EMI Arabia's Diva series is a comprehensive examination of the material the great Egyptian singer Umm Kulthum (here spelled Omme Kolsoum) recorded for EMI. La Diva, Vol. 1 is taken from early sources, and the recording quality varies from track to track. There is some level of surface noise present on all tracks, but they never become unlistenable. Musical backing ranges from spare, small groups to larger string ensembles and a vocal chorus on "El Bood Allemni El Sahar." Kulthum was one of the great voices of the 20th century, and this series presents ample evidence of her singing power, although there are better recordings to start with.
AllMusic Review by Sean Westergaard