On 11 February 2019 I set myself the challenging of reading 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die by Robert Dimery (ed.) and following the book’s advice to the letter. I’ve previously read 1001 Films… and started 1001 Albums… but felt 1001 Songs… would be a sensible place to start for what I have in mind here.
My challenge is to read about one song per day and listen to it (YouTube and Spotify, I need you tonight!) before sharing my own thoughts. Some songs I will love, others I’ll hate, and I’m sure there will be those that leave me perplexed but listen to them I shall.
I’ll also try, and most likely fail, to pinpoint the best song from the 1001 on offer but I’m nothing if not foolhardy. Instead of one song, I’m predicting I’ll have about 100 favourites by the end and may have to resort to a Top 10 so far to maintain any semblance of sanity.
So long as I post everyday (including Christmas) then this challenge should come to an end on Wednesday 8 November 2021. Staying with the Barney Stinson theme I am hoping that the whole experience will prove to be…
Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan – Mustt Mustt (Lost in his Work) (1990)
Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan (born Pervez Fateh Ali Khan; 13 October 1948 – 16 August 1997), was a Pakistani vocalist, musician and music director primarily a singer of qawwali, a form of Sufi devotional music.
We are leaving the UK behind today, dear reader, and making our way over to Asia and to Pakistan. I don’t recall coming to Pakistan before but do remember being in neighbouring India. If this is our first visit it is always nice to immerse ourselves in new culture and music. Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan began singing live at the age of 15 before landing a record deal in the early 1980s. We join him in 1990 though with the release of the album, Mustt Mustt. From there, 1001 Songs have gone with the title track.
Mustt Mustt is a form of Qawwali which is a genre that celebrates one’s devotion to a higher being or noble cause. The song celebrates a range of Sufi Saints with Khan being so effusive about them that he is near intoxicated by their presence and the love for them. The song is heavy on bass and guitar, especially at the start before Khan’s vocals are often duelling with another voice and as the song progresses the intensity becomes so overwhelming it hits the stratosphere.
Mustt Mustt was both a popular track and album for Khan. It was even the result of a remix by Massive Attack and became a club hit. Picture a dance club crowd dancing away to Urdu. Sounds great to me. Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan became known as the King of Kings of Qawwali but his life was sadly cut short at the age of 48 when he died from cardiac arrest. Pakistan mourned his passing and the world had lost yet another bright star.
Favourite songs so far: