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Ba?onarena *

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Ba?onarena *

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Panik, Panik
El Hoyo
Casa Babylon
Mr. Bobby
La Primavera
Radio Bemba
Bienvenida a Tijuana
El Viento
The Monkey
Ya Llego/Rumba De Barcelona/ La Despedida
La Despedida/mentira
L’hiver Est Long!
Crsv’ La Vie
Pinocchio (Viaggio in Groppa Al Tonno)

Performer Notes:

  • Personnel: Manu Chao (vocals, guitar); Madjid Fahem (guitars); Angelo Mancini (trumpet); Julio Garcia Lobos (keyboards); David Bourguignon (drums); Philippe “Garbancito” Teboul (percussion).
  • Audio Mixers: Chuco Garcia; Charlie Vde.
  • Recording information: Ar?nes de Bayone (07/30/2008).
  • Editor: Mark Maborough Aka Markuss.
  • Photographers: Roxanne Hayes; Alex Laurel; Marjorie Guigue; Elisabeth Labourt-Ibarre; Chuco Garcia.
  • Riding high on the success of La Radiolina (2007), his first internationally released studio album in seven years, Manu Chao embarked on a lengthy tour in 2008 with his band, Radio Bemba, that took him around the world. The live album Ba?onarena documents a triumphant concert from the tour that took place in Bayonne, a city in southwestern France in the heart of Basque Country. The 33-song concert set is spread across two CDs in audio, with a bonus DVD featuring the entire two-and-a-half-hour concert in video plus the promotional videos from La Radiolina and a half-hour documentary, Carnet de Voyage. Ba?onarena spans the entirety of Chao’s career, from his days in the band Mano Negra (“Mala Vida,” “Sidi H’Bibi,” “Casa Babylon,” “The Monkey,” “Machine Gun,” “Hamburger Fields”) all the way up to La Radiolina, which is represented by a half-dozen songs spread across the concert. There are also old favorites like the title track from his solo album debut, Clandestino (1998), as well as the hits from his second album, Pr?xima Estaci?n: Esperanza (2001) — “Merry Blues,” “Me Gustas T?,” and “Mr. Bobby” — along with a lot of material that was performed on his first live album, Radio Bemba Sound System (2002). All that’s left out is material from Sib?rie M’?tait Cont?ee (2004), the French-language album that was little heard outside France. While most of the material on Ba?onarena should be familiar to longtime fans, the live versions of these songs often diverge from the originals. For instance, “Clandestino” includes a crowd singalong while “La Primavera” (which includes “Me Gustas T?”) veers off into a riotous protest against U.S. president George W. Bush, whom Chao declares to be the world’s deadliest terrorist. In some ways, Chao is best heard as a live performer rather than as a studio artist, particularly in terms of energy and crowd involvement (indeed, he seems to draw his energy from the crowd), and so Ba?onarena is something of an ideal greatest-hits collection, even if hits like “Me Gustas T?” aren’t performed in a straightforward manner. More than anyone, fans who have heard Chao’s albums a hundred times over will enjoy Ba?onarena, for the album casts familiar material in a new light. Newcomers, on the other hand, are better off starting with Radio Bemba Sound System, a double-disc live album from six years earlier that was reissued in 2008 on Nacional Records. It’s a better introduction to Chao that includes a lot of the same songs as Ba?onarena (with the exception of the La Radiolina material, of course), but they’re performed with less haste and rearrangement.

Producer: G?rard Pont, Sylvain Plantard, Radio Bemba, Charlie Vde, Manu Chao

Format: CD (2 Disc); Stereo

Country: France

Studio/Live: Live

Release Date: 29 October, 2013

Label: Because Music

Dimensions: 12.7 × 14 × 1.3 centimeters (0.07 kg)

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