Manu Chao - Radio Bemba Sound System (2002)

Anyone who's caught Manu Chao and his band Radio Bemba Sound System at one of their live gigs will testify that the Parisian troubadour sure knows how to throw a party. This live album draws on reggae, salsa, and Latin pop songs from Chao's first two excellent solo albums (Clandestino and Proxima Estación: Esperanza) as well as joyous gems from his time leading the more punk-tinged Mano Negra. While the styles vary as often as the languages (Chao flits from Spanish to English to French as he translates his life as a global nomad into his music), the common thread is a sense of vitality and hope. From the uplifting reggae of "Bienvenida a Tijuana" to the African pop and salsa of "Casa Babylon," this album showcases Chao's role as the pied piper of multiculturalism, leading his crowd on a (literally) merry dance. And it's the crowd that really makes these 29 tracks come into their own. You can almost picture the mob waving, cheering, blowing whistles, shouting into megaphones, and generally having the wildest time this side of Rio Mardi Gras. A great flashback for those who have seen Chao live and a perfect introduction for recent converts. --Ian Watson

01. Intro
02. Bienvenida A Tijuana
03. Machine Gun
04. Por Donde Saldra El Sol?
05. Peligro
06. Welcome To Tijuana
07. El Viento
08. Casa Babylon
09. Por El Suelo
10. Blood And Fire
11. Ezln...Para Tod@s Todo...
12. Mr. Bobby
13. Bongo Bong
14. Radio Bemba
15. Que Paso Que Paso
16. Pinocchio
17. Cahi En La Trampa
18. Clandestino
19. Rumba De Barcelona
20. La Despedida
21. Mala Vida
22. Radio Bemba
23. Que Paso Que Paso
24. Pinocchio
25. La Primavera
26. The Monkey
27. King Kong Five
28. Minha Galera
29. Promiscuity