The Wire


Rachid Taha has died

The Algerian singer died on 12 September aged 59

Algerian singer and activist Rachid Taha died of a heart attack in Paris on 12 September. Born in 1958, he moved to France at the age of ten. In Lyon, he began DJing and writing. In 1982 he formed Carte De Sejour along with Mohamed and Mokhtar Amini, Eric Vaquer and Djamel Dif, releasing their debut album Rhorhomanie in 1984. Taha recalled in an Invisible Jukebox in The Wire 277 how they tried to get The Clash to produce their first record. 20 years later he recorded a version of “Rock The Casbah” titled “Rock El Casbah” with ex-Clash members Mick Jones and Paul Simonon. The group had a 1986 hit with their version of Charles Trenet’s patriotic “Douce France”. After they split, Taha moved to Paris and launched his solo career in the late 1980s. In 1999 he collaborated with raï musician Cheb Khaled and Faudel on 1, 2, 3 Soleils, conceived by ex-Gong guitarist Steve Hillage as an “Arab equivalent of the Three Tenors”.