Daily Download: “Rock El Casbah,” Rachid Taha

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This is the Algerian rock/pop/rai star Rachid Taha’s cover of the Clash’s “Rock the Casbah” — the verses translated into Arabic, the choruses left in English, and the whole thing decorated with the standard trappings of Arabic pop. It’s an intensely charged cover, not a simple tribute, complicated as it is by Taha’s belief that Strummer and Co. got their unacknowledged inspiration for the song from his ’80s French band Carte de Séjour, which they heard after Taha himself gave them a tape in 1981.

– T.B.

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