Gipsy Kings is a French group originally made up of 2 families, the Baliardo and the Reyes, two cousin families who cross their destinies when Tonino, Paco and Diego Baliardo meet Nicolas, François (dit 'Canut') and Paul (dit 'Pablo') Reyes in 1970 during a pilgrimage to Saintes Maries de la Mère.
A first group is born under the name of Los Reyes. Group which released in 1977 a first album named "Gitan" under the name of José Reyes and Los Reyes (group which will have been joined in the meantime by a young Moroccan, Jahloul Bouchikhi dit Chico). Album that will go relatively unnoticed.
And it was a year later, in 1978, that a providential aid, named Brigitte Bardot, knocked on their door. She wants to invite them to come and play on her birthday. The performance was noticed and the band quickly became a "phenomenon" among billionaires.
The invitations multiply, the notoriety of the group soars in the heart of the Jet Set. Enrico Macias even invited them to open for his Olympia in 1979.
Another providential meeting in 1982 when they crossed paths with producer Jacqueline Tarta, and always at this site which brought them luck, namely Les Saintes Marie de la Mère. They introduced them to Phonogram, a label which allowed them to release their first album “Allegria” a year later in 1983. Unfortunately, another failure with the public.
Then it was Francis Lalanne's turn, suddenly taken with a passion for this group in 1984, to try to help them. He helps them release their new album "Luna de fuego", even makes them the opening act of his concerts but the fate persists, it will not be for this time either.
It was not until 1986 and their meeting with producer Claude Martinez that things finally picked up. The latter sees enormous potential in them, takes them under his wing and takes the opportunity to make them abandon the name Los Reyes in favor of a new more promising name namely the Gipsy Kings. He also took the opportunity to make them evolve, both in terms of sound and style.
A new album is in preparation but the group’s metamorphosis still does not allow the mayonnaise to set and the first single from the album called "Bamboléo" is rejected by all the record companies. It is by playing on their network within the nightlife and radios in the south of France that the miracle will happen.
It is through this that they manage to impose their title, which will very quickly become one of the biggest musical phenomenon of the year 1987. Just like “Djobi, Djoba”, a title actually dating from 1982 and which will therefore literally explode five years later.
The success is such that it goes beyond the borders of the hexagon from 1988. The United States clamors for them, to such an extent that the group becomes 'the phenomenon' in Hollywood as it was formerly on the Riviera. The success even became phenomenal and above all, global, from 1989.
The hits are raining, "Bem Bem Maria" in 1988, "Soy" and "Volare" in 1989 both from their new album "Mosaique" which comes out the same year.
Two years of triumphant touring passed before the album "Este mundo" was released in 1991, an album that produced two new top hits, "Sin ella" and above all the enormous "Baila me". But the year 1991 is also the year of the clash between Chico and the rest of the group. Indeed, the latter tries to appropriate for personal purposes the name Gipsy Kings.
A coup d'etat very badly perceived by the rest of the group who excluded him in the process. Very dark affair which will end even in court. This will not prevent the same Chico from later creating an equivalent group under the name Chico and the Gypsies.
A vendetta which will unfortunately be fatal to the group. Because even if the group will continue for a few years to ride the wave of success and release 2 new remarkable albums that are "Estrellas" in 1995 and "Compas" in 1997, the craze for this type of music will fade late 90s, at least on the old continent.
To discover or rediscover.
Discography (among others ...) :
La dona 1982
Un amor 1983
Viento del arena 1983
Djobi, Djoba 1987
Bem bem Maria 1988
Tu quieres volver 1988
Vamos a bailar 1989
Caminando por la calle 1990
Hotel California 1991
Baila me 1991
Sin ella 1991
Pida me la 1992
Quiero saber 1992
Escucha me 1993
No vivré 1994
La rumba de Nicolas 1995
Solo por ti (Amiwawa) 1997
Come siente yo 2004
1982 ... beginnings to say the least confidential. The style that will make their glory and their fortune is already in place and they only have to wait for the boost of fate ...
1983 ... it is true that at that time the gypsy style remained quite confidential and did not really correspond to the new musical standards of the time. And yet, the future will show just the opposite !
1983 ... they will have to be patient and above all persevering. But they will be and when it will pay off, it will pay way beyond all their expectations !
1987 ... then comes THIS title. The styling was already in place so nothing fancy. On the other hand, bringing it up to date and adding the melody that goes well, that's what will make all the difference. When everything is in the right place at the right time, this is where the miracle happens. Which is the case with this title. MAS-TER-FUL !
1987 ... the gypsy style becomes one of the biggest phenomena of the moment, incredible thing. In the era of synths and drum machines, this ancestral style suddenly begins to become one of the most popular musical styles. Like what, everything happens to who knows how to wait !
1988 ... now that the dynamic is in place, the group has only to unroll and to unroll, that, that will unroll !
1988 ... they know how to do in the dance register but their talent is also evident in the Intimist field. The proof with this title !
1989 ... back to pure and hard gypsy dance mode. A unique style in the world brought up to date thanks to this group and which will literally overwhelm the planet
1989 ... after a year of 1988 that we will qualify as exceptional, the group confirms in this year 1989 all the good that we think of him. The fame is now global and the hits are linked at an impressive speed
1989 ... surely one of the most famous covers of the title of Domenico Modugno dating from 1958. The group signs here one of its most emblematic titles and establishes its supremacy a little more on this end of the decade 80 ...
1990 ... the transition to the next decade is smooth on a title that literally floats in the air. A group that will really excel in all areas !
1991 ... new luxury cover this time of the now legendary title of the Eagles dating from 1976. An astonishing cover of certain quality but which will count more for the anecdotal side than for the result in the Charts which will be more than modest
1991 ... the biggest success of all their discography. And yes, at the planetary level, it is this title that will allow them to go to the stars. HU-GE !
1991 ... the group is at the height of its art at the beginning of the decade and unrolls in an impressive way. A more than deserved success !
1992 ... another notorious success in this year 1992 on a style still as typical and which will not budge from the beginning of the adventure until the end. It's the level of melodic inspiration that will make the difference every time
1992 ... the group is now enjoying its main successes across the Atlantic. The best proof with this title of more than certain quality but which will only work in the United States ...
1993 ... a mixture of gypsy and reggae music which is somewhat disconcerting. It's well tried but the result is unfortunately not the most inspired ...
1994 ... another title which will only know its heyday in the United States. Paradoxically, after a decade of the 80s which saw the group explode in France, the decade of the 90s saw them only exist outside France. No one is a prophet in his own country...
1995 ... unfortunately, this time it does not work either in France or across the Atlantic. The concept is at the end of the races and the group does not manage to renew himself, hence an irreversible stall ...
1997 ... the style is still as effective as ever, but unfortunately fashion has passed. An adventure which draws to its end and which sees the group gradually disappear from the radars. But what an adventure !
2004 ... we will find them all the same the following decade. And even if the style is no longer trendy, what he delivers here largely holds up. Well done gentlemen !
Official Website :
Greatest Hits :