Following the reissue last year of Fairuz's classic 1979 album "Wahdon", Wewantsounds pursue their exploration of great Lebanese music with the reissue of Fairuz's highly sought-after LP "Maarifti Feek," released in 1987. Recorded in Beirut around 1983-84, the album features the Diva's superb voice combined with Ziad Rahbani's jazz and funk orchestration, making it one of the most in-demand albums on the Arabic funk scene. The release will coincide with "Arab Divas," a major exhibition set in the prestigious Institut du Monde Arabe (IMA) in Paris, celebrating the greatest singers from the Arab World and starting 13 May 2020.
One of the greatest singers of the Middle East, Fairuz started her career in Lebanon in the 50s and quickly established herself as the most renowned Diva in the Arabic world, playing the most prestigious venues in the world.
At the end of the 70s, Fairuz was at a turning point both professionally and personally. Her Husband Assi Rahbani, who, with his brother Elias, had penned her biggest successes, has suffered a stroke a few years earlier. This setback ultimately led to both the demise of their marriage and the end of their professionnal partnership. Enters Ziad Rahbani, Fairuz and Assi's son, a young musician, playwright and producer who had cut his teeth writing a handful of Fairuz's song - including her 1973 hit "Sa'alouni El Nas" - at just seventeen.
Ziad Rahbani swiftly took over from his father and uncle as the singer's musical director and composer and this fruitful association, which started in 1979 with the album "Wahdon,"
broke many new grounds for Fairuz with funkier rhythms and edgier lyrics. It was recorded at the same time as Rahbani's own 12 inch "Abu Ali" which became a sought-after disco classic in its own right.
The association between the two continued with a second album, "Maarifti Feek" ("Our Encounter"), recorded between 1983 and 84 in Beirut but only released in 1987. The album was another groundbreaking mix of influences ranging from the traditional arrangements of "Oudak Rannan" and "Ma Kdirt Nseet" to the brazilan flavour of "Version 1" via the synth funk of "Ouverture 83" and its follow up "Reprise 83". Also featured on the album is a beautiful remake of Joaquin Rodrigo's "Concerto de Aranjuez" in the form of a tribute to the lebanese capital, "Li Beirut."
This blend of Oriental grooves with jazz and funk orchestrations by Ziad Rahbani is a unique document of Fairuz's career development in the 80s and explains why "Maarifti Feek" is such a sought after album on the DJ and collector circuits which Wewantsounds is delighted to reissue for the first time since the album first came out.