Once Upon A Time In Senegal - The Birth Of Mbalax 1979-1981

STCD 3054-55CD STCD 3054-55CD

2010 release. Youssou N'Dour is the most famous African pop star in the world. Since his first appearances in America (on tour with Bruce Springsteen, Peter Gabriel and Sting in 1988), he has filled concert halls and arenas across the continent and earned a reputation as an enthralling performer, a commanding bandleader and one of the greatest singers alive. His duet with Neneh Cherry, "7 Seconds," was a global smash hit in 1994, and his album Egypt won a Grammy in 2005. Etoile de Dakar was the band the made Youssou N'Dour famous in his native Senegal. He was 19 when he and ten other young musicians got together in Dakar in 1978. Their style was a brash, innovative blend of traditional West African music, Latin music and American rock and soul music that came to be called mbalax (the Wolof word for "beat"), and in Senegal it caused a sensation that has yet to subside. Etoile de Dakar's cassettes were all runaway bestsellers, and their all-night shows were the makings of an enduring legend. Youssou and his fellow singers, El Hadji Faye and Eric M'Backe N'Doye, were known not only for their voices but also for their wild dancing -- and yet their amazing tama-drummer, Assane Thiam, almost stole the show night after night. That exciting era is captured in Once Upon A Time In Senegal. Two CDs contain 23 tracks selected from the historic cassettes Etoile de Dakar recorded between 1979 and 1981. Six of these tracks are rarities that have never been released outside of Senegal until now. The set includes a 24-page booklet of period photographs and an essay by Mark Hudson, the author of The Music In My Head, a novel inspired by Youssou N'Dour, Etoile de Dakar and mbalax mania.