Cheb Khaled

The Best of Khaled

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Where most collections of material by Khaled have focus on the '80s, before he became a world music superstar, this goes for the years of big fame -- the period after 1991. It kicks off, as well it should, with "Didi," the song that really announced him as a major global force. It's still definitely the Algerian raï music that's always been his core, but slicked down, and without the rawness that had been part of his appeal. As time passed, he broadened his horizons, even releasing some out-and-out pop, as with the big hit "Aicha" or "Sahra," and stepping into hip-hop with "Oran Marseille." There's a nod to the groundbreaking concert Khaled performed with Rachid Taha and Faudel on "Abdel Kader," and, inevitably, a version of the classic song "Ya-Rayi." Add in a couple of other minor collaborations alongside all the major tracks, and this forms a very good introduction to Khaled the superstar.

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