Over the years the Gipsy Kings – whose members hail from the gypsy settlements in Arles and Montpelier in the south of France – have included singers and guitarists from the Reyes (Canut, Nicolas, Pablo, and Patchai) and Baliardo families (Diego, Paco, and Tonino). Lead singer Nicolas Reyes is the son of famed Flamenco singer José Reyes, who, with Manitas de Plata, sold millions of records in the 1960s and '70s. The band's vigorous guitar work and passionate vocals are the trademarks of an indigenous musical tradition known as "rumba flamenca."
There are no other examples of a non-English speaking band (the group's language is the Gypsy dialect of gitane) with such a consistent winning streak in the US, where the group is the biggest-selling French act ever. The initial success of this platinum 18-track 1995 collection, chronicling the first seven years of the group's Nonesuch career, illustrated just how popular the Gipsy Kings had become: It held the top spot on the World Music charts for a full year. Featured are the band's irresistible, career-launching hits, "Bamboleo" and "Djobi Djoba," plus a few previously unreleased tracks and everything in between.