Thursday, November 09, 2017

Esther Galil - Morocco-born Jewish Singer of “Conquistador” in FRENCH

You silly English Kaaaaaa-nigggits! THIS is how "Conquistador" should be sung! By a Jewish woman in French! Brooker, your mother was a hamster! 

    Sapristi! You’ve heard of the Sea of Galilee, but not heard a high C from Esther Galil? Down below you get the note, and a whole lot more.

    Circa 1972,  Boko Harum or whatever they were called, had a surprise hit with a movie-soundtrack version of a sparse 1967 track called “Conquistador.” It was on their "Live with an Orchestra You Never heard Of" album, the only one to feature the late great Dave Ball on lead guitar. Thanks to "awesome" minor-league arrangement (ooh, how clever, a trumpet that can mimic a battle cry, and a bunch of thrumming violins) the band would have its second...and last...hit. Since the lead singer once fucked up an Italian version of a single ("Shine on Brightly") he was not asked to sing an Italian version. The French language version was given to a hot new singer with a tough, soulful voice: Esther Galil. Sort of the Israeli Elkie Brooks.

    Galil (May 28, 1945) was born in Morocco, where her ancestors migrated when the Jews were kicked out of Spain during the Inquisition.  (Nobody expects...) The Galil family (eleven children) heard about the Jews finally getting their own country. And so they journeyed to the land of Milk and Honey, and settled in what is now still known, despite antisemite Roger Waters and his melon-headed shower buddy Peter Gabriel, as ISRAEL. 

       Like so many hard-working Jews trying to make their dream nation come alive, Esther worked on a kibbutz where she picked fruits and vegetables. Her singing lightened the load for her co-workers, and she began performing Israeli folk tunes. She found success in France, and had a hit with "The Day Rises." She discovered her voice was suited to R&B and rock. With Janis Joplin and other white women on the charts, labels wanted a tougher, grittier sound. Esther recorded “Delta Queen.” The flip side: the French language “Conquistador” you find below. I'm not sure of the French translation. I think it has something to do with a French knight who died in battle when he forgot his sword and began fighting with a baguette instead. Whatever, Galil now had several hit singles and was a star. She opened for Michel Sardou at the famous Olympia, shared the bill with Johnny Hallyday, and toured with Gilbert Montagne.

    Over the years, her songs were hits in Europe and in areas of the Middle East and Africa including Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria and Iran. Various songs written by Galil have been hits for other artists including Giovanna (“Shalom Shula Shalom”). Her songs have been covered by French singers such as Julie Pietri and Patricia Kass. She is the only Israeli artist to appear in the Divas Billboard Top 50 of “greatest female artists.” 

    As one might expect, Galil’s output lessened as she entered middle age, but part of that was because she found other things to challenge her, including art. Moving to Los Angeles about 20 years ago, she began to exhibit her paintings in local galleries. 

    Still keeping up with music, in 2003 she returned to France for a show at the Olymbia with Gilles Dreu, Jacqueline Dulac, and Nicole Croisille. If you’d like better known names, Esther participated in many international antiwar concerts, films and protests, alongside Bruce Springsteen, Pink, System of a Down and Neil Young. Locally, she’s appeared at the Los Angeles Mint and Harvelle’s Theater in Santa Monica. In 2013 she turned up for an audition at the second season of The Voice, performing her classic, “The Day Rises.” Said one of the judges: “It’s an honor to have you here.”

    In May 19, 2017, Esther joined an all-star (as far as European fans are concerned) concert at Chalon sur Saone, which also featured Didier Barbelivien, Jean-Luc Lahaye and  Linda De Suza. And so below, “Conquistador,” for a woman who has conquered a variety of media, and for the moment, still has conquered Father Time.

Esther Galil - CONQUISTADOR - Listen online or download. NEVER A DOPEY PASSWORD!

No comments: