PopEatsPop

This site is dedicated to documenting pop songs that have been covered by another act. A covers project? No not quite. PopEatsPop is not really about famous songs being covered but rather when a pop act usually in a distant country records a song that is then swiped by another who tends to have a larger record company behind them! Any suggestions would be great! Drop a line at cartharsispopboy@hotmail.com

Friday, September 15, 2006

Derl el makadelech bal el ghaka....












Khaled-DiDi The Famous version that went to no.1 in France
Giorgos Alkaios-Ti, Ti The Greek version that went to no.1 in Greece
Brahim & Nessa-DiDi The English/UrbanDisco version that went to no.1 in Belgium
Khaled-DiDi The Radio Edit The version that went to no.1 in Algeria & Egypt

Khaled&Others-DiDi French acts perform the song at a tribute show in Khaleds honour
Brahim & Nessa-DiDi The DJ Senol Remix

Now think of the most popular song of the 1990's that dominated the charts for absolutely months. I'd nominate Cher's Believe...but that would be terribly occidental of me. In fact much of blogworld often takes a occidental approach to music and thus neglects some brilliant pop music thats out there . Hence I thought for my second thread I'd try something poptastically Arabic in the form of Khaled's monolithic hit DiDi which can claim to be the most played song in history.

The word "music" originates from the Greek word "mousiki" which means the discipline of the composing of melodies. 'Ilm al-musiqa' was the name given by the Arabs to the Greek theory of music to distinguish it from 'Ilm al-ghinaa' which was the Arab theory. The influence of Arabic on musical instruments has been far wider than has been generally acknowledged. The origin of the words flute, rebec, guitar and naker are rooted in the Arabic words: Al-'ud, rabab, qithara. Its no wonder then that Didi would be translated into Greek and was to be a move that would have spectacular results for the singer of the cover...

DiDi is one of the catchiest songs ever written and first released in France (even though it was recorded in the US). It is truly an international pop song. Even if you can't understand the language the little melody is addictive and it will have you humming it on your way to work. DiDi swept through many Arabic countries staying at no.1 for months in Algeria, Libya and Egypt. It also became the first Arabic song to top the charts in France where it has become iconic and has evolved into an aural metanarrative for the huge Algerian diaspora that live in the country. Anyone born in the 1970's or 1980's would find themselves dancing to DiDi at parties. Even now it is ripping through the dancefloors in Pakistan where the DJ's swapped their indi-pop records with DiDi and its like. Didi-Fever has never truly died out and continues pick up followers wherever its released.

The singer Khaled Hadj Brahim was born in Sidi-El-Houri, Algeria. He began recording in his early teens under the name Cheb Khaled (Arabic for "Young Khaled") and has become probably the most internationally famous Algerian singer. This is what BBC Radio3 had to say about Khaled: 'he is a phenomenon and one of the few artists...in music that can wear the title "superstar". As Algeria’s heavyweight champion of rai music, Khaled has gone on to enjoy astonishing success across much of continental Europe, Asia and Latin America.' Fans of Tarkan, Antique, Hadise and songs that cross-reference cultures, genres and backgrounds will love Didi. You can hear traces of Matt Bianco, early house music, Leila K, early Madonna, Prince and jassfunk.

It also has a very special place in my heart as it takes me back to my family trip to Morocco. My mother is one of those crazy Catholics who goes to church every day and our summer holidays would always have to include my mother making a small pilgrimage to some church, temple and site of holy significance. Often or not the holiday was in reality the pilgrimage. When I heard we were going to Morocco - my father had business meetings there - my brother and I were relieved as its an Islamic state. Finally a holiday without the blood of Christ, confession and pews! Er no! Not 30 minutes from unpacking our bags at the hotel my mother carted us of to mass. Catholic churches are everywhere! You can take the Catholic out of a Catholic country but you can't the Catholic out of a Catholic.

While we couldnt escape morning mass a good case of fake food poisoning was the usual excuse that enabled us to bunk the late evening church visits. While my mother and sisters went to church, my brother and I would shower and shave, Lynx up, put our on H&M's & Adidas' and would explore Casablanca. I was 15 and he was 17 so our nerves were awash with the usual teenage excitement of being somewhere new but also the fear of getting caught. However as my brother had with him a torn page on Morocco from the guide Spartacus (Sorry Waterstones!) it wasnt long before we discovered the many gay discos that were all playing DiDi. For those few hours we could dance to our hearts content, maybe fall in love with strangers, see the stars and hold hands with whomever we wanted. So for me this song is about freedom, love, peace, escape, fun and having a great time with my brother. When I play this song I am reminded of freedom and the absolute joy it offers. Thus this song reinforces why I was right to come out to my parents but contains an ounce of regret as I miss them so much.

But this blog isnt about me or Arabic music but about when popeatspop! So now to the surreptitious cover...

Before it was released in the rest of Europe, the song had already been rushed out and was already no.1 in Greece. The act in question was to become the legendary male singer (think a Greek Robbie Williams)Giorgos Alkaios. His version, retitled Ti, Ti, launched his career that spans over 15 albums since his debut in 1992. The record company in Greece heard Khaled's masters done in NYC and somehow managed to record a new version before the French record company had even recieved the DATS. However do not jump to disregard Giorgos as some record company puppet as he is a rather talented man and is most famous abroad for being the writer behind the Antique smash hit Opa Opa. Opa Opa of course is another epic song that has been translated into a number of languages and its already been put aside for a PopEatsPop examination.

Didi was then translated in English, given a urban-disco makeover and released in the Belgium, Germany, The Netherlands and France by Brahim and Nessa. The new version of the song sent DiDi back up the charts. While its just fun their version modifies the catchy sax rift and thus doesnt quite work. Still, its a brilliant cover that includes genres of hip-hop, rnb, disco and Algerian folk music. Fans of the music reality shows might like to know Brahim, who is rather handsome, came fourth in the Flemish version of Pop Idol in 2003.

Included today we have all three versions, a few radio mixes and a live version. Again I apologise for the length...

9 Comments:

  • At 6:35 PM, Blogger Paul said…

    aw Pinkie - i just wanna hug you. I love songs that have personal meanings for people and its nice of you to share. I also love trying new music that might be different for me so this was a nice breath of fresh air. So you're batting two for two :) And don't worry about length - i'm all about the length ;)

     
  • At 6:56 PM, Blogger englishboila said…

    Dont apologise for the length.. its a good read.. i love that u actaully think about this stuff and its not just some inane blog that ahs the same shit that everone else does!! Keep it up!!!

     
  • At 5:19 AM, Blogger J'ason D'luv said…

    Paul, quit trying to win back Pinkie. Everyone knows you've got the bits of a gnat.

    So, back to your post, I take it your brother's gay (hence the torn page from Spartacus)?

    Also, I love hearing about other's religious upbringings for some reason... I think it's because I was raised in a household where religion played hardly any role. Catholics are sexy.

    Great post.

     
  • At 5:29 AM, Blogger xolondon said…

    I was going to make a joke about your length but I think everyone else has beaten me to it... so to speak, as it were.

     
  • At 11:16 PM, Blogger Paul said…

    did you just say i have the bits of a gnat d'luv? thats fighting talk!! it is well known i am hung like a baby hamster which is so much bigger than a gnat. Don't make me gag your filthy mouth ;)

     
  • At 3:23 PM, Blogger J'ason D'luv said…

    Quite frankly, it was veiled attempt to get you to prove you don't have the bits of a gnat....

     
  • At 7:56 PM, Blogger Paul said…

    shit. screwed again. i'm like some great glory hole. Thanks d'luv. Sob... (runs from room crying ;) )

     
  • At 9:00 PM, Blogger J'ason D'luv said…

    I'm waiting....

     
  • At 8:12 PM, Blogger PinkieDust said…

    Paul-Aww hugz you back!

    EnglishBolla: Im glad you liked the length. Thanks for you lovely words :)

    Jason: Yes my brother is gay. And religions are not sexy. You are lucky. Catholics are freeeeeaaky. I cant "do sex" properly.

    XO: you are unique

    And Jason! Paul! stop flirting on my blog!

     

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