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50 Greatest Hits Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan

50 Greatest Hits Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan

Album Review

The idea of a religious singer whose ecstasy-inducing opuses commonly run over 20 minutes having “greatest hits” borders on the hilarious. But when you consider the fanatical following the Pakistani qawwali star has gained around the world, the top-of-the-charts concept becomes less far-fetched. Upon hearing the great qawwal in person, Pakistanis in foreign cities were known to bang their heads against the stage until they bled. This set of four pieces was released in 1997, the year Nusrat died. By the time the world discovered Nusrat in the late ’80s, he had produced literally hundreds of recordings, so whether you consider these archival selections “hits” or not, they are significant and worthwhile additions to his catalog. “Haq Ali Ali” is the only one of these to appear on any of Nusrat’s nine Real World releases, but the short version on Devotional Songs is only a warm-up for this expansive, 25-minute rendition. Nusrat’s sound remained fairly constant throughout his career. He changed his instrumental backing some before settling on harmonium as his backing instrument of choice, and his voice gathered some ragged…

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