This album contains a brimming catalogue of the Gipsy Kings’ most memorable hits, plus the single, “A tu Vera,” and a club-mix medley bonus track – both previously unavailable. With the lightning strumming of multiple acoustic guitars and the signature of their expressive, passionate vocals, the brothers Reyes and Baliardo – who speak in the Gypsy dialect of Gitane – have mined their musical and cultural roots, consistently drawing enthusiastic listeners whose language, in most cases, they don’t share. There are no other examples of a non-English-speaking band with such a consistent winning streak in the US – where the group is the biggest selling French act ever.
Hailing from the Reyes and Baliardo Gypsy families, this ensemble from the south of France has been playing “rumba flamenca” since the late 1980s. With this 1995 compilation, the songwriting talent and virtuosity this unique group possesses were gathered together in one comprehensive CD. Notable inclusions are the anthemic hit “Bamboleo,” from their debut, Gipsy Kings; the slowly emotive “Trista Pena” the Italian cover “Volaré,” from Mosaïque; and assorted live cuts that wonderfully capture the wild energy these players spark onstage. In short, the Gipsy Kings are a celebratory bunch who know how to rock with a rhapsody of acoustic guitars, passionate vocals, and walls of congas, timbales, cabasas, and bongos. Check this caravan out. –Karen Karleski