Omar Khorshid is one of the greatest guitar players of the Arab world – so naturally, one of the best to pick up the instrument and grace our planet – and this much needed reissue of We Want Love is a must from Wewantsounds. The label’s Arabic series of albums has grown very consistently, blessing our ears with each edition.
Khorshid – who acccompanies such greats as Oum Kalthoum, Abdel Halim Hafez and Farid El Atrache – was born in Cairo in 1945. After studying music from an early age, he joined the Egyptian pop group Les Petits Chats in 1966 and played with them for a couple of years. After seeing the group playing, Abdel Halim Hafez then recruited Khorshid for his band, which led him to subsequently play for Egyptian diva – Oum Khalthoum – and a few other Egyptian pop stars.
The label says: “Wewantsounds is delighted to announce the reissue of Omar Khorshid’s cult instrumental album from 1978 originally released in Lebanon. The album features Khorshid’s trademark twangy electric guitar sound over Arabic melodies, enhanced by fascinating fuzzed-up arrangements and early synthesiser sounds.”
Featuring reworkings of favourites like Mohamed Abdel Wahab’s Ahwak, Farid El-Atrache’s Hebbina Hebbina (a Brian Eno Favourite), and the Rahbani Brothers’ Rahbaniyat,
Following the political troubles faced by Egypt in the early 70s, Khorshid decided to move to Lebanon in 1973 and started recording under his own name for a few Beirut-based labels. In 1977, he was invited by Egyptian President Anwar El-Sadat to perform at the White House, for the celebration of the Camp David Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty. In 1978, Khorshid moved out again – to Syria this time – for a about a year before returning to his homeland of Egypt to concentrate on live performances and his film career.
Sadly, Khorshid tragically died in a motorbike crash in May 1981, aged just 36, robbing the world of a unique talent.
”The With Love album was released by the Beirut-based Voice of Lebanon label in 1978 is a testament to Omar Khorshid’s greatness and encapsulate the unique sound of his guitar playing over modern arrangements establishing him as one of Arabic music’s true innovators,” the label adds. “The album is a fascinating example of modern Arabic music that aimed at fusing traditional influences with the more contemporary ones, and has become highly sought-after by lovers of this Middle Eastern sounds around the world.”
Wewantsounds’ series of Arabic music reissues are curated by Lebanese-born Arabic music expert Mario Choueiry from Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris. The album has been newly remastered and comes with the original LP artwork, released on the label.
Check out the label’s Bandcamp – loads of first class reissues of late. It’s released in February.