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Leila Stevens: Fly Away Taxi

May 16, 2010

Leila Stevens
Fly Away Taxi

This record was made in Lebanon, so now once you’ve heard it you know as much as I do about it.

“Leila Stevens” doesn’t sound like a very Arabic name, but her singing sounds Middle Eastern enough to pass for the real thing to my Western ears. The style is much less traditional and more Beirut-nightclub than the Sammy Shahen record we heard here a while ago, and we can imagine that Leila might have been very popular in the hottest Lebanese venues in the 1950s or so. The song itself (sung in Arabic, in spite of the English title) is irresistibly catchy, and you may have trouble getting it out of your head.


From → Lebanese

One Comment
  1. Dr Bruni permalink

    This is indeed catchy and I think reflects the crossroads of the Mid East with Mediterranean which was Beirut. Some of the more modern things I have heard (like Fairuz, which I listened too much in the seventies) sound like this. However nothing I have ever heard from more traditional sources (like Umm Kulthum) sounds quite like it.
    I would like to tell you the story of the censored video of Mina’s (by Rai) in the late seventies. The video is really excellent, futuristic (predicting even Speers Madonna Gaga of today) and very well produced and performed. She is of course a goddess of Italian culture and the best pop vocalist in the world currently (no, I am not related).

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