Putumayo World Music: World Hits
Product DescriptionPutumayo World Music: World Hits. This CD pays tribute to amazing chart toppers across the globe including Santana, Peter Tosh with Mick Jagger, Youssou N'Dour and Manu Dibango, among others.
For those of you who don’t consider yourselves fans of world music, we have a few words that you’re sure to understand: Santana. Lambada. Mick Jagger… yes, Mick Jagger. Though most world music exists largely under the radar, every once in a while a song comes along that achieves international success. For World Hits, Putumayo World Music turns its attention to these crossover success stories, bringing together chart toppers from around the globe.
In 1963, Latin jazz legend Tito Puente composed “Oye Como Va” for his album El Rey Bravo. Seven years later, Latin rock group Santana turned the rock world upside down, as their version of the song soared up the charts. Group leader Carlos Santana said he knew “without a shadow of a doubt that ‘Oye Como Va’ was a party song” when he heard it.
Coincidentally, Cuban musician Mongo Santamaria was a member of Puente’s band for 6 years before going out on his own in the late 1950s. Santamaria’s big crossover hit came in 1963, with his version of the Herbie Hancock composition “Watermelon Man.” The song reportedly entered his repertoire after a failed gig at a Cuban nightclub in the Bronx. When only 3 people showed up, the musicians had a jam session which included substitute pianist Hancock playing his original for the “crowd.”
Another crossover hit comes from the French group Gipsy Kings, whose eponymous 1988 release brought the world “Bamboleo.” The song connected the dots between salsa, flamenco and pop, and its recognizable chorus is now a staple of the soundtracks of cafes, bars and restaurants across the globe.
The following year, another French hit spread like wildfire. “Lambada” swept first across Europe and then throughout the rest of the world. Though promoted as the “forbidden dance” of Brazil, it was actually a Portuguese adaptation of the Bolivian song “Llorando Se Fue.” The hit version of the song was performed by the French group Kaoma, comprised of members of Touré Kunda and fronted by Brazilian singer Loalwa Braz. Touré Kunda, who helped pioneer and popularize Afropop, adds “E’mma” to this collection.
Four other songs on World Hits also come from the musically rich continent of Africa. Manu Dibango’s funky “Soul Makossa” became a surprise Top 40 hit in 1973.World music superstar Youssou N’Dour and soul singer Neneh Cherry provide the instantly-recognizable “7 Seconds,” while Johnny Clegg and Savuka contribute “Scatterlings of Africa” from the 1987 platinum-selling release Third World Child. And Miriam Makeba, one of Africa’s most popular musical exports, delivers the classic “Pata Pata, ” an international hit in 1967 that became the first African song to reach Top 20 on the Billboard pop charts.
And now back to Mick Jagger. The Rolling Stones’ front man met the enigmatic Peter Tosh at the renowned One Love Peace Concert in Kingston, Jamaica in 1978. Jagger joined Tosh on a cover of the Temptations hit “(You Gotta Walk) Don’t Look Back.” This pairing of a roots reggae pioneer with a rock and roll legend broke into the top 100 and helped introduce Tosh to a worldwide audience.
Jimmy Cliff had already become one of Jamaica’s most popular performers by the time the film The Harder They Come was released in America in 1975. The movie became a cult classic and made Cliff a household name.The film helped break reggae music in America and Cliff is still considered a reggae icon.