-jil ("generation") sound, and devotes six rambunctiously appealing tracks to each. In al-jil the ongoing struggle between Islamic conservatism and a secular society tempted by Western ways is acted out in jumpy synthesizer rhythms and cautious, carefully monitored lyrics sung by some of the world's most sensuous singers. So-called shaabi music, on the other hand, is a funkier, rootsier reaction by Arab "country" singers to the wayward politics and pitfalls of urban life. The instruments are acoustic and traditional, the lyrics often socially conscious, and the emotions fervent. Relatively untouched by the West, Egyptian music provides a unique sonic entryway into a truly different cultural universe. ---Richard Gehr

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I went to great lengths to track down this CD, on recommendations of one of my friends who actually is from Egypt, and let me tell you, it was well worth the time and effort I spent to find it. This CD is an excellent introduction to modern Egyptian pop music, namely Al-Jeel and Shaabi music. The CD is divided into two sections, one dedicated to Al-Jeel, which is a sort of techno-pop style, originating in the '80s, and melding Bedouin, Nubian, Lybian and Egyptian styles into something new, yet uniquely Egyptian. As an admited fan of Al-Jeel music, I was very pleased with the selections, which includes such greats as Amr Diab, Hanan, Ehab and Khedr, though I would have also included Hamid Shaeri, but oh well. C'est la vie. The second set is dedicated to Shaabi, which is the modernized music of the working class people of the cities, often with controversial lyrics. Again, the selections are excellent.
Both the Al-Jeel and Shaabi selection are broken down into six selections each, so you get pretty good exposure to both. A word of caution though. As one reviewer commented, most of the songs on here are a bit dated. They are still excellent choices, mind you, but there are so many new releases, and new names, that this CD couldn't possibly reveal everything about Egyptian pop. Still, considering how hard it is to get a hold of Egyptian pop music in the United States, this might still be your best introduction. And if your already a fan, why not. Its still an excellent compilation.
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Format: Audio CD
"Yalla!" = "Let's go!" -- The title implies that this is just another compilation of current Arab-world hits. Well, it used to be. But this album was done in 1990 and much has changed in the world of pop since then. However, even in 1990, this album is really much more than a simple compilation. It's a bit of an education, too. I would have bought it for the liner notes alone. Sure, you like this music, but do you REALLY KNOW what "Jeel" music is? What "Shaabi" music is? It's all explained here and there are little (very little) descriptions of each of the singers. As far as the music is concerned, it's divided into two groups, as Richard Gehr describes in his "Editorial Review" at the top of this list of reviews here on Amazon. I have a bit of a problem with the music in that it is all ten (or more) years old and the quality of Arab pop music production both jeel and shaabi (and Sudanese, too -- there's one cut of Sudanese pop) has greatly improved since then (I'm writing this in 2001). So, frankly, compared to what you hear on the great "Camelspotting" compilation (don't miss that one!!) and in current releases like the spectacular "Tamally Maak" album from Amr Diab (or the latest from Abdel Gadir Selim in Sudan), the 'quality' of this music sounds somewhat teeny bopperish by comparison. Not 'bad' -- just 'not as great.' Still I'm glad I bought it. By the way: the late '80s also seem to have been a period of very heavy westernization of Arab music. The characteristic 5-note scale of Arab music is completely absent from many (not all) of these cuts: Nearly every song is heavily influenced by the Western tonal model. Today's pop sounds significantly more Arab than most of these cuts.
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Format: Audio CD
A friend gave Yalla to me a few years ago. He heard it in a little combo exotic food/CD store, and bought it immediately. I in turn was on my feet within seconds of putting it on. Someone on epinions said it was just for belly dancers. So untrue! But perhaps that reaction came because you move differently to this hybrid though very Eastern recording than you do to straight Western rock (which I'm more familiar with - and these days, in 2002, so much of music is hybrid anyway). It's much more unpredictable,faster (sometimes frenetic - I usually tire out before the end,as I did a couple of minutes ago, prompting me to sit down and write a review!), sexier. This is one of my all-time favorite recordings, and it belongs on a multi-CD player at a great party. Or, with equal enjoyment, "in the privacy of your home."
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