The Gipsy Kings had major crossover success with their splendid and innovative third album, which used drums, bass, percussion, and synthesizer to beef up the sound. This French import is their first album from 1983, and it is a much more traditional affair, with only acoustic guitars, voices, and hand claps. It shows that artistically the sound did not need to be beefed up; the music is still wonderful. How can an array of seven guitars and full-throated passion not be wonderful? Commercially, the additions to their sound helped break The Gipsy Kings through to a larger audience, but now that their name is known, it should be possible for more people to go back and appreciate this album. It is in no way crude or unpolished, and the artistry and playing are of an equally high quality.
Allegria is the first album by the Gipsy Kings, released in 1982 in Europe. This album and its successor, Luna de Fuego, are very different from their later albums. They are both "unplugged" and traditional, using solely guitars, voices and hand claps. The Gipsy Kings are a band of musicians from the Catalan region in the south of France. Their roots are steeped in the Romany tradition and they demonstrate a love of Rumba Catalana - a love which they have brought to a more mainstream audience.
As leaders of the flamenco music genre, the Gipsy Kings have thrilled audience's worldwide for over 16 years. Here, they are captured in a live performance at the legendary Kenwood House in London. At this majestic setting on the water in front of thousands of fans, the Gipsy Kings play some of their greatest hits, including 'Baila Me' and 'Volare'.
As leaders of the flamenco music genre, the Gipsy Kings have thrilled audience's worldwide for over 16 years. Here, they are captured in a live performance at the legendary Kenwood House in London…
The Gipsy Kings are never going to have the kind of critical acclaim that Paco de Lucia has, but their popularization of poppy rumba flamenca among non-Spanish speakers is nothing to be ashamed of. Nonetheless, here on Roots, the octet turns back to the tradition while making their own imprint on it. Having the band record in an old farm house, producer Craig Street, it seems, simply told them to sit down to play their bittersweet songs. Without electric instruments or a drum set to clutter the mix, brisk acoustic guitars will sweep listeners up in the driving rhythms as lead guitarist Tonino Baliardo soars overhead, particularly on the instrumental songs. When Nicolas, Canut and Patchai Reyes take turns on lead vocals, Street adeptly captures the timbre and nuance of the singers' voices while also delicately balancing the guitar, hand percussion and bass. No pop songs or bombastic rock beats:here's one that purists cannot argue with.
The Gipsy Kings' main strength is their consistency. Throughout their career, they have managed to craft an accessible, pop-oriented version of flamenco and gypsy music that also pushes boundaries. During it all, they recorded classy, satisfying albums like Compas. There's not much different about Compas, but since the album is so well made and enchanting, that isn't a curse; it's a blessing.
…is an especially dynamic introduction to the sound of the Spanish Gypsy ensemble.