Various: World Hits

Various Artists
Putumayo Presents: World Hits

This CD has an interesting title. What are world hits? I thought they might be hits from around the world. In my imagination, the compilers had gone to Estonia and Peru and Malawi and other countries, finding songs from the Top 10 and assembling them on an album so that we’d know what people in other parts of the planet were listening to. But no. What we have here is a collection of world music and reggae songs that have cracked the charts in the U.S. The album starts with Peter Tosh and Mick Jagger singing “You Gotta Walk and Don’t Look Back”, and ends with the Gypsy Kings on “Bamboleo”. It doesn’t include anything more recent than “7 Seconds”, which was a success for Neneh Cherry and Youssou N’Dour well over a decade ago. Then again, songs like this don’t make the charts the way they did pre-1990. World Hits is not the album you’d buy if you wanted to be surprised. It’s the album you’d buy if you were around in the ’80s and found yourself yearning to hear “Lambada” again. If that’s not you then there are a thousand other compilations you should buy before this one.

RATING 4 / 10