Sunday, October 9, 2011

Om Kalsoum - Leilet Hob (Sono Cairo - SC-22142)

The fans or at least seldom players of the legendary strategy and first person (Collective) shooter game Counter Strike, this record means a lot. The Arab Streets map of this game featured the chorus part of Leilet Hob. It was via this game I learned about Om Kalsoum and her awesome recordings. Truth be told, life is never out of surprises.

It took me some time and effort to find this record since apart from being long time out of print, you don't get the chance to find one easily. It also considered to be one of her most famous songs. Honestly I found one more record which was in a somewhat OK (VG) condition, but the pricing was clearly away from reality, so I had to pass that chance.

Majority of the records of Om Kalsoum are released by Sono Cairo label and these are recorded mainly during concerts. However, not many include the true essence of the concerts like this. First the stage opens and the orchestra starts an instrumental intro which in Turkish classical music is called "Taksim". Then the artist comes to the stage under thunderous applause and starts singing. This record shows the typical example of this classic style.

The song itself can be divided into 3,5 parts. The first being the intro, then comes the main section. The third part which starts with a flamenco type rhythm is more like a passage of alternate take. The 0,5 mentioned is because the main section comes as a shorter version at the end of the record. Before I forget to mention lyrics belong to Ahmed Chafik Kamel.

This is absolutely a joy to listen. The instrumentation, the way Om Kalsoum sings, everything is extremly clean and close to perfection. It surely will hold a special place in my collection of Om Kalsoum records and I would harshly advise anyone to listen it if they haven't already done so. Pure classic!

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