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WorldBeat

People of Mali Enjoy Rich Soundscape; Eiffel 65 Takes 'Euro Pop' to the Top; Smashing Pumpkins Begin New Chapter in New Millennium

Aired April 2, 2000 - 0:00 a.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

BROOKE ALEXANDER, CO-HOST: Hi, I'm Brooke Alexander in New York City. This week, sounds from three continents as WORLD BEAT travels the globe for a unique musical mix. Coming up, from Africa, roots, rhythms and blues form the magic of Mali. From Europe, Italian dance sensations Eiffel 65 in their first U.S. interview. And from America, a lineup, new album and new tour for Smashing Pumpkins.

We begin in West Africa with one of the poorest countries in the world, which is also one of the richest. The desert nation of Mali, which has very little in the way of natural resources, is amazingly fertile in musical talent. A unique blend of intoxicating rhythms with instruments like the quoram (ph) and the toma (ph) has produced a musical harvest ready for export to the world.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

Salif Keita, "Anamin"

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

Ali Farka Toure, "Niafunke"

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

Amadou Et Mariam, "Se Pense A Toi"

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

Habib Koite, Unidentified Song

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SEAN BARLOWE, AFROPOP WORLDWIDE: Mali is a poor country. It's about 10 million people. It's landlocked. But it also is very rich culturally and it's amazing when you think of it, this small country and it has about six or so artists who are signed to international labels.

TIM LISTER, "COVER VERSION" (voice-over): Mali's musical heritage spans seven centuries back to the days when it was an empire. Through the generations, musical families known as griots have honed their expertise with guitars and percussion. But it was Salif Keita who pioneered the export of Mali's music, fusing traditional with Western styles.

SALIF KEITA, MUSICIAN: You grow up in it. It's all around you. There is rhythm and melody.

LISTER: Another pioneer who still lives in his village in northern Mali, Grammy winner and farmer Ali Farka Toure. He says his ambition is to make his corner of Mali, near Timbuktu, the greenest in the land. His latest album, Niafunke, was recorded at his farm.

BARLOWE: Ali Farka Toure is an interesting character. He's got 10 children and he's the big man, he's the big success story. He's won a Grammy, you know, and he is important in Mali because he really championed the music from the north.

LISTER: The ground breaking music of Salif Keita and Ali Farka Toure has opened the way for a new generation. Habib Koite is at ease in Los Angeles and jamming in his back yard in Mali's capital, Bamako. Like most Malian artists, Habib still calls his country his home.

JACKSON BROWNE, MUSICIAN: For me it's that he's playing a gut string guitar, he's playing a nylon string guitar, the kind of guitar that many, you know, Latin people play and classical musicians play. But it's the rhythms, African rhythms.

LISTER: And the musicians of Mali are finding new audiences and fellow spirits in the West.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

Toumani Diabate & Taj Mahal, Unidentified Song

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LISTER: In a clapboard house in the American south, kora player Toumani Diabate crafted an extraordinary album with blues legend Taj Mahal.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

Toumani Diabate & Taj Mahal, Unidentified Song

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TAJ MAHAL, MUSICIAN: When you finally get an opportunity to listen to like the Malian music or the Senegali music or that song high empire music, you hear things that will sound blue to you, slightly there's a melancholy about it. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

Amadou et Mariam, "Se Pense A Toi"

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LISTER: The same gentle bluesy feel comes from an amazing blind couple, Amadou and Mariam. They sing of a world they've never seen but still illuminate.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

Amadou et Mariam, "Se Pense A Toi"

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BARLOWE: You know, in Mali it's not just love you, love you, baby, you know? When you're singing about something, there's got to be a good story, you've got to have something to say and it's amazing, actually, how important the musicians are there in kind of the social discourse.

LISTER: Musicians are held in high esteem in Mali. They sing of poverty and hunger but also of timeless relationships and always with a melodic purity that's unique in a world crowded by imitation.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ALEXANDER: We continue our musical globe trotting after the break with a look at WORLD BEAT'S exclusive album chart, the best selling albums across all the continents. And we will bring you an exclusive slice of heaven from the Italian kings of Euro pop, Eiffel 65.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

Top Ten:

10. THE CORRS, "MTV Unplugged" 9. MOBY, "Play" 8. TOM JONES, "Reload" 7. OASIS, "Standing On the Shoulder of Giants" 6. RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS, "Californication" 5. SMASHING PUMPKINS, "Machina/The Machines of God" 4. AQUA, "Aquarius" 3. AC/DC, "Stiff Upper Lip" 2. MACY GRAY, "On How Life Is" 1. SANTANA , "Supernatural"

Bubbling Under:

25. GEORGE STRAIT, "Latest Greatest Straitest Hits" 18. DR. DRE, "Dr. Dre 2001" 14. VENGABOYS, "The Platinum Album"

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BRUNO DEL GRANADO, CO-HOST: Who would have ever thought last summer that a song with a title like "Blue Ds Ba Dee" would become a global smash, selling more than five million singles and over two million albums, one million in the USA alone? Currently riding high with their second number one worldwide smash, "Move Your Body," Jeffrey Maritzio (ph) and Gabrie (ph), better known as Eiffel 65, are proving that when it comes to "Euro Pop," as their album is aptly named, no one does it better than the Italians.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

Eiffel 65, "Blue (Da Ba Dee)"

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

Eiffel 65, "Move Your Body"

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

Eiffel 65, "Too Much of Heaven"

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JEFFREY JEY, EIFFEL 65: The meaning of Euro pop actually, you can split this into Euro and pop. With Euro, we're meaning a gathering of different dance, European cultures. So we're talking about trip hop coming from the U.K., techno from Germany, we're talking about dance from Italy. It's all blended together. In fact, the different tracks have a different kind of dance situation as a bottom arrangement. And pop means that there's always a song on it. So that's exactly what we're saying, Euro pop and songs put onto a European dance situation.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

Eiffel 65, "Blue (Da Ba Dee)"

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GABRY PONTE, EIFFEL 65: We have a tradition for the dance music in Italy and our, I think, our best thing in Italy is the composition of the melody. That's the reason why we thought that blue is a good mix between a good Italian melodies and the good situation in dance, you know, rhythmically speaking.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

Eiffel 65, "Move Your Body"

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JEY: And we used a computer to choose the first part of the name because us three guys are producers so you don't really want to waste time, waste a lot of time choosing names. So Eiffel came out of the computer. But 65 nobody chose it. We got the record and we just went in there and it was like who did this? And we found out that our producer was writing a phone number and two digits of the phone number ended up on the label copy. And the graphic artist thought that it was part of the name put on afterwards and he just fused it all together without saying anything to anybody.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

Eiffel 65, "Too Much of Heaven"

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JEY: "Too Much of Heaven" is still a song that is based on dance music, but this time we're talking about trip pop music, same as blue, talking about a lifestyle. In this case we're talking about having too much of one thing that can spoil your entire existence, like maybe money so that's the only thing that becomes important in your life and you forget your family, your friends and you end up becoming money wise, money this and money that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

Eiffel 65, "Too Much of Heaven"

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PONTE: I came from a classic study of piano but I like to play other things and to listen to all the styles. But I prefer this experimental one. I prefer the -- I'm always looking for a very particular electronic.

JEY: Jeffrey was raised with rap music, rock music living in the United States, of course, and I moved on to in the '80s the electronic scene, which totally captured me, like Depeche Mode and, you know, that electronic stuff, Craft Work, computer with music. That was the culmination, you know, because I love computers and I love music and when I knew that I could combine them together it was like, OK, I don't need anything else, you know?

MAURIZIO LOBINA, EIFFEL 65: I like all the music too, but I am especially fond of dance music because I started my life in the music business as a deejay.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

Eiffel 65, "Too Much of Heaven"

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JEY: What we're mainly doing is continuing exactly what we were doing before "Blue." If we're sitting down in a studio, we're not thinking hey, this is going to be the new Eiffel and it has to be like this and it's got to sell. We don't care. I mean we just sit down and do exactly what we do. We love doing music.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) Eiffel 65, "Too Much of Heaven"

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

IAN DURY, MUSICIAN: I'm not here to be remembered. I'm here to be savored.

NEIL CURRY, "THE BEAT" (voice-over): The memory of Ian Dury was savored this week by his fellow artists after the prince of punk poetry lost a long battle with cancer. The 57-year-old singer brought humor to the British new wave in the late '70s with classics like "Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

Ian Dury and the Blockheads, "Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick"

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CURRY: Crippled by polio since childhood, Dury campaigned for vaccinations, joining fellow artist Robbie Williams on this UNICEF trip to Sri Lanka in 1998. Dury's acting skills took him to work in both theater and television. But it was his music which left a lasting impression from fellow British bands like Madness and Chumbawumba.

BOFF, CHUMBAWUMBA: He successfully took the idea of being very aware of what was going on in the world into punk. It wasn't just I'm against this and I'm against that, it was like OK, I love song, but he wrote it in a sort of punk way.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

Ian Dury, Unidentified Song

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CURRY: Dury's writing partner, Chaz Jankel, recalls how Rhythm Stick emerged from a jamming session.

CHAZ JANKEL, IAN DURY & THE BLOCKHEADS: So I'm sitting there and the scientist in me suddenly went heaven, if I go ba ba da dun dun dun with this little motif that had come out of the jam that I'd had with him, if I add that to the fun of it, I would get da unga ding a ding ding ding ding de da da da. So the next thing is I call up Ian and I said hey, I've got this great idea. And I told him this idea. And by this time he'd moved the drums and the piano into a garage. And he said oh, well hang on a moment. He said I'll be back in a second. He runs into the house, comes out with a typewritten lyric and he's -- there it is, "Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) Ian Dury, "Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick"

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JANKEL: I think it's enduring. I don't -- enduring, enduring, enduring. I think it's going to carry on, you know? I just can't see it fading. He brought a lot of light and a lot of happiness, you know, to people's lives. He wasn't conventional by any stretch of the imagination. He didn't fit into a slot. You know, he was the classic rebel.

CURRY: "The Beat" this week is devoted to the memory of Ian Dury. For the rest of this week's music news, visit our Web site at cnn.com/worldbeat.

I'm Neil Curry and that's "The Beat."

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ALEXANDER: After the break, we are California bound as Serena Yang meets with Billy Corgan to get the inside track on the latest release from the Smashing Pumpkins.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SERENA YANG, CO-HOST: Since their debut, the Smashing Pumpkins have been one of the primary shapers of '90s alternative rock. Their ambitious leader, Billy Corgan, has guided the band through a decade of triumphs and tragedies. Now, with the release of their fifth record, "Machina," the Pumpkins begin a new chapter in a new millennium.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

Smashing Pumpkins, Unidentified Song

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BILLY CORGAN, SMASHING PUMPKINS: The band is basically modeled upon what we call like a Beatle ideal, which is that you're, the band is about being the band and the music is the band's personality and interests.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

Smashing Pumpkins, "The Everlasting Gaze"

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CORGAN: From a sound point of view, we pretty much encompass just about any range of music. We're generally considered an alternative rock band, which I'm very comfortable with.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) Smashing Pumpkins, "Siva"

(END VIDEO CLIP)

YANG (voice-over): The Smashing Pumpkins began in Chicago in 1988 at the dawn of alternative rock. Corgan, the son of a professional guitarist, combined the attitude and abrasive sonics of punk music with strong melodies.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

Smashing Pumpkins, "This Time"

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CORGAN: I view the obvious to be completely uninteresting. So I feel it's my role as an artist to basically destroy the obvious and recreate the obvious, to put it back together into a form that maybe you wouldn't have considered. It's kind of a populist way of thinking because I'm not into the, I'm not into making things unimaginable, I mean, taking things and making them conceivable in a way that you would say I never would have thought of that.

YANG: That philosophy quickly paved the way for a series of acclaimed records. 1993's "Siamese Dream" and 1995's "Melancholy and the Infinite Sadness." Then, tragedy set in, including the death of touring keyboardist Jonathan Melvoyne (ph) from a heroin overdose and the departure of drummer Jimmy Chamberlain (ph). Their fourth record, "Adore," released in 1998, was considered a commercial disappointment.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

Smashing Pumpkins, "Ava Adore"

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CORGAN: With "Adore," in a one year period I lost my mother to cancer. I got a divorce and our drummer Jimmy left the band. So it was a very spiritually draining year and I think that "Adore" was about just facing those things and sort of letting them sit. I just faced them head on. So, you know, "Machina" is not only the rebirth of the band, but it's also the rebirth of my life, you know, to try to move on.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

Smashing Pumpkins, "Stand Inside Your Love"

(END VIDEO CLIP)

YANG: "Machina: The Machines of God," debuted last month at number three on the Billboard charts, setting them up for a full scale U.S. tour beginning on April 8th.

CORGAN: I could put what excites me about the record in two contexts. There's the larger context of the fact that unfortunately of a lot of the bands that started what is commonly referred to as the grunge revolution are gone. So we're one of the last bands standing. So there's something about, there's a pride in being able to stick your flag in the ground one more time and take on the quaffed divas of the world.

Second of all, there's a real pride that despite everything, our ups, our downs and our sideways, we've maintained our musical integrity.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

Smashing Pumpkins, "I of the Mourning"

(END VIDEO CLIP)

YANG: The band's current lineup includes original guitarist James Iha (ph), the return of drummer Jimmy Chamberlain and the new addition of bassist Melissa Oftimer (ph), formerly from the band Hole.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

Smashing Pumpkins, "Heavy Metal Machine"

(END VIDEO CLIP)

YANG: With a new lineup and a new outlook on life, the Pumpkins have also returned with a new sense of consciousness.

CORGAN: I would like to think that consciousness brings a certain serenity and peace but I've found it to be exactly the opposite. I feel more and I see more.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

Smashing Pumpkins, Unidentified Song

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CORGAN: I think that ultimately the role of a rock band in culture can be substantial. You know, the model that the Beatles set up as far as like a band with a global consciousness writing great songs and meaning so much more than just like three minute pop songs, I think that's very, very possible and I think the technology and an expanding global consciousness will allow that to happen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

Smashing Pumpkins, Unidentified Song

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ALEXANDER: That's it for this week's edition of WORLD BEAT. From Bruno in Milan, from Serena in Los Angeles and from me, Brooke Alexander in New York City, we will leave you with more musical magic from Mali.

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