An amazing view of Iran in the years before the Ayatollah – a rich tapestry of mainstream music that really opens up our understanding of the country at the time! Before the revolution, Iran was one of the most modern nations in the Middle East – and the tunes here really show a strong desire to blend regional traditions with more Western sounds – not just the trippy psych and rock you might know from other compilations, but a good deal of other pop modes too! The tunes often have the vocals right out front, layered over lively rhythms backed by fuller orchestrations – often, on some of the best cuts, with an energy that reminds us of Indian or Pakistani pop of the period. Other numbers get a bit more romantic, but in ways that are still pretty compelling – given the unusual instrumentation, production, and obvious difference in language. Notes are great – almost a guidebook to Iranian popular music at the time – and titles include "Gheseye Rooze Siah" by Habib, "Khaar" by Kourush Yaghmaei, "Ey Vallah" by Pooran, "Omadi" by Shohreh, "Goftam Be Chasm" by Hassan Khayatbashi, "Kalaghaey Khabarchin" by Leila Forouhar, "Tang Ast Dilam" by Ahmad Zahir, "Age Mishod Che Mishod" by Googoosh
, "Hobab" by Neli, "Asheghi Doroughe" by Hamid Shabkhiz, and "Abre Payizi" by Simin Ghanem. 28 tracks on 2CDs.