Personnel: Nicolas Reyes, Andre Reyes, Canut Reyes, Paul Reyes, Patchai Reyes, Francois Reyes (vocals, guitar); Chico Bouchiki, Tonino Baliardo (guitar); Diego Baliardo, Paco Baliardo (guitar, palmas); Claude Maissoneuve (oboe); Walter De Auraujo (accordion); Guillermo Fellove (trumpet); Christian Martinez, Philippe Slominiski (brass); Dominique Perrier (piano, synthesizer); Dominique Droin (piano, keyboards, synthesizer); Jean Musy (synthesizer); Gerard Prevost (synthesizer, bass); Claude Salmieri (drums); Negrito Trasante-Crocco (drums, percussion); Marc Chantereau, Charles Benarroch (percussion).
Producers: Claude Martinez; Nick Patrick; Gerard Provost.
France's Gipsy Kings have been purveying their distinctive brand of gypsy/flamenco music since the 1970s, when the Reyes brothers (sons of legendary flamenco singer Jos? Reyes) banded together with their talented cousins, the Baliardos, to play the music that was a fundamental part of their lives. After years of amazing performances, the group finally broke worldwide in the late '80s, bringing the sound of their homeland to audiences all over Europe and America. This compilation brings together some of the most spirited selections from their impressive discography. The trademarks of the Gipsy Kings' music are their crisp, undulating rhythms; the gritty, emotive vocals of Nicolas and Andre Reyes, and the phenomenal guitar work of Tonino Baliardo (nephew of flamenco great Manitas de Plata). Baliardo's solos are sharply executed, organically conceived moments of beauty that glow with a lyrical grace. Besides the more traditional flamenco style in which the Gipsy Kings specialize -- exemplified by "Baila Me" and the monster hit "Bamboleo" -- the band extends its reach into more unexpected territory, like the reggaefied "Escucha Me" and Domenico Mondugno's 1958 pop hit "Volare." This is a rich and varied document of an original and important voice in modern music. ~ Rovi Staff
Q (10/99, p.148) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...Truly, they make an irresistible noise...though over 38 tracks there is danger of overdosing on strumming and wailing..."